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RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences Laboratory for Epigenome Inheritance

Team Leader: Azusa Inoue (Ph.D.)

Research Summary

Azusa Inoue (Ph.D.)

Our laboratory is aimed to understand the inheritance mechanisms of epigenetic information across generations and to create new diagnostic and preventive strategies for disease predisposition. We study how environmental stresses in the parental generation lead to disease development in the next generation via epigenetic mechanisms in germline cells, and in particular, how these changes are transmitted to the next generation by overcoming genome-wide reprogramming that occurs immediately after fertilization. In addition, we contribute to the development of epigenetic research in Japan through the development and application of low-input epigenome analysis technologies.

Main Research Fields

  • Biology

Related Research Fields

  • Medicine, Dentistry & Pharmacy
  • Molecular biology-related
  • Embryonic medicine and pediatrics-related
  • Animal life science-related


  • Epigenetics
  • Nutritional metabolism
  • Low-input epigenome technology
  • Fetal programming
  • Zygote

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.

  • 1. Matoba S, Kozuka C, Miura K, Inoue K, Kumon M, Hayashi R, Ohhata T, Ogura A, Inoue A.
    "Noncanonical imprinting sustains embryonic development and restrains placental overgrowth"
    Genes Dev. 36:483-494. (2022)
  • 2. Mei H, Kozuka C, Hayashi R, Kumon M, Koseki H, Inoue A.
    "H2AK119ub1 guides maternal inheritance and zygotic deposition of H3K27me3 in mouse embryos."
    Nat Genet. 53:539-550. (2021)
  • 3. *Inoue A, Chen Z, Yin Q, Zhang Y.
    "Maternal Eed knockout causes loss of H3K27me3 imprinting and random X inactivation in the extraembryonic cells."
    Genes Dev. 32, 1525-36. (2018)
  • 4. *Djekidel MN, Inoue A, Matoba S, Suzuki T, Zhang C, Lu F, Jiang L, Zhang Y.
    "Reprogramming of chromatin accessibility in somatic cell nuclear transfer is DNA replication independent"
    Cell Reports 23, 1939-47. (2018)
  • 5. *Inoue A, Jiang L, Lu F, Zhang Y.
    "Genomic imprinting of Xist by maternal H3K27me3."
    Genes Dev. 31, 1927-32. (2017)
  • 6. *Inoue A, Jiang L, Lu F, Suzuki T, Zhang Y.
    "Maternal H3K27me3 controls DNA methylation-independent imprinting."
    Nature 547(7664), 419-24. (2017)
  • 7. *Lu F, Liu Y, Inoue A, Suzuki T, Zhao K, Zhang Y.
    "Establishing Chromatin Regulatory Landscape during Mouse Preimplantation Development."
    Cell 165(6), 1375-88. (2016)
  • 8. *Inoue A, Shen L, Matoba S, Zhang Y.
    "Haploinsufficiency, but not defective 5mC oxidation in zygotes, accounts for the developmental defects of maternal Tet3 knockouts."
    Cell Reports 10(4), 763-70.(2015)
  • 9. *Inoue A, Zhang Y.
    "Nucleosome assembly is required for nuclear pore complex assembly in mouse zygotes."
    Nat Struct Mol Biol. 21(7), 609-16. (2014)
  • 10. *Inoue A, Zhang Y.
    "Replication-dependent loss of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in mouse preimplantation embryos"
    Science 334(6053), 194. (2011)

Recent Research Results

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Azusa Inoue
Team Leader

Core members

Chisayo Kozuka
Special Postdoctoral Researcher
Hailiang Mei
Postdoctoral Researcher
Mami Kumon
Technical Staff II
Masahiro Matsuwaka
Student Trainee

Contact Information

1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku,
Yokohama City, Kanagawa,
230-0045, Japan
Tel: +81-(0)45-503-7068
Email: azusa.inoue [at] riken.jp