Masaru Nonaka

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The first chordates appear in the fossil record at the time of the Cambrian explosion, nearly 550 million years ago. The modern ascidian tadpole represents a plausible approximation to these ancestral chordates. To illuminate the origins of chordate and vertebrates, we generated a draft of the protein-coding portion of the genome of the most studied(More)
We mapped 633 markers (488 AFLPs, 28 RAPDs, 34 IRSs, 75 ESTs, 4 STSs, and 4 phenotypic markers) for the Medaka Oryzias latipes, a teleost fish of the order Beloniformes. Linkage was determined using a reference typing DNA panel from 39 cell lines derived from backcross progeny. This panel provided unlimited DNA for the accumulation of mapping data. The(More)
Cephalochordates, urochordates, and vertebrates evolved from a common ancestor over 520 million years ago. To improve our understanding of chordate evolution and the origin of vertebrates, we intensively searched for particular genes, gene families, and conserved noncoding elements in the sequenced genome of the cephalochordate Branchiostoma floridae,(More)
Genome-wide sequence analysis in the invertebrate chordate, Ciona intestinalis, has provided a comprehensive picture of immune-related genes in an organism that occupies a key phylogenetic position in vertebrate evolution. The pivotal genes for adaptive immunity, such as the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and II genes, T-cell receptors, or(More)
The recent identification of two mannose-binding lectin-associated serine protease clones from Halocynthia roretzi, an ascidian, suggested the presence of a complement system in urochordates. To elucidate the structure and function of this possibly primitive complement system, we have isolated cDNA clones for ascidian C3 (AsC3) and purified AsC3 protein(More)
We have isolated cDNA clones encoding dihydropyrimidinase (DHPase) from human liver and its three homologues from human fetal brain. The deduced amino acid (aa) sequence of human DHPase showed 90% identity with that of rat DHPase, and the three homologues showed 57-59% aa identity with human DHPase, and 74-77% aa identity with each other. We tentatively(More)
With the advent of the Xenopus tropicalis genome project, we analyzed scaffolds containing MHC genes. On eight scaffolds encompassing 3.65 Mbp, 122 MHC genes were found of which 110 genes were annotated. Expressed sequence tag database screening showed that most of these genes are expressed. In the extended class II and class III regions the genomic(More)
MHC classical class I and class II genes have been identified in representative species from all major jawed vertebrate taxa, the oldest group being the cartilaginous fish, whereas no class I/II genes of any type have been detected in animals from older taxa. Among ectothermic vertebrate classes, studies of MHC architecture have been done in cartilaginous(More)
Teleost orthologs of the human major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-encoded genes show a dispersed distribution over several chromosomal loci. However, some of them, including the MHC class I alpha chain genes, are tightly linked to each other, forming the teleost MHC class I region. To elucidate the evolution of vertebrate MHC, we have determined the(More)
The origin of the complement system is much more ancient than that of adaptive immunity, which is only found in jawed vertebrates. Recently, complement components of the alternative and lectin pathways have been identified in jawless fishes, and even in some deuterostome invertebrates. The primitive complement system of these animals is one of the most(More)