Department of Developmental Biology and Neurosciences
Division of Neuroscience

Neurogenetics 分野

Kosei Sato
キャンパス Katahira キャンパス
専攻分野 Neurogenetics
連絡先 +81-22-217-6220

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Using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism, our laboratory would like to elucidate how the potentials for species-specific innate behaviors are built into the nervous system during development and how neural circuits underlying such behaviors elicit particular behaviors in response to appropriate environmental cues. The male courtship ritual is the best model to approach these questions.

2007 Ph.D. Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University, Japan.
2007-2008 Post-doctoral Fellow, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku
2008-2012 Assistant Professor, Institute for International Advanced Interdisciplinary Research, Tohoku University
2012-2014 Research Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University
2014-present Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University

Original articles:

1. Takayanagi S., Toba G., Lukacsovich T., Ote M., Sato K., and Yamamoto D. A fruitless upstream region that defines the species-specificity in the male-specific muscle patterning in Drosophila. Journal of Neurogenetics, in press.

2. Kimura S., Sakakibara Y., Sato K., Ote M., Ito H., Koganezawa M. and Yamamoto D. The Drosophila Lingerer protein cooperates with Orb2 in long-term memory formation. Journal of Neurogenetics, in press.

3. Ito H., Sato K., Koganezawa M., Ote M., Matsumoto K., Hama C., and Yamamoto D. Fruitless cooperates with two antagonistic chromatin factors to establish single-neuron sexual dimorphism. Cell, 149; 1327-38, 2012.

4. Sato K.*, Seki R.*, Noro M., Yokoyama H., and Tamura K. Morphogenetic change of the limb bud in the hand plate formation. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 314B; 539-551, 2010.(*equal contribution)

5. Sato K., Koizumi Y., Takahashi M., Kuroiwa A., and Tamura K. Specification of cell fate along the proximal-distal axis in the developing chick limb bud. Development 134; 1397-1406, 2007.

Review articles:

6. Sato K., Yamamoto D. An epigenetic switch of the brain sex as a basis of gendered behavior in Drosophila. Advances in Genetics, 86; 45-63, 2014.

7. Yamamoto D., Sato K., Biological bases for typical and atypical gendered behaviors. Science Journal KAGAKU, 84 (7); 736-744, 2014.

8. Yamamoto D., Sato K., Koganezawa M. Neuroethology of male courtship in Drosophila: from the gene to behavior. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 200(4):251-64, 2014.

9. Yamamoto D., Sato K. The female brain and the male brain. Brain and Nerve, 65 (10); 1147-1158, 2013.

10. Ito H., Sato K., Yamamoto D. Sex-switching of the Drosophila brain by two antagonistic chromatin factors. Fly 7; 87-91, 2013.

Book chapters:

11) Tamura K., Sato K. and Amano T., New concepts on pattern formation in developing limb bud. Experimental Medicine, Youdo-sha, 23 (1); 87-93, 2005.


1. The Japan Neuroscience Society
2. The molecular Biology Society of Japan


1. The introductory science experiments for 1st-year students in Tohoku University. 2014-present.
2. The practical training course in Developmental biology for 3rd-year students in Tohoku University Faculty of Science. 2009-present.


In Drosophila melanogaster, the fruitless (fru) gene encoding BTB-Zn-finger transcription factors organizes male sexual behavior by controlling the development of sexually dimorphic neuronal circuitry. However, the molecular mechanism by which fru controls the sexual fate of neurons was unknown. Our recent study suggests that Fru interacts with two antagonistic chromatin modifiers to regulate the development of a sexual dimorphic neural circuitry. Fru forms a complex with the transcriptional cofactor Bonus (Bon), which recruits either of two chromatin regulators, Histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) or Heterochromatin protein 1a (HP1a), to Fru-target sites. The Fru-Bon complex has a masculinizing effect on single sexually-dimorphic neurons when it recruits HDAC1, whereas it has a demasculinizing effect when it recruits HP1a. HDAC1 or HP1a thus recruited to Fru-target sites determines the sexual fate of single neurons in an all-or-none manner, as manipulations of HDAC1 or HP1a expression levels affect the proportion of male-typical neurons and female-typical neurons without producing neurons with intersexual characteristics. Further work will be required to identify the genes that are subject to this regulation and to determine how the balance between the antagonistic effects of these two chromatin switches is achieved.


I am encouraged by the insect enthusiasts in our lab and became interested in the insect world outside of the laboratory as well. In Sendai, I can collect many Drosophila species that display variable species-specific behaviors. Using these non-model animals, I would like to challenge the genetic and neural bases for the evolution of innate behavior. Students from all over the world are welcome to join our lab. Please contact Prof. Daisuke Yamamoto if you are interested in our research programs.