FY2020 Annual Report

Membranology Unit
Assistant Professor Keiko Kono


FY2020 was an unusual year. Due to the COVID-19, we closed the lab for a month. Nonetheless, we deposited one paper in bioRxiv. We welcomed one postdoc and three Ph.D. students; one postdoc departed. We also hosted four rotation students and one intern student.

1. Staff

  • Dr. Yohsuke Moriyama, Science and Technology Associate
  • Dr. Yumiko Masukagami, Postdoc
  • Dr. Shinju Sugiyama, Postdoc
  • Dr. Nurhanani Binti Razali, Postdoc
  • Ms. Yuri Matsui, Technician
  • Mr. Hunter Barbee, Ph.D. Student
  • Ms. Yatzu Chiu, Ph.D. Student
  • Mr. Kojiro Suda, Ph.D. Student
  • Mr. Jan Grašič, Ph.D. Student
  • Ms. Claire Hoa Levitt, Research Intern
  • Ms. Hitomi Ohtaki, Research Unit Administrator


  • Ms. Aisulu Maipas (Ph.D. Student@ Yamamoto Unit)
  • Ms. Sara Abdelaal (Ph.D. Student@ Terenzio Unit)
  • Mr. Masato Hirota (Ph.D. Student@ Ishikawa Unit)

2. Collaborations

2.1  Mechanisms and Consequences of Plasma Membrane Damage

  • Type of collaboration: Joint research
  • Researchers:
    • Dr. Takeshi Maruyama, TWIns, Waseda University
    • Dr. Kazuo Takayama, CiRA, Kyoto University

2.2 Plasma Membrane Damage Response in Naked Mole Rat

  • Type of collaboration: Joint research
  • Researchers:
    • Dr. Kyoko Miura, Kumamoto University

2.3  Chemical and Optogenetic Manipulation of Plasma Membrane

  • Type of collaboration: Joint research
  • Researchers:
    • Dr. Tatsuyuki Yoshii, Nagoya Institute of Technology

3. Activities and Findings

Using yeast, human normal fibroblasts, human cancer cells, and mice, we have investigated various cellular responses after plasma membrane damage. We have found that (1) normal cells and cancer cells respond to plasma membrane damage in different modes, and (2) multiple cellular responses are triggerd after plasma membrane damage. 

4. Publications

4.1 Journals

  1. Preprint (bioRxiv) “Plasma membrane damage limits replicative lifespan in yeast and human fibroblasts” Kono K #, Johmura Y, Moriyama Y, Masukagami Y, Nishimura K, Barbee H, Takase H, Sugiyama S, Sato Y, Higashiyama T, Nakanishi M#, #: Co-corresponding authors.
  2. "Mechanisms and consequences of plasma membrane damage response" Kono K. Journal of Biological Engineering. 98, 4:181-182. Review. Japanese. 

4.2 Books and other one-time publications

Nothing to report

4.3 Oral and Poster Presentations

  1. Kono K. “Down-regulating cortical tension ensures timely chromosome segregation” (2020 June) The 72nd Annual Meeting of the Japan Society for Cell Biology, Online, Symposium
  2. Kono K. “Mechanisms and Consequences of Plasma membrane damage” (2020 June) International Workshop on Mitochondrial Science, Osaka U, International Workshop, Cancelled due to COVID-19
  3. Kono K. “Mechanisms and Consequences of Plasma membrane damage” (2021 Jan) TWIns Life Science Top Runner’s Seminar, Waseda U, Online, Invited Seminar
  4. Kono K. “The lipid functions during cellular senescence revealed by optogenetics” The 8th JST-PRESTO Optogenetics Meeting, Online, Aug 24-25, 2020
  5. Kono K, “The lipid functions during cellular senescence revealed by optogenetics, The 9th JST-PRESTO Optogenetics Meeting, Online, Jan 6-8, 2021


5. Intellectual Property Rights and Other Specific Achievements

Nothing to report

6. Meetings and Events

Nothing to report

7. Other

Nothing to report