Kazuo Kinoshita’s lab at Shiga Medical Center Research Institute:

Evolutionary Medicine

 

Biological organisms and computers have one thing in common. They are information processors. However, their operating systems are totally different. Biological operating system called 'genome' dynamically changes and continues to evolve without any help of intelligent supervisor. Although the speed of change may be too slow to be perceived for us in the time scale of human life, the accumulation of changes over the geological time is quite evident even to our eyes. The viewpoint that genome changes must be important one from which we understand why we get sick.


In our body, more rapid evolution is occurring. One example is the physiological mutations seen in antibody genes. Another is cancer. Cancer is notorious for genomic instability that confers it ability to elude host immune system and to survive harsh environments such as poor supply of oxygen and nutrients. In this sense, cancer is a winner of the evolution game. To play a game, one must have certain form of strategy. To know the strategy of cancer and invent a way to stop its evolvability should contribute to prevention and treatment of cancer, a evolving disease. The question is how does genome change?

Focus of our study:

1. Oncogenesis by activation-induced cytidine deaminase

Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is a very unique enzyme discovered during the study on antibody genes. No other enzyme but AID can induce mutations in the human genome. Our recent data suggest role of AID during development of hepatocellular carcinoma and gastric cancer induced by hepatitis C virus and Helicobacter pylori, respectively.

2. Mechanism of chromosomal translocation

The chromosome has two functions: the first as a unit of genetic material to be transfered to offsprings, and the second as a regulator of gene expression. Chromosomal abnormalities are known to cause various diseases including cancer, congenital disorders and mental disorders. However, how structural abnormality of chromosomes occurs is behind the veil of mystery. Recently, researchers began to think that non-random positioning of chromosomes within the nucleus (chromosomal territory) may have something to do with recurrent chromosomal translocation specific to disease types. We are trying to establish a new experimental tools to analyze behavior of chromosomes. (Poster)

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Link

  1. Shiga Medical Center Research Institute

  2. Shiga Medical Center

  3. Honjo's Lab (my mentor)

  4. "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." - Theodosius Dobzhansky (1973)

  5. "Ceaselessly the river flows, and yet the water is never the same..." - Kamo no Chomei (1212)

since 2015.11.18

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