Medical Research Institute - Department of Life ScienceDivision of Cell and Tissue Biology




The long term research interests of our group are to understand the fundamental interactions regulating essential cellular events involving RNA binding proteins at the molecular and cellular levels. We use various experimental systems incorporating biophysical, biochemical, and biological methods. Currently, the lab focuses on the regulation and localization of an RNA binding motif containing proteins and their novel function in basic cell metabolisms, such as aging, cell proliferation and gene expression. Our research area also includes the study of various inherent diseases connected to RNA and DNA metabolisms.

Embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are considered as pluripotent stem cells that can differentiate into all three germ layers (ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm) in developing embryos.
However, it is still unclear how the pluripotency is acquired in embryos and maintained in ES cells. To address this question, we employ an in vitro ES cell culture system and in vivo developing embryos from various mammalian species as our experimental systems. Through our analysis of this crucial question, we are hoping to contribute in establishing the basic foundations of the iPS cells-based regenerative medicine.
Our laboratory also supports research projects using specialized techniques including, but not limited to, reproductive/developmental engineering, gene editing and molecular biology. Collaborations with several research groups in developing novel, genetically modified animal models are currently ongoing.

Contact Information

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  • ISHIGAKI Yasuhito 150x0

Senior Assistant Professor

  • OHTSUKA Satoshi

Assistant Professor

  • TATSUNO Takanori

Research Achievements

Research Activities

  • Ohtsuka S, Futatsugi-Nakai Y, Niwa H. LIF signaling in mouse embryonic
    stem cells. JAK-STAT: 4:1-9 (2015)
  • Ohtsuka S. and Niwa H. Differential activation of intracellular
    signaling pathways confer the permissiveness of embryonic stem cell
    derivation from different mouse strains. Development 142:1-7. (2015)
  • Ohtsuka S, Nishikawa-Torikai S, Niwa H. E-cadherin promotes
    incorporation of mouse epiblast stem cells into normal development. PLoS
    One. 7:e45220. (2012)
  • Ishigaki Y, Nakamura Y, Takehara T, Shimasaki T, Tatsuno T, Takano F, Ueda Y, Motoo Y, Takegami T, Nakagawa H, Kuwabata S, Nemoto N, Tomosugi N, Miyazawa S: Scanning electron microscopy with an ionic liquid reveals the loss of mitotic protrusions of cells during the epithelial–mesenchymal transition. Microsc Res Tech, 11:1024-1031 (2011)
  • Ishigaki Y, Li X, Serin G, Maquat LE.: Evidence for a pioneer round of mRNA translation: mRNAs subject to nonsense-mediated decay in mammalian cells are bound by CBP80 and CBP20, Cell, 106(5):607-617 (2001)

External Research Funding

  • 2013-2016: Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Regulation of nerral stem cell proliferation by RNA binding proteins.
  • 2010: Project research fund from the Japanese Society of Electron Microscopy Technology for Medicine and Biology, SEM observation of biomaterials using ionic liquid.
  • 2006-2009: Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Analysis of gene expression profile in Werner and questionable Werner syndromes.
  • 2007: Research fund from Japan Science and Technology Agency, Japan, Establishment of DNA microarray database for clinical research.
  • 2005: Basic research fund from Sumitomo Science Fundation, Japan, Cellular site of translation initiation in human cells.