Research Interests

Multicellular organisms have intriguing capabilities to respond to environmental and physiological cues, transduce the signal as tissue-specific or cell-context dependent information and mobilize gene activities to be flexible to keep homeostasis. While many genes are involved in the process, I am interested in the mechanism how single nuclear receptor (NR) modulates pleiotropic activities. I am focusing on the action of NHR-25/NR5A in C. elegans utilizing its compact genome, feasibility of a single-cell-resolution phenotypic analysis and large-scale genetic analysis.


  • Ph.D,

    National Institute of Genetics, Mishima, Japan/University of South Bohemia, Budweis Czeck Republic

    Advisor: Dr. Susumu Hirosu/ Dr. Marek Jindra

  • Undergraduate Study,

    Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo, Japan/University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

    Advisor: Dr. Hajime Fugo/ Dr. Lynn Riddiford

  • Selected Publications

  • Ward JD, Bojanala N, Bernal T, Ashrafi K, Asahina M, Yamamoto KR (2013) Sumoylated NHR-25/NR5A Regulates Cell Fate during C. elegans Vulval Development. PLOS Genetics 9:
  • Kazumasa Hada, Masako Asahina, Hiroshi Hasegawa, Yasunori Kanaho, Frank J Slack, and Ryusuke Niwa (2010) The nuclear receptor gene nhr-25 plays multiple roles in the Caenorhabditis elegans heterochronic gene network to control the larva-to-adult transition. Developmental Biology 344: 1100ñ1109
  • Hajduskova M, Jindra M, Herman MA, Asahina M (2009) The nuclear receptor NHR-25 cooperates with the Wnt/beta-catenin asymmetry pathway to control differentiation of the T seam cell in C. elegans. Journal of Cell Science 122: 3051ñ3060
  • Asahina M, Valenta T, Silhankova M, Korinek V, Jindra M (2006) Crosstalk between a nuclear receptor and fl-catenin signaling decides cell fates in the C. elegans somatic gonad. Developmental Cell 11: 203ñ211
  • Silhankova M, Jindra M, Asahina M (2005) Nuclear receptor NHR-25 is required for cell-shape dynamics during epidermal differentiation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Journal of Cell Science 118: 223ñ232
  • W Pellis-van Berkel, M H G Verheijen, E Cuppen, M Asahina, J de Rooij, G Jansen, R H A Plasterk, J L Bos, and F J T Zwartkruis (2005) Requirement of the Caenorhabditis elegans RapGEF pxf-1 and rap-1 for epithelial integrity. Molecular Biology of the Cell 16: 106ñ116
  • Asahina M, Ishihara T, Jindra M, Kohara Y, Katsura I, et al. (2000) The conserved nuclear receptor Ftz-F1 is required for embryogenesis, moulting and reproduction in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genes Cells 5: 711ñ723
  • Hobbies

    Piano playing, Taiko (Japanese drum) drumming, B&W film photographing