Kan Tanaka
Kan Tanaka

Professor, Chemical Resources Laboratory
PhD 1990, The University of Tokyo
E-mail: kntanaka(at)res.titech.ac.jp
Office: Room 814, R1 building, Suzukakedai campus

Areas of Research: Evolutional Cell Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Genetics.

Keywords: Algal Biomass, Chloroplast, Cyanidioschyzon merolae, Cyanobacteria, Escherichia coli, Eukaryotic Algae, Metabolism, Photosynthesis, Organelle Signal, Ribosome, Sigma Factor, Signal Transduction, Symbiosis, Transcription.

Research interest:

A) Eukaryotic cell has emerged through the symbiotic association of prokaryotic cells. Plant cell has also evolved as the result of the cyanobacterial endosymbiosis. Providing that endosymbiotic association has established the eukaryotic framework, we are interested in the understanding of various aspects of eukaryotic cell biology, such as cell cycle and environmental acclimation, based on the inter-organelle communications.

B) Eukaryotic cell was constructed based on the association of prokaryotic cells, and thus prokaryotic cells are the real basal unit of every living cell. We are interested in the basic architect of bacterial cells, focusing on metabolism, ribosome, genome and their interrelationship.

C) Oxygenic photosynthesis is the fundamental process for the earth biosystem, which was evolved by ancient cyanobacteria and descended to plant chloroplasts. Since the photosynthetic machineries are labile to environmental changes, photosynthetic organisms have established the acclimation system to protect the system from various damages. We are studying the conserved core part of the protection mechanism from the aspect of the environmental sensing and the signal transduction.

D) Photosynthetic microorganisms are able to accumulate useful biomass as oils under stressful conditions. We are working to understand the underlying mechanism for the production to establish the basis for the breeding of industrially useful organisms.

Selected publications

  1. Zeenat B. Noordally, Kenyu Ishii, Kelly A. Atkins, Sarah J. Wetherill, Jelena Kusakina, Eleanor J. Walton, Maiko Kato, Miyuki Azuma, Kan Tanaka, Mitsumasa Hanaoka and Antony N. Dodd (2013) Circadian Control of Chloroplast Transcription by a Nuclear-Encoded Timing Signal. Science 339, 1316-1319.
  2. Mitsumasa Hanaoka, Naoki Takai, Norimune Hosokawa, Masayuki Fujiwara, Yuki Akimoto, Nami Kobori, Hideo Iwasaki, Takao Kondo and Kan Tanaka (2012) RpaB, another response regulator operating circadian clock-dependent transcriptional regulation in Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942. J. Biol. Chem. 287, 26321-26327.
  3. Yuki Kobayashi, Sousuke Imamura, Mitsumasa Hanaoka and Kan Tanaka (2011) A tetrapyrrole-regulated ubiquitin ligase controls algal nuclear DNA replication. Nature Cell Biol. 13, 483-487.
  4. Sousuke Imamura, Yu Kanesaki, Mio Ohnuma, Takayuki Inouye, Yasuhiko Sekine, Takayuki Fujiwara, Tsuneyoshi Kuroiwa and Kan Tanaka (2009) R2R3-type MYB transcription factor, CmMYB1, is a central nitrogen assimilation regulator in Cyanidioschyzon merolae. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106, 12548-12553.
  5. Takashi Osanai, Masahiko Imashimizu, Asako Seki, Shusei Sato, Satoshi Tabata, Sousuke Imamura, Munehiko Asayama, Masahiko Ikeuchi and Kan Tanaka (2009) ChlH, the H subunit of Mg-chelatase, is an anti-sigma factor for SigE in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106, 6860-6865.
  6. Yuki Kobayashi, Yu Kanesaki, Ayumi Tanaka, Haruko Kuroiwa, Tsuneyoshi Kuroiwa and Kan Tanaka (2009) Tetrapyrrole signal as a cell cycle coordinator from organelle to nuclear DNA replication in plant cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106, 803-807.
  7. Sousuke Imamura, Mitsumasa Hanaoka and Kan Tanaka (2008) The plant-specific TFIIB-related protein, pBrp, is a general transcription factor for RNA polymerase I. EMBO J. 27, 2317-2327.
  8. Asako Seki, Mitsumasa Hanaoka, Yuki Akimoto, Susumu Masuda, Hideo Iwasaki and Kan Tanaka (2007) Induction of a group 2 sigma factor, RpoD3, by high light and the underlying mechanism in Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942. J. Biol. Chem. 282, 36887-36894.
  9. Mitsumasa Hanaoka, Kengo Kanamaru, Makoto Fujiwara, Hideo Takahashi and Kan Tanaka (2005) A Switch in RNA Polymerase Usage Mediated by tRNAGlu During Chloroplast Development. EMBO Rep. 6, 545-550.
  10. Motomichi Matsuzaki, Osami Misumi, Tadasu Shin-I, Shinichiro Maruyama, Manabu Takahara, Shin-ya Miyagishima, Toshiyuki Mori, Keiji Nishida, Fumi Yagisawa, Keishin Nishida, Yamato Yoshida, Yoshiki Nishimura, Syunsuke Nakao, Tamaki Kobayashi, Yu Momoyama, Tetsuya Higashiyama, Ayumi Minoda, Masako Sano, Hisayo Nomoto, Kazuko Oishi, Hiroko Hayashi, Fumiko Ohta, Masako Sano, Hisayo Nomoto, Kazuko Oishi, Hiroko Hayashi, Fumiko Ohta, Satoko Nishizaka, Shinobu Haga, Sachiko Miura, Tomomi Morishita, Yukihiro Kabeya, Kimihiro Terasawa, Yutaka Suzuki, Yasuyuki Ishii, Syuichi Asakawa, Hiroyoshi Takano, Niji Ohta, Haruko Kuroiwa, Kan Tanaka, Nobuyoshi Shimizu, Sumio Sugano, Naoki Sato, Hisayoshi Nozaki, Naotake Ogasawara, Yuji Kohara and Tsuneyoshi Kuroiwa (2004) Genome sequence of the ultra-small unicellular red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae 10D. Nature 428, 653-657.
  11. Ryohei Tanigawa, Masao Shirokane, Shin-ichi Maeda, Tatuso Omata, Kan Tanaka, and Hideo Takahashi (2002) Transcriptional activation of NtcA-dependent promoters of Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942 by 2-oxoglutarate in vitro. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99, 4251-4255.
  12. Kan Tanaka, Yuzuru Tozawa, Nobuyoshi Mochizuki, Kazuo Shinozaki, Akira Nagatani, Kyo Wakasa, and Hideo Takahashi (1997) Characterization of three cDNA species encoding plastid RNA polymerase sigma factors in Arabidopsis thaliana: Evidence for the sigma factor heterogeneity in higher plant plastids. FEBS Lett. 413, 309-313.
  13. Kan Tanaka, Kosuke Oikawa, Niji Ohta, Haruko Kuroiwa, Tsuneyoshi Kuroiwa, and Hideo Takahashi (1996) Nuclear encoding of a chloroplast RNA polymerase sigma subunit in a red alga. Science 272, 1932-1935.
  14. Kan Tanaka, Yuko Takayanagi, Nobuyuki Fujita, Akira Ishihama, and Hideo Takahashi (1993) Heterogeneity of the principal σ factor in Escherichia coli: The rpoS gene product, σ38, is a second principal σ factor of RNA polymerase in stationary-phase Escherichia coli. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90, 3511-3515.
  15. Kan Tanaka, Tetsuo Shiina and Hideo Takahashi (1988) Multiple principal sigma factor homologs in eubacteria: Identification of the "rpoD Box." Science 242, 1040-1042.

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