Study of Fundamental Mechanisms of Chromosome Segregation
Chromosomes, the identity of the genome, are maintained as homologous pairs, as they derive from dad and mum. During mitosis, all copies of chromosomes are accurately transferred to daughter cells by equational division. Any mistakes in this process frequently lead to apoptotic cell death or cancer that causes lethal defects to the organism. In the germ cells, a specific nuclear division called meiosis generates the gametes (eggs and sperms), which carry a single set of chromosomes. Down, syndrome and most early miscarriages in humans stem from a disorder of chromosome segregation in meiosis. Thus, it is very important for biology and medical science to understand the regulatory mechanisms of chromosome segregation. We aim to elucidate the fundamental principles of chromosome segregation (there are indeed many interesting principles!) in eukaryotes. We study fission yeast, mouse and human cells. Currently, our studies are concentrated in the following topics.
1）Identification of novel kinetochore factors that provide the difference between equational and reductional divisions.
2）Studies on the mechanisms which determine kinetochore orientation.
3）Studies on the molecular mechanisms to regulate spindle assembly in mouse oocytes.
4）Analysis of telomeres in mouse germ cells.
5）Analysis of the regulatory mechanisms of the function and localization of the kinetochore protein shugoshin.
6）Studies on the causual relationship between tumorigenesis and dysfunction of shugoshin in humans.