Centers & Labs

Chief Scientist Laboratories

Cellular Memory Laboratory

Chief Scientist: Yoichi Shinkai (Ph.D.)
Yoichi  Shinkai(Ph.D.)

Our laboratory's principal objective is to understand the molecular mechanism of epigenetic gene regulation and the role of epigenetics in health and disease. To address these topics, we take multidisciplinary approaches, including molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, structural biology and mouse molecular genetics.

Main Research Field


Related Research Fields

Biological Sciences

Molecular biology


  • Epigenetics

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.
  1. Ferry L#. Fournier A#. Tsusaka T#. Adelmant G. Shimazu T. Matano S. Kirsh O. Amouroux R. Dohmae N. Suzuki T. Filion G.J. Deng W. de Dieuleveult M. Lauriane Fritsch L.1, Kudithipudi S. Jeltsch A. Leonhardt H. Hajkova P. Marto J.A. Arita K. Shinkai Y*. and Defossez P-A*.:
    "Methylation of DNA Ligase 1 by G9a/GLP recruits UHRF1 to replicating DNA and regulates DNA methylation"
    Mol Cell, 67(4):550-565.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2017.07.012 (2017)
  2. Shirai A#. Kawaguchi T#. Shimojo H. Muramatsu D. Ishida-Yonetani M. Nishimura Y. Kimura H. Nakayama J*. and Shinkai Y*.:
    "Impact of nucleic acid and methylated H3K9 binding activities of Suv39h1 on its heterochromatin assembly"
    Elife. 6. pii: e25317. doi: 10.7554/eLife.25317 (2017)
  3. Shimazu, T., Barjau, J., Sohtome, Y., Sodeoka, M. and Shinkai, Y*.:
    "Selenium-based S-adenosylmethionine analog reveals the mammalian seven-beta-strand methyltransferase METTL10 to be an EF1A1 lysine methyltransferase."
    PLOS ONE, 9:e105394. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0105394 (2014)
  4. *Kuroki, S., Matoba, S., Akiyoshi, M., Matsumura, Y., Miyachi, H., Mise, N., Abe, K., Kanai, Y., Ogura, A., Wilhelm, D., Koopman, P., Nozaki, M., Shinkai, Y*. and Tachibana, M*.:
    "Epigenetic regulation of mouse sex determination by the histone demethylase Jmjd1a."
    Science, 341:1106-1109 (2013)
  5. *Deguchi, K., Nagamatsu, G., Miyachi, H., Kato, Y., Morita, S., Kimura, H., Kitano, S., Hatada, I., Saga, Y., Tachibana. M. and Shinkai.Y*.:
    "Posttranscriptional regulation of histone lysine methyltransferase GLP in embryonic male germ cells."
    Biol. Reprod., 88:1-8 (2013)
  6. *Matsui, T., Leung, D., Miyashita, H., Maksakova, I.A., Miyachi, H., Kimura, H., Tachibana, M., Lorincz, M.C*. and Shinkai, Y*.:
    "Proviral silencing in embryonic stem cells requires the histone methyltransferase ESET."
    Nature, 464:927-931 (2010)
  7. *Inagaki, T., Tachibana, M., Magoori, K., Kudo, H., Tanaka, T., Okamura, M., Naito, M., Kodama, T., Shinkai, Y*. and Sakai, Y*.:
    "Obesity and metabolic syndrome in histone demethylase JHDM2a deficient mice."
    Genes to Cells, 14:991-1001 (2009)
  8. *Tachibana M*., Matsumura Y., Fukuda M., Kimura H. and Shinkai Y*.:
    "G9a/GLP complexes independently mediate H3K9 and DNA methylation to silence transcription."
    EMBO J., 27:2681-2690 (2008)
  9. *Tachibana, M., Ueda, J., Fukuda, M., Takeda, N., Ohta, T., Iwanari, H., Sakihama, T., Kodama, T., Hamakubo, T. & Shinkai, Y*.:
    "Histone methyltransferases G9a and GLP form heteromeric complexes and are both crucial for methylation of euchromatin at H3-K9."
    Gene Dev., 19:815-826 (2005)
  10. *Tachibana, M., Sugimoto, K., Nozaki, M., Ueda, J., Ohta, T., Ohki, M., Fukuda, M., Takeda, N., Niida, H., Kato, H. and Shinkai, Y*.:
    "G9a histone methyltransferase plays a dominant role for euchromatic histone H3 lysine 9 methylation and is essential for early embryogenesis."
    Genes and Development, 16:1779-1791 (2002)

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Yoichi Shinkai
Chief Scientist

Core Members

Tadahiro Shimazu
Senior Research Scientist
Atsuko Shirai
Research Scientist
Kei Fukuda
Postdoctoral Researcher
Mikiko Fukuda
Special technical staff
Ayumi Yamada
Contract Researcher
Masaki Kato
Contract Researcher
Takeshi Tsusaka
Junior Research Associate
Kaoru Kotoshiba
Technical Staff II

Contact information

2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan

Email: yshinkai [at]

Related links

Recent research results

Annual research report