Who We Are
Our human body is composed of 37 trillion cells. In addition to cells, various non-cellular components including proteins and sugars that surround cells are also major constituents of the body. These non-cellular components called extracellular matrix regulate various cellular behaviors and fates (cell growth, migration, and differentiation) as extracellular environments. Cells cooperate with each other to maintain homeostasis in vivo. These regulation and cooperation are prerequisite for multicellular organisms. Abnormalities in regulation and cooperation in the body lead to various diseases such as cancer and hyperlipidemia.
The goal of our research is to understand the mechanisms of various “cellular” and physiological events from the viewpoint of “biochemistry” of genes and proteins. In particular, we have been analyzing the mechanism by which extracellular matrix, such as collagen, regulate cell growth and differentiation and the functions of transporters involved in maintaining the homeostasis of biological substances such as cholesterol.
ABC proteins protect our body from toxic xenobiotics and excess cholesterol
Forty-nine human ATP-binding cassette superfamily proteins (ABC proteins) have been found to be important for various cellular functions involved in host defense mechanisms, glucose homeostasis, and lipid homeostasis. We are studying the physiological functions of ABC proteins and molecular mechanisms to help improve and maintain our health.