Time filter

Source Type

Saitama, Japan

RIKEN is a large research institute in Japan. Founded in 1917, it now has approximately 3000 scientists on seven campuses across Japan, the main one in Wako, just outside Tokyo. RIKEN is an Independent Administrative Institution whose formal name in Japanese is Rikagaku Kenkyūsho .RIKEN conducts research in many areas of science, including physics, chemistry, biology, medical science, engineering and computational science, and ranging from basic research to practical applications. It is almost entirely funded by the Japanese government, and its annual budget is approximately ¥88 billion . Wikipedia.

Condensins are multisubunit protein complexes that play a fundamental role in the structural and functional organization of chromosomes in the three domains of life. Most eukaryotic species have two different types of condensin complexes, known as condensins I and II, that fulfill nonoverlapping functions and are subjected to differential regulation during mitosis and meiosis. Recent studies revealed that the two complexes contribute to a wide variety of interphase chromosome functions, such as gene regulation, recombination, and repair. Also emerging are their cell type- and tissue-specific functions and relevance to human disease. Biochemical and structural analyses of eukaryotic and bacterial condensins steadily uncover the mechanisms of action of this class of highly sophisticated molecular machines. Future studies on condensins will not only enhance our understanding of chromosome architecture and dynamics, but also help address a previously underappreciated yet profound set of questions in chromosome biology. © 2012 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. Source

Prostate cancer is one of the most common malignancies in males throughout the world, and its incidence is increasing in Asian countries. We carried out a genome-wide association study and replication study using 4,584 Japanese men with prostate cancer and 8,801 control subjects. From the thirty-one associated SNPs reported in previous genome-wide association studies in European populations, we confirmed the association of nine SNPs at P < 1.0 x 10(-7) and ten SNPs at P < 0.05 in the Japanese population. The remaining 12 SNPs showed no association (P > 0.05). In addition, we report here five new loci for prostate cancer susceptibility, at 5p15 (lambda-corrected probability P(GC) = 3.9 x 10(-18)), GPRC6A/RFX6 (P(GC) = 1.6 x 10(-12)), 13q22 (P(GC) = 2.8 x 10(-9)), C2orf43 (P(GC) = 7.5 x 10(-8)) and FOXP4 (P(GC) = 7.6 x 10(-8)). These findings advance our understanding of the genetic basis of prostate carcinogenesis and also highlight the genetic heterogeneity of prostate cancer susceptibility among different ethnic populations. Source

Yonemura S.,RIKEN
Current Opinion in Cell Biology

The adherens junction (AJ) is a major cell-cell junction that mediates cell recognition, adhesion, morphogenesis, and tissue integrity. Although AJs transmit forces generated by actomyosin from one cell to another, AJs have long been considered as an area where signal transduction from cadherin ligation takes place through cell adhesion. Through the efforts to understand embryonic or cellular morphogenesis, dynamic interactions between the AJ and actin filaments have become crucial issues to be addressed since actin association is essential for AJ development, remodeling and function. Here, I provide an overview of cadherin-actin interaction from morphological aspects and of possible molecular mechanisms revealed by recent studies. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Regulatory T (Treg) cells expressing the transcription factor forkhead box protein 3 (Foxp3) constitute a unique T-cell lineage committed to suppressive functions. While their differentiation state is remarkably stable in the face of various perturbations from the extracellular environment, they are able to adapt to diverse and fluctuating tissue environments by changing their phenotype. The lineage stability and phenotypic plasticity of Treg cells thus ensure the robustness of self-tolerance and tissue homeostasis. Recent studies have suggested, however, that Treg cells may retain lineage plasticity, the ability to switch their cell fate to various effector T-cell types under certain circumstances such as inflammation, a notion that remains highly contentious. While accumulating evidence indicates that some Treg cells can downregulate Foxp3 expression and/or acquire effector T-helper cell-like phenotypes, results from my laboratory have shown that Treg cells retain epigenetic memory of, and thus remain committed to, Foxp3 expression and suppressive functions despite such phenotypic plasticity. It has also become evident that Foxp3 can be promiscuously and transiently expressed in activated T cells. Here, I argue that the current controversy stems partly from the lack of the lineage specificity of Foxp3 expression and also from the confusion between phenotypic plasticity and lineage plasticity, and discuss implications of our findings in Treg cell fate determination and maintenance. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Takeichi M.,RIKEN
Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology

Epithelial cells display dynamic behaviours, such as rearrangement, movement and shape changes, particularly during embryonic development and in equivalent processes in adults. Accumulating evidence suggests that the remodelling of cell junctions, especially adherens junctions (AJs), has major roles in controlling these behaviours. AJs comprise cadherin adhesion receptors and cytoplasmic proteins that associate with them, including catenins and actin filaments, and exhibit various forms, such as linear or punctate. Remodelling of AJs induces epithelial reshaping in various ways, including by planar-polarized apical constriction that is driven by the contraction of AJ-associated actomyosin and that occurs during neural plate bending and germband extension. RHO GTPases and their effectors regulate actin polymerization and actomyosin contraction at AJs during the epithelial reshaping processes. copyright © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Source

Discover hidden collaborations