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Kensuke Futai PhD

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionUMass Chan Medical School
AddressBrudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute
364 Plantation Street, LRB 706
Worcester MA 01605
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    Other Positions
    InstitutionT.H. Chan School of Medicine
    DepartmentBrudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute

    InstitutionT.H. Chan School of Medicine

    InstitutionT.H. Chan School of Medicine
    DepartmentNeuroNexus Institute

    InstitutionT.H. Chan School of Medicine

    InstitutionMorningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    DepartmentInterdisciplinary Graduate Program

    InstitutionMorningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
    DepartmentMD/PhD Program

    InstitutionMorningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

    InstitutionUMass Chan Programs, Centers and Institutes
    DepartmentBrudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute

    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    Kyushu University, Fukuoka, , JapanBSBiology
    Kyushu University, Fukuoka, , JapanMSBiology
    University of Tokyo, Tokyo, , JapanPHDNeurophysiology
    Collapse awards and honors
    2012 - 2015Whitehall Foundation

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview
    Kensuke Futai, Ph.D.

    The roles of Inhibitory neurons in neuropsychiatric diseases

    Our research is focused on investigating the relationship between the dysregulation of synaptic function and neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) by exploring the regulatory mechanism of inhibitory neurons-mediated synaptic transmission. Synapses are a specialized junction of cell-cell contacts that allow for communication between neurons. Synaptic transmission is mediated by neurotransmitters that are released from a presynaptic terminal and act on corresponding receptors on the postsynaptic dendrite. In the mammalian central nervous system, the most excitatory neurons use glutamate as a neurotransmitter while inhibitory neurons use GABA. Neuronal signal processing is mediated by the integration of both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic responses. Therefore, precise regulatory mechanisms must exist to maintain the balance of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission “E/I balance”. It is becoming increasingly clear that neuropsychiatric diseases may arise from the dysregulation of inhibitory neuronal function which leads to a change in the E/I balance. This would suggest that the restoration of inhibitory function can be a possible direction for therapeutic direction.

    How can we restore inhibitory function? To answer this question, we must understand how inhibitory neurons are activated by excitatory inputs and how the disease-related molecules dysregulate synaptic function. Unfortunately, not much is known about these important topics. Most of our knowledge on excitatory transmission for example is based on studies between two synaptically connected excitatory neurons, but our understanding of excitatory synapses on inhibitory neurons is limited.

    The first research aim for my laboratory is the characterization of excitatory synaptic transmission on inhibitory neurons. The second research aim is to investigate the roles of autism-related genes, such as neuroligin, neurexin, and Shank in excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission. We will use a multidisciplinary approach, building on our experiences in electrophysiology and molecular biology techniques to study the role of inhibitory neurons and disease-related molecules with respect to the E-I balance in the hippocampus and cortex.

    Collapse Rotation Projects

    Rotation Projects

    The Futai laboratory seeks highly motivated graduate students who have interest in the roles of risk genes of neuropsychiatric diseases, such as autism and schizophrenia, on neuronal function.Rotation students will typically work side-by-side with Kenny Futai or Postdoctoral Fellows, and give one laboratory meeting presentation at the conclusion of their rotation project.

    Rotation projects

    1. The roles of the risk genes of neuropsychiatric diseases on neuronal structure and synaptic function
    2. The roles of the scaffold molecules in synapse maturation, synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity
    3. Characterization of gultamate receptors which express in interneruon

    Collapse Post Docs

    Postdoctoral Position Available

    A postdoctoral position is available to study in this laboratory. Contact Kensuke Futai for additional details.

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
    Newest   |   Oldest   |   Most Cited   |   Most Discussed   |   Timeline   |   Field Summary   |   Plain Text
    PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Cheung A, Konno K, Imamura Y, Matsui A, Abe M, Sakimura K, Sasaoka T, Uemura T, Watanabe M, Futai K. Neurexins in serotonergic neurons regulate neuronal survival, serotonin transmission, and complex mouse behaviors. Elife. 2023 01 25; 12. PMID: 36695811.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    2. Uchigashima M, Hayashi Y, Futai K. Regulation of Presynaptic Release Machinery by Cell Adhesion Molecules. Adv Neurobiol. 2023; 33:333-356. PMID: 37615873.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    3. Uchigashima M, Cheung A, Futai K. Neuroligin-3: A Circuit-Specific Synapse Organizer That Shapes Normal Function and Autism Spectrum Disorder-Associated Dysfunction. Front Mol Neurosci. 2021; 14:749164. PMID: 34690695.
    4. Kamalova A, Futai K, Delpire E, Nakagawa T. AMPA receptor auxiliary subunit GSG1L suppresses short-term facilitation in corticothalamic synapses and determines seizure susceptibility. Cell Rep. 2021 Feb 16; 34(7):108732. PMID: 33596427.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    
    5. Uchigashima M, Konno K, Demchak E, Cheung A, Watanabe T, Keener DG, Abe M, Le T, Sakimura K, Sasaoka T, Uemura T, Imamura Kawasawa Y, Watanabe M, Futai K. Specific Neuroligin3-aNeurexin1 signaling regulates GABAergic synaptic function in mouse hippocampus. Elife. 2020 12 23; 9. PMID: 33355091.
      Citations: 14     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    6. Keener DG, Cheung A, Futai K. Single-Cell Electroporation across Different Organotypic Slice Culture of Mouse Hippocampal Excitatory and Class-Specific Inhibitory Neurons. J Vis Exp. 2020 10 06; (164). PMID: 33104060.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    7. Kamalova A, Futai K, Delpire E, Nakagawa T. AMPA Receptor Auxiliary Subunit GSG1L Suppresses Short-Term Facilitation in Corticothalamic Synapses and Determines Seizure Susceptibility. Cell Rep. 2020 07 21; 32(3):107921. PMID: 32697982.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    8. Uchigashima M, Leung M, Watanabe T, Cheung A, Le T, Pallat S, Dinis ALM, Watanabe M, Kawasawa YI, Futai K. Neuroligin3 splice isoforms shape inhibitory synaptic function in the mouse hippocampus. J Biol Chem. 2020 06 19; 295(25):8589-8595. PMID: 32381505.
      Citations: 13     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    9. Keener DG, Cheung A, Futai K. A highly efficient method for single-cell electroporation in mouse organotypic hippocampal slice culture. J Neurosci Methods. 2020 05 01; 337:108632. PMID: 32126275.
      Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    10. Uchigashima M, Cheung A, Suh J, Watanabe M, Futai K. Differential expression of neurexin genes in the mouse brain. J Comp Neurol. 2019 08 15; 527(12):1940-1965. PMID: 30761534.
      Citations: 19     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    11. Tzeng TC, Hasegawa Y, Iguchi R, Cheung A, Caffrey DR, Thatcher EJ, Mao W, Germain G, Tamburro ND, Okabe S, Heneka MT, Latz E, Futai K, Golenbock DT. Inflammasome-derived cytokine IL18 suppresses amyloid-induced seizures in Alzheimer-prone mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 09 04; 115(36):9002-9007. PMID: 30127003.
      Citations: 26     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    12. Tsantoulas C, Denk F, Signore M, Nassar MA, Futai K, McMahon SB. Mice lacking Kcns1 in peripheral neurons show increased basal and neuropathic pain sensitivity. Pain. 2018 Aug; 159(8):1641-1651. PMID: 29697531.
      Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    13. Mao W, Salzberg AC, Uchigashima M, Hasegawa Y, Hock H, Watanabe M, Akbarian S, Kawasawa YI, Futai K. Activity-Induced Regulation of Synaptic Strength through the Chromatin Reader L3mbtl1. Cell Rep. 2018 06 12; 23(11):3209-3222. PMID: 29898393.
      Citations: 14     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    14. Hasegawa Y, Mao W, Saha S, Gunner G, Kolpakova J, Martin GE, Futai K. Luciferase shRNA Presents off-Target Effects on Voltage-Gated Ion Channels in Mouse Hippocampal Pyramidal Neurons. eNeuro. 2017 Sep-Oct; 4(5). PMID: 29034317.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    15. Biswas MHU, Almeida S, Lopez-Gonzalez R, Mao W, Zhang Z, Karydas A, Geschwind MD, Biernat J, Mandelkow EM, Futai K, Miller BL, Gao FB. MMP-9 and MMP-2 Contribute to Neuronal Cell Death in iPSC Models of Frontotemporal Dementia with MAPT Mutations. Stem Cell Reports. 2016 09 13; 7(3):316-324. PMID: 27594586.
      Citations: 14     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    16. Esteves da Silva M, Adrian M, Sch?tzle P, Lipka J, Watanabe T, Cho S, Futai K, Wierenga CJ, Kapitein LC, Hoogenraad CC. Positioning of AMPA Receptor-Containing Endosomes Regulates Synapse Architecture. Cell Rep. 2015 Nov 03; 13(5):933-43. PMID: 26565907.
      Citations: 56     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    17. Shen EY, Jiang Y, Mao W, Futai K, Hock H, Akbarian S. Cognition and mood-related behaviors in L3mbtl1 null mutant mice. PLoS One. 2015; 10(4):e0121252. PMID: 25849281.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    18. Mao W, Watanabe T, Cho S, Frost JL, Truong T, Zhao X, Futai K. Shank1 regulates excitatory synaptic transmission in mouse hippocampal parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory interneurons. Eur J Neurosci. 2015 Apr; 41(8):1025-35. PMID: 25816842.
      Citations: 31     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    19. Bharadwaj R, Peter CJ, Jiang Y, Roussos P, Vogel-Ciernia A, Shen EY, Mitchell AC, Mao W, Whittle C, Dincer A, Jakovcevski M, Pothula V, Rasmussen TP, Giakoumaki SG, Bitsios P, Sherif A, Gardner PD, Ernst P, Ghose S, Sklar P, Haroutunian V, Tamminga C, Myers RH, Futai K, Wood MA, Akbarian S. Conserved higher-order chromatin regulates NMDA receptor gene expression and cognition. Neuron. 2014 Dec 03; 84(5):997-1008. PMID: 25467983.
      Citations: 47     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    20. Bharadwaj R, Jiang Y, Mao W, Jakovcevski M, Dincer A, Krueger W, Garbett K, Whittle C, Tushir JS, Liu J, Sequeira A, Vawter MP, Gardner PD, Casaccia P, Rasmussen T, Bunney WE, Mirnics K, Futai K, Akbarian S. Conserved chromosome 2q31 conformations are associated with transcriptional regulation of GAD1 GABA synthesis enzyme and altered in prefrontal cortex of subjects with schizophrenia. J Neurosci. 2013 Jul 17; 33(29):11839-51. PMID: 23864674.
      Citations: 30     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    21. Futai K, Doty CD, Baek B, Ryu J, Sheng M. Specific trans-synaptic interaction with inhibitory interneuronal neurexin underlies differential ability of neuroligins to induce functional inhibitory synapses. J Neurosci. 2013 Feb 20; 33(8):3612-23. PMID: 23426688.
      Citations: 31     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    22. Almeida S, Zhang Z, Coppola G, Mao W, Futai K, Karydas A, Geschwind MD, Tartaglia MC, Gao F, Gianni D, Sena-Esteves M, Geschwind DH, Miller BL, Farese RV, Gao FB. Induced pluripotent stem cell models of progranulin-deficient frontotemporal dementia uncover specific reversible neuronal defects. Cell Rep. 2012 Oct 25; 2(4):789-98. PMID: 23063362.
      Citations: 81     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    23. Hayashi Y, Okamoto K, Bosch M, Futai K. Roles of neuronal activity-induced gene products in Hebbian and homeostatic synaptic plasticity, tagging, and capture. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2012; 970:335-54. PMID: 22351063.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    24. Jo J, Son GH, Winters BL, Kim MJ, Whitcomb DJ, Dickinson BA, Lee YB, Futai K, Amici M, Sheng M, Collingridge GL, Cho K. Muscarinic receptors induce LTD of NMDAR EPSCs via a mechanism involving hippocalcin, AP2 and PSD-95. Nat Neurosci. 2010 Oct; 13(10):1216-24. PMID: 20852624.
      Citations: 58     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    25. Hoogenraad CC, Popa I, Futai K, Martinez-Sanchez E, Sanchez-Martinez E, Wulf PS, van Vlijmen T, Dortland BR, Oorschot V, Govers R, Monti M, Heck AJ, Sheng M, Klumperman J, Rehmann H, Jaarsma D, Kapitein LC, van der Sluijs P. Neuron specific Rab4 effector GRASP-1 coordinates membrane specialization and maturation of recycling endosomes. PLoS Biol. 2010 Jan 19; 8(1):e1000283. PMID: 20098723.
      Citations: 59     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    26. Ryu J, Futai K, Feliu M, Weinberg R, Sheng M. Constitutively active Rap2 transgenic mice display fewer dendritic spines, reduced extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling, enhanced long-term depression, and impaired spatial learning and fear extinction. J Neurosci. 2008 Aug 13; 28(33):8178-88. PMID: 18701680.
      Citations: 54     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    27. Ochiishi T, Futai K, Okamoto K, Kameyama K, Kosik KS. Regulation of AMPA receptor trafficking by delta-catenin. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2008 Dec; 39(4):499-507. PMID: 18602475.
      Citations: 16     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    28. Hung AY, Futai K, Sala C, Valtschanoff JG, Ryu J, Woodworth MA, Kidd FL, Sung CC, Miyakawa T, Bear MF, Weinberg RJ, Sheng M. Smaller dendritic spines, weaker synaptic transmission, but enhanced spatial learning in mice lacking Shank1. J Neurosci. 2008 Feb 13; 28(7):1697-708. PMID: 18272690.
      Citations: 180     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    29. Kim MJ, Futai K, Jo J, Hayashi Y, Cho K, Sheng M. Synaptic accumulation of PSD-95 and synaptic function regulated by phosphorylation of serine-295 of PSD-95. Neuron. 2007 Nov 08; 56(3):488-502. PMID: 17988632.
      Citations: 138     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    30. Futai K, Kim MJ, Hashikawa T, Scheiffele P, Sheng M, Hayashi Y. Retrograde modulation of presynaptic release probability through signaling mediated by PSD-95-neuroligin. Nat Neurosci. 2007 Feb; 10(2):186-95. PMID: 17237775.
      Citations: 158     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    31. Futai K. [Hellow, PSJ]. Nihon Seirigaku Zasshi. 2005; 67(5):183-4. PMID: 15957405.
      Citations:    Fields:    
    32. Nakagawa T, Futai K, Lashuel HA, Lo I, Okamoto K, Walz T, Hayashi Y, Sheng M. Quaternary structure, protein dynamics, and synaptic function of SAP97 controlled by L27 domain interactions. Neuron. 2004 Oct 28; 44(3):453-67. PMID: 15504326.
      Citations: 135     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    33. Sala C, Futai K, Yamamoto K, Worley PF, Hayashi Y, Sheng M. Inhibition of dendritic spine morphogenesis and synaptic transmission by activity-inducible protein Homer1a. J Neurosci. 2003 Jul 16; 23(15):6327-37. PMID: 12867517.
      Citations: 111     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
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