Takashi Ito

Nagasaki University Hospital, Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Japan

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Publications (20)176.07 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: USP21 is a deubiquitylase that catalyzes isopeptide bond hydrolysis between ubiquitin and histone H2A. Since ubiqutylated H2A (ubH2A) represses transcription, USP21 plays a role in transcriptional activation. On the other hand, the localization of USP21 suggests it has an additional function in the cytoplasm. Here, we identified a USP21 short variant (USP21SV) lacking a nuclear export signal (NES). Differential localization of USP21SV, more in the nucleus than the USP21 long variant (USP21LV), suggests they have redundant roles in the cell. Ectopic expression of both USP21 variants decreased ubH2A in the nucleus. Furthermore, both recombinant USP21 variants activate transcription by deubiquitylating ubH2A in vitro. These data suggest multiple roles for USP21 in the ubiquitylation-deubiquitylation network in the cell.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(11):e79813. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two distinct Polycomb complexes, PRC1 and PRC2, collaborate to maintain epigenetic repression of key developmental loci in embryonic stem cells (ESCs). PRC1 and PRC2 have histone modifying activities, catalyzing mono-ubiquitination of histone H2A (H2AK119u1) and trimethylation of H3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3), respectively. Compared to H3K27me3, localization and the role of H2AK119u1 are not fully understood in ESCs. Here we present genome-wide H2AK119u1 maps in ESCs and identify a group of genes at which H2AK119u1 is deposited in a Ring1-dependent manner. These genes are a distinctive subset of genes with H3K27me3 enrichment and are the central targets of Polycomb silencing that are required to maintain ESC identity. We further show that the H2A ubiquitination activity of PRC1 is dispensable for its target binding and its activity to compact chromatin at Hox loci, but is indispensable for efficient repression of target genes and thereby ESC maintenance. These data demonstrate that multiple effector mechanisms including H2A ubiquitination and chromatin compaction combine to mediate PRC1-dependent repression of genes that are crucial for the maintenance of ESC identity. Utilization of these diverse effector mechanisms might provide a means to maintain a repressive state that is robust yet highly responsive to developmental cues during ES cell self-renewal and differentiation.
    PLoS Genetics 07/2012; 8(7):e1002774. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    Cell 03/2012; 149(1):245. · 31.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-4 is a member of the IRF transcription factor family, whose expression is primarily restricted to lymphoid and myeloid cells. In T-cells, IRF-4 expression is induced by T-cell receptor (TCR) cross-linking or treatment with phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA)/Ionomycin, and IRF-4 is thought to be a critical factor for various functions of T-cells. To elucidate the IRF-4 functions in human adult T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-infected T-cells, which constitutively express IRF-4, we isolated IRF-4-binding proteins from T-cells, using a tandem affinity purification (TAP)-mass spectrometry strategy. Fourteen proteins were identified in the IRF-4-binding complex, including endogenous IRF-4 and the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) family member, c-Rel. The specific association of IRF-4 with c-Rel was confirmed by immunoprecipitation experiments, and IRF-4 was shown to enhance the c-Rel-dependent binding and activation of the interleukin-4 (IL-4) promoter region. We also demonstrated that IL-2 production was also enhanced by exogenously-expressed IRF-4 and c-Rel in the presence of P/I, in T-cells, and that the optimal IL-2 and IL-4 productions in vivo was IRF-4-dependent using IRF-4-/- mice. These data provide molecular evidence to support the clinical observation that elevated expression of c-Rel and IRF-4 is associated with the prognosis in adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) patients, and present possible targets for future gene therapy.
    Cytokine 09/2011; 56(3):564-72. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein methylation pathways comprise methionine adenosyltransferase (MAT), which produces S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and SAM-dependent substrate-specific methyltransferases. However, the function of MAT in the nucleus is largely unknown. MafK represses or activates expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) gene, depending on its heterodimer partners. Proteomics analysis of MafK revealed its interaction with MATIIα, a MAT isozyme. MATIIα was localized in nuclei and found to form a dense network with chromatin-related proteins including Swi/Snf and NuRD complexes. MATIIα was recruited to Maf recognition element (MARE) at HO-1 gene. When MATIIα was knocked down in murine hepatoma cell line, expression of HO-1 was derepressed at both basal and induced levels. The catalytic activity of MATIIα, as well as its interacting factors such as MATIIβ, BAF53a, CHD4, and PARP1, was required for HO-1 repression. MATII serves as a transcriptional corepressor of MafK by interacting with chromatin regulators and supplying SAM for methyltransferases.
    Molecular cell 03/2011; 41(5):554-66. · 14.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chromatin reorganization is essential for transcriptional control by sequence-specific transcription factors. However, the molecular link between transcriptional control and chromatin reconfiguration remains unclear. By colocalization of the nuclear ecdysone receptor (EcR) on the ecdysone-induced puff in the salivary gland, Drosophila DEK (dDEK) was genetically identified as a coactivator of EcR in both insect cells and intact flies. Biochemical purification and characterization of the complexes containing fly and human DEKs revealed that DEKs serve as histone chaperones via phosphorylation by forming complexes with casein kinase 2. Consistent with the preferential association of the DEK complex with histones enriched in active epigenetic marks, dDEK facilitated H3.3 assembly during puff formation. In some human myeloid leukemia patients, DEK was fused to CAN by chromosomal translocation. This mutation significantly reduced formation of the DEK complex, which is required for histone chaperone activity. Thus, the present study suggests that at least one histone chaperone can be categorized as a type of transcriptional coactivator for nuclear receptors.
    Genes & development 01/2010; 24(2):159-70. · 12.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The meiotic recombination checkpoint is a signalling pathway that blocks meiotic progression when the repair of DNA breaks formed during recombination is delayed. In comparison to the signalling pathway itself, however, the molecular targets of the checkpoint that control meiotic progression are not well understood in metazoans. In Drosophila, activation of the meiotic checkpoint is known to prevent formation of the karyosome, a meiosis-specific organisation of chromosomes, but the molecular pathway by which this occurs remains to be identified. Here we show that the conserved kinase NHK-1 (Drosophila Vrk-1) is a crucial meiotic regulator controlled by the meiotic checkpoint. An nhk-1 mutation, whilst resulting in karyosome defects, does so independent of meiotic checkpoint activation. Rather, we find unrepaired DNA breaks formed during recombination suppress NHK-1 activity (inferred from the phosphorylation level of one of its substrates) through the meiotic checkpoint. Additionally DNA breaks induced by X-rays in cultured cells also suppress NHK-1 kinase activity. Unrepaired DNA breaks in oocytes also delay other NHK-1 dependent nuclear events, such as synaptonemal complex disassembly and condensin loading onto chromosomes. Therefore we propose that NHK-1 is a crucial regulator of meiosis and that the meiotic checkpoint suppresses NHK-1 activity to prevent oocyte nuclear reorganisation until DNA breaks are repaired.
    PLoS Genetics 01/2010; 6(10):e1001179. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transcriptional initiation is a key step in the control of mRNA synthesis and is intimately related to chromatin structure and histone modification. Here, we show that the ubiquitylation of H2A (ubH2A) correlates with silent chromatin and regulates transcriptional initiation. The levels of ubH2A vary during hepatocyte regeneration, and based on microarray expression data from regenerating liver, we identified USP21, a ubiquitin-specific protease that catalyzes the hydrolysis of ubH2A. When chromatin is assembled in vitro, ubH2A, but not H2A, specifically represses the di- and trimethylation of H3K4. USP21 relieves this ubH2A-specific repression. In addition, in vitro transcription analysis revealed that ubH2A represses transcriptional initiation, but not transcriptional elongation, by inhibiting H3K4 methylation. Notably, ubH2A-mediated repression was not observed when H3 Lys 4 was changed to arginine. Furthermore, overexpression of USP21 in the liver up-regulates a gene that is normally down-regulated during hepatocyte regeneration. Our studies revealed a novel mode of trans-histone cross-talk, in which H2A ubiquitylation controls the di- and trimethylation of H3K4, resulting in regulation of transcriptional initiation.
    Genes & Development 02/2008; 22(1):37-49. · 12.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chromatin reorganization plays an important role in DNA repair, apoptosis, and cell cycle checkpoints. Among proteins involved in chromatin reorganization, TIP60 histone acetyltransferase has been shown to play a role in DNA repair and apoptosis. However, how TIP60 regulates chromatin reorganization in the response of human cells to DNA damage is largely unknown. Here, we show that ionizing irradiation induces TIP60 acetylation of histone H2AX, a variant form of H2A known to be phosphorylated following DNA damage. Furthermore, TIP60 regulates the ubiquitination of H2AX via the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme UBC13, which is induced by DNA damage. This ubiquitination of H2AX requires its prior acetylation. We also demonstrate that acetylation-dependent ubiquitination by the TIP60-UBC13 complex leads to the release of H2AX from damaged chromatin. We conclude that the sequential acetylation and ubiquitination of H2AX by TIP60-UBC13 promote enhanced histone dynamics, which in turn stimulate a DNA damage response.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 11/2007; 27(20):7028-40. · 5.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The spatial and temporal control of histone modifications is crucial for precise regulation of chromatin structure and function. Here we report that phosphorylation of H2A at threonine 119 (T119) is enriched at centromere regions in Drosophila mitosis. We found that the Aurora B kinase complex is essential for this phosphorylation at centromeres, while Polo kinase is required to down-regulate H2A phosphorylation on chromosome arms in mitosis. Cyclin B degradation triggers loss of centromeric H2A phosphorylation at anaphase onset. Epistasis analysis indicated that Polo functions upstream of the H2A kinase NHK-1 but parallel to Aurora B. Therefore, multiple mitotic kinases work together to specify the spatial and temporal pattern of H2A T119 phosphorylation.
    Experimental Cell Research 09/2007; 313(13):2780-5. · 3.56 Impact Factor
  • Masaya Oki, Hitoshi Aihara, Takashi Ito
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    ABSTRACT: In eukaryotic cells, relaxed interphase chromatin undergoes pronounced changes resulting in formation of highly condensed mitotic chromosomes. Moreover, chromatin condensation is particularly evident during mitosis and apoptotic cell death, whereas chromatin relaxation is necessary for replication, repair, recombination and transcription. The post-translational modifications of histone tails such as reversible acetylation, phosphorylation and methylation play a critical role in dynamic condensation/relaxation that occurs during the cell cycle. Histone phosphorylation is believed to play a direct role in mitosis, cell death, repair, replication and recombination. However, definitive roles for this modification in these processes have not yet been elucidated. In this review, we discuss recent progress in studies of histone phosphorylation.
    Sub-cellular biochemistry 02/2007; 41:319-36.
  • Tanpakushitsu kakusan koso. Protein, nucleic acid, enzyme 12/2006; 51(14 Suppl):2076-82.
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    ABSTRACT: Conventional centrosomes are absent from the spindle in female meiosis in many species, but it is not clear how multiple chromosomes form one shared bipolar spindle without centrosomes. We identified a female sterile mutant in which each bivalent chromosome often forms a separate bipolar metaphase I spindle. Unlike wild type, prophase I chromosomes fail to form a single compact structure within the oocyte nucleus, although the integrity of metaphase I chromosomes appears to be normal. Molecular analysis indicates that the mutant is defective in the conserved kinase nucleosomal histone kinase-1 (NHK-1). Isolation of further alleles and RNA interference in S2 cells demonstrated that NHK-1 is also required for mitotic progression. NHK-1 itself is phosphorylated in mitosis and female meiosis, suggesting that this kinase is part of the regulatory system coordinating progression of mitosis and meiosis.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 12/2005; 171(4):593-602. · 10.82 Impact Factor
  • Seikagaku. The Journal of Japanese Biochemical Society 07/2005; 77(6):498-504. · 0.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Complex transitions in chromatin structure produce changes in genome function during development in metazoa. Linker histones, the last component of nucleosomes to be assembled into chromatin, comprise considerably divergent subtypes as compared with core histones. In all metazoa studied, their composition changes dramatically during early embryogenesis concomitant with zygotic gene activation, leading to distinct functional changes that are still poorly understood. Here, we show that early embryonic linker histone B4, which is maternally expressed, is functionally different from somatic histone H1 in influencing chromatin structure and dynamics. We developed a chromatin assembly system with nucleosome assembly protein-1 as a linker histone chaperone. This assay system revealed that maternal histone B4 allows chromatin to be remodeled by ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling factor, whereas somatic histone H1 prevents this remodeling. Structural analysis shows that histone B4 does not significantly restrict the accessibility of linker DNA. These findings define the functional significance of developmental changes in linker histone variants. We propose a model that holds that maternally expressed linker histones are key molecules specifying nuclear dynamics with respect to embryonic totipotency.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2005; 102(16):5697-702. · 9.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Posttranslational histone modifications are important for the regulation of many biological phenomena. Here, we show the purification and characterization of nucleosomal histone kinase-1 (NHK-1). NHK-1 has a high affinity for chromatin and phosphorylates a novel site, Thr 119, at the C terminus of H2A. Notably, NHK-1 specifically phosphorylates nucleosomal H2A, but not free H2A in solution. In Drosophila embryos, phosphorylated H2A Thr 119 is found in chromatin, but not in the soluble core histone pool. Immunostaining of NHK-1 revealed that it goes to chromatin during mitosis and is excluded from chromatin during S phase. Consistent with the shuttling of NHK-1 between chromatin and cytoplasm, H2A Thr 119 is phosphorylated during mitosis but not in S phase. These studies reveal that NHK-1-catalyzed phosphorylation of a conserved serine/threonine residue in H2A is a new component of the histone code that might be related to cell cycle progression.
    Genes & Development 05/2004; 18(8):877-88. · 12.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The isoflavones genistein and daidzein and the daidzein metabolite equol have been reported to interact with estrogen receptors (ERs). Some studies indicate that they behave clinically like estrogen in some estrogen-deficiency diseases. However, the detailed molecular mechanism used by these compounds to create beneficial effects in patients with estrogen-related diseases has not been clarified. Using histone acetyltransferase (HAT) assay, we found that equol, genistein, and AglyMax had significant effects on ERalpha-mediated histone acetylation. Although 17beta-estradiol (E2)-dependent HAT activity of steroid receptor coactivators 2 (SRC2) and p300 mediated by ERbeta could be detected, it was weaker than that mediated by ERalpha. Equol, genistein, AglyMax, and daidzein all markedly stimulated ERbeta-mediated histone acetylation. On the other hand, anti-estrogenic compounds ICI 182,780 (ICI) and tamoxifen (TA) did not have an effect on HAT activity mediated by either ERalpha or ERbeta. Our data indicate that estrogenic ligands exert their effects by elevating histone acetylation and coactivator activity of ER, and suggest that the risk of estrogen-related diseases might be reduced by a sufficient amount of genistein or AglyMax supplements.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 05/2004; 317(1):259-64. · 2.41 Impact Factor
  • Takeya Nakagawa, Takashi Ito
    Tanpakushitsu kakusan koso. Protein, nucleic acid, enzyme 01/2004; 48(16):2234-40.
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    ABSTRACT: We identified a human multiprotein complex (WINAC) that directly interacts with the vitamin D receptor (VDR) through the Williams syndrome transcription factor (WSTF). WINAC has ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling activity and contains both SWI/SNF components and DNA replication-related factors. The latter might explain a WINAC requirement for normal S phase progression. WINAC mediates the recruitment of unliganded VDR to VDR target sites in promoters, while subsequent binding of coregulators requires ligand binding. This recruitment order exemplifies that an interaction of a sequence-specific regulator with a chromatin-remodeling complex can organize nucleosomal arrays at specific local sites in order to make promoters accessible for coregulators. Furthermore, overexpression of WSTF could restore the impaired recruitment of VDR to vitamin D regulated promoters in fibroblasts from Williams syndrome patients. This suggests that WINAC dysfunction contributes to Williams syndrome, which could therefore be considered, at least in part, a chromatin-remodeling factor disease.
    Cell 07/2003; 113(7):905-17. · 31.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a yeast two-hybrid screen to identify proteins that bind to the KIX domain of the coactivator p300, we obtained cDNAs encoding nucleosome assembly protein 1 (NAP-1), a 60-kDa histone H2A-H2B shuttling protein that promotes histone deposition. p300 associates preferentially with the H2A-H2B-bound form of NAP-1 rather than with the unbound form of NAP-1. Formation of NAP-1-p300 complexes was found to increase during S phase, suggesting a potential role for p300 in chromatin assembly. In micrococcal nuclease and supercoiling assays, addition of p300 promoted efficient chromatin assembly in vitro in conjunction with NAP-1 and ATP-utilizing chromatin assembly and remodeling factor; this effect was dependent in part on the intrinsic histone acetyltransferase activity of p300. Surprisingly, NAP-1 potently inhibited acetylation of core histones by p300, suggesting that efficient assembly requires acetylation of either NAP-1 or p300 itself. As p300 acted cooperatively with NAP-1 in stimulating transcription from a chromatin template in vitro, our results suggest a dual role of NAP-1-p300 complexes in promoting chromatin assembly and transcriptional activation.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 06/2002; 22(9):2974-83. · 5.37 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

683 Citations
176.07 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2004–2013
    • Nagasaki University Hospital
      Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Japan
  • 2005–2010
    • The University of Edinburgh
      • Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology
      Edinburgh, SCT, United Kingdom
    • Nagasaki University
      • Department of Biochemistry
      Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki-ken, Japan
  • 2003–2010
    • The University of Tokyo
      • Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences
      Tokyo, Tokyo-to, Japan