Basic Medicine, Molecular and Cellular Biology

Cell Resource Center for Biomedical Research

Uncover the Mysteries of Germ Cell, the Origin of Successive Generations, and of Pluripotential Stem Cells

Medical Sciences Course

  • Master / Doctoral Degree

Faculty

MATSUI, YasuhisaMATSUI, Yasuhisa
MATSUI, Yasuhisa

Professor, Ph.D.

*Concurrent Position

Research Theme

  • Molecular mechanisms ensuring germ cell to correctly transmit genetic and epigenetic information into successive generations
  • Mechanisms regulating differences and common characteristics among germ cell, pluripotential stem cells and cancer cells
Research Keywords:

germ cells, pluripotential stem cells, cell differentiation, epigenetics, transcriptional regulation

Technical Keywords:

cell culture, genetically modified mouse, gene manipulation, transcriptome

Laboratory Introduction

Our goal is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of germ cell formation and of their subsequent development to transmit genetic and epigenetic information into successive generations. Germ cells undergo unique epigenetic changes during their differentiation, and we are interested in epigenetic regulation of germ cell development. We also focus on relationship among germ cells, pluripotential stem cells and cancer cells. Germ cells are differentiated form pluripotential stem cells in early embryos, while germ cells can be easily reprogrammed into pluripotential stem cells in culture. It indicates that those cells are closely correlated each other. In addition, germ cells and cancer cells commonly express a number of specific genes though their functions are not fully understood. We therefore study molecular mechanisms regulating differences and common characteristics of germ cells, pluripotential stem cells and cancer cells.

Figure 1. Relationship among pluripotential stem cells, germ cells and cancer cells

Figure 1. Relationship among pluripotential stem cells, germ cells and cancer cells

Figure 2. Nascent primordial germ cells in early mouse embryo

Figure 2. Nascent primordial germ cells in early mouse embryo

Recent Publications

  • Aoki, N. et al. DNA Methylation of the Fthl17 5’-Upstream Region Regulates Differential Fthl17 Expression in Lung Cancer Cells and Germline Stem Cells. PLoS ONE 12: e0172219, 2017
  • Sekinaka, T. et al. Selective de-repression of germ cell-specific genes in mouse embryonic fibroblasts in a permissive epigenetic environment. Scientific Reports 6: 32932, 2016
  • Matsui, Y. et al. The majority of early primordial germ cells acquire pluripotency by Akt activation. Development 141: 4457-4467, 2014
  • Maeda, I. et al. Max is a repressor of germ-cell-related gene expression in mouse embryonic stem cells. Nature Communications 4: 1754, 2013
  • Okamura, D. et al. Cell-cycle gene-specific control of transcription has a critical role in proliferation of primordial germ cells. Genes & Development 26: 2477-2482, 2012
  • Okamura, D. et al. REST and its downstream molecule Mek5 regulate survival of primordial germ cells. Developmental Biology 372: 190-202, 2012