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Kazuo Emoto, Ph.D.

IRCN Deputy Director / Principal Investigator

Development

Professor
Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo

Neuronal Morphogenesis in Development and Disease

Research

The human brain receives, processes, stores, and transmits complex information with great fidelity. The neuronal network that underlies these functions is comprised of an estimated 1011neurons linked by over 1014 synaptic connections between structurally and functionally different neurites, axons and dendrites. Precise pattering of dendrites as well as axons is essential for correct wiring and function of neural circuits. We combine genetics, imaging, and biochemical approaches to investigate the interplay between genetic and epigenetic control of neural morphogenesis, and deduce the functional importance of these regulatory systems in disease etiology, using the fruitfly and mouse as research models.

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Publications

Yoshino J, Morikawa R, Hasegawa E and Emoto K (2017) Neural circuitry that evokes escape behavior in response to nociceptive stimuli in Drosophila larvae. Curr Biol 27: 2499-2504 (2017).

Yasunaga K, Tezuka A, Ishikawa N, Dairyo Y, Togashi K, Koizumi H and Emoto K (2015) Adult Drosophila sensory neurons specify dendrite boundaries independently of dendritic contacts through the Wnt5-Drl signaling pathway. Genes Dev 29: 1763-1775.

Kanamori, T., Yoshino, J., Yasunaga, K., Dairyo, Y., and Emoto, K. (2015) Local endocytosis triggers dendrite thinning and pruning in Drosophila sensory neurons. Nature Communications 6: 6515 (2015).

Kanamori, T., Kanai, M., Dairyo, Y., Yasunaga, K., Morikawa, R., and Emoto, K. (2013) Compartmentalized calcium transients trigger dendrite pruning in Drosophila sensory neurons. Science 340: 1475-1478.

Emoto, K., Parrish, J. Z., Jan, L., and Jan, Y. N. (2006) The tumour suppressor Hippo acts with the NDR kinases in dendritic tiling and maintenance. Nature 443: 210-213.

Emoto, K., He, Y., Ye, B., Grueber, W. B., Adler, P. N., Jan, L. Y., and Jan, Y. N. (2004) Control of dendritic branching and tiling by the Tricornered-kinase/Furry signaling pathway in Drosophila sensory neurons. Cell 119: 245-256.

Biography

I received a PhD from the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo, working with Prof. Keizo Inoue. Postgraduate studies included work with Dr. Umeda at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Sciences and then with Profs. Yuh-Nung Jan & Lily Jan at the University of California San Francisco. In 2006, I became an investigator at the National Institute of Genetics and from 2010 served as Group Director, Osaka Bioscience Institute. In 2013 Professor, I joined the Graduate School of Sciences, The University of Tokyo and became the 10th head of a laboratory founded in 1877 by Prof. Edward Morse.