Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies

Genetic Diagnosis Technology Unit

Unit Leader: Kengo Usui (Ph.D.)
Kengo  Usui(Ph.D.)

As the biological marker for genetic diagnosis of personalized medicine, genotyping of specific SNP related to a disease is commonly used. As a novel candidate, there is RNA marker (mRNA, siRNA and ncRNA) depended on difference of individual expression. We will develop technologies to identify marker DNA and RNAs (like single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and/or RNAs that act as markers) in simple assays that take only few minutes with simplified and reliable technologies, which do not necessitate complicated analytical instruments.

Main Research Field

Biological Sciences

Related Research Fields

Medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy

Research Subjects

  • Development of rapid gene diagnosis system by nucleic acid amplification method.
  • Establishment of high-sensitive influenza detection system having the availability of drug-resistance typing.
  • Development of rapid and easy genome isolation method from the biological sample.

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.
  1. *Kimura, Y., Hanami, T., Tanaka, Y., De Hoon, MJ., Soma, T., Harbers, M., Lezhava, A., Hayashizaki, Y., and Usui, K.:
    "Effect of thiazole orage double-labeled thymidine on DNA duplex formation."
    Biochemistry, 51, 6056-6067 (2012).
  2. *Kawai, Y., Kimura, Y., Lezhava, A., Kanamori, H., Usui, K., Hanami, T., Soma, T., Morlighem, JÉ., Saga, S., Ishizu, Y., Aoki, S., Endo, R., Oguchi-Katayama, A., Kogo, Y., Mitani, Y., Ishidao, T., Kawakami, C., Kurata, H., Furuya, Y., Saito, T., Okazaki, N., Chikahira, M., Hayashi, E., Tsuruoka, S., Toguchi, T., Saito, Y., Ban, T., Izumi, S., Uryu, H., Kudo, K., Sakai-Tagawa, Y., Kawaoka, Y., Hirai, A., Hayashizaki, Y., and Ishikawa, T. :
    "One-step detection of the 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) virus by the RT-SmartAmp assay and its clinical validation."
    PLoS One, 7, e30236 (2012).
  3. *Tanaka, Y., Kimura, Y., Mitani, Y., Kawai, Y., Lezhava, A., Noma, S., Tagami, M., Kawai, J., Hayashizaki, Y., and Usui, K. :
    "Effect of the turn-back primer for intermediate product generation on isothermal DNA amplification."
    BioTechniques, 49, 888-892 (2010).
  4. *Xuan, HT., Bertin, N., Ninomiya, N., Fukuda, S., Usui, K., Kawai, J., Hayashizaki, Y., and Suzuki, H. :
    "Development of a high-throughput method for the systematic identification of human proteins nuclear translocation potential."
    BMC Cell Biol., 10: 69, 1-11 (2009).
  5. *Ogawa, C., Usui, K., Ito, F., Itoh, M., Hayashizaki, Y., and Suzuki H. :
    "Role of SMN protein components in snRNP assembly."
    J. Biol. Chem., 284, 14609-14617 (2009).
  6. *Ito, F., Usui, K., Kawahara, D., Suenaga, A., Maki, T., Kidoaki, S., Suzuki, H., Taiji, M., Itoh, M., Hayashizaki, Y., and T Matsuda. :
    "Reversible Hydrogel Formation Driven by Protein-Peptide-Specific Interaction and Chondrocyte Entrapment."
    Biomaterials, 31, 58-66 (2009).
  7. *Tatsumi, K., Mitani, Y., Watanabe, J., Takakura, H., Hoshi, K., Kawai, Y., Kikuchi, T., Kogo, Y., Katayama, A., Tomaru, Y., Kanamori, H., Baba, M., Ishidao, T., Usui, K., Itoh, M., Cizdziel, P., Lezhava, A., Ueda, M., Ichikawa, Y., Endo, I., Shimada, H., and Hayashizaki, Y. :
    "Rapid screening assay for KRAS mutations by the modified smart amplification process."
    J. Mol. Diagn., 10, 520-526 (2008).
  8. *Usui, K., Maki, T., Ito, F., Suenaga, A., Kidoaki, S., Itoh, M., Taiji, M., Matsuda, T., Hayashizaki, Y., and Suzuki, H. :
    "Nanoscale elongating control of the self-assembled protein filament with the cysteine-introduced building blocks."
    Protein Science, 18, 960-969 (2009).
  9. *Kawai, Y., Kikuchi, T., Mitani, Y., Kogo, Y., Itoh, M., Usui, K., Kanamori, H., Kaiho, A., Takakura, H., Hoshi, K., Cizdziel, P., and Hayashizaki, Y. :
    "Sensitive detection of EGFR mutations using a competitive probe to suppress background in the SMart Amplification process."
    Biologicals, 36, 234-238 (2008).
  10. *Watanabe, J., Mitani, Y., Kawai, Y., Kikuchi, T., Kogo, Y., Oguchi-Katayama, A., Kanamori, H., Usui, K., Itoh, M., Cizdziel, P., Lezhava, A., Tatsumi, K., Ichikawa, Y., Togo, S., Shimada, H., Hayashizaki, Y. :
    "Use of a competitive probe in assay design for genotyping of the UGT1A1*28 microsatellite polymorphism by the smart-amplification process."
    Biotechniques, 43, 479-484 (2007).

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Kengo Usui
Unit Leader

Core Members

Takeshi Hanami
Research Scientist
Yuki Tanaka
Research Scientist

Contact information

1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan
Tel: +81-(0)45-503-9222
Fax: +81-(0)45-503-9216

Email: kusui [at]