Kimura Group • Cell Architecture Laboratory

Understanding cell architecture through quantitative microscopy and structural calculations


Research Summary

Cells are a beautiful example of architecture made by the nature. How such architecture is constructed ‘without an architect’ remains a mystery. This laboratory is studying the mechanisms underlying the movement and positioning of intracellular organelles (such as the cell nucleus) at appropriate positions with appropriate sizes, using approaches involving quantitative microscopy and structural calculations of cells. Through our studies, we aim to understand the secrets of constructing the cell –which is the unit of life– from a population of gene products.

Cell division at the 1-cell stage (left) and cell arrangement pattern during development (right) in the C. elegans embryo. The upper panels show actual C. elegans embryos and the lower panels show our quantitative simulations. (The lower right visualization was obtained using software developed by Dr. A. Funahashi [Keio Univ].)


Kimura, K., Mamane, A., Sasaki, T., Sato, K., Takagi, J., Niwayama, R., Hufnagel, L., Shimamoto, Y., Joanny, J. F., Uchida, S., and Kimura, A. (2017). Endoplasmicreticulum-mediated microtubule alignment governs cytoplasmic streaming. Nat Cell Biol 19, 399-406.

Yamamoto, K., and Kimura, A. (2017). An asymmetric attraction model for the diversity and robustness of cell arrangement in nematodes. Development 144, 4437-4449.

Arai, R., Sugawara, T., Sato, Y., Minakuchi, Y., Toyoda, A., Nabeshima, K., Kimura, H., and Kimura, A. (2017). Reduction in chromosome mobility accompanies nuclear organization during early embryogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans. Sci Rep 7, 3631.

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