2-2-3 Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0047, Japan
We aim to elucidate the functions of biomolecules supporting vital activities and thereby contribute to extend the human health span. Activities of every single cell that forms the living body are supported by intracellular infrastructure. We particularly focus on the molecular mechanisms that control the cellular infrastructure “microtubules” responsible for intracellular trafficking, and analyze their function using cell models and mouse models, while making full use of the common-use Light Microscopy Facility that our laboratory run.
1) Functional analysis of intracellular machinery driving the life
Appropriate organization of the microtubule cytoskeleton is required for intracellular transport and chromosome segregation. Its fine-tuning is critical for normal cell motility, morphogenesis and cell division, while the abnormal control is the cause of the disease [2-10]. We study how the activities of microtubule regulating molecules (Fig.1) support normal development or disease through phenotypic analysis of mouse and in vitro cell biology, to better understand the mechanisms of life and at the same time contribute to medical science.
2) Construction of Lattice Light Sheet Microscope and 3D analysis of cellular dynamics
The Lattice Light Sheet Microscope developed by Dr. Betzig laboratory (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) is a breakthrough technology overcoming the limitation of conventional fluorescent microscopy, which achieves whole cell 3D scan within one second at high spatiotemporal resolution . Using this system, we have succeeded in capturing 3D dynamics of microtubule growth and chromosome movement in unprecedented accuracy (Fig.2). We are advancing efforts toward constructing this microscope in our lab to realize highly accurate 3D analysis of cellular events including cell division.
3) The management of institute's common-use imaging facility
We run common-use Riken Kobe LIGHT MICROSCOPY FACILITY (kLMF), which offers about twenty light microscope system products and image analysis software.