Atsuo Sasaki

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Link to Atsuo Sasaki, Ph.D. lab's webpage:
  • Atsuo Sasaki, PhD
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine Cancer Biology
  • Academic Office:
    Vontz Center for Molecular Studies
    3125 Eden Avenue, Room 2112
    ML 0508
    Cincinnati, OH 45267
  • Phone: 513-558-5611
  • Email:

    Research/Clinical Interests:

  • The GTP-Sasaki Lab is investigating the role of GTP metabolism in human diseases. We are GTP geeks and we recently discovered the very first GTP-energy sensor kinase, as recently published inMolecular Cell. Much more high-impact work remains to be done on GTP sensor kinase and GTP-metabolism. The Sasaki Lab investigates GTP for Life with goals: To understand how cells Respond and Regulate GTP-energy levels; To apply our findings for developing new therapeutics for brain tumors and better life. 


  • Bachelor's Degree: Tokyo University of Science, 1995
  • Master's of Science Degree: Hiroshima University, 1997
  • Doctoral Degree: Kurume University School of Medicine, 2001

Peer Reviewed Publications (in chronological order):

  • Sumita, K., Lo, Y., Takeuchi, K., Senda, M., Kofuji, S., Ikeda, Y., Terakawa, J., Sasaki, M., Yoshino, H., Majd, N., Zheng, Y., Kahoud, E. R., Yokota, T., Emerling, B. M., Asara, J. M., Ishida, T., Locasale, J. W., Daikoku, T., Anastasiou, D., Senda, T., & Sasaki, A. T. (2016). The Lipid Kinase PI5P4Kbeta Is an Intracellular GTP Sensor for Metabolism and Tumorigenesis . Molecular Cell , 61 (2) , 187-98.
  • Sasaki, Atsuo T (2016). Dynamic Role of the GTP Energy Metabolism in Cancers. . The Keio Journal of Medicine , 65 (1) , 21.
  • Davis, M. I., Sasaki, A. T., & Simeonov, A. (2016). Method for Assaying the Lipid Kinase Phosphatidylinositol-5-phosphate 4-kinase alpha in Quantitative High-Throughput Screening (qHTS) Bioluminescent Format. . Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.) , 1376 , 1-9.
  • Takeuchi, K., Senda, M., Lo, Y., Kofuji, S., Ikeda, Y., Sasaki, A. T., & Senda, T. (2016). Structural reverse genetics study of the PI5P4K?-nucleotide complexes reveals the presence of the GTP bioenergetic system in mammalian cells. . The FEBS Journal.
  • Sumita, K., Yoshino, H., Sasaki, M., Majd, N., Kahoud, E. R., Takahashi, H., Takeuchi, K., Kuroda, T., Lee, S., Charest, P. G., Takeda, K., Asara, J. M., Firtel, R. A., Anastasiou, D., & Sasaki, A. T. (2014). Degradation of activated K-Ras orthologue via K-Ras-specific lysine residues is required for cytokinesis. . The Journal of Biological Chemistry , 289 (7) , 3950-9.
  • Subramani, A., Alsidawi, S., Jagannathan, S., Sumita, K., Sasaki, A. T., Aronow, B., Warnick, R. E., Lawler, S., & Driscoll, J. J. (2013). The brain microenvironment negatively regulates miRNA-768-3p to promote K-ras expression and lung cancer metastasis. . Scientific Reports , 3 , 2392.
  • Baker R, Lewis SM, Sasaki AT, Cantley LC, Kuhlman B, Dohlman HG, Campbell SL (In Press). Monoubiquitination Activates Ras by Impeding GTPase Activating Protein Function . Nat. Stru. Mol. Biol. , in press.
  • Fujimura K, Sasaki AT, Anderson P. Selenite targets elF4E-binding protein-1 to inhibit translation initiation and induce the assembly of non-canonical stress granules . Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 , Jun , 20.
  • Garcia-Cao I, Song MS, Hobbs RM, Laurent G, Giorgi C. de Boer VC, Anastasiou D, Ito K, Sasaki AT, Rameh L, Carracedo A, Vander Heiden MG, Cantley LC, Pinton P, Haigis MC, Pandolfi PP Systemic Elevation of PTEN Induces a Tumor-Suppressive Metabolic State . Cell 2012 , 149 , 49-62.
  • Anastasiou D, Poulogiannis G, Asara JM, Bellinger G, Vander Heiden MG, Sasaki AT, Locasale JW and Cantley LC Inhibition of pyruvate kinase M2 by reactive oxygen species contributes to cellular antioxidant responses . Science 2011 , 334 , 1248-83.
  • Sasaki AT, Carracedo A, Locasale JW, Anastasiou D, Takeuchi K, Kahoud ER, Haviv S, Asara JM, Pandolfi PP, Cantley LC Ubiquitination of Ras enhances activaiton and facilitates binding to PI 3-Kinase and Raf . Science Signaling. 2011 , 4 , 1-9.
  • Hanai J, Doro N, Sasaki AT, Kobayashi S, Cantley LC, Seth P, Sukhatme VP Inhibition of lung cancer growth: ATP citrate lyase knockdown and statin treatment leads to dual blockade of mitogen-actiated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphatidylinositol-3- kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathways . J. Cell Physiol. , Jun 17. (doi: 10) , 1002/jcp.22895..
  • Locasale JW, Grassian AR, Bass AJ, Heffron G, Metallo CM, Sharfi H, Sasaki AT, Anastasiou D, Vokes NI, Sasaki M, Ligon AH, Beroukhim R, Stephanopoulos G, Asara JM, Myerson M, Wagner G, Brugge JS, Cantley LC and Vander Heiden MG Amplification of phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase activity in cancer cells diverts glycolytic flux and contributes to oncogenesis . Nature Genetics 2011 , 43 , 869-74.
  • Thou P, Zheng B, Hsu CH, Sasaki AT, Cantley LC A fluorescent reporter of AMPK activity and cellular energy stress. . Cell Metabolism 2011 , 13 (4) , 476-486.
  • Wang XS, Shanker S, Dhanasekaran SM, Ateeq B, Sasaki AT, Robinson D, Cao Q, Prensner JR, Yocum AK, Pflueger D, Wang R, Jing X, Fries DF, Asangani IA, Li Y, Cao X, Kumar-Sinha C, Kahoud ER, Omenn GS, Rubin MA, Gopalan A, Reuter V, Palanisamy N, Varambally S, Cantley LC, and Chinnaiyan AM Amplification Breakpoint Assembly Identifies an Oncogenic KRAS Fusion in Prostate Cancer Cells. . Cancer Discovery , 2011 (1) , 33-41.
  • Charest PG, Shen Z, Lakoduc A, Sasaki AT, Briggs S, Firtel RA A novel Ras signaling complex controls the RasC-TORC2 pathway and directed cell migration. . Dev. Cell 2010 , 18 (737) , 479.
  • Carracedo A, Ma L, Teruya-Feldstein J, Rojo F, Salmena L, Alimonti A, Egia A, Sasaki AT, Thomas G, Kozma SC, Papa A, Nardella C, Cantley LC, Baselga J, Pandolfi PP Inhibition of mTORC1 leads to MAPK pathway activation through a PI3K-dependent feedback loop in human cancer . J. Clin Invest. 2008 , 118 , 3065-74.
  • Sasaki AT, Janetopoulos C, Lee S, Charest PG, Takeda K, Sundheimer LW, Meili R, Devreotes PN, Firtel RA. G protein-independent Ras/PI3K/F-actin circuit regulates basic cell motility. . J. Cell Biol. 2007 , 178 , 185-191.
  • Takeda K, Sasaki AT, Ha H, Seung HA, Firtel RA. Role of PI3 kinases in chemotaxis in dictyostelium. . J. Biol. Chem. 2007 , 283 , 11874-84.
  • Inagaki-Ohara K, Sasaki A, Matsuzaki G, Ikeda T, Hotokezaka M, Chijiiwa K, Kubo M, Yoshida H, Nawa Y, Yoshimura A. Suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 in lymphocytes regulates the development of intestinal inflammation in mice. . Gut 2006 , 55(2) , 212-9.
  • Lee S, Comer FI, Sasaki A, McLeod IX, Duong Y, Okumura K, Yates JR, Parent CA, Firtel RA TOR complex 2 integrates cell movement during chemotaxis and signal relay in Dictyostelium. . Mol Biol Cell 2005 , 16(10) , 4572-83.
  • Taketomi T, Yoshiga D, Taniguchi K, Kobayashi T, Nonami A, Kato R, Sasaki M, Sasaki A, Ishibashi H, Moriyama M, Nakamura K, Nishimura J, Yoshimura A. Loss of mammalian Sproty2 leads to enteric neuronal hyperplasia and esophageal achalasia. . Nat Neurosci. 205 , 8(7) , 855-7.
  • Kuriyama M, Taniguchi T, Shirai Y, Sasaki A, Yoshimura A, Saito N. Activation and translocation of PKCdelta is necessry for VEGF-induced ERK activation through KDR in HEK293T cells. . Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 , 325(3) , 843-51.
  • Sasaki AT, Chun C, Takeda K, Firtel RA, Localized Ras signaling at the leading edge regulates Pl3K, cell polarity, and directional cell movement. . J Cell Biol. , 2004; 167(3): , 505-18.
  • Nonami A, Kato R, Taniguchi K, Yashiga D, Taketomi T, Fukuyama S, Harada M, Sasaki A, Yoshimura A. Spred-1 negatively regulates interleukin-3-mediated ERK/mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase activation in hematopoietic cells. . J Biol Chem , 2004;279(50): , 52543-51.
  • Inagaki-Ohara K, Chinen T, Matsuzaki G, Sasaki A, Sakamoto Y, Hiromatsu K, Nakamura-Uchiyama F, Nawa Y, Yoshimura A. Mucosal T cells bearing TCRgammadelta play a protective role in intestinal inflammation. . J Immunol. , 2004;173(2): , 1390-8.
  • Endo T, Sasaki A, Minoguchi M. Joo A, Yoshimura A. CIS1 interacts with the Y532 of the prolactin receptor and suppresses prolactin-dependent STAT5 activation. . J Biochem (Tokyo). , 2003; 133(1): , 109-13.
  • Sasaki A, Taketomi T, Kato R, Saeki K, Nonami A, Sasaki M, Kuriyama M, aito N, Shibuya M, Yoshimure A. Mammalian Sprouty4 suppresses Ras-independent ERK activation by binding to Raf1. . Nat Cell Biol. , 2003;5(5): , 427-32..
  • Sasaki A, Inagaki-Ohara K, Yoshida T, Yamanaka A, Sasaki M, Yasukawa H, Koromilas AE, Yoshimura A. The N-terminal tuncated isoform of SOCS3 translated from an alternative initiation AUG condon under stress conditions is stable due to the lack of a major ubiquitination site, Lys-6. . J Biol Chem , 2003;278(4): , 2432-6..
  • Lehmann U, Schmitz , Weissenbach M, Sobota RM, Hortner M, Friederichs K, Behrmann I, Tsiaris W. Sasaki A, Schneider-Mergener J, Yoshimura A, Neel BG, Heinrich PC, Schaper F. SHP2 and SOCS3 contribute to Tyr-759-dependent attenuation of interleukin-6 signaling through gp 130. . J Biol Chem , 2003;278(1): , 661-71.
  • Sasaki A, Taketomi T, Wakioka T, Kato R, Yoshimura A. Identification of a dominant negative mutant of Sprouty that potentiates fibroblast growth factor- but not epidermal growth factor-induced ERK activation. . J Biol Chem. , 2001;26(39): , 36804-8..
  • *Wakioka T, *Sasaki A, Kato R, Shouda T, Matsumoto A, Miyoshi K, Tsuneoka M, Komiya S, Baron R, Yoshimura A. Spred is a Sprouty-related suppressor of Ras signaling . Nature. , 2001;412(6847): , 647-51.
  • Sporri B, Kovanen PE, Sasaki A, Yoshimura A, Leonard WJ. JAB/SOCS1/SSI-1 is an interleukin-2-induced inhibitor of IL-2 signaling. . Blood. , 2001;97(1): , 221-6..
  • Sasaki A, Yasukawa H, Shouda T, Kitamura T, Dikic I, Yoshimura A. CIS3/SOCS-3 suppresses erythropoietin (EPO) signaling the EPO receptor and JAK2. . J Biol Chem. , 2000;275(38): , 29338-47..
  • Aman MJ, Migone TS, Sasaki A, Ascherman DP, Zhu M, Soldaini E, Imada K, Miyajima A, Yoshimura A, Leonard WJ. CIS associates with the interleukin-2 receptor beta chain and inhibits interleukin-2-dependent signaling. . J Biol Chem. , 1999;274(42): , 30266-72..
  • Marine JC, McKay C, Wang D, Topham DJ, Parganas E, Nakajima H. Pendeville H, Yasukawa H, Sasaki A, Yoshimura A, Ihle JN. SOCS3 is essential in the regulation of fetal liver erythropoiesis . Cell. , 1999;98(5): , 617-27..
  • Sasaki A, Yasukawa H, Suzuki A, Kamizono S, Syoda T, Kinjyo I, Sasaki M, Johnston JA, Yoshimura A. Cytokine-inducible SH2 protein-3 (CIS3/SOCS3) inhibits Janus tyrosine kinase by binding through the N-terminal kinase inhibitory region as well as SH2 domain . Genes Cells. , 1999;4(6): , 339-51..
  • Wakioka T, Sasaki A, Mitsui K, Yokouchi M, Inoue A, Komiya S, Yoshimura A. AAPS, an adaptor protein containing Pleckstrin homology (PH) and Src homology-2 (SH2) domains inhibits the JAK-STAT pathway in collaboration with c-Cbl . Leukemia. , 1999;13(5): , 760-7..
  • Yasukawa H, Misawa H, Sakamoto H, Masuhara M, Sasaki A, Wakioka T, Ohtsuka S, Imaizumi T, Matsuda T, Ihle JN, Yoshimura A. The JAK-binding protein JAB inhibits Janus tyrosine kinase activity through binding in the activatgion loop . EMBO J. , 1999;18(5): , 1309-20..
  • Yokouchi M, Wakioka T, Sakamoto H, Yasukawa H, Ohtsuka S, Sasaki A, Ohtsubo M, Valius M, Inoue A, Komiya S, Yoshimura A. APS, an adaptor protein containing PH and SH2 domains, is associted with the PDGF receptor and c-Cbl and inhibits PDGF-induced mitogenesis . Oncogene. , 1999;18(3): , 759-67..
  • Suzuki R, Sakamoto H, Yasukawa H, Masuhara M, Wakioka T, Sasaki A, Yuge K, Komiya S, Inoue A, Yashimura A. CIS3 and JAB have different regulatory roles in interleukin-6 mediated differentiation and STAT3 activation n M1 leukemia cells . Oncogene. , 1988;17(17): , 2271-8..
  • Sakamoto H, Yasukawa H, Masuhara M, Tanimura S, Sasaki A, Yuge K, Ohtsubo M, Ohtsuka A, Fujita T, Ohta T, Furukawa Y, Iwase S, Yamada H, Yoshimura A. A Janus kinase inhibitor, JAB, is an interferon-gamma-inducible gene and confers resistance to interferons . Blood. , 1998;92(5): , 1668-76..
  • Masuhara M, Sakamoto H, Matsumoto A, Suzuki R, Yasukawa H, Mitsui K, Wakioka T, Tanimura S, Sasaki A, MisawaH, Yokouchi M, Ohtsubo M, Yoshimura A. Cloning and characterization of novel CIS family genes . Biochem Biophys Res Commun. , 1997;239(2): , 4_39-46.
  • Matsumoto, T., Ishio, T., Sasaki, A., Aramaki, M., Bandoh, T., Kawano, K., Yoshida, T., & Kitano, S. Pancreatic resection with ultrasonically activated scalpel: preliminary observations. . Hepato-gastroenterology , 49 (45) , 635-8.

Book Chapter:

  • Sasaki AT (2012). (In Press). How mTORC1 tastes animo acid, leucine. , JIKKEN-IGAKU, (Experimental Medicine).
  • Sasaki AT, Firtel RA. Spatiotemporal Regulation of Ras-GTPases during chemotaxis, , Methods, Mol. Bol. 2009:571 (pp. 333-348)). .
  • Sasaki AT, Firtel RA. Regulation of chemotaxis by the orchestrated activation of Ras, PI3K, and TOR. , Eur. J. Cell Biol.2006;85(9-10) (pp. 873-95)). .
  • Sasaki AT, Firtei RA. Mechanism of directional sensing and leading edge formation during chemotaxis , JIKKEN-IGAKU, (Experimental Medicine) 2006;24: (pp. 1930-1936)). .
  • Meili R, Sasaki AT, Firtel RA. Rho Rocks PTEN , Nat Cell Biol. 2005;7(4): (pp. 334-335)). .
  • Sasaki AT, Firtel RA. Finding the way: directional sensing and cell polarization through Ras signalling. , Novartis Found Symp. 2005;269: (pp. 73-87)). .
  • SasakiA, Taketomi T, Kato R, Seaki K, Nonami A, Sasaki M, Kuriyama M, Saito N. Shibuya M, Yoshimura A. Mammalian Sprouty4 suppresses Ras-independent ERK activation by binding to Raf1 , Cell Cycle. 2003;2(4): (pp. 281-282)). .
  • Sasaki A, Endo T, Yoshimura A. Analysis of tyrosine kinase signaling by yeast Tri-hybrid system , JIKKEN-IGAKU, (Experimental Medicine): Close Up the Methods. 2002; (pp. 125-129)). .
  • Wakioka T, Sasaki A, Kato R, Yoshimura A. Spred and Spouty, negative feed-back regulators for the Ras/MAP kinase pathway , JIKKEN-IGAKU, (Experimental Medicine) 2001; 19: (pp. 2194-2197)). .
  • Wakioka T, Sasaki A, Kato R, Yoshimura A. Spred and Sprouty, negative feed-back regulators for the Ras/MAP kinase pathway , SAIBO-KOGAKU (Cell Biology) 2001;20: (pp. 1328-1330)). .
  • Endo T, Sasaki A, Yoshimura, A. Application of yeast Tri-hybrid system , Cellular Molecular Medicine 200; 1: (pp. 282-285)). .
  • Yasukawa H, Sasaki A, Yoshimura A. Negative regulation of cytokine signaling pathways. Annu Rev Immunol. 2000;18: (pp. 143-64)). .
  • Sasaki A, Endo T, Yoshimura A. Analysis of tyrosin kinase signaling by yeast Tri-hybrid system , JIKKEN-IGAKU, (Experimental Medicine) 1999;17: (pp. 2579-2583)). .
  • Yoshimura A, Sasaki A, Kinjyo I, Suzuki A. Mechanisms of Negative regulation of Cytokine Signaling , SAISHIN IGAKU 1999;54: (pp. 166-177)). .
  • Sakamoto H, Suzuki R, Yasukawa H, Sasaki A, Yoshimura A. , RINSHO MENEKI 1998;30: (pp. 478-486)). .
  • Sakamoto H, Sasaki A, Yoshimura A. Regulation of cytokine signaling by CIS family , JIKKEN-IGAKU, (Experimental Medicine) 1998; 16: (pp. 472-479)). .

    Research Grants:

  • 1R03MH096575-01 NIH - Grant, PI, Active.
  • Kanae Foundation for Life and Medical Science, PI, Completed.
  • Takeda Science Foundation, PI, Completed.
  • Welfide Medicinal Research Foundation, PI, Completed.
  • Uehara Memorial Foundation, PI, Completed.
  • R03 MH096575 National Institute of Mental Health. Chemical Probes that Modulate a Stress Pathway Phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphate 4-kinase Activity, PI, Active.
  • Industry Sponsored Research Agreement DAIICHI SANKYO CO., LTD.. Validation of SSK1 as a new cancer drug target , PI, Active.
  • ABTA Discovery Grant American Brain Tumor Association. American Brain Tumor Assoc. , PI, Awarded.
  • 1R01NS089815-01 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Targeting the Novel PI5P4K Pathway to Induce Glioblastoma Senescence, PI, Awarded.
  • R21NS100077 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Synthetic Lethal Combination of KRP203/Fingolimod with PI3K signaling for glioblastoma multiforme death by catastrophic vacuolization , PI, Active.

Recent Awards/Honors:

  • Genentech Foundation Fellowship, 2006,2012
  • Japan Society for Promotion of Science Fellowship to Study Abroad, 2004,2006
  • Japan Society for Promotion of Science Research Fellowship for Postdoc, 2001,2004
  • Japan Society for Promotion of Science Fellowship for Ph.D. student, 1999,2001
  • Best Presentation award: General Promotioin of Cancer Research, 2001