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Laboratory for Cell Dynamics Observation



Group Director

Toshio Yanagida (Ph.D.)

Yanagida of Riken

Original HP

We have been focusing on the development of single-molecule imaging and nano-scale manipulation techniques and their applicaton to the study of biological molecular motors. One of our most important insights on how these motors operate is that they do not filter Brownian noise, instead using this noise to perform robustly. These same techniques have afforded us new understanding on how information is passed intracellularly and how the brain maps a visual stimulus. Noise that is exploited and not filtered we call “yuragi”. Yuragi is exclusive to living organisms, enabling more flexibility and less energy demands for their function. Currently, by collaborating with robotics engineers and information scientists, we are investigating ways to use yuragi in complex information networks like robots and the internet. By studying yuragi in in biological systems and successfully applying yuragi to artificial systems should give us better understanding of how biological systems respond efficiently to environmental changes.

Research Topics

  • Mechano Biology
  • Systems biophysics of heart
  • Super-resolution imaging
  • Variability of genomic structure

Selected Publications

  • Fujita, K., Iwaki, M. & Yanagida, T.
    "Transcriptional bursting is intrinsically caused by interplay between RNA polymerases on DNA"
    Nat. Commun. 7, 13788 (2016) doi:10.1038/ncomms13788
  • Iwaki, M., Wickham, S. F., Ikezaki, K., Yanagida, T. & Shih, W. M.
    "A programmable DNA origami nanospring that reveals force-induced adjacent binding of myosin VI heads"
    Nat. Commun. 7, 13715 (2016) doi:10.1038/ncomms13715
  • Iwaki, M., Iwane, A. H., Ikezaki, K. & Yanagida, T.
    "Local Heat Activation of Single Myosins Based on Optical Trapping of Gold Nanoparticles"
    Nano Lett. 15, 2456-2461 (2015) doi:10.1021/nl5049059
  • Karagiannis, P., Ishii, Y. & Yanagida, T.
    "Molecular Machines Like Myosin Use Randomness to Behave Predictably"
    Chem. Rev. 114, 3318-3334 (2014) doi:10.1021/cr400344n
  • Fujita, K., Iwaki, M., Iwane, A. H., Marcucci, L. & Yanagida, T.
    "Switching of myosin-V motion between the lever-arm swing and Brownian search-and-catch"
    Nat. Commun. 3, 956 (2012) doi:10.1038/ncomms1934
  • Fujii, T., Iwane, A. H., Yanagida, T. & Namba, K.
    "Direct visualization of secondary structures of F-actin by electron cryomicroscopy "
    Nature 467, 724-728 (2010) doi:10.1038/nature09372
  • Nishikawa, S., Arimoto, I., Ikezaki, K., Sugawa, M., Ueno, H., Komori, T., et al.
    "Switch between Large Hand-Over-Hand and Small Inchworm-like Steps in Myosin VI "
    Cell 142, 879-888 (2010) doi:10.1016/j.cell.2010.08.033
  • Iwaki, M., Iwane, A. H., Shimokawa, T., Cooke, R. & Yanagida, T.
    "Brownian search-and-catch mechanism for myosin-VI steps "
    Nat. Chem. Biol. 5, 403-405 (2009) doi:10.1038/nchembio.171
  • Inomata, K., Ohno, A., Tochio, H., Isogai, S., Tenno, T., Nakase, I., et al.
    "High-resolution multi-dimensional NMR spectroscopy of proteins in human cells "
    Nature 458, 106-109 (2009) doi:10.1038/nature07839
  • Funatsu, T., Harada, Y., Tokunaga, M., Saito, K. & Yanagida, T.
    "Imaging of single fluorescent molecules and individual ATP turnovers by single myosin molecules in aqueous-solution "
    Nature 374, 555-559 (1995) doi:10.1038/374555a0