The top image shows how tactile sensation is generated by the skin. Hair follicle stem cells (blue), which are important for hair shaft generation, secrete extracellular matrix proteins (green) that guide the connections of the neural network (red) to the skin, helping the skin to sense mechanical stimulation.
Image: Lab for Tissue Microenvironment

Scientists lay foundation for single-cell level understanding of DNA replication

Press release on February 26, 2019

Lab for Developmental Epigenetics developed a new method to examine DNA replication in individual cells, which revealed stability of DNA replication program and higher-order chromatin structure in mammalian cells.

Takahashi S, Miura H, Shibata T, et al. Nat. Genet. 51(3). 529-540 (2019)

Two inhibitory molecules ensure that cells move full steam ahead

RIKEN Research on January 11, 2019

Lab for Cell Signaling Dynamics reveal cells move in a single direction due to two mutually inhibiting molecules on their surfaces.

Matsuoka S, Ueda M. Nat Commun 9(1). 4481 (2018)

molecules determining cell polarity

Microtubule and kinesin interactions send cellular cargo to the right destination

RIKEN Research on December 21, 2018

The molecular mechanism that ensures cellular cargo is transported along the right track has been identified by Lab for Cell Polarity Regulation.

Shima T, Morikawa M, Kaneshiro J, et al. J. Cell Biol. 217(12). 4164-4183 (2018)

Cryo-electron micrograph of microtubules decorated with kinesin.

Evolution of the inner ear: insights from jawless fish

Press release on December 6, 2018

Lab for Evolutionary Morphology has described for the first time the development of the hagfish inner ear. The study provides a new story for inner ear evolution that began with the last common ancestor of modern vertebrates.

Higuchi S, Sugahara F, Pascual-Anaya J, et al. Nature 565(7739). 347-350 (2019)

Creating a functional salivary gland organoid

Press release on October 11, 2018

Lab for Organ Regeneration succeeded in growing three-dimensional salivary gland tissue that, when implanted into mice, produced saliva-like normal glands.

Tanaka J, Ogawa M, Hojo H, et al. Nat Commun 9(1). 4216 (2018)

Gene Fam60a found to play a key role in the developing embryo

RIKEN Research on October 12, 2018

Lab for Organismal Patterning revealed that healthy development of an embryo depends on a protein that regulates the DNA of stem cells

Nabeshima R, Nishimura O, Maeda T, et al. Elife 7. e36435 (2018)

Getting a grip on the slow but unique evolution of sharks

Press release on October 9, 2018

By decoding the whole genomes of three shark species and comparing them with those of other vertebrate species, Lab for Phyloinformatics solved molecular riddles of their unique life histories and evolutionary paths.

Hara Y, Yamaguchi K, Onimaru K, et al. Nat Ecol Evol 2(11). 1761-1771 (2018)


Signaling relays offer an efficient alternative for coordinating embryonic development

RIKEN Research on September 21, 2018

Live imaging analysis of developing fly embryos by Lab for Morphogenetic Signaling reveal that a surprising ‘switch’-based signaling mechanism governs tissue formation.

Ogura Y, Wen FL, Sami MM, et al. Dev. Cell 46(2). 162-172.e5 (2018)

activation pattern of EGFR-ERK signaling

Two essential genes that regulate how much REM sleep we experience

Press release on August 29, 2018

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is a mysterious stage of sleep in which animals dream. Lab for Synthetic Biology has identified a pair of genes that regulate how much REM sleep an animal experiences.

Niwa Y, Kanda GN, Yamada RG, et al. Cell Rep 24(9). 2231-2247.e7 (2018)

Mechanism stabilizing chromosome pairs during meiosis identified

RIKEN Research on July 20, 2018

Lab for Chromosome Segregation show that modification with a protein called SUMO helps maintain proper chromosomal organization in newly produced egg cells.

Ding Y, Kaido M, Llano E, et al. Curr. Biol. 28(10). 1661-1669.e4 (2018)

SUMO と染色体

New single-cell RNA sequencing methods could lead to better regenerative therapies

RIKEN Research on May 11, 2018

Lab for Bioinformatics Research developed an improved method for analyzing expression of genes by single cells with the potential to enhance regenerative medicine therapy as well as disease research.

Sasagawa Y, Danno H, Takada H, et al. Genome Biol. 19(1). 29 (2018)