Our goal is to elucidate molecular mechanisms of protein aggregation and its physiological consequences in neuropsychiatric diseases.

Motomasa Tanaka

Motomasa Tanaka, Ph.D.

Team Leader, Protein Conformation Diseases
motomasa.tanaka [at] riken.jp

Research Overview

We are investigating the molecular basis of neuropsychiatric diseases using both in vivo and in vitro systems with a variety of techniques including neuroscience, genetics, chemical biology and structural biology. In conjunction, we are seeking to develop novel proteomics or genomics technologies to advance our understanding of the mechanisms of cellular aging and abnormal mRNA translation. Furthermore, we will uncover the structural basis of formation, disaggregation and propagation of amyloid fibers using the yeast prion system that we have established.

Main Research Field

Related Research Fields


Selected Publications

  1. Shida T., Kamatari Y.O., Yoda T., Yamaguchi Y., Feig M., Ohhashi Y., Sugita Y., Kuwata K., and Tanaka M.:
    "Short disordered protein segment regulates cross-species transmission of a yeast prion."
    Nat. Chem. Biol. 16, 756-765 (2020) (cover).
  2. Sugiyama, S., Tanaka, M.:
    "Distinct segregation patterns of yeast cell-peripheral proteins uncovered by a method for protein segregatome analysis."
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U. S. A., 116, 8909-8918 (2019).
  3. Hui, K.K., Takashima, N., Watanabe, A., Chater, T.E., Matsukawa, H., Nekooki-Machida, Y., Nilsson, P., Endo, R., Goda, Y., Saido, T.C., Yoshikawa, T., Tanaka., M.:
    "GABARAPs dysfunction by autophagy deficiency in adolescent brain impairs GABAA receptor trafficking and social behavior."
    Science Advances, 5(4), eaau8237 (2019).
  4. Endo R., Takashima N., Nekooki-Machida Y., Komi Y., Hui K.K., Takao M., Akatsu H., Murayama S., Sawa A., and Tanaka M.:
    "TDP-43 and DISC1 Co-Aggregation Disrupts Dendritic Local Translation and Mental Function in FTLD. Biol. Psychiatry, 84, 509-521 (2018)."
  5. Chen  C.W., Tanaka M.
    "Genome-Wide Translation Profiling by Ribosome-Bound tRNA Capture." Cell Rep., 23, 608-621 (2018).
  6. Ohhashi Y., Yamaguchi Y., Kurahashi H., Kamatari Y.O., Sugiyama S., Uluca B., Piechatzek T., Komi Y., Shida T., Müller H., Hanashima S., Heise H., Kuwata K, and Tanaka M.
    "Molecular basis for diversification of yeast prion strain conformation", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 115, 2389-2394 (2018).
  7. Tanaka, M., Ishizuka, K., Nekooki-Machida, Y., Endo, R., Takashima, N., Sasaki, H., Komi, Y., Gathercole, A., Huston, E., Ishii, K., Hui, K.K., Kurosawa, M., Kim, S.H., Nukina, N.,Takimoto, E., Houslay, M.D., and Sawa, A.:
    "Aggregation of scaffolding protein DISC1 dysregulates phosphodiesterase 4 in Huntington's disease."
    J. Clin. Invest., 127, 1438-1450 (2017).
  8. Suzuki, G., Weissman, J.S., and Tanaka, M.:
    "[KIL-d] protein element confers antiviral activity via catastrophic viral mutagenesis."
    Mol. Cell, 60, 651-660 (2015).
  9. Tanaka, M. and Komi, Y.:
    "Layers of structure and function in protein aggregation."
    Nat. Chem. Biol., 11, 373-377 (2015).
  10. Suzuki, G., Shimazu, N., and Tanaka, M.:
    "A Yeast Prion, Mod 5, Promotes Acquired Drug Resistance and Cell Survival Under Environmental Stress."
    Science 336, 355-359 (2012).