6/21, LSBM Monday Seminar Series #9, Yusuke Hirabayashi, Roles of the ER-mitochondria contact in mammalian cells

Presenter: Yusuke Hirabayashi PhD

Title: Roles of the ER-mitochondria contact in mammalian cells
Date: June 21st (Mon.) 12PM~



Although studies in the past decades suggested that temporal and spatial regulation of the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER)-mitochondria contact are important for maintaining cellular homeostasis, the regulation and physiological roles of these contacts are still largely unknown in metazoans. This is because (1) the molecular mechanisms underlying ER-mitochondria tethering remain elusive, (2) tools to identify ER-mitochondria contacts in a specific cell type are not available. Recently, employing a multidisciplinary approach consisting of a cross-species secondary structure homology search, three-dimensional serial electron microscopy (EM) and dual color Ca2+ imaging, I identified PDZD8 as an ER-resident protein present at ER-mitochondria contacts (Hirabayashi et al. Science 2017). Functionally, We discovered that PDZD8 is a critical ER-mitochondria tethering protein in mammalian cells including neurons, where it is essential for rapid calcium transfer between the two organelles in response to physiological stimuli. Based on these findings, ER-mitochondria contacts may add another level of control to the regulation of neuronal properties. We also developed a technique to correlate fluorescent and electron microscopy with a genetically encoded tag (Hirabayashi et al., Scientific Reports, 2018).




Affiliation Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

Associate Professor




October 2018 – Associate Professor

Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo


November 2013 – September 2018 Post Doctoral Fellow/PRESTO Researcher

Franck Polleux lab, Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University


March 2013 – October 2013    Research Associate

Franck Polleux lab, Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute


April 2006 – February 2013    Research Fellow/Assistant Professor

Yukiko Gotoh Lab., Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, The University of Tokyo


March 2006       Ph. D. student

Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo  Awarded the degree of Ph.D. (Mar 23, 2006). (Supervisor: Yukiko Gotoh)


March 2001     Undergraduate student

Faculty of Engineering, University of Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan).  Awarded the degree of B.E. (Supervisor: Takuzo Aida)