National Institutes of Natural Sciences

National Institute for Basic Biology


NIBB Departments



NAKAYAMA, Jun-ichi

NAKAYAMA, Jun-ichi


Assistant Professor

KATAOKA, Kensuke

Assistant Professor
KATAOKA, Kensuke

Research Summary

Multicellular organisms are made up of diverse populations of many different types of cells, each of which contains an identical set of genetic information coded in its DNA. Cell differentiation and the process of development itself depend on the ability of individual cells to maintain the expression of different genes, and for their progeny to do so through multiple cycles of cell division. In recent years, we have begun to understand that the maintenance of specific patterns of gene expression does not rely on the DNA sequence, but rather takes place in a heritable, “epigenetic” manner. DNA methylation, chromatin modifications, and RNA silencing are some of the best known epigenetic phenomena. Our division investigates how modifications to the structure and configuration of chromatin (complexes of nuclear DNA and proteins) contribute to epigenetic gene regulation by studying events at the molecular scale in the model organism, fission yeast, ciliate Tetrahymena, and in cultured mammalian cells.


Model systems used in our laboratory (left: mammalian culture cells, center: Schizosaccharomyces pombe, right: ciliate Tetrahymena)



Selected Publications

Nishibuchi, G., Machida, S., Osakabe, A., Murakoshi, H., Hiragami-Hamada, K., Nakagawa, R., Fischle, W., Nishimura, Y., Kurumizaka, H., Tagami, H., and Nakayama, J. (2014). N-terminal phosphorylation of HP1α increases its nucleosome-binding specificity. Nucleic Acids Res. 42: 12498-12511.

Ishida, M., Shimojo, H., Hayashi, A., Kawaguchi, R., Ohtani, Y., Uegaki, K., Nishimura, Y., and Nakayama, J. (2012). Intrinsic nucleic acid-binding activity of Chp1 chromodomain is required for heterochromatic gene silencing. Mol Cell 47: 228-241.

Hayashi, A., Ishida, M., Kawaguchi, R., Urano, T., Murakami, Y., and Nakayama, J. (2012). Heterochromatin protein 1 homologue Swi6 acts in concert with Ers1 to regulate RNAi-directed heterochromatin assembly. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109: 6159-6164.

Kawakami, K., Hayashi, A., Nakayama, J., and Murakami, Y. (2012). A novel RNAi protein, Dsh1, assembles RNAi machinery on chromatin to amplify heterochromatic siRNA. Genes Dev. 26: 1811-1824.

Hiragami-Hamada, K., Shinmyozu, K., Hamada, D., Tatsu, Y., Uegaki, S., Fujiwara, S., and Nakayama, J. (2011). N-terminal phosphorylation of HP1 promotes its chromatin binding. Mol Cell Biol. 31: 1186-200.


Professor NAKAYAMA, Jun-ichi  TEL: +81 564 59 5238  E-mail: