Dr Kayoko Tanaka


School/Department: Molecular Cell Biology Department of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 229 7126



"Biography Ph.D: University of Tokyo 1995. 1995-1998: Post-doctoral Fellow University of Geneva. 1998-2002: Post-doctoral Fellow University of Manchester/Paterson Institute for Cancer Research. 2002-2005: Senior Research Associate University of Tokyo. 2005-2006: Lecturer University of Tokyo. Nov 2006 -: Lecturer Department of Biochemistry University of Leicester."


"(1) Microtubule anchoring mechanism Microtubules (MTs) are one of the major cytoskeletons and secure MT attachment to an anchoring site is essential for cellular activities. The pericentriolar material (PCM) of the centrosome is a prototype MT anchoring site. Its physiological significance is underscored during neural cell development; impaired PCM can lead to brain developmental disorders. We use a tractable model fission yeast to examine cell biological and biochemical properties of PCM. (2) An integrated understanding of RAS-mediated signalling Ras belongs to a conserved group of small GTPases a molecular switch that acts as a signalling hub to regulate cell proliferation differentiation and survival. Since their discovery in 1982 human RAS genes have been well established to carry oncogenic mutations in about 30% of cancers. However the precise molecular mechanism which primes oncogenic-RAS driven tumorigenesis is not fully understood. Our research goal is to reveal the molecular mechanism of oncogenic-RAS-driven tumorigenesis. We use both human cell culture and a powerful model system fission yeast to highlight the key conserved features of the Ras signalling. "


Tanaka K. 2014. Centrosome duplication: suspending a license by phosphorylating a template. Curr Biol. 24 R651-653.

Dhani DK Goult BT George GM Rogerson DT Bitton DA Miller CJ Schwabe JW Tanaka K. 2013. Mzt1/Tam4 a fission yeast MOZART1 homologue is an essential component of the γ-tubulin complex and directly interacts with GCP3Alp6. Mol Biol Cell 24 3337-3349.

Varadarajan S Tanaka K Smalley JL Bampton ETW Pellecchia M Dinsdale D Willars GB Cohen GM. 2013. Endoplasmic Reticulum Membrane Reorganization Is Regulated by Ionic Homeostasis. PLoS ONE 8 e56603

Grallert A Chan KY Alonso-Nunez ML Madrid M Biswas A Alvares-Tabares I Connolly Y Tanaka K Robertson A Ortiz JM Smith DL Hagan IM. 2013. Removal of Centrosomal PP1 by NIMA Kinase Unlocks the MPF Feedback Loop to Promote Mitotic Commitment in S.pombe. Curr. Biol. 23 213-222.

Varadarajan S Bampton ET Smalley JL Tanaka K Caves RE Butterworth M Wei J Pellecchia M Mitcheson J Gant TW Dinsdale D Cohen GM. 2012. A novel cellular stress response characterised by a rapid reorganisation of membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum. Cell Death Differ. 19 1896-1907.

Funaya C Samarasinghe S Pruggnaller S Ohta M Connolly Y Müller J Murakami H Grallert A Yamamoto M Smith D Antony C Tanaka K. 2012. Transient structure associated with the spindle pole body directs meiotic microtubule reorganization in S.pombe. Curr. Biol. 22 562-574.

Kohda TA Tanaka K Konomi M Sato M Osumi M Yamamoto M. 2007. Fission yeast autophagy induced by nitrogen starvation generates a nitrogen source to drive the adaptation processes. Genes to cells 12 155-170.

Harigaya Y Tanaka H Yamanaka S Tanaka K Watanabe Y Tsutsumi C Chikashige Y Hiraoka Y Yamashita A Yamamoto M. 2006. Selective elimination of messenger RNA prevents an incidence of untimely meiosis. Nature 442 45-50.

Tanaka K Kohda T Yamashita A Nonaka N Yamamoto M. 2005. Hrs1p/Mcp6p on the meiotic SPB organizes astral microtubule arrays for oscillatory nuclear movement. Curr. Biol. 15 1479-1486.

Hirota K Tanaka K Ohta K Yamamoto M. 2003. Gef1p and Scd1p the Two GDP-GTP exchange factors for Cdc42p form a ring structure that shrinks during cytokinesis in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Mol. Biol. Cell 14 3617-3627.


"PhD projects are available in our lab Molecular understanding of microtubule anchoring matrix Molecular mechanism of oncogenic-RAS-driven activation of small G proteins"


"BS2000 Research Topic BS2092 Molecular Cell Biology BS3070 Structural Biology BS3X00 Third Year Projects MB7001 MSc Cancer Cell and Molecular Biology Introduction to Molecular Techniques"

Press and media

Microtubule regulation and Ras signalling
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