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Yoshizumi Ishino

Y. Ishino.jpgProfessor / Molecular Biosciences
Bioscience & Bioitechnology
Faculty of Agriculture
Kyushu University Japan

Yoshizumi Ishino graduated from the faculty of Pharmaceutical Science, Osaka University, Japan, with a B. S. (1981) and M. S. (1983). His research was on structure and function of restriction endonucleases.  He received his PhD in 1986 based on his research on the E. coli DNA ligase at the Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University.  Yoshi later did a postdoc with Prof. Dieter Söll at Yale University, USA (1987-1989) conducting research on translation-related enzymes. He returned to Japan to join the Bioproducts Development Center of Takara Shuzo, Japan, where he rose to senior research scientist in the Biotechnology Research Laboratories. Dr. Ishino later joined the Biomolecular Engineering Research Institute (BERI), a national project funded by the Japanese Government (METI) and 18 major companies in the Biotechnology field. At BERI, he managed a research group on nucleic acids-related enzymes.  In 2002, he was appointed a full professor of protein chemistry and engineering in the Department of Genetic Resources Technology, Kyushu University.  Yoshi started his research on DNA replication in Archaea, the third domain of life, in 1990.  He cloned the gene encoding a family B DNA polymerase from the hyperthermophilic archaeon, Pyrococcus furiosus.  Furthermore, he identified two family B DNA polymerase genes in Pyrodictium occultum; but more interestingly, he discovered an archaea specific DNA polymerase from P. furiosus.  This enzyme was designated PolD and a new family (family D) was proposed for this new DNA polymerase after it was found that it is conserved in Euryarchaeota.  Yoshi expanded his research area to recombinational repair in Archaea after 1996. In this field, he discovered an archaea-specific Holliday junction resolvase named Hjc and later also discovered a novel enzyme from P. furiosus which he named Hef (helicase-associated endonuclease for fork structured DNA).  It is interesting that the human ortholog of the archaeal Hef is FANCM, which is implicated in the genetic disease Fanconi Anemia.   Currently, Yoshi focuses his research not only on enzymes of DNA replication and recombinational repair in archaea, but also on their evolutionary relationships with counterpart proteins in the eukaryotic domain.