I was the first to clone LIM-kinase (LIMK), and found that this protein phosphorylates and inhibits cofilin, an actin-severing and -depolymerizing factor. I have studied the role of the phospho-regulation of cofilin in actin cytoskeleton remodeling. Currently, I am interested in the molecular mechanisms of actin cytoskeleton remodeling by mechanical stresses and the role of actin cytoskeleton remodeling in the morphogenesis of epithelial cells.
Molecular and Cellular Biology
|Activities in Academic Societies||
Japanese Biochemical Society, Molecular Biology Society of Japan, Japanese Cancer Association, Japan Neuroscience Society, Japan Society for Cell Biology, American Society for Cell Biology
Biochemistry, Cell biology
We are researching the molecular mechanisms underlying actin cytoskeleton remodeling and its roles in cell motility, migration, cell adhesion, and morphogenesis of epithelial cells. In particular, we focus on the molecular mechanisms of actin cytoskeleton remodeling by mechanical stresses in epithelial cells. We visualize the movements of dynamic changes in the actin cytoskeleton in living cells using fluorescent proteins, and analyze the functions of mechanotransduction molecules. Our aim is to understand unknown mechanisms of mechanotransduction and cell morphogenesis by analyzing the dynamic changes in cytoskeletal and signaling molecules in living cells.