Major research fields
Chromosome Dynamics, Plant Molecular Biology, Yeast Genetics
Eukaryotic cells have developed sophisticated surveillance mechanisms called checkpoints to regulate responses to DNA damage and perturbations of DNA replication. The failure of a checkpoint is potentially catastrophic, leading to an elevated mutation rate, chromosome instability, and the development of cancer. Checkpoints were proposed to link DNA repair to progress through the cell cycle by active sensing of DNA perturbations and signaling to the cell-cycle machinery, thus delaying mitosis and allowing time for damage to be repaired. A central question is to determine how the cell recognizes and transduces the diverse noncanonical structures of DNA into a checkpoint response.
Fission yeast is a wonderful model organism to understand basic biological processes, such as intracellular signaling, meiosis, and cell-cycle checkpoints control. Many fundamental insights into S-phase and DNA damage checkpoints in particular have arisen from studies of fission yeast. In our laboratory, we focus on the DNA replication and the S-phase checkpoint as a surveillance mechanism in fission yeast.
Major relevant publications
- Santosa V, Martha S, Hirose N, Tanaka K, The Fission Yeast MCM-BP, Mcb1, Regulates MCM Function during Pre-Replicative Complex Formation in DNA Replication. J. Biol. Chem. in press (2013) (selected by F1000)
- Tanaka K, Multiple Functions of S-phase Checkpoint Mediator, Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem., 74(12):2367-2373 (2010)
- Okada S, Nagabuchi M, Takamura Y, Nakagawa T, Shinmyozu K, Nakayama J, Tanaka K, Reconstitution of Arabidopsis thaliana SUMO pathways in E. coli: functional evaluation of SUMO machinery proteins and mapping of SUMOylation sites by mass spectrometry. Plant Cell Physiol. 50(6): 1049-1061 (2009)
- Miyagawa, K., Low, R.S., Santosa, V., Tsuji, H., Moser, B.M., Fujisawa, S., Harland, L.J., Raguimova, O.N., Go, A., Ueno, M., Matsuyama, A., Yoshida, M., Nakamura, T.M., and Tanaka, K. SUMOylation regulates telomere length by targeting Tpz1Tpp1 to modulate shelterin-Stn1 interaction in fission yeast. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A,111(16):5950-5955. (2014)
- Tanaka, K. and Russell, P. (2001) Mrc1 channels the DNA replication arrest signal to checkpoint kinase Cds1. Nat Cell Biol, 3, 966-972.