Laboratory of Genome Structure and Function


Chikashi OBUSE
Associate Professor
Koji Ngao
Visiting Assistant Professor
Yoko Hayashi

Molecular Cell Biology


Graduate School of Science



Research Theme

The ability of cells to store, retrieve, and translate the genetic information is essential for making and maintaining living organisms. The genetic information of mammalian cells is preserved in the nucleus, in which DNA together with proteins and RNA form a complex called chromatin. Different types of cells in our body are originated from a one cell embryo. Thus, such different types of cells still possess same genetic information, but their cellular identities are determined by each cell-type specific gene expression. This cell-type specific gene expression is controlled by epigenetic information including DNA methylation, histone post-translational modifications and chromatin structure. These epigenetic information or epigenomes can be changed during differentiation or by environmental factors, but are also maintained and inherited by the next generation if cellular identity is fixed. We are interested in genetic and epigenetic mechanisms to inherit the genetic information and utilize it properly. In addition, we want to understand how cell-type specific epigenome can be switched or maintained through cell division at molecular level. We employ omics approaches using massspectrometry and next generation sequencer, as well as molecular biological and genetical, biochemical, and cell biological approaches, to elucidate these issues.

0DNA carrying genetic information associates with proteins including histones and non-coding RNAs to form chromatin.

1 Facilities for comprehensive omics analyses; Mass spectrometry for proteomic analysis (left) and Next generation sequencer for genomics (right).


Isobe S.Y., Nagao K., Nozaki N., Kimura H., Obuse C Inhibition of RIF1 by SCAI Allows BRCA1-Mediated Repair. Cell Reports 20 , 297 - 307 (2017)

Nozawa R.S.*, Nagao K.*, Igami K.T.*, Shibata S., Shirai N., Nozaki N., Sado T., Kimura H., Obuse C. *equal contribution Human inactive X chromosome is compacted through a polycomb-independent SMCHD1-HBiX1 pathway. Nature Structure & Molecular Biology 20 , 566 - 573 (2013)

Nozawa R.S., Nagao K., Masuda H.T., Iwasaki O., Hirota T., Nozaki N., Kimura H., Obuse C. HP1alpha from mitotic chromosome arms through Aurora B activation. Nature Cell Biology 12 , 719 - 727 (2010)

Kiyomitsu T.*, Iwasaki O.*, Obuse C., Yanagida M. *equal contribution Inner centromere formation requires hMis14, a trident kinetochore protein that specifically recruits HP1 to human chromosomes. Journal of Cell Biology 188 , 791 - 807 (2010)

Obuse C.*, Iwasaki O.*, Kiyomitsu T., Goshima G., Toyoda Y. and Yanagida M. *equal contribution A conserved Mis12 centromere complex is linked to heterochromatic HP1 and outer kinetochore protein Zwint-1. Nature Cell Biology 6 , 1135 - 1141 (2004)


Chikashi OBUSE
Laboratory of Genome Structure and Function
Department of Biological Sciences
Graduate School of Science
Osaka University
1-1 Machikaneyama-cho
Toyonaka, Osaka 560-0043
Tel: +81-6-6850-5812