[Sachiko Tsukita] Elucidation of a novel unified epithelial system defined by the reciprocal regulation of cell-cell adhesion and the apical cytoskeleton and its use for manipulating the epithelial barrier


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Sachiko Tsukita

Sachiko Tsukita

Osaka University


Epithelial cells adhere tightly to each other via tight junctions (TJs), thereby forming epithelial cell sheets. A major target of this project is the “apical complex,” a system composed of the TJ, apical membrane, and associated cytoskeleton, with particular focus on how the normal apical microtubular lattice complex is created during development and as TJs functionally mature. We will analyze these mechanisms including the force-sensitivity of cell-cell adhering junctions at the organismal, tissue, and cellular levels, initially by creating a mathematical model of the tracheal epithelium, which has a highly developed “apical complex” compared with other tissues and cells of interest. These approaches will generate new knowledge, and our findings will deepen our understanding of the barrier function and morphogenesis of epithelial cell sheets and uncover new insights about their roles in physiology and disease. Extensive progression of this project will involve the development of novel methods for manipulating the regulation of biological functions in approaches targeting the “apical complex”.

Shigenobu Yonemura Professor, The University of Tokushima
Shuji Ishihara Project Associate Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Kazuhiro Oiwa Distinguished Researcher, Advanced ICT Research Institute (NICT)

Sachiko Tsukita_figure

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