Takeshi Usami

The University of Okinawa, Okinawa, Okinawa, Japan

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Publications (9)30.27 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Dinoflagellates are known for their capacity to form harmful blooms (e.g., "red tides") and as symbiotic, photosynthetic partners for corals. These unicellular eukaryotes have permanently condensed, liquid-crystalline chromosomes and immense nuclear genome sizes, often several times the size of the human genome. Here we describe the first draft assembly of a dinoflagellate nuclear genome, providing insights into its genome organization and gene inventory. Sequencing reads from Symbiodinium minutum were assembled into 616 Mbp gene-rich DNA regions that represented roughly half of the estimated 1,500 Mbp genome of this species. The assembly encoded ∼42,000 protein-coding genes, consistent with previous dinoflagellate gene number estimates using transcriptomic data. The Symbiodinium genome contains duplicated genes for regulator of chromosome condensation proteins, nearly one-third of which have eukaryotic orthologs, whereas the remainder have most likely been acquired through bacterial horizontal gene transfers. Symbiodinium genes are enriched in spliceosomal introns (mean = 18.6 introns/gene). Donor and acceptor splice sites are unique, with 5' sites utilizing not only GT but also GC and GA, whereas at 3' sites, a conserved G is present after AG. All spliceosomal snRNA genes (U1-U6) are clustered in the genome. Surprisingly, the Symbiodinium genome displays unidirectionally aligned genes throughout the genome, forming a cluster-like gene arrangement. We show here that a dinoflagellate genome exhibits unique and divergent characteristics when compared to those of other eukaryotes. Our data elucidate the organization and gene inventory of dinoflagellates and lay the foundation for future studies of this remarkable group of eukaryotes.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Current biology: CB
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    ABSTRACT: The study of the pearl oyster Pinctada fucata is key to increasing our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in pearl biosynthesis and biology of bivalve molluscs. We sequenced ~1150-Mb genome at ~40-fold coverage using the Roche 454 GS-FLX and Illumina GAIIx sequencers. The sequences were assembled into contigs with N50 = 1.6 kb (total contig assembly reached to 1024 Mb) and scaffolds with N50 = 14.5 kb. The pearl oyster genome is AT-rich, with a GC content of 34%. DNA transposons, retrotransposons, and tandem repeat elements occupied 0.4, 1.5, and 7.9% of the genome, respectively (a total of 9.8%). Version 1.0 of the P. fucata draft genome contains 23 257 complete gene models, 70% of which are supported by the corresponding expressed sequence tags. The genes include those reported to have an association with bio-mineralization. Genes encoding transcription factors and signal transduction molecules are present in numbers comparable with genomes of other metazoans. Genome-wide molecular phylogeny suggests that the lophotrochozoan represents a distinct clade from ecdysozoans. Our draft genome of the pearl oyster thus provides a platform for the identification of selection markers and genes for calcification, knowledge of which will be important in the pearl industry.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · DNA Research
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    ABSTRACT: A serious disease of the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi has been spread extensively among Korean aquaculture sites. To reveal the cause of the disease and establish a monitoring system for it, we constructed a cDNA microarray spotted with 2,688 cDNAs derived from H. roretzi hemocyte cDNA libraries to detect genes differentially expressed in hemocytes between diseased and non-diseased ascidians. We detected 21 genes showing increased expression and 16 genes showing decreased expression in hemocytes from diseased ascidians compared with those from non-diseased ascidians. RT-PCR analyses confirmed that the expression levels of genes encoding astacin, lysozyme, ribosomal protein PO, and ubiquitin-ribosomal protein L40e fusion protein were increased in hemocytes from diseased ascidians, while those of genes encoding HSP40, HSP70, fibronectin, carboxypeptidase and lactate dehydrogenase were decreased. These genes were expressed not only in hemocytes but also in various other tissues in ascidians. Furthermore, the expression of glutathione-S transferase omega, which is known to be up-regulated in H. roretzi hemocytes during inflammatory responses, was strongly increased in hemocytes from diseased ascidians. These gene expression profiles suggest that immune and inflammatory reactions occur in the hemocytes of diseased ascidians. These genes will be good markers for detecting and monitoring this disease of ascidians in Korean aquaculture sites.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2008 · ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE
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    ABSTRACT: Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is caused by an autoimmune sialodacryoadenitis, and up to 5% of patients with SS develop malignant B cell growth. The IQI mouse is a spontaneous model of primary SS in which B cells are the dominant cellular subpopulation among mononuclear infiltrates in sialitis lesions. Understanding the genetic control of aberrant B cell growth in IQI mice may help elucidate the genetic mechanisms involved in B-lineage hyperplasia leading to malignant transformation in human SS. B cell-dominant infiltration in the submandibular glands of 6-month-old IQI and C57BL/6 (B6) mice and their F1 and F2 progenies was quantified as B-lymphocytic sialitis score, and a genome-wide scan of 179 (IQI x B6) F2 females was performed to identify a quantitative trait locus (QTL) controlling this phenotype. A QTL significantly associated with variance in B-lymphocytic sialitis score was mapped to the D6Mit138 marker (position of 0.68cM) on proximal chromosome 6, with a logarithm of odds score of 4.3 (p = 0.00005). This QTL, named autoimmune sialitis in IQI mice, associated locus 1 (Asq1), colocalized with Islet cell autoantigen 1 (Ica1), which encodes a target protein of the immune processes that define the pathogenesis of primary SS in humans and in the nonobese diabetic mouse model.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2007 · Immunogenetics
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    ABSTRACT: Recent whole-genome studies and in-depth expressed sequence tag (EST) analyses have identified most of the developmentally relevant genes in the urochordate, Ciona intestinalis. In this study, we made use of a large-scale oligo-DNA microarray to further investigate and identify genes with specific or correlated expression profiles, and we report global gene expression profiles for about 66% of all the C. intestinalis genes that are expressed during its life cycle. We succeeded in categorizing the data set into 5 large clusters and 49 sub-clusters based on the expression profile of each gene. This revealed the higher order of gene expression profiles during the developmental and aging stages. Furthermore, a combined analysis of microarray data with the EST database revealed the gene groups that were expressed at a specific stage or in a specific organ of the adult. This study provides insights into the complex structure of ascidian gene expression, identifies co-expressed gene groups and marker genes and makes predictions for the biological roles of many uncharacterized genes. This large-scale oligo-DNA microarray for C. intestinalis should facilitate the understanding of global gene expression and gene networks during the development and aging of a basal chordate.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2007 · Developmental Biology
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    ABSTRACT: The pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis is capable of learning conditioned taste aversion (CTA) and then consolidating that learning into long-term memory (LTM) that persists for at least 1 month. LTM requires de novo protein synthesis and altered gene activity. Changes in gene activity in Lymnaea that are correlated with, much less causative, memory formation have not yet been identified. As a first step toward rectifying this situation, we constructed a cDNA microarray with mRNAs extracted from the central nervous system (CNS) of Lymnaea. We then, using this microarray assay, identified genes whose activity either increased or decreased following CTA memory consolidation. We also identified genes whose expression levels were altered after inhibition of the cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB) that is hypothesized to be a key transcription factor for CTA memory. We found that the molluscan insulin-related peptide II (MIP II) was up-regulated during CTA-LTM, whereas the gene encoding pedal peptide preprohormone (Pep) was down-regulated by CREB2 RNA interference. We next examined mRNAs of MIP II and Pep using real-time RT-PCR with SYBR Green. The MIP II mRNA level in the CNS of snails exhibiting "good" memory for CTA was confirmed to be significantly higher than that from the CNS of snails exhibiting "poor" memory. In contrast, there was no significant difference in expression levels of the Pep mRNA between "good" and "poor" performers. These data suggest that in Lymnaea MIP II may play a role in the consolidation process that forms LTM following CTA training.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2006 · Journal of Neuroscience Research
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    ABSTRACT: Oligonucleotide-based microarray analyses were carried out to identify retinoic acid target genes in embryos of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Of 21,938 spots, 50 (corresponding to 43 genes) showed over twofold up-regulation in retinoic acid-treated tail bud embryos. In situ hybridization verified retinoic acid-induced up-regulation of 23 genes. Many of them were expressed in the anterior tail region, where a retinaldehyde dehydrogenase homolog is expressed. Homologs of vertebrate genes involved in neurogenesis and/or neuronal functions (e.g., COUP-TF, Ci-Hox1, and SCO-spondin) were expressed in the central nervous system of Ciona embryos, and activated by retinoic acid. Genes encoding transcription factors (e.g., Ci-lmx1.2, vitamin D receptor, and Hox proteins) and apoptosis-related proteins (e.g., transglutaminase and an apoptosis-inducing factor homolog) were also activated by retinoic acid. Simultaneous treatment of embryos with retinoic acid and puromycin revealed a few direct targets, including genes encoding Ci-Hox1, Ci-Cyp26, and an Rnf126-like ring finger protein.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2005 · Developmental Dynamics
  • Kaoru Azumi · Manabu Fujie · Takeshi Usami · Yasufumi Miki · Nori Satoh
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    ABSTRACT: To analyze global gene expressions, we constructed a cDNA microarray from a basal chordate, the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Ciona is a cosmopolitan species and a genomic analysis of Ciona revealed that ascidians had approximately 15,500 protein-coding genes. Our "Ciona intestinalis cDNA chip version 1 (Ci cDNA chip ver. 1)" has arrayed 13,400 unique Ciona cDNAs. To establish a detection system for gene expression profiles in wild ascidians using a cDNA microarray, we analyzed gene expressions in the whole body of Ciona adults after exposure to 100 nM tributyltin (TBT) for 24 h. In our preliminary array data using Ci cDNA chip ver. 1, we found more than 200 genes that showed strong differential expressions. These genes encoded proteins that were concerned with stress response, detoxification, oxidoreduction reaction, biosynthesis, and catabolism. This, the first large cDNA microarray of this animal, should facilitate analyses of global gene expressions following exposure to TBT.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2004 · Marine Environmental Research
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    ABSTRACT: A cDNA microarray was constructed from a basal chordate, the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. The draft genome of Ciona has been read and inferred to contain approximately 16,000 protein-coding genes, and cDNAs for transcripts of 13,464 genes have been characterized and compiled as the "Ciona intestinalis Gene Collection Release I". In the present study, we constructed a cDNA microarray of these 13,464 Ciona genes. A preliminary experiment with Cy3- and Cy5-labeled probes showed extensive differential gene expression between fertilized eggs and larvae. In addition, there was a good correlation between results obtained by the present microarray analysis and those from previous EST analyses. This first microarray of a large collection of Ciona intestinalis cDNA clones should facilitate the analysis of global gene expression and gene networks during the embryogenesis of basal chordates.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2003 · ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Publication Stats

321 Citations
30.27 Total Impact Points


  • 2013
    • The University of Okinawa
      Okinawa, Okinawa, Japan
  • 2012
    • Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology
      • Marine Genomics Unit
      Okinawa, Okinawa, Japan
  • 2003-2008
    • Hokkaido University
      • • Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
      • • Division of Biological Sciences (Biology)
      Sapporo, Hokkaidō, Japan
  • 2007
    • National Institute for Basic Biology
      Okazaki, Aichi, Japan