Shigetoshi Sano (Dermatology)

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Shigetoshi Sano, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor & Chair, Department of Dermatology
Kochi Medical School, Kochi University

Welcome to Kochi

Our city Nankoku, Kochi is on the south of the Shikoku Island, and happily by the Pacific Ocean. A famous hero, Ryoma Sakamoto, came from our city and was a leader of the movement to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate during Bakumatsu period around 1850 in Japan. Like Ryoma, I would like to be a hero in Dermatological Bakumatsu Period in the beginning of 21th century, with enthusiasm for innovation in the Dermatological Science.
In 2007, I was invited to join the faculty of the Kochi Medical School (KMS) in Kochi University as Professor and Chair of the Department of Dermatology, as a successor of Dr. Jiro Arata (1978-1986) and Dr. Hajime Kodama (1986-2006). I divided my time among clinical, teaching, research, and administrative responsibilities at KMS.

Kochi map


As a native of Nishinomiya, the home of a baseball team, the Hanshin Tigers, I grew up with them. After earning the medical degree from the Medical School of Ehime University, I performed my residency training at Department of Dermatology in Osaka University School Hospital. In 1988, I received Ph.D. degree in Immunology in Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine in Toshiyuki Hamaoka’s lab. From 1988 to 1992, I was a postdoctoral fellow in Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, at Barry R. Bloom’s lab, where we made a great discovery that human gamma-delta T cells recognize small, non-peptide ligands, phosphate compounds (PNAS, 91:8175, 1994). From 1992 to 1994, I was a Clinical Director in Department of Dermatology at Sakai Municipal Hospital, Osaka. From 1994 to 2007, I was in Department of Dermatology, Osaka Graduate School of Medicine, as an Assistant Professor (1994-2006) and an Associate Professor (2006-2007). During the periods, I was additionally appointed to a visiting professorship in Department of Carcinogenesis, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, in Smithville, Texas, working with Professor John DiGiovanni (2003-2004), where we established a novel psoriasis model mouse. From 2004 to 2006, I was assigned as a Clinical Director of Dermatology, Sumitomo Hospital, Osaka (2004-2006). I was received the Minami Award (Award for Japanese Dermatological Association) in 2000, the Galderma Award in 2001, the Psoriasis Research Award in USA (Eugene Farber Award) in 2005, and the Award of Japanese Society of Investigative Dermatology in 2006.
Since I was appointed to professorship in KMS in 2007, I have served on the Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology Board membership, and the Japanese Society for Psoriasis Research Board membership.

Clinical and Research Interests

My clinical interests focus on immunodermatology, psoriasis, collagen diseases, and non-melanoma cancer, continuing to enhance the clinical and educational missions while also integrating its research endeavors more tightly. Current ongoing research projects are follows; Innate immunity and adaptive immunity in psoriasis using psoriasis mouse model: The role for ceramide in barrier function linked to skin inflammation: SLE for TLR signaling: Gene modification maneuver for progressive skin cancer: The gene contributing to collagenogenesis, and its use for future treatment of scleroderma.

Selected Publications

Involvement of TNF-α converting enzyme in the development of psoriasis-like lesions in a mouse model.
Sato K, Takaishi M, Tokuoka S, Sano S.
PLoS One. 2014 Nov 10;9(11):e112408.
Epicutaneous application of Toll-like receptor 7 agonists leads to systemic autoimmunity in wild-type mice: A new model of SLE.
Yokogawa M, Takaishi M, Nakajima K, Kamijima R, Fujimoto C, Kataoka S, Terada Y, Sano S.
Arthritis Rheumatol. 2014 Mar;66(3):694-706.
Psoriasis-like skin lesions are dependent on IL-23 but develop in the absence of IL-22 in a model mouse.
Takaishi M, Nakajima K, Ouyang W, Sano S.
J Dermatol Sci. 2014 Mar;73(3):261-4.
Cathepsin K is involved in development of psoriasis-like skin lesions through Toll-like receptor-dependent Th17 activation.
Hirai T, Kanda T, Sato K, Takaishi M, Nakajima K, Yamamoto M, Kamijima R, DiGiovanni J, Sano S.
J Immunol. 2013 May 1;190(9):4805-11.
Barrier abnormality due to ceramide deficiency leads to psoriasiform inflammation in a mouse model.
Nakajima K, Terao M, Takaishi M, Kataoka S, Goto-Inoue N, Setou M, Horie K, Sakamoto F, Ito M, Azukizawa H, Kitaba S, Murota H, Itami S, Katayama I, Takeda J, Sano S.
J Invest Dermatol. 2013 Nov;133(11):2555-65.
Clear association between serum levels of adipokines and T-helper 17-related cytokines in patients with psoriasis
Nakajima H, Nakajima K, Tarutani M, Sano S.
Clin Exp Dermatol. 2013 Jan;38(1):66-70.
Topical tacrolimus treatment does not facilitate photocarcinogenesis in cancer-prone mice.
Shiga T, Yokogawa M, Nakajima K, Kitagawa C, Tarutani M, Kumagai N, Sano S.
J Dermatol Sci. 2012 Nov;68(2):112-5
Imaging mass spectrometry visualizes ceramides and the pathogenesis of dorfman-chanarin syndrome due to ceramide metabolic abnormality in the skin.
Goto-Inoue N, Hayasaka T, Zaima N, Nakajima K, Holleran WM, Sano S, Uchida Y, Setou M.
PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e49519.
GPHR-dependent functions of the Golgi apparatus are essential for the formation of lamellar granules and the skin barrier.
Tarutani M, Nakajima K, Uchida Y, Takaishi M, Goto-Inoue N, Ikawa M, Setou M, Kinoshita T, Elias PM, Sano S, Maeda Y.
J Invest Dermatol. 2012 Aug;132(8):2019-25.
Imiquimod attenuates the growth of UVB-induced SCC in mice through Th1/Th17 cells.
Yokogawa M, Takaishi M, Nakajima K, Kamijima R, DiGiovanni J, Sano S. Mol Carcinog.
2012 Mar 16. doi:10.1002/mc.21901.
Attenuation of psoriasis-like skin lesion in a mouse model by topical treatment with indirubin and its derivative E804.
Miyoshi K, Takaishi M, DiGiovanni J, Sano S.
J Dermatol Sci. 2012 Jan; 65(1):70-2.
(18)FDG PET/CT is a powerful tool for detecting subclinical arthritis in patients with psoriatic arthritis and/or psoriasis vulgaris.
Takata T, Taniguchi Y, Ohnishi T, Kohsaki S, Nogami M, Nakajima H, Kumon Y, Terada Y, Ogawa Y, Tarutani M, Sano S.
J Dermatol Sci. 2011 Nov;64(2):144-7.
Kinetics of circulating Th17 cytokines and adipokines in psoriasis patients.
Nakajima H, Nakajima K, Tarutani M, Morishige R, Sano S.
Arch Dermatol Res. 2011 Aug;303(6):451-5.
Genome-wide expression profiling of five mouse models identifies similarities and differences with human psoriasis.
Swindell WR, Johnston A, Carbajal S, Han G, Wohn C, Lu J, Xing X, Nair RP, Voorhees JJ, Elder JT, Wang XJ, Sano S, Prens EP, DiGiovanni J, Pittelkow MR, Ward NL, Gudjonsson JE.
PLoS One. 2011 Apr 4;6(4):e18266.
Distinct roles of IL-23 and IL-17 in the development of psoriasis-like lesions in a mouse model.
Nakajima K, Kanda T, Takaishi M, Shiga T, Miyoshi K, Nakajima H, Kamijima R, Tarutani M, Benson JM, Elloso MM, Gutshall LL, Naso MF, Iwakura Y, DiGiovanni J, Sano S.
J Immunol. 2011 Apr 1;186(7):4481-9
Stat3 as a therapeutic target for the treatment of psoriasis: a clinical feasibility study with STA-21, a Stat3 inhibitor.
Miyoshi K, Takaishi M, Nakajima K, Ikeda M, Kanda T, Tarutani M, Iiyama T, Asao N, DiGiovanni J, Sano S.
J Invest Dermatol. 2011 Jan;131(1):108-17
Circulating level of chemerin is upregulated in psoriasis.
Nakajima H, Nakajima K, Nagano Y, Yamamoto M, Tarutani M, Takahashi M, Takahashi Y, Sano S. J Dermatol Sci. 2010 Oct;60(1):45-7.
Neutral lipid storage leads to acylceramide deficiency, likely contributing to the pathogenesis of Dorfman-Chanarin syndrome.
Uchida Y, Cho Y, Moradian S, Kim J, Nakajima K, Crumrine D, Park K, Ujihara M, Akiyama M, Shimizu H, Holleran WM, Sano S, Elias PM.
J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Oct;130(10):2497-9.
Epidermal triglyceride levels are correlated with severity of ichthyosis in Dorfman-Chanarin syndrome.
Ujihara M, Nakajima K, Yamamoto M, Teraishi M, Uchida Y, Akiyama M, Shimizu H, Sano S.
J Dermatol Sci. 2010 Feb;57(2):102-7.
Screening of the specific polyoma virus as diagnostic and prognostic tools for Merkel cell carcinoma.
Nakajima H, Takaishi M, Yamamoto M, Kamijima R, Kodama H, Tarutani M, Sano S.
J Dermatol Sci. 2009 Dec;56(3):211-3.
Constitutive activation and targeted disruption of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3) in mouse epidermis reveal its critical role in UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis.
Kim DJ, Angel JM, Sano S, DiGiovanni J.
Oncogene. 2009 Feb 19;28(7):950-60.
Impact of Stat3 activation upon skin biology: a dichotomy of its role between homeostasis and diseases. Sano S, Chan KS, DiGiovanni J.
J Dermatol Sci. 2008 Apr;50(1):1-14.
Forced expression of a constitutively active form of Stat3 in mouse epidermis enhances malignant progression of skin tumors induced by two-stage carcinogenesis.
Chan KS, Sano S, Kataoka K, Abel E, Carbajal S, Beltran L, Clifford J, Peavey M, Shen J, DiGiovanni J.
Oncogene. 2008 Feb 14;27(8):1087-94.
Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 is a key regulator of keratinocyte survival and proliferation following UV irradiation.
Sano S, Chan KS, Kira M, Kataoka K, Takagi S, Tarutani M, Itami S, Kiguchi K, Yokoi M, Sugasawa K, Mori T, Hanaoka F, Takeda J, DiGiovanni J.
Cancer Res. 2005 Jul 1;65(13):5720-9.
Stat3 links activated keratinocytes and immunocytes required for development of psoriasis in a novel transgenic mouse model.
Sano S, Chan KS, Carbajal S, Clifford J, Peavey M, Kiguchi K, Itami S, Nickoloff BJ, DiGiovanni J.
Nat Med. 2005 Jan;11(1):43-9.
Disruption of Stat3 reveals a critical role in both the initiation and the promotion stages of epithelial carcinogenesis.
Chan KS, Sano S, Kiguchi K, Anders J, Komazawa N, Takeda J, DiGiovanni J.
J Clin Invest. 2004 Sep;114(5):720-8.
Epidermal growth factor receptor-mediated activation of Stat3 during multistage skin carcinogenesis.
Chan KS, Carbajal S, Kiguchi K, Clifford J, Sano S, DiGiovanni J.
Cancer Res. 2004 Apr 1;64(7):2382-9.
In vivo cooperation between Bcl-xL and the phosphoinositide 3-kinase-Akt signaling pathway for the protection of epidermal keratinocytes from apoptosis.
Umeda J, Sano S, Kogawa K, Motoyama N, Yoshikawa K, Itami S, Kondoh G, Watanabe T, Takeda J.
FASEB J. 2003 Apr;17(6):610-20.
STAT3 deficiency in keratinocytes leads to compromised cell migration through hyperphosphorylation of p130 (cas).
Kira M, Sano S, Takagi S, Yoshikawa K, Takeda J, Itami S.
J Biol Chem. 2002 Apr 12;277(15):12931-6.
Stat3 in thymic epithelial cells is essential for postnatal maintenance of thymic architecture and thymocyte survival.
Sano S, Takahama Y, Sugawara T, Kosaka H, Itami S, Yoshikawa K, Miyazaki J, van Ewijk W, Takeda J.
Immunity. 2001 Aug;15(2):261-73.
Two distinct signaling pathways in hair cycle induction: Stat3-dependent and -independent pathways.
Sano S, Kira M, Takagi S, Yoshikawa K, Takeda J, Itami S.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Dec 5;97(25):13824-9.
Conditional gene targeting and its application in the skin.
Takeda J, Sano S, Tarutani M, Umeda J, Kondoh G.
J Dermatol Sci. 2000 Aug;23(3):147-54.
Keratinocyte-specific ablation of Stat3 exhibits impaired skin remodeling, but does not affect skin morphogenesis.
Sano S, Itami S, Takeda K, Tarutani M, Yamaguchi Y, Miura H, Yoshikawa K, Akira S, Takeda J.
EMBO J. 1999 Sep 1;18(17):4657-68.