BDR researchers coming from diverse research fields are working together to achieve higher goals.

Seminars & Symposia

Seminars & Symposia

BDR hosts annual symposium and regular seminars inviting international scientists in life science.

Careers & Study

Careers & Study

BDR embraces people from diverse backgrounds, and strives to create an open and supportive setting for research.



BDR communicates the appeal and significance of our research to society through the use of various media and activities.



From research, events, people and everything in between, find out what’s going on at RIKEN BDR.

About Us

About Us

Exploring the scientific foundations of life through interdisciplinary approaches to address society’s problems.

Photo of Team leder, Shigenobu Yonemura

Team Leader
Shigenobu Yonemura Ph.D.

Laboratory for Ultrastructural Research

LocationKobe / Developmental Biology Buildings


Please replace [at] with @.

We obtain and analyze ultrastructural information of cells and tissues by utilizing electron microscopy for elucidation of principles of life towards applied research.

This research team analyzes detailed morphological information in various researches of the life science field, which is acquired through ultrastructural techniques using transmission and scanning electron microscopy. In collaboration with many laboratories including within RIKEN, we have accumulated a large amount of experiences to improve methods for better morphology.

Research Theme

  • Regulation of adherens junction remodellig by forces using alpha-catenin as a mechanotransducer.
  • Molecular mechanism of perception of dead cells and signaling of wound closure in cell sheets.
  • Role of force generated by myosin II on establishment of epithelial polarity.

Selected Publications

Ando T, Sekine S, Inagaki S, et al.
Nanopore Formation in the Cuticle of an Insect Olfactory Sensillum.
Current biology : CB 29(9), 1512-1520 (2019) doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.03.043

Maki K, Han SW, Hirano Y, et al.
Real-time TIRF observation of vinculin recruitment to stretched α-catenin by AFM.
Scientific Report. 8(1), 1575 (2018) doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-20115-8

Yonemura S.
Actin filament association at adherens junctions.
The journal of medical investigation : JMI 64(1.2), 14-19 (2017) doi: 10.2152/jmi.64.14

Akiyama T, Inoko A, Kaji Y, et al.
SHG-specificity of cellular Rootletin filaments enables naïve imaging with universal conservation.
Scientific Report. 7, 39967 (2017) doi: 10.1038/srep39967

Otani T, Ogura Y, Misaki K, et al.
IKKϵ inhibits PKC to promote Fascin-dependent actin bundling.
Development. 143(20), 3806-3816 (2016) doi: 10.1242/dev.138495

Maki K, Han SW, Hirano Y, et al.
Mechano-adaptive sensory mechanism of α-catenin under tension.
Scientific Report. 6, 24878 (2016) doi: 10.1038/srep24878

Shibata N, Kashima M, Ishiko T, et al.
Inheritance of a Nuclear PIWI from Pluripotent Stem Cells by Somatic Descendants Ensures Differentiation by Silencing Transposons in Planarian.
Developmental Cell. 37(3), 226-37 (2016) doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2016.04.009

Tsujioka M, Yumura S, Inouye K, et al.
Talin couples the actomyosin cortex to the plasma membrane during rear retraction and cytokinesis.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109(32), 12992-12997 (2012) doi: 10.1073/pnas.1208296109

Yonemura S.
A mechanism of mechanotransduction at the cell-cell interface: emergence of α-catenin as the center of a force-balancing mechanism for morphogenesis in multicellular organisms.
Bioessays 33(10), 732-736 (2011) doi: 10.1002/bies.201100064

Yonemura S.
Cadherin-actin interactions at adherens junctions.
Current Opinion in Cell Biology 23(5), 525-522 (2011) doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2011.07.001

Yonemura S, Wada Y, Watanabe T, et al.
alpha-Catenin as a tension transducer that induces adherens junction development.
Nature Cell Biology 12(6), 533-542 (2010) doi: 10.1038/ncb2055


Shigenobu Yonemura

Team Leader

Shigeo Hayashi

Deputy Team Leader

Kenta Onoue

Technical Staff I

Satoko Okayama

Technical Staff I