Mikio Kato, Ph.D., Professor
Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, and Department of Biological Science, Graduate School of Science, Osaka Prefecture University.
Research in the Kato Laboratory comprises three areas. The first area involves biology of DNA conformations. By utilizing atomic force- and electron-microscopes, we had characterized the structure of intramolecular triplex DNA forming at the specific DNA sequences existing at the eukaryotic genomes. Several types of “biased” sequences have been isolated from the genomes and their conformational preferences in vitro are being examined. We are also interested in RNA secondary structures that relate to the ribozyme.
Second area of interest involves understanding the molecular phylogeny of aquatic organisms (both vertebrates and invertebrates). By sequencing and comparing genomic DNA sequences, genetic relationships among various species and among intraspecific populations can be evaluated. We have identified polymorphic microsatellites from mayfly genomes that are useful to characterize the genetic structures of subpopulations. We are currently conducting DNA barcoding of aquatic insects (mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies) inhabiting Japan and eastern Asian areas.
Third area involves understanding the biological effects of ionizing radiation. Bacterial cells treated with accelerated ions or electromagnetic radiations may have lost the potential of growth and division, but not all of physiological activities have ceased immediately after the treatments. Analyzing the physiological functions that remained after the treatments will help investigate the functional structures of machineries. We are currently focusing on the studies on bacterial motility after irradiation.
Structures and function of nucleic acids
Mikio Kato, Jun Kudoh, Nobuyoshi Shimizu. The pyrimidine/purine-biased region of the epidermal growth factor receptor gene is sensitive to S1 nuclease and may form an intramolecular triplex. Biochem. J.(London) 268, 175-180 (1990).
Mikio Kato, Chad J. McAllister, Shingo Hokabe, Nobuyoshi Shimizu, Yuri L. Lyubchenko. Structural heterogeneity of pyrimidine/purine-biased DNA sequence detected by atomic force microscopy. Eur. J. Biochem. 269, 3632-3636 (2002).
Mikio Kato, Shingo Hokabe, Shuji Itakura, Shinsei Minoshima,Yuri L. Lyubchenko, Theodor D. Gurkov, Hiroshi Okawara, Kuniaki Nagayama, Nobuyoshi Shimizu. Interarm interaction of DNA cruciform forming at a short inverted repeat sequence. Biophys. J. 87, 402-408 (2003).
Nizar El-Murr, Marie-Christine Maurel, Martina Rihova, Jacques Vergne, Guy Hervé, Mikio Kato, Kunio Kawamura. Behavior of a natural hammerhead ribozyme in aqueous solution at medium to high temperatures with high salt conditions. Naturwissenschaften 99, 372-381 (2012).
Molecular phylogenetics and DNA taxonomy
Mikio Kato, Munetaka Ozeki, Akihiko Kikuchi, Toshio Kanbe. Phylogenetic relationship and mode of evolution of yeast DNA topoisomerase II gene in the pathogenic Candida species. Gene 272, 275-281 (2001).
Kei Wakimura, Yasuhiro Takemon, Atsushi Takayanagi, Shin-ichi Ishiwata, Kozo Watanabe, Kazumi Tanida, Nobuyoshi Shimizu, Mikio Kato. Characterization of genes for histone H3, 18S rRNA, and cytochrome oxidase subunit I of East Asian mayflies (Ephemeroptera). DNA Barcodes 4, 1-25 (2016).
Sharawy Z.Z., Abbas E.M., Khafage A.R., Galal-Khallaf A., Ismail R.F., Ahmed H.O., Mohammed-Geba K., Kato M. Descriptive analysis, DNA barcoding and condition index of Penaeids (Crustacea: Decapoda) from the Egyptian Mediterranean coast. Fisheries Res. 188, 6-16 (2017).
Effects of ionizing radiation on biological function
Mikio Kato, Walter Meissl, Kenji Umezawa, Tokihiro Ikeda, Yasunori Yamazaki. Real-time observation of Escherichia coli cells under irradiation with a 2-MeV H+ microbeam. Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 193702 (2012). (*description in Japanese日本語による内容紹介)
Tatsuo Atsumi, Eriko Fujimoto, Masakazu Furuta, Mikio Kato. Effect of gamma-ray irradiation on Escherichia coli motility. Cent. Eur. J. Biol. 9, 909-914 (2014).