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KURIHARA Taiga, Ph.D. / Assistant Professor

Division of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Research Topics

1. Molecular mechanism of autism spectrum disorders (ASD)

2. Development of gene knock-in technique using CRISPR / Cas9

1. Molecular mechanism of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Genomic alterations in NRXN genes have been identified in a wide variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including ASD, schizophrenia, intellectual disability (ID), and addiction. Neurexins are a family of presynaptic single-pass transmembrane proteins that act as synaptic organizers in mammals.
2. Genome editing is a powerful technique for studying gene functions. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene knock-in has recently been applied to various cells and organisms.

Representative Publications

1. Kurihara T, Kouyama-Suzuki E, Satoga M, Li X, Badawi M, Thiha, Baig DN, Yanagawa T, Uemura T, Mori T, Tabuchi K., DNA repair protein RAD51 enhances the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knock-in efficiency in brain neurons, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 524, 621–628 (2020).

2. Mori T, Kasem EA, Suzuki-Kouyama E, Cao X, Kurihara T, Uemura T, Yanagawa T, Tabuchi K., Deficiency of calcium/calmodulin-dependent serine protein kinase (CASK) disrupts the excitatory-inhibitory balance of synapses by down-regulating GluN2B, Molecular Psychiatry, 24, 1079–1092 (2019).

3. Uemura T, Mori T, Kurihara T, Kawase S, Koike R, Satoga M, Cao X, Li X, Yanagawa T, Sakurai T, Shindo T, Tabuchi K., Fluorescent protein tagging of endogenous protein in brain neurons using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knock-in and in utero electroporation techniques, Scientific Reports, 6, 35861 (2016).

4. Kasem EA, Kurihara T, Tabuchi K., Neurexins and neuropsychiatric disorders, Neuroscience Research, 6, December (2017).