Home Page of Department of Biochemistry, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine

Department of Biochemistry, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine

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Our Mission

All of the diverse cells in our body contain the same genome but can play cell type-specific roles by expressing unique sets of genes. We are tyring to understand how the expression of 20,000 protein coding genes in human genome is coordinated during the processes of cell differentiation and responses.

We are focusing on DNA binding transcription factors and their co-factors including chromatin-related enzymes. We are also working on posttranscriptional methylation of messenger RNA. Model systems we use range from hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells to mature cells including red blood cells and B lymphoid cells. Cancer biology as deregulation of gene expression is also our focus. We combine biochemistry, molecular biology, mass spectrometry, next generation sequencing and bioinfomatics approaches.

We hope to understand cell differentiation and diseases such as cancer and anemia based on gene regulatory network (GRN) and its derangement. We support education and training of next generations through research programs.


Transcription factors bind to DNA elements to regulate the expression of nearby genes. We focus on BACH1 and BACH2 transcription factors to understand their GRN in hematopoiesis and cancer. Their regulation by a prosthetic group heme is also our focus.


Methylation reactions of histone, DNA and RNA utilize S-adenosylmethionine as a methyl group donor. We focus on SAM synhetic enzymes and their nuclear function to understand the cross talk of metabolism and epigenome-epitranscriptome.


We are trying to understand how the BACH GRN and SAM metabolism regulate the lineage fate choice and how derangement of such mechanisms lead to anemia and leukemia. We are also translating our findings to new therapeutic strategies.


We are trying to understand development and responses of B lymphoid cells and antibody secreting plasma cells based on GRNs of BACH and IRF4, hoping to translate new findings to dieases auch as myeloma and autoimmune diseases.


Metastasis of cancer cells is mainly driven by epigenetic alterations rather than genetic mutations. We are tyring to understand such processes focusing on altered gene expression and its regulators.


Regulatory proteins such as transcription factors communicate with each other by forming protein-protein complexes. We are using mass spectrometry analysis to tackle networks and post-translational modifications of key regulatory proteins.


We use bioinformatics approaches to promote our understanding and hypothesis generation based on massive data sets obtained from mass spectrometry and next generation sequencing.


Intense collaborations with Department of Hematology and Rheumatology (Prof. H. Harigae) and Department of Surgery (Prof. M. Unno). Also collaborating with various teams within Japan and abroad, both academia and Industry.