Reproductive and Developmental Sciences
Graduate School of Life Science, Hokkaido University

Laboratory of Reproductive and Developmental Biology
Department of Biological Sciences
School of Science, Hokkaido University

Yamashita Laboratory
Last update: October 1, 2018

Research Subjects

The life of many multicellular organisms begins with the union (fertilization) of germ cells (the eggs and the spermatozoa). The processes during which the spermatozoa and eggs are produced are called spermatogenesis and oogenesis, respectively. These processes are indispensable for organisms that use sexual reproduction to maintain the species beyond the limited life of individuals. In contrast to the somatic cells that compose and maintain the organisms, the germ cells function to extend life to the next generation. The eggs and spermatozoa are highly differentiated cells, but in some aspects they are undifferentiated cells that retain the ability to become various kinds of cells. The germ cells thus mysteriously have the properties of being both differentiated and undifferentiated, and with the aid of these cells, organisms can maintain the species.

In addition to the contribution of germ cells to the continuity of life, the recombination of genes during oogenesis and spermatogenesis and the blending of genes by fertilization give diversity to organisms. Consequently, the germ cells are responsible for both the continuity and the diversity of life. Investigations into the mechanisms by which the germ cells are produced and fertilized should lead to an understanding of the mechanisms that assure two major contradictory characteristics of life: being able to reproduce those equal to the self and to produce those different from the self.

Our laboratory was established in 1993 for studying gametogenesis, gamete maturation, and fertilization, using fish and amphibians as experimental animals. Our research effort in recent years concentrates on the following four subjects.

  1. Molecular mechanisms of the formation, activation and function of maturation-promoting factor
  2. Molecular and cellular biological investigations on the mechanisms of spermatogenesis with a cell culture system
YAMASHITA MasakaneProfessormyama@sci.hokudai.ac.jp
SATO RyuichiDC3satoryu@mail.sci.hokudai.ac.jp
ISHII KanaMC1
KATOH ManaMC1
HAYASHI YoshihiroB4
*JSPS research fellow

Original Papers (2006~)

    2018

  1. Kazuki Takahashi, Kana Ishii and Masakane Yamashita
    Staufen1, Kinesin1 and microtubule function in cyclin B1 mRNA transport to the animal polar cytoplasm of zebrafish oocytes.
    Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 503: 2778-2783 (2018)
  2. 2016

  3. Yohei Shimizu, Toshiaki Karino, Moriyoshi Narita, Shoichi Itakura, Koichiro Enomoto, Masashi Toda, Takuma Kawasaki, Shin-ichi Takabatake, Toshiharu Iwai and Masakane Yamashita
    Practical improvement of the immunostaining method used for investigating the distribution of Japanese scallop (Mizuhopecten yessoensis) larvae in the field.
    Scientific Reports of Hokkaido Fisheries Research Institutes 89: 1-8 [In Japanese with English abstract] (2016)
  4. 2015

  5. Etsuro Ito, Mugiho Kaneda, Hiromi Kodama, Mika Morikawa, MomokoTai, Kana Aoki, Satoshi Watabe, Kazunari Nakaishi, Seiichi Hashida, Satoshi Tada, Noriyuki Kuroda, Hitomi Imachi, Koji Murao, Masakane Yamashita, Teruki Yoshimura and Toshiaki Miura
    Immunoreactive insulin in diabetes mellitus patient sera detected by ultrasensitive ELISA with thio-NAD cycling.
    BioTechniques 59: 359-367 (2015)
  6. Yumiko Nukada, Mayu Horie, Akimasa Fukui, Tomoya Kotani and Masakane Yamashita
    Real-time imaging of actin filaments in the zebrafish oocyte and embryo.
    Cytoskeleton 72(9): 491-501 (2015)
  7. Akira Nakatsuma, Mugiho Kaneda, Hiromi Kodama, Mika Morikawa, Satoshi Watabe, Kazunari Nakaishi, Masakane Yamashita, Teruki Yoshimura, Toshiaki Miura, Masaki Ninomiya and Etsuro Ito
    Detection of HIV-1 p24 at attomole level by ultrasensitive ELISA with thio-NAD cycling.
    PLoS ONE 10(6): e0131319 (2015)
  8. Yohei Shimizu, Takuma Kawasaki, shin-ichi Takabatake, Toshiharu Iwai and Masakane Yamashita
    Simplification of the immunostaining procedures for Japanese scallop Mizuhopecten yessoensis larvae toward the spread of immunostaining method for investigating the larval distribution in the field (Technical report).
    Scientific Reports of Hokkaido Fisheries Research Institutes 87: 93-96 (2015) [In Japanese]
  9. Cristian Araya-Jaime, Erica Alves Serrano, Duilio Mazzoni Zerbinato de Andrade Silva, Masakane Yamashita, Toshiharu Iwai, Claudio Oliveira and Fausto Foresti
    Surface-spreading technique of meiotic cells and immunodetection of synaptonemal complex proteins in teleostean fishes.
    Molecular Cytogenetics 8(1): 4 (2015)
  10. 2014

  11. Yohei Shimizu, Toshiharu Iwai, Shin-ichi Takabatake, Takuma Kawasaki and Masakane Yamashita
    Production of highly specific polyclonal antibodies to simplify the identification of Japanese scallop Mizuhopecten yessoensis larvae.
    J. Fish. Tech. 7: 31-36 (2014) [In Japanese with English abstract]
  12. Kazuki Takahashi, Tomoya Kotani, Yoshinao Katsu and Masakane Yamashita
    Possible involvement of insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein 3 in zebrafish oocyte maturation as a novel cyclin B1 mRNA-binding protein that represses the translation in immature oocytes.
    Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 448: 22-27 (2014)
  13. 2013

  14. Tomoya Kotani, Kyota Yasuda, Ryoma Ota and Masakane Yamashita
    Cyclin B1 mRNA translation is temporally controlled through formation and disassembly of RNA granules.
    J. Cell Biol., 202: 1041-1055 (2013)
  15. Kyota Yasuda, Tomoya Kotani and Masakane Yamashita
    A cis-acting element in the coding region of cyclin B1 mRNA couples subcellular localization to translational timing.
    Dev. Biol. 382: 517-529 (2013)
  16. 2011

  17. Ryoma Ota, Tomoya Kotani and Masakane Yamashita
    Possible involvement of Nemo-like kinase 1 in Xenopus oocyte maturation as a kinase responsible for Pumilio1, Pumilio2 and CPEB phosphorylation.
    Biochemistry 50: 5648-5659 (2011)
  18. Ryoma Ota, Tomoya Kotani and Masakane Yamashita
    Biochemical characterization of Pumilio1 and Pumilio2 in Xenopus oocytes.
    J. Biol. Chem. 286: 2853-2863 (2011)
  19. 2010

  20. Kyota Yasuda, Tomoya Kotani, Ryoma Ota and Masakane Yamashita
    Transgenic zebrafish reveals novel mechanisms of translational control of cyclin B1 mRNA in oocytes.
    Dev. Biol. 348: 76-86 (2010)
  21. Tomoya Kotani, Shun-ichiro Iemura, Tohru Natsume, Koichi Kawakami and Masakane Yamashita
    Mys protein regulates protein kinase A activity by interacting with regulatory type Ia subunit during vertebrate development.
    J. Biol. Chem. 285: 5106-5116 (2010)
  22. 2009

  23. Toshihiro Kawasaki, Kenji Saito, Kaoru Mitsui, Masahito Ikawa, Masakane Yamashita, Yoshihito Tanaiguchi, Shunichi Takeda, Kohnosuke Mitani and Noriyoshi Sakai
    Introduction of a foreign gene into zebrafish and medaka cells using adenoviral vectors.
    Zebrafish 6: 253-258 (2009)
  24. Toshiharu Iwai, Shinya Inoue, Tomoya Kotani and Masakane Yamashita
    Production of transgenic medaka fish carrying fluorescent nuclei and chromosomes.
    Zool. Sci. 26: 9-16 (2009)
  25. Satoshi Otani, Toshiharu Iwai, Shingo Nakahata, Chiharu Sakai and Masakane Yamashita
    Artificial fertilization by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in a teleost fish, the medaka Oryzias latipes.
    Biol. Reprod. 80: 175-183 (2009)
  26. 2008

  27. Ryoma Ota, Kaori Suwa, Tomoya Kotani, Koich Mita and Masakane Yamashita
    Possible involvement of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, but not protein kinase B or glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta, in progesterone-induced oocyte maturation in the Japanese brown frog Rana japonica.
    Zool. Sci. 25: 773-781 (2008)
  28. Takashi Iwamatsu, Hirokuni Kobayashi, Masahiro Sato and Masakane Yamashita
    Reproductive role of attaching filaments on the egg envelope in Xenopoecilus sarasinorum (Adrianichthidae, teleostei).
    J. Morph. 269: 745-750 (2008)
  29. 2007

  30. Hiroshi Hino, Toshiharu Iwai, Masakane Yamashita and Hiroshi Ueda
    Identification of an olfactory imprinting-related gene in the lacustrine sockeye salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka.
    Aquaculture 273: 200-208 (2007)
  31. Daiki Setoyama, Masakane Yamashita and Noriyuki Sagata
    Mechanism of degradation of CPEB during Xenopus oocyte maturation.
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 104: 18001-18006 (2007)
  32. Chiharu Sakai, Fumiko Konno, Osamu Nakano, Toshiharu Iwai, Takehiro Yokota, Jibak Lee, Chizuko Nishida-Umehara, Asato Kuroiwa, Yoichi Matsuda and Masakane Yamashita
    Chromosome elimination in the interspecific hybrid medaka between Oryzias latipes and O. hubbsi.
    Chromosome Res. 15: 697-709 (2007)
  33. Helene Pelczar, Stephane Caulet, Catherine Thibier, Genevieve Aubet, Robert Poulhe, Ioanna Vallianou, Masakane Yamashita and Yannick Andeol
    Characterization and expression of a maternal axolotl Cyclin B1 during oogenesis and early development.
    Dev. Growth Differ. 49: 407-419 (2007)
  34. Ikuo Kurisaki, Toshiharu Iwai, Masakane Yamashita, Miwako Kobayashi, Etsuro Ito and Ichiro Matsuoka
    Identification and expression analysis of rainbow trout pumilio-1 and pumilio-2.
    Cell Tissue Res. 327: 33-42 (2007)
  35. 2006

  36. Toshiharu Iwai, Atsushi Yoshii, Takehiro Yokota, Chiharu Sakai, Hiroshi Hori, Akira Kanamori and Masakane Yamashita
    Structural components of the synaptonemal complex, SYCP1 and SYCP3, in the medaka fish Oryzias latipes.
    Exp. Cell Res. 312: 2528-2537 (2006)
  37. Jibak Lee, Konosuke Okada, Sugako Ogushi, Takashi Miyano, Masashi Miyake and Masakane Yamashita
    Loss of Rec8 from chromosome arm and centromere region is required for homologous chromosome separation and sister chromatid separation, respectively, in mammalian meiosis.
    Cell Cycle 5: 1448-1455 (2006)
  38. Dai Hatakeyama, Hisayo Sadamoto, Takayuki Watanabe, Akiko Wagatsuma, Suguru Kobayashi, Yutaka Fujito, Masakane Yamashita, Manabu Sakakibara, Gyorgy Kemenes and Etsuro Ito
    Requirement of new protein synthesis of a transcription factor for memory consolidation: Paradoxical changes in mRNA and protein levels of C/EBP.
    J. Mol. Biol. 356: 569-577 (2006)
  39. Takashi Iwamatsu, Hirokuni Kobayashi and Masakane Yamashita
    Sex reversal in medaka treated in vitro with 17alpha-methyldihydrotestosterone during oocyte maturation.
    Dev. Growth Differ. 48: 59-64 (2006)

Books

    2018

  1. Masakane Yamashita
    Chapter 6: Animal Development. GametogenesisーEggs and Spermatozoa: the origins of the continuity and diversity of life.
    Encyclopedia of Zoology (The Zoological Society of Japan, ed.), pp. 282-283, Maruzen Publishing (2018) (in Japanese)
  2. 2011

  3. Toshiharu Iwai, Chiharu Sakai, Fumiko Konno and Masakane Yamashita
    Chapter 19: Interspecific medaka hybrids as experimental models for investigating cell division and germ cell development.
    Medaka: Model for Organogenesis, Human Diseases and Evolution (H. Takeda, K. Naruse and M. Tanaka, eds.), Chapter 19, pp. 287-303, Springer (2011)
  4. 2007

  5. Kaori Suwa and Masakane Yamashita
    Chapter 11: Regulatory mechanisms of oocyte maturation and ovulation.
    The fish oocyte: from basic studies to biotechnological applications (P.J. Babin, J. Cerda and E. Lubzens, eds.), pp. 323-347, Springer (2007)
  6. Masakane Yamashita
    Chapter 17: Molecular and cellular biology of germ cell formation.
    Fusion of Biotechnology and Nanotechnology I. The Bases for New Life Science (The COE Editorial Committee, ed.), pp. 225-237, Hokkaido University Press (2007) (in Japanese)

Review articles

    2015

  1. Etsuro Ito, Mugiho Kaneda, Hiromi Kodama, Mika Morikawa, MomokoTai, Kana Aoki, Satoshi Watabe, Kazunari Nakaishi, Seiichi Hashida, Satoshi Tada, Noriyuki Kuroda, Hitomi Imachi, Koji Murao, Masakane Yamashita, Teruki Yoshimura and Toshiaki Miura
    Ultrasensitive colorimetric detection of HIV-1 p24.
    Clinical Laboratory International, October: 20-22 (2015)
  2. 2008

  3. Yoshitaka Nagahama and Masakane Yamashita
    Regulation of oocyte maturation in fish.
    Dev. Growth Differ. 50: S195-S219 (2008)
  4. 2006

  5. Toshiharu Iwai, Takehiro Yokota, Chiharu Sakai, Fumiko Konno and Masakane Yamashita
    Molecular and cellular mechanisms of cell division and gametogenesis, as revealed by abnormalities occurring in hybrid medaka fish.
    Fish Genetics and Breeding Science 35: 101-112 (2006) (in Japanese with English abstract)