☆School of Life Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology☆
My laboratory has an interest in the molecular mechanism for ensuring structural and functional integrity of tissues and cells. My specific research interests focus on the regulation of intracellular signaling, which includes gene expression, signal transduction, and post-translational modification (e.g., ubiquitination). At present, my laboratory has two main projects:
1) Roles of the Adhesion GPCR GPR116 in the lung homeostasis and diseases.We have identified an orphan G protein-coupled receptor GPR116 which is expressed in the lung. To know the physiological role of GPR116, we generated GPR116-knockout (KO) mice. We found that GPR116 deletion causes abnormal accumulation of pulmonary surfactant in the alveoli. Pulmonary surfactant is a lipid/protein complex that covers the alveoli to increase lung compliance and decrease surface tension (thereby preventing lung collapse). We also found that GPR116 is present in the alveolar cells that produce pulmonary surfactant. Thus, we hypothesized that GPR116 may act as a regulator of the levels of pulmonary surfactant by controlling the surfactant synthetic pathway. We are interest in a) what is the ligand of GPR116 and b) the signaling pathway to regulate surfactant homeostasis.
2) The ubiquitination and deubiquitination system in membranous cellular organelles.It is well known that ubiquitination, a post translational protein modification, has various important roles in protein degradation, membrane trafficking, signal transduction, cell proliferation and differentiation etc. We are interest in the ubiquitinating/deubiquitinating enzymes with transmembrane regions because they are localized specifically to certain organelles and maintain the organelle function and morphology. In past, we showed that several ubiquitinating/deubiquitinating enzymes participate in controlling intracellular transport, mitochondria morphology, protein quality control, and sperm development. We are trying to uncover the physiological functions of yet-uncharacterized enzymes.
School of Life Science and Technology
Tokyo Institute of Technology
Tel.: 045-924-5726 FAX: 045-924-5824