Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies

Translation Factors Structural Biology Unit

Unit Leader: Takuhiro Ito (Ph.D.)
Takuhiro  Ito(Ph.D.)

We plan to conduct studies on three dimensional structures of the translation factors and/or the ribosome, mainly by X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM single particle analysis, focusing on the structural analysis of the large complexes that function in the eukaryotic translational system, in order to reveal the complicated mechanisms of eukaryotic translation.

Main Research Field

Biology & Biochemistry

Related Research Fields

Molecular Biology & Genetics

Research Subjects

  • Structural biology on translational system in eukaryotes
  • Development of the sample preparation methods suitable for the crystallization of macromolecular complexes

Selected Publications

  1. Kashiwagi, K., Takahashi, M., Nishimoto, M., Hiyama, T.B., Higo, T., Umehara, T., Sakamoto, K., Ito, T. and Yokoyama, S.:
    "Crystal structure of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2B"
    Nature. 531 122-125. 2016.
  2. Ito, T., Masuda, I., Yoshida, K., Goto-Ito, S., Sekine, S., Suh, S.W., Hou, Y.-M. and Yokoyama, S.:
    "Structural Basis for methyl-donor-dependent and sequence-specific binding to tRNA substrates by knotted methyltransferase TrmD"
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 112 E4197-E4205. 2015.
  3. Kuwasako, K., Takahashi, M., Unzai, S., Tsuda, K., Yoshikswa, S., He, F., Kobayashi, N., Guntert, P., Shirouzu, M., Ito, T., Tanaka, A., Yokoyama, S., Hagiwara, M., Kuroyanagi, H. and Muto, Y.:
    "RBFOX and SUP-12 sandwich a G base to cooperatively regulate tissue-specific splicing"
    Nat Struct Mol Biol. 21 778-86. 2014.
  4. Kashiwagi, K., Ito, T. and Yokoyama, S.:
    "Crystal structure of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2A from Schizosaccharomyces pombe"
    J Struct Funct Genomics. 15 125-130. 2014.
  5. Georges, L., Goto-Ito, S., Yoshida, K., Ito, T., Yokoyama, S. and Hou, Y.-M.:
    "Differentiating analogous tRNA methyltransferases by fragments of the methyl donor"
    RNA. 17 1236-1246. 2011.
  6. Ito, T. and Yokoyama, S.:
    "Two enzymes bound to one transfer RNA assume alternative conformations for consecutive reactions"
    Nature. 467 612-616. 2010.
  7. Ito, T., Kiyasu, N., Matsunaga, R., Takahashi, S. and Yokoyama, S.:
    "Structure of nondiscriminating glutamyl-tRNA synthetase from Thermotoga maritima."
    Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 66 813-820. 2010.
  8. Goto-Ito, S., Ito, T., Kuratani, M., Bessho, Y. and Yokoyama, S.:
    "Tertiary structure checkpoint at anticodon loop modification in tRNA functional maturation"
    Nat Struct Mol Biol. 16 1109-1115. 2009.
  9. Hiyama, T.B., Ito, T., Imataka, H. and Yokoyama, S.:
    "Crystal Structure of the alpha subunit of human translation initiation factor 2B"
    J Mol Biol. 392 937-951. 2009.
  10. Ito, T., Marintchev, A. and Wagner, G.:
    "Solution structure of human initiation factor eIF2α reveals homology to the elongation factor eEF1B"
    Structure (Camb). 12 1693-1704. 2004.

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Takuhiro Ito
Unit Leader

Core Members

Madoka Nishimoto
Technical Scientist
Kazuhiro Kashiwagi
Postdoctoral Researcher
Mari Takahashi
Research Associate

Contact information

1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan

Email: takuhiro.ito [at]

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