Integrative Life Sciences :
Developmental Regulation Network


Professor MATSUI Yasuhisa
Campus Seiryo campus
Laboratory Germ Cell Development
Tel +81-22-717-8571
E-mail yasuhisa.matsui.d3@tohoku.ac.jp
Website http://www2.idac.tohoku.ac.jp/dep/crcbr/
Google Scholar


While studying abroad in the U.S., I happened to become involved in research concerning the development of reproductive cells. Since that time, I have been obsessed with and spent my life absorbed in the research of the wondrous properties of reproductive cells, which possess the ability to produce an entire individual organism.

1983 Graduated, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science, University of Tokyo
1988 Completed Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Tokyo
1988-1992 Post-doctoral Fellow, School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University (U.S.A.)
1992-1998 Assistant and Assistant Professor, Research Institute of tuberculosis and Cancer,, Tohoku University
1998-2004 Laboratory Head, Osaka Medical Center for Maternal and Child Health
2004-present Current position
Selected Publications
  1. . Ota, H, Ito-Matsuoka, Y., Matsui, Y. Identification of the X-linked germ cell specific miRNAs (XmiRs) and their functions. PLoS ONE 14, e0211739 (2019).
  2. An, Y., Sekinaka, T., Tando, Y., Okamura, D., Tanaka, K., Ito-Matsuoka, Y., Takehara, A., Yaegashi, N., Matsui, Y.  Derivation of pluripotent stem cells from nascent undifferentiated teratoma. Developmental Biology 446, 43-55 (2019).
  3. Mochizuki, K., Tando, Y., Sekinaka, T., Otsuka, K., Hayashi, Y., Kobayashi, H., Kamio, A., Ito-Matsuoka, Y., Takehara, A., Kono, T., Osumi, N., Matsui, Y. SETDB1 is essential for mouse primordial germ cell fate determination by ensuring BMP signaling. Development 145, dev164160 (2018).
  4. Tatsumi, D., Hayashi, Y., Endo, M., Kobayashi, H., Yoshioka, T., Kiso, K., Kanno, S., Nakai, Y., Maeda, I., Mochizuki, K., Tachibana, M., Koseki, H., Okuda, A., Yasui, A., Kono, K., Matsui, Y. DNMTs and SETDB1 function as co-repressors in MAX-mediated repression of germ cell–related genes in mouse embryonic stem cells. PLoS ONE 13, e0205969 (2018).
  5. Otsuka, K., Takehara, A., Chiba, N., Matsui, Y. Identification of KLF9 and BCL3 as transcription factors that enhance reprogramming of primordial germ cells. PLoS ONE 13, e0205004 (2018).
  6. Mochizuki, K., Hayashi, H., Sekinaka, T., Otsuka, K., Ito-Matsuoka, Y., Kobayashi, H., Oki, S., Takehara, A., Kono, T., Osumi, N., Matsui, Y.  Repression of somatic genes by selective recruitment of HDAC3 by BLIMP1 is essential for mouse primordial germ cell fate determination. Cell Reports 24, 2682–2693 (2018).
  7. Gu, W., Mochizuki, K., Otsuka, K., Hamada, R., Takehara, A., Matsui, Y. Dnd1-mediated epigenetic control of teratoma formation in mouse. Biology Open 7, bio030106 (2018).
  8. Hayashi, Y., Otsuka, K., Ebina, M., Igarashi, K., Takehara, A., Matsumoto, M., Kanai, A., Igarashi, K., Soga, T., Matsui, Y. Distinct requirements for energy metabolism in mouse primordial germ cells and their reprogramming to embryonic germ cells.  Proceedings of National Academy of Science, USA. 114, 8286-8294 (2017).
  9. Aoki, N., Mochizuki, K., Matsui, Y. DNA Methylation of the Fthl17 5’-Upstream Region Regulates Differential Fthl17 Expression in Lung Cancer Cells and Germline Stem Cells.  PLoS ONE 12, e0172219 (2017).
Activities in Academic Societies

Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists
The Molecular Biology Society of Japan


Advanced Lecture on Mechanisms of Cellular Differentiation

Recent Activities

Reproductive cells specialize from pluripotential stem cells into primordial germ cells during the initial stage of embryonic development and then further mature into sperm and eggs. Epigenetic control plays an important role in this process via the methylation of DNA and histones. What we have learned from our recent research is that the methylation of a particular histone serves to stop the specialization of pluripotential stem cells to germ cells. In addition, we have also found out that the demethylation of DNA and the methylation of histone combine, causing the expression of specific genes in response to the stage of germ cell differfentiation.

Message to Students

Although research is a fascinating job, good results rarely appear in line with what you expected. If things do not go well, you consider this and that, consult with the people around you, and occasionally spend days trying to solve the problem. When you finally solve the problem yourself, however, it is an extremely happy feeling, and if it leads to some new result, it is like reaching the limit of ecstasy. I would like to have many people participate in our research and experience the roller coaster-like excitement.