Jun GOJOBORI Lecturer
Physical Anthropology, Molecular Evolution, Population Genetics
How our species, Homo sapiens, emerged? To address this question, I take two approaches. One is “to understand the evolution of human specific traits”. The other is “to understand the demographic history of human after they appeared in Africa”. I study Molecular Evolution and Population Genetics to understand these processes of human evolution at DNA level. One of the current targets is tandem repeat of single amino acids, which is called as homopolymeric amino acid repeat. It is known that unusual length of this repeat causes genetic diseases, which affect central nervous systems and skeletogenesis. These kinds of diseases related to human specific traits such as large brain size or bipedal locomotion. I expect that the evolution of homopolymeric amino acid repeats can be a key to understand human evolution. And there are many projects aim to find markers or genes that are responsible for human genetic disease. As a consequence of these projects, massive amount of human SNP data or human genetic variation data are produced. I apply these medical data to human evolutionary study and try to connect medical and evolutional researches.
My interest is not only limited to human evolution but also includes evolution of primates, mammals and vertebrates.
Papers and publications
- Mizuno F, Gojobori J et al. (2014) Complete mitogenome analysis of indigenous populations in Mexico: its relevance for the origin of Mesoamericans. J Hum Genet 59: 359–367.
- Gojobori J. (2012) A commentary on the history of human populations in the Japanese Archipelago inferred from genome-wide SNP data with a special reference to the Ainu and the Ryukyuan populations. J Hum Genet 57, 753–754.
- Yamamichi M, Gojobori J, Innan H. (2012) An autosomal analysis gives no genetic evidence for complex speciation of humans and chimpanzees. Mol Biol Evol 29, 145–156.
- Kurosaki T, Gojobori J, Ueda S. (2012) Comparative genetics of the poly-Q tract of ataxin-1 and its binding protein PQBP-1. Biochem Genet 50: 309–317.
- Gojobori J and Ueda S. (2011) Elevated evolutionary rate in genes with homopolymeric amino acid repeats constituting nondisordered structure. Mol Biol Evol 28:543-550.
- Gojobori J and Innan H. (2009) Potential of fish opsin gene duplications to evolve new adaptive functions. Trends Genet 25:198-202.
- Gojobori J, Tang H, Akey JM, Wu CI. (2007) Adaptive evolution in humans revealed by the negative correlation between the polymorphism and fixation phases of evolution. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:3907-3912