Associate Professor

Masayuki Sakurai

Division of Cell Fate Regulation
Genome & RNA Editing Pathology

Research theme

  • Elucidation of biological functions of DNA and RNA editing and modifications.
  • Analysis of RNA mediated genomic stability and gene expression mechanism.
  • Analysis of molecular pathology caused by corruption of above mechanisms.
  • Development of innovative detection and diagnosis methods aiming cure of the diseases.

Selected publications:

  1.  Sakurai, M., Shiromoto, Y., Ota, H., Song, C., Kossenkov, A.V., Wickramasinghe, J., Showe, L.C., Skordalakes, E., Tao, H.Y., Speicher, D.W., and Nishikura, K. “ADAR1 controls apoptosis of stressed cells by inhibiting Staufen-mediated mRNA decay.” Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 24: 534-543 [DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.3403, PMID: 28436945] (2017).
  2. Gumireddy, K., Li, A., Kossenkov, A.V., Sakurai, M., Yan, J., Li, Y., Xu, H., Wang, J., Zhang, PJ., Zhang, L., Showe, L., Nishikura, K., and Huang, Q. “The mRNA-edited form of GABRA3 suppresses GABRA3-mediated Akt activation and breast cancer metastasis.” Nat. Commun. 7: 10715 [DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10715, PMID: 26869349] (2016).
  3. Okada, S., Sakurai, M., Ueda, H., and Suzuki, T. “Biochemical and Transcriptome-Wide Identification of A-to-I RNA Editing Sites by ICE-Seq” Methods Enzymol. 560: 331-35 [DOI: 10.1016/bs.mie.2015.03.014, PMID: 26253977] (2015).
  4. Suzuki, T., Ueda, H., Okada, S., and Sakurai, M. “Transcriptome-wide identification of adenosine-to-inosine editing using the ICE-seq method.” Nat. Protoc. 10: 715-732 [DOI: 10.1038/nprot.2015.037, PMID: 25855956] (2015).
  5. Sakurai, M., Ueda, H., Yano, T., Okada, S., Terajima, H., Mitsuyama T., Toyoda, A., Fujiyama, A., Kawabata, H., and Suzuki, T. “A biochemical landscape of A-to-I RNA editing in the human transcriptome.” Genome Res. 24: 522-34 [DOI: 10.1101/gr.162537.113, PMID: 24407955] (2014). *This work is awarded for the Nature Method “METHOD OF THE YEAR 2016”: Li X., Xiog, X., and Yu C. “Epitranscriptome sequencing technologies: decoding RNA modifications.” Nature Methods 14: 23-31 (2017).
  6. Ota, H*., Sakurai, M.* (*Equal contribution as a first author), and Gupta, R., Valente, L., Wulff, B.E., Ariyoshi, K., Iizasa, H., Davuluri, R.V., and Nishikura, K. “ADAR1 Forms a Complex with Dicer to Promote MicroRNA Processing and RNA-Induced Gene Silencing.” Cell 153: 575-589 [DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.03.024, PMID: 23622242] (2013).
  7. Sakurai, M., Yano, T., and Suzuki, T. “Biochemical identification of A-to-I RNA editing sites by the Inosine Chemical Erasing (ICE) method.” Methods Mol. Biol. 718: 89-99 [DOI: 10.1007/978-1-61779-018-8_5, PMID: 21370043] (2011).
  8. Sakurai, M., Yano, T., Kawabata, H., Ueda, H., and Suzuki, T. “Inosine cyanoethylation identifies A-to-I RNA editing sites in the human transcriptome.” Nat. Chem. Biol. 6: 733-740 [DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.434, PMID: 20835228] (2010).
  9. Sakurai, M., Watanabe, Y., Watanabe, K., and Ohtsuki, T. “A protein extension to shorten RNA: Elongated elongation factor Tu recognizes the D-arm of T-armless tRNAs in nematode mitochondria.” Biochem J. 399: 249-56 [DOI: 10.1042/BJ20060781, PMID: 16859488] (2006).
  10. Sakurai, M., Ohtsuki, T., and Watanabe, K. “Modification at position 9 with 1-methyladenosine is crucial for structure and function of nematode mitochondrial tRNAs lacking the entire T arm.” Nucleic Acids Res. 33: 1653-1661 [DOI: 10.1093/nar/gki309, PMID: 15781491] (2005).
  11. Sakurai, M., Ohtsuki, T., Suzuki, T., and Watanabe, K. “Unusual usage of wobble modifications in mitochondrial tRNAs of the nematode Ascaris suum.” FEBS Lett. 579: 2767-2772 [DOI: 10.1016/j.febslet.2005.04.009, PMID: 15907479] (2005).
  12. Suematsu, T., Sato, A., Sakurai, M., Watanabe, K., and Ohtsuki, T. “A unique tRNA recognition mechanism of Caenorhabditis elegans mitochondrial EF-Tu2.” Nucleic Acids Res. 33: 4683-4691 [DOI: 10.1093/nar/gki784, PMID: 16113240] (2005).
  13. Ohtsuki, T., Sakurai, M., Sato, A., and Watanabe, K. “Characterization of the interaction between the nucleotide exchange factor EF-Ts from nematode mitochondria and elongation factor Tu.” Nucleic Acids Res. 30: 5444-5451 [PMID: 12490713] (2002).
  14. Sakurai, M., Ohtsuki, T., Watanabe, Y., and Watanabe, K. “Requirement of modified residue m1A9 for EF-Tu binding to nematode mitochondrial tRNA lacking the T arm.” Nucleic Acids Res.Suppl. 1: 237-238 [DOI: 10.1093/nar/gki309, PMID: 15781491] (2001).
  15. Song, C., Sakurai, M., Shiromoto, Y., Ota, H., Nishikura, K. “Functions of the RNA Editing Enzyme ADAR1 and Their Relevance to Human Diseases.” Gene 7: 129 [DOI: 10.3390/genes7120129, PMID: 27999332] (2016).
  16. Nishikura, K., Sakurai, M., Ariyoshi, K., and Ohta, H. “Antagonistic and stimulative roles of ADAR in RNA silencing An editor’s point-of-view.” RNA biology 10: 1240-1247 [DOI: 10.4161/rna.25947, PMID: 23949595] (2013).
  17. Wulff, B.E., Sakurai, M., and Nishikura, K. “Elucidating the inosinome: Global approaches to adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing.” Nat. Rev. Genet. 12: 81-85 [DOI: 10.1038/nrg2915, PMID: 21173775] (2011).
  18. Sakurai, M., Ota, H., and Nishikura, K. “RNAi promoting function of RNA editing enzyme ADAR1” Experimental Medicine (Japan) 31: 2615-2618 (2013).
  19. Sakurai, M., Yano, T., Okada, S., Takeuchi, H., and Suzuki, T. “RNA modification/editing and regulatory gene expression.” Protein, Nucleic Acid and Enzyme (Japan) 54, 2086-2091 [PMID: 21089622] (2009).
  20. Sakurai, M., and Suzuki, T., “Method for detection of inosine-containing site in RNA”. WO2007018169A1, 7 Aug 2006, (International application).