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The Graduate University for Advanced Studies is one of the national universities of Japan, located in the town of Hayama in Kanagawa Prefecture. Sōkendai , as it is generally called in its abbreviated form, was established in the year 1988. From 1988 to 1995 the university maintained its headquarters in Nagatsuta, Midori-ku, Yokohama at Tokyo Institute of Technology later shifting to the present location. Wikipedia.

Fukagawa T.,Graduate University for Advanced Studies | Earnshaw W.C.,University of Edinburgh
Developmental Cell | Year: 2014

Since discovery of the centromere-specific histone H3 variant CENP-A, centromeres have come to be defined as chromatin structures that establish the assembly site for the complex kinetochore machinery. In most organisms, centromere activity is defined epigenetically, rather than by specific DNA sequences. In this review, we describe selected classic work and recent progress in studies of centromeric chromatin with a focus on vertebrates. We consider possible roles for repetitive DNA sequences found at most centromeres, chromatin factors and modifications that assemble and activate CENP-A chromatin for kinetochore assembly, plus the use of artificial chromosomes and kinetochores to study centromere function. © 2014 The Authors.

Kobayashi T.,Graduate University for Advanced Studies
Proceedings of the Japan Academy Series B: Physical and Biological Sciences | Year: 2014

The ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA) repeats form a historically well-researched region in the chromosome. Their highly repetitive structure can be identified easily which has enabled studies on DNA replication, recombination, and transcription. The region is one of the most unstable regions in the genome because of deleterious recombination among the repeats. The ribosomal RNA gene repeats use a unique gene amplification system to restore the copy number after this has been reduced due to recombination. It has been shown that unstable features in the genome can accelerate cellular senescence that restricts the lifespan of a cell. Here, I will introduce a study by our group that shows how the stability of rDNA is maintained and affects lifespan. I propose that the ribosomal RNA gene repeats constitute a center from which the stability of the whole genome is regulated and the lifespan of the cell is controlled. © 2014 The Japan Academy.

Innan H.,Graduate University for Advanced Studies | Innan H.,Japan Science and Technology Agency | Kondrashov F.,Center for Genomic Regulation
Nature Reviews Genetics | Year: 2010

Gene duplications and their subsequent divergence play an important part in the evolution of novel gene functions. Several models for the emergence, maintenance and evolution of gene copies have been proposed. However, a clear consensus on how gene duplications are fixed and maintained in genomes is lacking. Here, we present a comprehensive classification of the models that are relevant to all stages of the evolution of gene duplications. Each model predicts a unique combination of evolutionary dynamics and functional properties. Setting out these predictions is an important step towards identifying the main mechanisms that are involved in the evolution of gene duplications. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Yoshida S.,Graduate University for Advanced Studies
Development Growth and Differentiation | Year: 2010

Mammalian testes continually produce a huge number of sperm over a long reproductive period. This constant spermatogenesis is supported by a highly robust stem cell system. Morphological analyses in the 1960s and 70s established the basis of mammalian spermatogenesis and the associated stem cell research. Subsequently, from the 1990s on, functional analyses, which have included post-transplantation colony formation, in vitro spermatogonial culture with persisting stem cell activity, in vivo lineage tracing, and live imaging, and also lines of molecular-genetic analyses, have contributed greatly to our understanding of mammalian spermatogenic stem cells. This review will provide a brief overview of the history of this field and then go on to describe in detail the progress made in recent years. © 2010 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

Saga Y.,Graduate University for Advanced Studies
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences | Year: 2010

Nanos is known as an evolutionarily conserved RNA-binding protein, the function of which is implicated in germ cell development. This includes the maintenance of both the primordial germ cells (PGCs) and germline stem cells. In mice, Nanos2 exhibits a unique feature in which its expression is induced only in the germ cells within the sexually determined male gonad. Nanos2 promotes male germ cell differentiation, while simultaneously suppressing a female program. In addition, Nanos2 is also expressed in the spermatogonial stem cells and functions as an intrinsic factor to maintain the stem cell population during spermatogenesis. Detailed cytological and biochemical analyses in embryonic male gonads in the mouse have revealed that Nanos2 localizes to the P-bodies, a center of RNA processing. It has also been shown that the Nanos2 interacts with protein components of the deadenylation complex involved in the initial step of the RNA degradation pathway. © 2010 Springer Basel AG.

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