Molecular and Cellular Biology

The EMT (epithelial–mesenchymal transition), first described by developmental biologists at the beginning of 1980s, plays crucial roles in appropriate embryonic development, but also functions in tumor progression. During the EMT, epithelial cells lose their epithelial polarity and acquire mesenchymal phenotypes, endowing them with migratory and invasive properties. Thus, the EMT is associated with tumor aggressivity in a variety of malignant tumors and also involved in the genesis of CSC (cancer stem cells) and CTCs (circulating tumor cells). In our laboratory, we try to uncover the molecular mechanisms of EMT and analyze EMT/CSC/CTC phenotypes. Because the underlying mechanisms are still not fully understood, the molecules underlying the EMT would be promising targets for novel anti-tumor drugs of certain types of cancer in the future.


Name Title・Positions Main Research Focus
Masao SAITOH Professor Cancer cell biology
Mariko ISHIHARA Technical Staff Cancer cell biology
Ryosuke NAKAMURA Postdoctoral Fellow Cancer cell biology
Mami OSADA PhD student Cancer cell biology
Kaori ENDO Research Assistant Cancer cell biology


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