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


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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

Fukuda K, Shimi T, Shimura C, et al.
Epigenetic plasticity safeguards heterochromatin configuration in mammals.
Nucleic Acids Research (2023) doi: 10.1093/nar/gkad387

Onai T, Aramaki T, Takai A, et al.
Cranial cartilages: Players in the evolution of the cranium during evolution of the chordates in general and of the vertebrates in particular.
Evolution & Development 25(3), 197-208 (2023) doi: 10.1111/ede.12433

Tentaku A, Kurisu S, Sejima K, et al.
Proximal deposition of collagen IV by fibroblasts contributes to basement membrane formation by colon epithelial cells in vitro.
FEBS Journal 289(23), 7466-7485 (2022) doi: 10.1111/febs.16559

Nishimura R, Kato K, Saida M, et al.
Appropriate tension sensitivity of α-catenin ensures rounding morphogenesis of epithelial spheroids.
Cell Structure and Function 47(2), 55-73 (2022) doi: 10.1247/csf.22014

Saito H, Matsukawa-Usami F, Fujimori T, et al.
Tracheal motile cilia in mice require CAMSAP3 for the formation of central microtubule pair and coordinated beating.
Molecular Biology of the Cell 32(20), ar12 (2021) doi: 10.1091/mbc.E21-06-0303

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

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