Department of Developmental Biology and Neurosciences
Division of Developmental Biology

Membrane Trafficking Mechanisms 分野

Mitsunori Fukuda
キャンパス Aobayama キャンパス
専攻分野 Laboratory of Membrane Trafficking Mechanisms
連絡先 Tel : 022-795-7731

ResearcherID:I-1511-2015 <>

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My hobbies are nature watching and sports, but professionally I am advancing research involving membrane trafficking. I am searching for ambitious students looking to be future researchers.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me!

1990 Graduated, Biological Institute, Faculty of Science, Tohoku University
1992 Completed master’s program, Department of Biology, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University
1996 Completed doctoral program, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo
  Research Fellowship for Young Scientists, JSPS


Research Scientist, Laboratory for Developmental Neurobiology, RIKEN Brain Science Institute
2002 Unit Leader, Fukuda Initiative Research Unit, RIKEN
2006 Professor, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University

Marubashi, S., Shimada, H., Fukuda, M. & Ohbayashi, N. (2016) RUTBC1 functions as a GTPase-activating protein for Rab32/38 and regulates melanogenic enzyme trafficking in melanocytes. J. Biol. Chem. 291, 1427-1440

Hirano, S., Uemura, T., Annoh, H., Fujita, N., Waguri, S., Itoh, T. & Fukuda, M. (2016) Differing susceptibility to autophagic degradation activity of two LC3-binding proteins: SQSTM1/p62 and TBC1D25/OATL1. Autophagy 12, 312-326

Aizawa, M. & Fukuda, M. (2015) Small GTPase Rab2B and its specific binding protein Golgi-associated Rab2B interactor-like 4 (GARI-L4) regulate Golgi morphology. J. Biol. Chem. 290, 22250-22261

Etoh, K. & Fukuda, M. (2015) Structure-function analyses of the small GTPase Rab35 and its efffector protein centaurin-β2/ACAP2 during neurite outgrowth of PC12 cells. J. Biol. Chem. 290, 9064-9074

Yatsu, A., Shimada, H., Ohbayashi, N. & Fukuda, M. (2015) Rab40C is a novel Varp-binding protein that promotes proteasomal degradation of Varp in melanocytes. Biol. Open  4, 267-275

Ishida, M., Ohbayashi, N. & Fukuda, M. (2015) Rab1A regulates anterograde melanosome transport by recruiting kinesin-1 to melanosomes through interaction with SKIP. Sci. Rep. 5, 8238

Yasuda, T. & Fukuda, M. (2014) Slp2-a controls renal epithelial cell size through regulation of Rap–ezrin signaling independently of Rab27. J. Cell Sci. 127, 557-570

Matsui, T. & Fukuda, M. (2013) Rab12 regulates mTORC1 activity and autophagy through controlling the degradation of amino-acid transporter PAT4. EMBO Rep.
14, 450-457

Yatsu, A., Ohbayashi, N., Tamura, K. & Fukuda, M. (2013) Syntaxin-3 is required for melanosomal localization of Tyrp1 in melanocytes. J. Invest. Dermatol. 133, 2237-2246

Kobayashi, H. & Fukuda, M. (2013) Rab35 establishes the EHD1-association site by coordinating two distinct effectors during neurite outgrowth. J. Cell Sci. 126, 2424-2435

Yasuda, T., Saegusa, C., Kamakura, S., Sumimoto, H. & Fukuda, M. (2012) Rab27 effector Slp2-a transports the apical signaling molecule podocalyxin to the apical surface of MDCK II cells and regulates claudin-2 expression. Mol. Biol. Cell 23, 3229-3239

Ishida, M., Ohbayashi, N., Maruta, Y., Ebata, Y. & Fukuda, M. (2012) Functional involvement of Rab1A in microtubule-dependent anterograde melanosome transport in melanocytes. J. Cell Sci. 125, 5177-5187

Kobayashi, H. & Fukuda, M. (2012) Rab35 regulates Arf6 activity through centaurin-β2 (ACAP2) during neurite outgrowth. J. Cell Sci. 125, 2235-2243

Ohbayashi, N., Maruta, Y., Ishida, M. & Fukuda, M. (2012) Melanoregulin regulates retrograde melanosome transport through interaction with the RILP−p150Glued complex in melanocytes. J. Cell Sci. 125, 1508-1518

Mori, Y., Matsui, T., Furutani, Y., Yoshihara, Y. & Fukuda, M. (2012) Small GTPase Rab17 regulates dendritic morphogenesis and postsynaptic development of hippocampal neurons. J. Biol. Chem. 287, 8963-8973

Matsui, T., Itoh, T. & Fukuda, M. (2011) Small GTPase Rab12 regulates constitutive degradation of transferrin receptor. Traffic 12, 1432-1443

Itoh, T., Kanno, E., Uemura, T., Waguri, S. & Fukuda, M. (2011) OATL1, a novel autophagosome-resident Rab33B-GAP, regulates autophagosomal maturation. J. Cell Biol. 192, 839-853

Tamura, K., Ohbayashi, N., Ishibashi, K. & Fukuda, M. (2011) Structure-function analysis of VPS9-ankyrin-repeat protein (Varp) in the trafficking of tyrosinase-related protein 1 in melanocytes. J. Biol. Chem. 286, 7507-7521

Kanno, E., Ishibashi, K., Kobayashi, H., Matsui, T., Ohbayashi, N. & Fukuda, M. (2010) Comprehensive screening for novel Rab-binding proteins by GST pull-down assay using 60 different mammalian Rabs. Traffic 11, 491-507

Tamura, K., Ohbayashi, N., Maruta, Y., Kanno, E., Itoh, T. & Fukuda, M. (2009) Varp is a novel Rab32/38-binding protein that regulates Tyrp1 trafficking in melanocytes. Mol. Biol. Cell 20, 2900-2908

Fukuda, M., Kanno, E., Ishibashi, K. & Itoh, T. (2008) Large scale screening for novel Rab effectors reveals unexpected broad Rab binding specificity. Mol. Cell. Proteomics 7, 1031-1042

Itoh, T., Fujita, N., Kanno, E., Yamamoto, A., Yoshimori, T. & Fukuda, M. (2008) Golgi-resident small GTPase Rab33B interacts with Atg16L and modulates autophagosome formation. Mol. Biol. Cell 19, 2916-2925

Yu, E., Kanno, E., Choi, S., Sugimori, M., Moreira, J. E., Llinas, R. R. & Fukuda, M. (2008) Role of Rab27 in synaptic transmission at the squid giant synapse. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105, 16003-16008

Please see for other publications.


Japanese Biochemical Society, Molecular Biology Society of Japan, Japan Society for Cell Biology, Japan Neuroscience Society, Japanese Society for Pigment Cell Research, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, American Society for Cell Biology


Life Science A-C (General Education),
Molecular cell biology I (Undergraduate),
Advanced Cell Biology I-IV (Graduate School), etc.


Our bodies are made up of several tens of trillions of cells, which individually are considered to be the fundamental units of life. Various small organs, covered in membranes and called organelles, exist inside cells. Although these organelles possess unique functions, they do not exist independently of each other, but rather frequently exchange information by transport of membrane-wrapped substances (generally called membrane trafficking). Because defects in appropriate membrane trafficking causes a variety of human diseases, understanding the molecular mechanisms behind membrane trafficking is an important research challenge in biology and medical science. The existence of “traffic controllers” is important for the regulation of membrane trafficking, and in our laboratory we focus on the Rab protein, which acts as a traffic controller, to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying membrane trafficking. Although various kinds of membrane trafficking occur inside cells, in our laboratory we are particularly interested in autophagy, neuron-specific membrane trafficking such as the release of neurotransmitters, in addition to melanosome transport in melanocytes; and we are engaged in revealing the molecular mechanisms behind them.

fukuda image1


Biology remains an academic field, which is not fully established. Although our understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind biological phenomena has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years due to the development of molecular biology, there still remains a mountain of information that we have not yet discovered. In other words, there are enormous opportunities for young people aspiring to engage in life sciences research in the future. Why not explore the mysteries of life together with us?