Prof. Hirokawa was honorably invited to The Ceremony of the Kousho Hajime (Imperial New Year's Lectures) and gave a lecture to The Imperial Family.
New Paper in J. Cell Biol. (2022)
KIF4 regulates neuronal morphology and seizure susceptibility via the PARP1 signaling pathway
New Paper in Dev Cell. (2022)
KIF3B promotes a PI3K signaling gradient causing changes in a Shh protein gradient and suppressing polydactyly in mice
Open the New World!! Molecular Motor is a key of life.
In our society, vehicles such as trains, trucks and airplanes support our everyday life by transporting foods and electric appliances etc. In our cells, including neurons, molecular motors work as transporters. They move along microtubules, which is 25 nanometers in diameter, and transport membranous vesicles, protein complexes and mRNAs. If you define the size of molecular motors as same as man, you will find them carrying a 10 tons truck and running on a pipe of 5 meters in diameter at speed of approximately 100 meters per second from the earth to the moon!
Hirokawa Lab already discovered all of KIF (Kinesin superfamily protein) genes in mammals such as human and mouse. Now we are conducting any kinds of experiments to elucidate all mechanisms of molecular motors!!
Kinesins regulate several interesting physiological and biological processes!
○Kinesins regulate higher brain function such as memory and learning.
○Kinesins is essential for learning enhancement in an enriched environment.
○Kinesins have roles in brain wiring and CNS (central nervous system) and PNS (peripheral nervous system) development.
○Kinesins relate to left-right body determination (e.g. heart is left, liver is right) and suppression tumorigenesis.
In addition, kinesins relate to important disorders as neurodegenerative diseases, anxiety neurosis, epilepsy, megacolon, female sterility, hydrocephalus, hypercholesterolemia etc.
analysis of the kinesin
Electron Micrograph of Molecular Motor.
Kinesins use microtubules as a 'rail' to transport its cargo.
Molecular motors transport various cargos.
The arrow indicates molecular motor kinesin moving along microtubule.
Kinesins transport gigantic cargos at a high speed every day!!