The main research interest of our group is to understand possible relation between developmental disorder and local protein synthesis in neurons.  Neurons have very long neuronal processes.  At apical portions of the processes, the system regulating local protein synthesis exists independent from cell bodies.  That is, the peripheral processes including growth cones and synapses determine timing of local translation by themselves independent from cell bodies, like decentralization from central government. RNA binding proteins and microRNAs play important roles in this system regulating local translation.  Aberrant regulation of local translation at peripheral processes of neurons is considered to affect structure and function of synapses, and may lead to developmental disorders including mental retardation and autism.

We have 3 research themes as follows:

1. Molecular mechanism to regulate local translation by Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein, a causative gene product of fragile X syndrome.

2. Function of microRNAs localized at peripheral processes of neurons.

3. “Omics” analysis to identify proteins and RNA for synaptogenesis.

We are utilizing multi-disciplinary approach including molecular biology, cell biology, live imaging, etc. to investigate above research theme.