Professor Akira Kurosaka

Area and Subject Taught Neuroglycobiology
Research Theme(s) Functional Analysis of Glycosyltransferases in Neural Differentiation
Academic Degrees Doctor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University
Keywords for Research Field Neural Differentiation, Sugar Chains, Glycosyltransferases
Office Phone Number Not Public

Research Overview

The genome sequences of several important organisms have been determined, but functions of proteins encoded by the genome still remain to be elucidated. Polypeptide chains synthesized using the information of the genome sequences, in general, become functional proteins after having a range of posttranslational modifications, such as glycosylation. We have successfully cloned a brainspecific glycosyltransferase (Figure), which catalyzes the initial reaction of mucin-carbohydrate biosynthesis by transferring N-acethylgalactosamine to a hydroxyl amino acid in polypeptides. We have also found that the brain-specific isozyme is important for the development of neurons since its suppression gives rise to morphological abnormality and apoptotic cell death in the brain of zebrafish. It should be noted that this isozyme is found in the critical region of Williams-Beuren syndrome, an inheritable disease, which is characterized by metal retardation.

Notable Publications and Works in the Last Three Years

  1. N. Nakamura, K. Tsukada, Y. Tsujimoto, Y. Nakayama, M. Konishi, and A. Kurosaka: Production of double mutants that lack paralogue enzyme genes for mucin-type glycan biosynthesis. 2017 Society for Glycobiology Meeting, Portland, USA, 2017.11.7
  2. A. Kurosaka: Developmental roles of polypeptide α-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferases in model organisms. International symposium for the 4th industrial revolution in animal and animal resource industries, Korea (Chunchon), 2017. 12. 7
  3. N. Nakamura, Y. Tsujiomoto, Y. Takahashi, Y. Nakayama, M. Konishi, A. Kurosaka: Generation of mutant zebrafish that lack multipIe vertebrate-specific poIypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyItransferases. Society for GIycobiology Meeting, New OrIeans (USA), 2016.11.20
  4. A. Kurosaka, N. Nakamura, Y. Tsujimoto, Y. Takahashi, Y. Nakayama, M. Konishi: ldentification and expression anaIysis of zebrafish polypeptide α-N-acetylgalactosamlnyltransferase genes during embryonic deveIopment. Society for Glycobiology Meeting, New Orleans (USA), 2016.11.20
  5. A. Kurosaka: Developmental roles of polypeptide α-N-acetyIgalactosaminyltransferases in model organisms. Texas A&M University, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics Special Seminar (invited), College Station (USA), 2016.11.16.
  6. Y. Nakayama, K. Kato, N. Nakamura, M. Konishi, A. Kurosaka: GALNT17/Wbscr17 knockout mice show depressed growth and hyperprolactinemea. 23rd International Symposium on Glycoconjugates, Split (Croatia) 2015. 9. 15-20
  7. Y. Nakayama, N. Nakamura, A. Kurosaka: Analysis of zebrafish polypeptide N-acetylgalatosaminyltransferase genes during embryonic development. 23rd International Symposium on Glycoconjugates, Split (Croatia) 2015. 9. 15-20