Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences

Laboratory for Developmental Genetics

Team Leader: Haruhiko Koseki (M.D., Ph.D)
Haruhiko  Koseki(M.D., Ph.D)

The Developmental Genetics Research Group studies epigenetic regulation of organ development and stem cell functions, mediated by Polycomb group (PcG) proteins and DNA methylation (5mC) mechanisms.
We showed that PcG proteins bind unmethylated CpG dinucleotides via the CxxC domain of KDM2B, which is a component of the non-canonical polycomb repressive complex 1 (ncPRC1). This promotes deposition of H3K27me3 by the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), and subsequent recruitment of the canonical PRC1 (cPRC1)- leading to transcriptional silencing. We aim to uncover the factors that regulate: (1) ncPRC1 recruitment to unmethylated CpGs, and, (2) cPRC1 recruitment downstream of PRC2.
Methylated CpGs, that are not bound by PcG proteins, are substrates of DNA methylation machinery. We previously discovered that DNA methylation is faithfully maintained by the combined role of DNMT1 and NP95/UHRF1. We are now elucidating novel molecules that function upstream of NP95-DNMT1, and couple DNA replication with maintenance methylation in mammalian cells.
Our group also focuses on the broad link between epigenetic factors and DNA replication. We have identified previously unknown epigenetic factors that specifically regulate replication timing in the euchromatin compartment of the genome in the S-phase.
Finally, our group is responsible to operate the animal facility affiliated to Yokohama Institute that includes cryopreservation and generation of genetic resources and human iPS cell facility.

Main Research Field


Related Research Fields

Medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy


  • Epigenetics
  • Disease model
  • iPS cells

Selected Publications

  1. Dong Y, Isono KI, Ohbo K, Endo TA, Ohara O, Maekawa M, Toyama Y, Ito C, Toshimori K, Helin K, Ogonuki N, Inoue K, Ogura A, Yamagata K, Kitabayashi I, Koseki H.:
    "EPC1/TIP60-mediated histone acetylation facilitates spermiogenesis in mice."
    Mol Cell Biol (2017) [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Almeida M, Pintacuda G, Masui O, Koseki Y, Gdula M, Cerase A, Brown D, Mould A, Innocent C, Nakayama M, Schermelleh L, Nesterova TB, Koseki H, Brockdorff N.:
    "PCGF3/5-PRC1 initiates Polycomb recruitment in X chromosome inactivation."
    Science 356, 1081-1084 (2017)
  3. Endoh M, Endo TA, Shinga J, Hayashi K, Farcas A, Ma KW, Ito S, Sharif J, Endoh T, Onaga N, Nakayama M, Ishikura T, Masui O, Kessler BM, Suda T, Ohara O, Okuda A, Klose RJ, Koseki H.:
    "PCGF6-PRC1 suppresses premature differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells by regulating germ cell-related genes."
    Elife 6, pii: e21064 (2017)
  4. Yamada D, Iyoda T, Vizcardo R, Shimizu K, Sato Y, Endo TA, Kitahara G, Okoshi M, Kobayashi M, Sakurai M, Ohara O, Taniguchi M, Koseki H, Fujii SI.:
    "Efficient regeneration of Human Vα24+ invariant NKT cells and their anti-tumor activity in vivo."
    Stem Cells 34, 2852-60 (2016)
  5. Yakushiji-Kaminatsui N, Kondo T, Endo TA, Koseki Y, Kondo K, Ohara O, Vidal M, Koseki H.:
    "RING1 proteins contribute to early proximal-distal specification of the forelimb bud by restricting Meis2 expression."
    Development 143, 276-85 (2016).
  6. Obata Y, Furusawa Y, Endo TA, Sharif J, Takahashi D, Atarashi K, Nakayama M, Onawa S, Fujimura Y, Takahashi M, Ikawa T, Otsubo T, Kawamura YI, Dohi T, Tajima S, Masumoto H, Ohara O, Honda K, Hori S, Ohno H, Koseki H, Hase K.:
    "The epigenetic regulator Uhrf1 facilitates the proliferation and maturation of colonic regulatory T cells."
    Nat Immunol 15, 571-579 (2014).
  7. Blackledge NP, Farcas AM, Kondo T, King HW, McGouran JF, Hanssen LL, Ito S, Cooper S, Kondo K, Koseki Y, Ishikura T, Long HK, Sheahan TW, Brockdorff N, Kessler BM, Koseki H, Klose RJ.:
    "Variant PRC1 complex-dependent H2A ubiquitylation drives PRC2 recruitment and polycomb domain formation."
    Cell 157, 1445-1459 (2014).
  8. Benitah SA, Bracken A, Dou Y, Huangfu D, Ivanova N, Koseki H, Laurent L, Lim DA, Meshorer E, Pombo A, Sander M, Xu GL.:
    "Stem cell epigenetics: looking forward."
    Cell Stem Cell 14, 706-709 (2014).
  9. Kondo T., Isono K, Kondo K, Endo TA, Itohara S, Vidal M, and Koseki H.:
    "The Polycomb Potentiates Meis2 Activation in Midbrain by Mediating Interaction of the Promoter with a Tissue-Specific Enhancer."
    Dev Cell 28, 94-101 (2014).
  10. Isono K, Endo TA, Ku M, Yamada D, Suzuki R, Sharif J, Ishikura T, Toyoda T, Bernstein BE, Koseki H.:
    "SAM Domain Polymerization Links Subnuclear Clustering of PRC1 to Gene Silencing."
    Dev Cell 26, 565-577 (2013).

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Haruhiko Koseki
Team Leader

Core Members

Kyoichi Isono
Senior Research Scientist
Hayato Kaneda
Senior Research Scientist
Takanori Hasegawa
Senior Technical Scientist
Yasuhide Ohinata
Research Scientist
Yixin Dong
Research Scientist
Daisuke Yamada
Research Scientist
Jafar Sharif
Research Scientist
Osamu Masui
Research Scientist
Shinsuke Ito
Research Scientist
Kit Wan Ma
Research Scientist
Shinobu Mochizuki
Technical Scientist
Masashi Matsuda
Technical Scientist
Satoshi Oonawa
Technical Scientist
Yukio Tsuchiyama
Technical Scientist
Juan Guillermo Betancur Medina
Special Postdoctoral Researcher
Yu-ichi Fujimura
Research Consultant
Hisahiro Yoshida
Research Consultant
Rumi Sato
Research Associate
Hiroki Sugishita
Junior Research Associate
Junichiro Takano
Junior Research Associate
Daisuke Hisamatsu
Junior Research Associate
Midori Kobayashi
Technical Staff I
Tomoyuki Ishikura
Technical Staff I
Chieko Tezuka
Technical Staff I
Takako Yamamoto
Technical Staff I
Momoko Okoshi
Technical Staff I
Genta Kitahara
Technical Staff I
Yusuke Iizuka
Technical Staff I
Hiromi Tatsumi
Technical Staff I
Yurie Kawamoto
Technical Staff I
Kayoko Katsuyama
Technical Staff II
Yoko Koseki
Technical Staff II
Fuyuko Shiotani
Technical Staff II
Mami Kumon
Technical Staff II
Miho Urabe
Technical Staff II
Marika Shibata
Technical Staff II
Asami Fujii
Technical Staff II
Rina Kaneko
Technical Staff II

Contact information

North Research Building,
1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku,
Yokohama City, Kanagawa,
230-0045, Japan

Email: haruhiko.koseki [at]

Related links

Recent research results