Cell Architecture Laboratory • Kimura Group

Understanding cell architecture through quantification and modeling


Research Summary

Cells are the minimal unit of life, and are beautiful architecture in nature. One big mystery in cell biology is ‘how a huge number of tiny macromolecules assemble into a cell with organized and dynamic structure?’ To tackle this question, we are constructing quantitative 4-dimensional models of Cell Architecture. Our primary focus is on the intracellular positioning of the nucleus and chromosomes. Through our study, we aim to understand the mechanics of the nucleus, chromosomes, and the cytoplasm, as well as the force generated by the cytoskeletons.

Our quantitative models on cell division at 1-cell stage (left) and on spindle elongation at different developmental stages (right) in C. elegans. The upper panels show actual C. elegans embryos and the lower panels show our models.


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). Endoplasmic reticulum-mediated microtubule alignment governs cytoplasmic streaming. Nat Cell Biol, doi: 10.1038/ncb3490.

Niwayama, R., Nagao, H., Kitajima, T.S., Hufnagel, L., Shinohara, K., Higuchi, T., Ishikawa, T., and Kimura, A. (2016). Bayesian inference of forces causing cytoplasmic streaming in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos and mouse oocytes. PLoS One 11, e0159917.

Tanimoto, H., Kimura, A., and Minc, N. (2016). Shape-motion relationships of centering microtubule asters. J Cell Biol 212, 777-787.