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JST Press Release

June 28, 2016
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
5-3, Yonbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8666

Discovery of a mechanism that the cell exploits to instruct its future fate by memorizing its past shape:
a possibility to develop a new method to predict and/or diagnose diseases

Dr. Sato’ group demonstrates that shape of progenitor cell is stored as a “shape-memory” and biases stochastic fate-decisions in the future even after it lost the original shape. They also discovered an underlying mechanism for this new biological process by the integrative approach combining methods of quantitative live imaging, genetic manipulations, mathematical modeling and computational simulations. This result may be translated to the development of a new method to predict and/or diagnose human diseases in the future.

Program Information

Sato Live Bio-Forecasting Project

Journal Information

Takashi Akanuma, Cong Chen, Tetsuo Sato, Roeland M. H. Merks, and Thomas N. Sato. “Memory of cell shape biases stochastic fate decision-making despite mitotic rounding”. Nature Communications, Published online 28 June 2016, doi: 10.1038/ncomms11963.


[About Research]
Toshiya Morie, Ph.D.
Research Manager, The Thomas N. Sato BioMEC-X Laboratories, Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International

[About Program]
Takeshi Ohyama
Department of Research Project, JST
Ks Goban-cho 7, Goban-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo102-0076


JST, an integrated organization of science and technology in Japan, establishes an infrastructure for the entire process from the creation of knowledge to the return to the society. For more information, visit http://www.jst.go.jp/EN/