Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies

Ultrastructural Research Team

Team Leader: Shigenobu Yonemura (Ph.D.)
Shigenobu  Yonemura(Ph.D.)

This research team analyzes detailed morphological information in various researches of the life science field, which is acquired through ultrastructural techniques using transmission and scanning electron microscopy. In collaboration with many laboratories including within RIKEN, we have accumulated a large amount of experiences to improve methods for better morphology.

Main Research Field


Related Research Fields

Medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy

Research Subjects

  • Regulation of adherens junction remodellig by forces using alpha-catenin as a mechanotransducer.
  • Molecular mechanism of perception of dead cells and signaling of wound closure in cell sheets.
  • Role of force generated by myosin II on establishment of epithelial polarity.

Selected Publications

  1. Sai, X. R., Yonemura, S., Ladher, R.:
    “Junctionally restricted RhoA activity is necessary for apical constriction during phase 2 inner ear placode invagination.”
    Dev Biol. 394: 206-216 (2014)
  2. Assawachananont, J., Mandai, M., Okamoto, S., Yamada, C., Eiraku, M., Yonemura, S., Sasai, Y., Takahashi, M.:
    “Transplantation of Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived 3D Retinal Sheets into Retinal Degenerative Mice.”
    Stem Cell Reports. 2:662-674 (2014)
  3. Ueyama, T., Sakaguchi, H., Nakamura, T., Goto, A., Morioka, S., Shimizu, A., Nakao, K., Hishikawa, Y., Ninoyu, Y., Kassai, H., Suetsugu, S., Koji, T., Fritzsch, B., Yonemura, S., Hisa, Y., Matsuda, M., Aiba, A., Saito, N.:
    “Maintenance of stereocilia and apical junctional complexes by Cdc42 in cochlear hair cells.”
    J Cell Sci. 127: 2040-2052 (2014)
  4. Ikenouchi, J., Hirata, M., Yonemura, S., Umeda, M.:
    "Sphingomyelin clustering is essential for the formation of microvilli."
    J Cell Sci. 126:3585-92 (2013)
  5. Ebrahim, S., Fujita, T., Millis, B. A., Kozin, E., Ma, X., Kawamoto, S., Baird, M. A., Davidson, M., Yonemura, S., Hisa, Y., Conti, M. A., Adelstein, R. S., Sakaguchi, H., Kachar, B.:
    "NMII Forms a Contractile Transcellular Sarcomeric Network to Regulate Apical Cell Junctions and Tissue Geometry."
    Curr Biol. 23:731-736 (2013)
  6. Tsujioka, M., Yumura, S., Inouye, K., Patel, H., Ueda, M., Yonemura, S.:
    "Talin couples the actomyosin cortex to the plasma membrane during rear retraction and cytokinesis."
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 109: 12992-12997 (2012)
  7. Suga, H., Kadoshima, T., Minaguchi, M., Ohgushi, M., Soen, M., Nakano, T., Takata, N., Wataya, T., Muguruma, K., Miyoshi, H., Yonemura, S., Oiso, Y., Sasai, Y.:
    "Self-formation of functional adenohypophysis in three-dimensional culture."
    Nature. 480:57-62 (2011)
  8. Yonemura, S.:
    "A mechanism of mechanotransduction at the cell-cell interface: Emergence of α-catenin as the center of a force-balancing mechanism for morphogenesis in multicellular organisms."
    Bioessays. 33:732-736 (2011)
  9. Yonemura, S.:
    "Cadherin-actin interactions at adherens junctions."
    Curr Opin Cell Biol. 23:515-522 (2011)
  10. Yonemura, S., Wada, Y., Watanabe, T., Nagafuchi, A. and Shibata, M.:
    "α-catenin as a tension transducer that induces adherens junction development."
    Nature Cell Biol. 12:533-542 (2010)

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Shigenobu Yonemura
Team Leader

Core Members

Kumiko Torisawa
Research Scientist
Kazuyo Misaki
Technical Staff I
Kisa Kakiguchi
Technical Staff I
Mai Shibata

Contact information

2-2-3 Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku
Kobe, Hyogo
650-0047 Japan
Tel: 078-306-3105

Email: shigenobu.yonemura [at]

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