Integrative Life Sciences :
Cooperative faculties


Molecular Oncology

Molecular Oncology

The Origin of Genomic Instability and its Relevance to Cancer and Aging

Our body comprises up to sixty trillion cells, all of which are derived from one fertilized egg. Each cell in our body faithfully inherits genetic information through the cooperation of a number of elaborate mechanisms. In contrast, most cancer cells show chromosomal abnormalities and genetic mutations, which are caused by genomic instability, a condition in which the mechanisms ensuring faithful transmission of genetic information are impaired. Genomic instability is also reported to be seen in Alzheimer’s disease and aging, although the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We are investigating how genomic instability occurs, and how it is related to cancer and aging. Through these approaches, we are aiming to develop a strategy to prevent disease by increasing genome stability, and to develop cancer therapies by targeting genomic instability.

Research Overview

We are investigating the molecular mechanisms of chromosome segregation in human cells. We are also studying how disruption of these mechanisms causes chromosomal instability found in many cancers. In addition, we are going to address the relationship between chromosomal instability and aging. CAMP, a molecule we discovered that is involved in chromosome segregation, was recently found to be related to intellectual disability. Therefore, we are also studying the role of CAMP on neuronal development. We are addressing these questions from the molecular to the organismal level using cultured cells and mice, and a variety of techniques including live cell imaging, biochemical analysis, and genomic and epigenomic analyses.

URLs http://www2.idac.tohoku.ac.jp/dep/molonc/pg40.html

Faculty Members

Professor TANAKA Kozo
  • Relationship between genomic instability and cancer, neurological disorder, and aging
  • Molecular mechanisms regulating chromosome segregation