Welcome to Nakamura Lab


1. Development of genetic polymorphic VNTR and RFLP markers and its application for construction of genetic linkage maps of human chromosomes

Dr. Nakamura has been making important contributions to the fields of genomic medicine and cancer research for nearly three decades. He is one of the pioneers of applying genetic variations (VNTR and RFLP markers) and genomics approach to the medical field. DNA polymorphic markers developed by his group in the laboratory of Professor Ray White at the University of Utah had made it possible to map and clone genes responsible for hereditary diseases. Using these DNA markers and genetic maps, many scientists around the world had been able to show the usefulness of the reverse genetic method. In fact, many genes responsible for hereditary diseases were mapped and cloned by the use of the DNA markers and chromosomal maps developed in the White laboratory. Such discoveries include genes responsible for neurofibromatosis type 1, familial polyposis coli, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, familial breast cancer, and ataxia telangiectasia etc.  In addition, these markers were applied to examine loss of heterozygosity for all of human chromosomes and contributed to establish the concept of multi-step carcinogenesis of human cancer.  Some of VNTR markers were also used in the forensic science field.

(1) Y. Nakamura, M. Leppert, P. O'Connell, Roger Wolff, T. Holm, M. Culver, C. Martin, E. Fujimoto, M. Hoff, E. Kumlin and R. White: Variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) markers for human gene mapping. Science, 235:1616-1622, 1987 (1760 citations)

(2) C. Larsson, B. Skogseid, K. Obeg, Y. Nakamura, M. Nordenskjold: Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 gene maps to chromosome 11 and is lost in insulinoma. Nature, 332:85-87, 1988 (930 citations)

(3) D. Barker, E. Wright, K. Nguyen, L. Cannon, P. Fain, D. Goldger, D. T. Bishop, J. Carey, B. Bety, H. Willard, J. S. Waye, G. Greig, L. Leinward, Y. Nakamura, P. O'Connell, M. Leppert, J.-M. Lalouel, R. White and M. Skolnick: Gene for von Recklinghausen neurofibromatosis is in the pericentromeric region of chromosome 17. Science, 236:1100-1102, 1987 (678 citations)

(4) B. Vogelstein, E.R. Fearon, S.E. Kern, S.R. Hamilton, A.C. Preisinger, Y. Nakamura and R. White: Allelotype of colorectal carcinomas. Science, 244:207-211, 1989 (1361 citations)

(5) B. Vogelstein, E.R. Fearon, S.R. Hamilton, S. Kern, A.C. Presinger, M. Leppert, Y. Nakamura, R. White, L. Smets and J.L. Bos: Genetic alterations during colorectal tumor development.  New Eng. J. Med., 319:525-532, 1988 (5849 citations)

(6) R.A. Gatti, I. Berkel, E. Border, G. Braedt, P. Charmley, P. Concannon, F. Ersoy, T. Foroud, N.J.G. Jaspers, K. Lange, G.M. Lathrop, M. Leppert, Y. Nakamura, M. Paterson, W. Salser, O. Sanal, W. Shan, J. Silver, R.S. Sparkes, E. Susi, D. Weeks, R. White and F. Yoder: Localization of ataxia-telangiectasia gene to chromosome 11q22.3. Nature, 336:577-580, 1988 (593 citations)

(7) S. Kern, E. Fearon, K.W.F. Tersmette, J.P. Enterline, M. Leppert, Y. Nakamura, R. White, B. Vogelstein and S. Hamilton: Allelic loss in colorectal carcinoma. JAMA, 261:3099-3103, 1989 (397 citations)

(8) M. Leppert, E. Anderson, T. Quattlebaum, D. Stauffer, P. O'Connell, Y. Nakamura, J-M. Lalouel and R. White: Mapping of the seizure gene: Benign familial neonatal convulsions linked to genetic makers on chromosome 20.Nature, 337:647-648, 1989 (392 citations)

(9) K. Kasai, Y. Nakamura and R. White: Amplification of a VNTR locus (pMCT118) by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and its application to forensic science. J. Forensic Sci., 35:1196-1200, 1990 (391 citations)

(10) T. Sato, A. Tanigami, K. Yamakawa, F. Akiyama, F. Kasumi, G. Sakamoto and Y. Nakamura: Allelotype of breast cancer: Cumulative allele losses promote tumor progression in primary breast cancer. Cancer Research, 50:7184-7189, 1990 (530 citations)

2. Cloning and characterization of the APC gene responsible for familial polyposis coli as well as other genetic diseases

During the time worked at University of Utah and in Cancer Institute (Tokyo), he collaborated with a group led by Prof. Bert Vogelstein at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, MD, and was able to identify an APC gene that is responsible for familial adenomatous polyposis coli (FAP) and characterized the germline mutations in FAP patients.  This discovery made it a possible to make a pre-symptomatic diagnosis of FAP.  His group in Tokyo also analyzed the APC gene in sporadic colorectal adenomas and carcinomas, and identified the mutation cluster region of the APC gene in sporadic tumors.  In addition, his group isolated or contributed to isolation of genes responsible some genetic diseases such as Marfan syndrome,  Fukuyama type congenital muscular dystrophy, posterior longitudinal ligament of the spine, gelatinous drop-like corneal dystrophy.

(1) K.W. Kinzler, M.C. Nilbert, L. Su, B. Vogelstein, T.M. Bryan, D.B. Levy, K.J. Smith, A.C. Preisinger, P. Hedge, D. McKechnie, R. Finniear, A. Markham, J. Groffen, M.S. Boguski, S.F. Alschul, A. Horii, H. Ando, Y. Miyoshi, Y. Miki, I. Nishisho, Y. Nakamura: Identification of FAP locus genes from chromosome 5q21. Science, 253:661-665, 1991 (2079 citations)

(2) I. Nishisho, Y. Nakamura, Y. Miyoshi, Y. Miki, H. Ando, A. Horii, K. Koyama, J. Utsunomiya, S. Baba, P. Hedge, A. Markham, A.J. Krush, G. Petersen, S.R. Hamilton, M.C. Nilbert, D.B. Levy, T.M. Bryan, A.C. Preisinger, K.J. Smith, L. Su, K.W. Kinzler, and B. Vogelstein: Mutations of chromosome 5q21 genes in FAP and colorectal cancer patients. Science, 253:665-669, 1991 (1591 citations)

(3) Y. Miyoshi, H. Nagase, H. Ando, A. Horii, S. Ichii, S. Nakatsuru, T. Aoki, Y. Miki, T. Mori and Y. Nakamura: Somatic mutation of the APC gene in colorectal tumors: mutation cluster region in the APC gene. Human Molecular Genetics, 1:229-233, 1992 (827 citations)

(4) Y. Miyoshi, H. Ando, H. Nagase, I. Nishisho, A. Horii, Y. Miki, T. Mori, J. Utsunomiya, S. Baba, G. Petersen, S.R. Hamilton, K.W. Kinzler, B. Vogelstein, Y. Nakamura: Germ-line mutations of the APC gene in 53 familial adenomatous polyposis patients. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 89:4452-4456, 1992 (421 citation)

(5) H. Shibata, K. Toyama, H. Shioya, M. Ito, M. Hirota, S. Hasegawa, H. Matsumoto, H. Takano, T. Akiyama, K. Toyoshima, R. Kanamaru, Y. Kanegae, I. Saito, Y. Nakamura, K. Shiba, and T. Noda: Rapid colorectal  adenoma formation initiated by conditional targeting of the APC gene. Science, 278:120-123, 1997 (370 citations)

 (6) K. Kobayashi, Y. Nakahori, M. Miyake, Y. Nomura, M. Yoshioka, K. Saito, M. Osawa, J. Goto, Y. Nakagome, I. Kanazawa, Y. Nakamura, K. Tokunaga, and T. Toda: An ancient retrotransposal insertion causes Fukuyama-type congenital muscular dystrophy (FCMD). Nature, 394:388-392, 1998 (628 citations)

(7) A. Okawa, I. Nakamura, S. Goto, H. Moriya, Y. Nakamura, and S. Ikegawa: Mutation in Npps in a mouse model of ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament of the spine. Nature Genetics, 19:271-273, 1998 (297 citations)

(8) M. Tsujikawa, H. Kurahashi, T. Tanaka, K. Nishida, Y. Shimomura, Y. Tano, and Y. Nakamura: Identification of the gene responsible for gelatinous drop-like corneal dystrophy. Nature Genetics, 21:420-423, 1999 (118 citations)

(9) T. Mizuguchi, G. Collod-Beroud, T. Akiyama, M. Abifadel, N. Harada, T. Morisaki, D. Allard, M. Varret, M. Claustres, H. Morisaki, M. Ihara, A. Kinoshita, K. Yoshiura, C. Junien, T. Kajii, G. Jondeau, T. Ohta, T. Kishino, Y. Furukawa, Y. Nakamura, N. Niikawa, C. Boileau, and N. Matsumoto: Heterozygous TGFBR2 mutations in Marfan syndrome. Nature Genetics, 36:855-860, 2004 (444 citations)

3. Characterization of genes involved in human cancer (p53 and its target genes, kinases and protein  methyltransferases)

Dr. Nakamura group reported dozens of genes playing key roles in many cancer types through extensive expression profile analysis and subsequent functional analysis of gene products. An example of a group of genes involved in development and progression of human cancer is the protein methyltransferases including SMYD3 and SUV39H2.  His group is a pioneer in non-histone protein methyltransferases as summarized in Nature Reviews Cancer (2015). In addition, his group has reported on many genes that are involved in the p53 pathway such as BAI1, p53R2, p53AIP1, p53DINP1, p53RDL, and PADI4. These genes play critical roles in p53-dependent DNA repair, angiogenesis, protein modification, and apoptosis. Furthermore, his group also reported a number of genes involved in the b-catenin-TCF pathway including the first mutation detection in the AXIN1 gene.  

(1) Y. Miyoshi,  K. Iwao, Y. Nagasawa, T. Aihara, Y. Sasaki, S. Imaoka, M. Murata, T. Shimano, and Y. Nakamura: Activation of the beta-catenin gene in primary hepatocellular carcinomas by somatic alterations involving exon 3. Cancer Research, 58:2524-2527, 1998 (454 citations)

(2) S. Satoh, Y. Daigo, Y. Furukawa, T. Katoh, N. Miwa, T. Nishiwaki, T. Kawasoe, H. Ishiguro, M. Fujita, T. Tokino, Y. Sasaki, S. Imaoka, M. Murata, T. Shimano, Y. Yamaoka, and Y. Nakamura: AXIN1 mutations in hepatocellular carcinomas, and growth suppression in cancer cells by virus-mediated transfer of AXIN1. Nature Genetics, 24:245-250, 2000 (842 citations)

(3) K. Oda, H. Arakawa, T. Tanaka, K. Matsuda, C. Tanikawa, T. Mori, H. Nishimori, K. Tamai, T. Tokino, Y. Nakamura, and Y. Taya: p53AIP1, a potential mediator of p53-dependent apoptosis, and its regulation by Ser-46-phosphorylated p53. Cell, 102:849-862, 2000 (1060 citations)

(4) H. Tanaka, H. Arakawa, T. Yamaguchi, K. Shiraishi, S. Fukuda, K. Matsui, Y. Takei, and Y. Nakamura: A ribonucleotide reductase gene involved in a p53-dependent cell-cycle checkpoint DNA damage. Nature, 404:42-49, 2000 (722 citations)

(5) H. Okabe, S. Satoh, T. Kato, O. Kitahara, R. Yanagawa, Y. Yamaoka, T. Tsunoda, Y. Furukawa and Y. Nakamura: Genome-wide analysis of gene expression in human hepatocellular carcinomas using cDNA microarray: identification of genes involved in viral carcinogenesis and tumor progression. Cancer Research, 6:2129-2137, 2001 (550 citations)

(6) C. Tanikawa, K. Matsuda, S. Fukuda, Y. Nakamura, and H. Arakawa: p53RDL1 regulates p53-dependent apoptosis. Nature Cell Biology, 5:216-223, 2003 (143 citations)

(7) T. Kimura, S. Takeda, Y. Sagiya, M. Gotoh, Y. Nakamura and H. Arakawa: Impaired function of p53R2 in Rrm2b-null mice causes severe renal failure through attenuation of dNTP pools. Nature Genetics, 34:440-445, 2003 (119 citations)

(8) R. Hamamoto, Y. Furukawa, M. Morita, Y. Iimura, F. P. Silva, M. Li, R. Yagyu and Y. Nakamura:  SMYD3 encodes a novel histone methyltransferase involved in the proliferation of cancer cells. Nature Cell Biology, 6:731-740, 2004 (438 citations)

(9) C. Tanikawa, M. Espinosa, A. Suzuki, K. Masuda, K. Yamamoto, E. Tsuchiya, K. Ueda, Y. Daigo, Y. Nakamura, and K. Matsuda: Regulation of histone modification and chromatin structure by the p53-PADI4 pathway.  Nature Communications, :DOI 10.1038, 2012 (27 citations)

(10) H.-S. Cho, T. Shimazu, G. Toyokawa, Y. Daigo, Y. Maehara, S. Hayami, A. Ito, K. Masuda, N. Ikawa, H. I. Field, E. Tsuchiya, S. Ohnuma, B. A.J. Ponder, M. Yoshida, Y. Nakamura, and R. Hamamoto: Enhanced HSP70 lysine 561 methylation promotes proliferation of cancer cells through activation of aurora kinase B. Nature Communications, 3:DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2074, 2012

(11) K. Sone, L. Piao, M. Nakakido, K. Ueda, T. Jenuwein, Y. Nakamura and R. Hamamoto Critical role of lysine 134 methylation on histone H2AX for g-H2AX production and DNA repair. Nature Communications, 5:DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6691, 2014

(12) R. Hamamoto, V. Saloura and Y. Nakamura: Critical roles of non-histone protein lysine methylation in human tumorigenesis. (review article) Nature Reviews Cancer, 15:110-124, 2015

4. Contribution to the International HapMap project as well as leading Biobank Japan project and GWAS and pharmacogenomics studies

In 2000-2011, he led the Japanese SNP project in the Japanese Millennium genome project, the Japanese group of the International HapMap project, as well as the Biobank Japan and pharmacogenomics project.  Under his leadership, the Japanese group constructed the JSNP database, and contributed to the success of the HapMap project by generation of nearly one fourth of the Phase I data in the project (that was the largest contribution among the participating centers in the world).  The Biobank Japan project collected DNAs of 300,000 cases covering 47 diseases.  The RIKEN group began the genome-wide association approach to identify susceptibility genes for common diseases in 2001.  The RIKEN group led by him reported nearly 100 GWAS papers including 54 papers in Nature Genetics, including genes susceptible to common diseases such as genes associated with myocardial infarction, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetic nephropathy, IgA nephropathy, osteoarthritis, brain Infarction, Kawasaki disease, asthma, atopic dermatitis, endometriosis, keloid disease, Crohn disease and various types of cancer.

(1) The International HapMap Consortium: A haplotype map of the human genome. Nature, 437:1299-1320, 2005 (4104 citations)

(2) The International HapMap Consortium: The International HapMap Project. Nature, 426:789-796, 2003 (3286 citations)

(3) The International HapMap Consortium: A second generation human haplotype map of over 3.1 million SNPs. Nature, 449:851-861, 2007 (3235 citations)

(4) K. Ozaki, Y. Ohnishi, A. Iida, A. Sekine, R. Yamada, T. Tsunoda, H. Sato, H. Sato, M. Hori, Y. Nakamura, and T. Tanaka: Functional SNPs in the lymphotoxin-α gene that are associated with susceptibility to myocardial infarction. Nature Genetics, 32:650-654, 2002 (744 citations)

(5) A. Suzuki, R. Yamada, X. Chang, S.Tokuhiro, T. Sawada, M. Suzuki, M. Nagasaki, M. Nakayama-Hamada, R.Kawaida, M. Ono, M. Ohtsuki, H. Furukawa, S. Yoshino, M. Yukioka, S. Touma, T. Matsubara, S. Wakitani, R. Teshima, A. Sekine, A.Iida, A. Takahashi, T. Tsunoda, Y. Nakamura, and K. Yamamoto: Functional haplotypes of PADI4, encoding citrullinating enzyme peptidylarginine deiminase 4, are associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Nature Genetics, 34:395-402, 2003 (876 citations)

(6) S. Uno, H. Zembutsu, A. Hirasawa, A. Takahashi, M. Kubo, T. Akahane, D. Aoki, N. Kamatani, K. Hirata, and Y. Nakamura: A genome-wide association study identifies genetic variants in the CDKN2BAS locus associated with endometriosis in Japanese.  Nature Genetics, 42:707-710, 2010 (100 citations)

(7) D. Miki, M. Kubo, A. Takahashi, K.-A. Yoon, J. Kim, G.-K. Lee, J.I. Zo, J.S. Lee, N. Hosono, T. Morizono, T. Tsunoda, N. Kamatani, K. Chayama, T. Takahashi, J. Inazawa, Y. Nakamura, and Y. Daigo: Variation in TP63 is associated with lung adenocarcinoma susceptibility in Japanese and Korean population.  Nature Genetics, 42:893-896, 2010 (89 citations)

(8) P.-C. Cha, A. Takahashi, N. Hosono, S.-K. Low, N. Kamatani, M. Kubo, and Y. Nakamura: A genome-wide association study identifies three loci associated with susceptibility to uterine fibroids. Nature Genetics, 43:447-450, 2011 (38 citations)

(9) S. Arakawa, A. Takahashi, K. Ashikawa, N. Hosono, T. Aoi, M. Yasuda, Y. Oshima, S. Yoshida, H. Enaida, T. Tsuchihashi, K. Mori, S. Honda, A. Negi, A. Arakawa, K. Kadonosono, Y. Kiyohara, N. Kamatani, Y. Nakamura, T. Ishibashi, and M. Kubo: Genome-wide association study identifies two susceptibility loci for exudative age-related macular degeneration in the Japanese population.   Nature Genetics, 43:1001-1004, 2011 (45 citations)

5. Development of anti-cancer drugs (cancer peptide vaccines, antibody drugs and small molecular compounds)

Dr. Nakamura’s group has identified a number of novel molecular targets that can be applicable to development of anti-cancer drugs (molecular-targeting drug, cancer vaccine, and antibody) and reported their biological functions in human cancers. Using such information, his group has developed two monoclonal antibodies, one against FZD10 that was expressed exclusively in synovial sarcoma and the other against CDH3 that was expressed in many types of cancer. The phase I clinical trial for synovial sarcoma using 90Y-conjugated anti-FZD10 antibody is ongoing.  They with OncoTherapy Science have isolated nearly 100 peptides (HLA-A02 or HLA-A24 restricted), corresponding to a part of oncoantigens, that effectively induce cytotoxic T lymphocytes, which would specifically kill cancer cells in an HLA-A restricted and antigen-dependent manner.  They have been running translational research of these vaccines (more than 1700 patients have been enrolled).  In addition, they reported development of two novel small molecular compounds inhibiting two different oncogenic kinases, one targeting MELK (maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase) and the other targeting TOPK (T-lymphokine-activated killer cell-originated protein kinase). MELK is a protein that was implied its involvement in the maintenance of tumor-initiating cells. TOPK plays a critical role at the final step of cytokinesis.

(1) C. Fukukawa, H. Hanaoka, S. Nagayama, T. Tsunoda, J. Toguchida, K. Endo, Y. Nakamura, and T. Katagiri: Radioimmunotherapy of human synovial sarcoma using a monoclonal antibody against FZD10. Cancer Science, 99:432-440, 2008

(2) H. Yoshioka, S. Yamamoto, H. Hanaoka, Y. Iida, P. Paudya, T. Higuchi, H. Tominaga, N. Oriuchi, H. Nakagawa, Y. Shiba, K. Yoshida, R. Osawa, T. Katagiri, T. Tsunoda, Y. Nakamura, and K. Endo: In vivo therapeutic effect of CDH3/P-cadherin-targeting radioimmunotherapy. Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy, 61:1211–1220, 2012

(3) S. Chung, H. Suzuki, T. Miyamoto, N. Takamatsu, A. Tatsuguchi, K. Ueda, K. Kijima, Y. Nakamura and Y. Matsuo: Development of an orally-administrative MELK-targeting inhibitor that suppresses the growth of various types of human cancer Oncotarget, 3:1629-1640, 2012

(4) Y. Yoshitake, Y. Yoshitake, D. Fukuma, A. Yuno, M. Hirayama, H. Nakayama, T. Tanaka, M. Nagata, Y. Takamune, K. Kawahara, Y. Nakagawa, R. Yoshida, A. Hirosue, H. Ogi, A. Hiraki, H. Jono, A. Hamada, K. Yoshida, Y. Nishimura, Y. Nakamura, and M. Shinohara: Phase II clinical trial of multiple peptide vaccination for advanced head and neck cancer patients revealed induction of immune responses and improved OS. Clinical Cancer Research, 10:DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-14-0202, 2014

(5) H. Alachkar,  M. Mutonga, K.H. Metzeler, N. Fulton, G. Malnassy, T. Herold, K. Spiekermann, S.K. Bohlander, W. Hiddemann, Y. Matsuo, W. Stock, and Y. Nakamura: Preclinical efficacy of Maternal Embryonic Leucine-zipper Kinase (MELK) Inhibition in Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Oncotarget, 5:12371-12382, 2014

(6) Y. Matsuo, J.-H. Park, T. Miyamoto, S. Yamamoto, S. Hisada, H. Alachkar, and Y Nakamura: TOPK inhibitor induces complete tumor regression in xenograft models of human cancer through inhibition of cytokinesis. Science Translational Medicine, 259:259ra145, 2014

6. Oncoimmunogenomics/Immunopharmacogenomics

Molecular changes in immune cells associated with disease conditions have not been analyzed in depth. It is obvious that our immune system plays a critical role in various biological and pathological conditions, such as infection, autoimmune diseases, drug-induced skin and liver toxicities, food allergy and rejection of transplanted organs. The recent development of cancer immunotherapies clearly demonstrates the importance of host immune cells, particularly drugs modulating the immune checkpoint molecules, in the fight against cancer. However, the molecular mechanisms by which these new therapies kill tumor cells still remain unclear.  In this regard, we have begun to explore the roll of newly-developed tools such as next generation sequencing in the genetic characterization of the immune system, which has been referred to as immunogenomics/ immunopharmacogenomics. This new field has enormous potential to help us better understand the changes/alterations to our immune responses during the course of various disease conditions. Here we report the deep sequencing of T-cell and B-cell receptors that will enable us to capture the molecular contribution of the immune system which we believe plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of disease.

(1) H. Fang, R. Yamaguchi, X. Liu, Y. Daigo, P.Y. Yew, C. Tanikawa, K. Matsuda, S. Imoto, S. Miyano, and Y. Nakamura: Quantitative T cell repertoire analysis by deep cDNA sequencing of T cell receptor a and b chains using next-generation sequencing (NGS). OncoImmunology, DOI: 10.4161/21624011.2014.968467, 2014

(2) X. Liu, G. Venkataraman, J. Lin, K. Kiyotani, S. Smith, M. Montoya, Y. Nakamura, and J. Kline: Highly clonal T cell receptor repertoire among regulatory T cells in follicular lymphoma tissues – correlation with the CD8+ T cell receptor repertoire.  OncoImmunology, DOI:10.1080/2162402X.2014. 1002728, 2015

(3) K. Tamura, S. Hazama, R. Yamaguchi, S. Imoto, H. Takenouchi, Y. Inoue, S. Kanekiyo, Y. Shindo, S. Miyano, Y. Nakamura, and K. Kiyotani: Characterization of T cell repertoire in tumor tissues and blood in advanced colorectal cancers through deep T cell receptor sequencing. Oncology Letters, in press, 2015

(4) P.Y. Yew, P.Y. Yew, H. Alachkar, R. Yamaguchi, K. Kiyotani, H. Fang, K.L. Yap, H.T. Liu, A. Wickrema, A. Artz, K. van Besien, S. Imoto, S. Miyano, M.R. Bishop, W. Stock, and Y. Nakamura: Quantitative characterization of T cell repertoire in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients.  Bone Marrow Transplantation, doi:10.1038/bmt.2015.133, 2015

(5) M. Jang, P.-Y. Yew, K. Hasegawa, Y. Ikeda, K. Fujiwara, G.F. Fleming, Y. Nakamura, and J.-H. Park: Characterization of T cell repertoire of blood, tumor and ascites in ovarian cancer patients using next generation sequencing. OncoImmunology, DOI:10.1080/2162402X.2015.1030561, 2015

Dr. Nakamura’s contribution to the field of human genetics and cancer research is reflected by his publication of more than 1,300 articles (at February, 2015). These articles include: 34 articles in American Journal of Human Genetics, 115 articles in Cancer Research, 6 articles in Lancet, 17 articles in Nature, 2 articles in Nature Cell Biology, 70 articles in Nature Genetics, 4 articles in Nature Communications, 7 articles in The New England Journal of Medicine, 11 articles in Science and one article in Science Translational Medicine. These papers have been cited over 118,500 times in the scientific literature.



Latest News and Announcements

AI to help choose best cancer treatments


The Yomiuri ShimbunA Japanese scientist conducting research in the United States and an information analysis company based in Tokyo have decided to jointly develop an artificial intelligence (AI) service capable of selecting suitable treatment methods for cancer patients and helping ease patients’ worries over treatment.

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Yusuke was visiting CMUPharmacy in China 2016

Yusuke was visiting CMUPharmacy in China at the begining of May. During this trip, he gave a talk related to personalized cancer therapy and cancer peptide vaccines. Around 200 students and faculties were in his talk and showed big interests in his topics. 

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Lab interviews by LabTV -Inspiring young medical scientists and bringing hope to cancer patients and their families

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2016 February, AACR-JCA joint conference in Maui, Hawaii

Yusuke has given an opening synposium-'Development of novel small-molecule inhibitors targeting cancer-stem cells'

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Congratulations! Lab website visits exceeded 3000!!!~~

Our website visits exceeded 3000 by google analytics!~~ Visitors are all over the world!

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Nakamura lab logo

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Yusuke was awarded the Osaka University Global Alumin Fellow

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YIES / Medical system must stress prevention to promote fiscal health, Nakamura says


The Yomiuri Shimbun

The government should shift its emphasis from disease treatment to preventive medicine as a national strategy, according to University of Chicago Prof. Yusuke Nakamura.

Nakamura, who previously headed the Office of Medical Innovation of the Cabinet Secretariat while the Democratic Party of Japan was the ruling party, delivered a talk at a meeting of the Yomiuri International Economic Society held in Tokyo on Wednesday.

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The young generation of physicians and scientists is growing up in Nakamura lab. Noura Choudhury, a talented medical school student in Nakamura lab

Noura is a medical student at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. In between her third and fourth years of school, she dedicated one year of research to the Nakamura laboratory. 

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The updated google scholar citations https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=dDQevDQAAAAJ&hl=en


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AACR 2015: Bringing Cancer Discoveries to Patients--From ScienceLife


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Nakamura lab presentations in 2015 AACR (Philadelphia)

author block: Miran Jang, Yusuke Nakamura....

Miran Jang was presenting her TCR sequencing work in ovarian cancer.

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Meaningless formalities of informed consent caused by knowledge gaps


translated by Yuji Ikeda

Today, the amount of new medical knowledge is increasing rapidly. “Accelerating” is not even adequate to describe the advancing pace of knowledge generation. Under the current circumstances, it is almost impossible even for medical professionals to keep up to date by themselves.


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The Breakthrough Drug for Crohn’s Disease・・・Is This the First Step Toward a Cure of This Disease?

Translated by Dr. Taigo Kato


This time, I would like to introduce a paper describing a new drug for Crohn’s disease that was published in the March 19th issue of “The New England Journal of Medicine.” This report came out from Roma University in Tor Vergata. The clinical outcome reported in this manuscript is phenomenal.

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Japan takes no account of arrival of “Black Ships” in medical field


Translated by Dr. Taigo Kato

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The latest citations of Yusuke Nakamura's papers from google scholar

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The philosophy that is lacking in order to foster researchers

Translated by Dr. Keiko Hikino 


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Make Japan’s universal medical care system sustainable!

Translated by Kenji

An article entitled "Appointment Availability after Increases in Medicaid Payments for Primary Care" was published in the February 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. In this article, the authors investigated influences on medical appointment availability after increases of provider payments under Medicaid, which is a public medical insurance plan. These increases to medical providers and institutions were mandated under one part of "Obamacare" (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).

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Title: Immunotherapy responders / non-responders

Translated by Yuji


The number of somatic mutations has been believed to be associated with poor prognosis in patients with cancer.  Methods to analyze genetic and chromosomal aberrations in cancer cells have been rapidly developing since the late 1980s.  DNA markers reported by my group1 had contributed to characterize chromosomal aberrations in cancer cells because they could distinguish the parental origins of our chromosomes.  Actually, this type of analysis established the “multistep carcinogenesis’ model.

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2015 Janet D.Rowley Research Day (the University of Chicago)

 author block: Yusuke Nakamura, Justin Kline

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Winning the battle against cancer ~ the reason why I transformed myself from “Nobunaga Oda” into “Ieyasu Tokugawa"

 Dr. Nakamura's columns that was published in the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper on Feb. 3rd, 2015


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ScienceDaily, Featured Research reported Dr.Nakamura group's new anti-cancer drug

Date: October 22, 2014   Source: University of Chicago Medical Center   Summary: A new drug, OTS964, can eradicate aggressive human lung cancers transplanted into mice, scientists report. It inhibits the action of a protein that is overproduced by several tumor types but is rarely expressed in healthy adult tissues. Without it, cancer cells fail to complete the cell-division process and die.


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Drug in Japan found to eradicate human lung cancer in mice-The Japan Times News


WASHINGTON – A research team that includes a Japanese professor at the University of Chicago has shown that a drug being developed in Japan can eradicate lung cancer cells, according to a study published in the U.S. medical journal Science Translational Medicine.

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Highly effective new anti-cancer drug shows few side effects in mice

http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/10/22/highly-effective-new-anti-cancer-drug-shows-few-side-effects-mice     Highly effective new anti-cancer drug shows few side effects in mice

As injections or pills, drug inhibits an enzyme that is active in many cancer types

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2014 Reunion of Nakamura Lab Family in Atami, Japan.

After 5 years, Nakamura lab members and alumni were collected and gathered together to mark the great contributions from Dr. Nakamura to cancer patients.

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the 73rd JCA meeting in Yokohama, Japan. 2014, Sep 25-27

Nakamura Lab, 2014 JCA annual meeting     date time session by type 9/25/2014 (Thu) 9-10 am E16-1,  Novel approachs of molecular target therapy Dr. Park oral

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Congratulations! Dr. Nakamura has been selected as a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher!

Highly Cited Researchers 2014 represents some of world’s leading scientific minds. Over three thousand researchers earned the distinction by writing the greatest numbers of reports officially designated by Essential Science Indicators℠ as Highly Cited Papers—ranking among the top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication, earning them the mark of exceptional impact.

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Summary of AACR 2014, 2013 in Nakamura Lab

AACR 2014 Presentation


1.    SMYD2-dependent PARP1 methylation promotes Poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation activity in cancer cells

Lianhua Piao, Yusuke Nakamura, Ryuji Hamamoto


2.    TARBP1, a member of the SPOUT methyltransferase family, is involved in human carcinogenesis

Makoto Nakakido, Yusuke Nakamura, Ryuji Hamamoto


3.    Characterization of LASEP3 as a serological and prognostic biomarker and a therapeutic target for lung cancer

Atsushi Takano, Yusuke Nakamura, Yataro Daigo.


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AACR 2014 --Vassiliki Saloura

Abstract Number: 5153 Presentation Title: Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome candidate 1 as a potential novel therapeutic target for head and neck cancer Presentation Time: Wednesday, Apr 09, 2014, 8:00 AM -12:00 PM

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AACR 2014 --Lianhua Piao

Abstract Number: 377 Presentation Title: SMYD2-dependent PARP1 methylation promotes Poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation activity in cancer cells Presentation Time: Sunday, Apr 06, 2014, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

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AACR 2014 --Makoto Nakakido

Abstract Number: 379 Presentation Title: TARBP1, a member of the SPOUT methyltransferase family, is involved in human carcinogenesis Presentation Time: Sunday, Apr 06, 2014, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

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AACR 2014 --Kembun Sone

Abstract Number: 5159 Presentation Title: The histone methyltransferase SUV39H2 is a novel target of anticancer therapy Presentation Time: Wednesday, Apr 09, 2014, 8:00 AM -12:00 PM

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AACR 2014 --Ryuji Hamamoto

Abstract Number: 5156 Presentation Title: The oncogenic polycomb histone methyltransferase EZH2 methylates lysine 120 on histone H2B and competes ubiquitination in human cancer Presentation Time:

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AACR 2014 --Poh Yin Yew

Abstract Number: 3581 Presentation Title: Characterization of T cell repertoire in transplanted patients with graft versus host disease using next generation DNA sequencer Presentation Time:

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AACR 2014 --Jae-Hyun Park

Abstract Number: 3226 Presentation Title: GALNT6 stabilizes GRP78 protein by O-type glycosylation Presentation Time: Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014, 8:00 AM -12:00 PM

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AACR 2014 --Hua Fang

Abstract Number: 3568 Presentation Title: Quantitative t cell receptor (tcr) repertoire analysis by next-generation sequencing (ngs) in non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with therapeutic cancer peptide vaccines Presentation Time:

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AACR 2014 --Houda Alachkar

Abstract Number: 952 Presentation Title: Preclinical efficacy of maternal embryonic leucine-zipper kinase (MELK) inhibition in acute myeloid leukemia Presentation Time: Sunday, Apr 06, 2014, 4:35 PM - 4:50 PM

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U. of Chicago Hires High-Ranking Japanese Geneticist to Work on Anticancer Drugs

Orignal URL: http://chronicle.com/article/U-of-Chicago-Hires/130409/


By Katherine Mangan

The earthquake that devastated Japan last year opened up an opportunity for the University of Chicago to hire one of that country's top geneticists.

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Chicago Tribune-Breaking Business-Dr. Yusuke Nakamura, faculty, U. of C. Department of Medicine

Original URL: http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-dr-yusuke-nakamura-faculty-u-of-c-department-of-medicine-20120113,0,4635755.photo


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"I would like to cure cancer"

Original URL: http://www.uchospitals.edu/news/features/nakamura.html

Renowned cancer researcher comes to UChicago with lofty goals

By landing renowned Japanese cancer researcher Yusuke Nakamura, the University of Chicago Medicine magnifies its potential for making scientific discoveries that lead to the development of lifesaving drugs.

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