The research result of Visiting Researcher Tomohito Yamasaki was published in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America”

2016/10/04
A paper of Visiting Researcher Tomohito Yamasaki was accepted by “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America”. He was a Research Associate in the School of Environmental Science and Engineering in Kochi University of Technology (KUT) until March 2016. He conducted the joint research activity with the group of Stanford University and University of Nebraska and announced their research result under the supervision of Prof. Takeshi Ohama, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, KUT.

Comment from Dr. Tomohito Yamasaki
Micro RNA (miRNA) is one of the non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional stage. Recent intensive studies revealed that over several hundreds of miRNA species are generated in a broad range of eukaryotes and some of these are control diverse biological processes including development, cell proliferation, and cell death through fine tuning of their activity and/or amount.

We focused on the miRNA biogenesis pathway in the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, which seems to retain an ancestral miRNA biogenesis mechanism, and have discovered that a master regulator gene, termed DUS16, for controlling miRNA abundance.

Our discovery may provide new insight into the fundamental mechanism of miRNA biogenesis that conserved animals and plants and contributes understanding of cancer onset and plant developments.