Shimamoto Group • Physics and Cell Biology Laboratory

Molecular and cellular biophysics dissecting cell division and development



Associate Professor

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Assistant professor

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Research Summary

In most cells of our body, a variety of micron-sized structures, such as the nucleus and the mitotic spindle, assemble and function to control chromosome dynamics. Our laboratory uses advanced biophysical technologies, including intracellular micromanipulation, single-molecule imaging, and in vitro reconstitution, to visualize and manipulate such intracellular dynamics and unveil the intricated molecular mechanisms that ensure proper cell division and embryonic development.

Our laboratory studies intracellular dynamics in eggs and embryos using African clawed frogs and mice as model systems. We have recently revealed, using machine learning-based image analysis and cytoplasmic extracts prepared from frog eggs (A, B), how a cell self-organizes the spindle, the chromosome segregation machine essential for error-free cell division (C, D).

Selected Publications

Fukuyama T, Yan L, Tanaka M, Yamaoka M, Saito K, Ti SC, Liao CC, Hsia KC, Maeda YT, Shimamoto Y. Morphological growth dynamics, mechanical stability, and active microtubule mechanics underlying spindle self-organization. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Nov;119(44):e2209053119.

Mori M, Yao T, Mishina T, Endoh H, Tanaka M, Yonezawa N, Shimamoto Y, Yonemura S, Yamagata K, Kitajima TS, Ikawa M. RanGTP and the actin cytoskeleton keep paternal and maternal chromosomes apart during fertilization. J Cell Biol. 2021 Oct 4;220(10):e202012001.

Takagi J, Sakamoto R, Shiratsuchi G, Maeda YT, Shimamoto Y. Mechanically Distinct Microtubule Arrays Determine the Length and Force Response of the Meiotic Spindle. Dev Cell. 2019 Apr 22;49(2):267-278.e5.

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