Laboratory Taro Fukao
The aim of our research group is to understand the biology of functional RNAs in the hematopoietic-immune system. Currently, we are focusing on the role of microRNAs in the mammalian hematopoietic-immune system. MicroRNAs are a class of non-coding RNAs binding to the complementary mRNAs and regulate their expression. They are found in animals, plants and viruses with their sequences conserved even among relatively distant species. Various reports have shown the involvement of microRNAs in a broad range of physiological events such as development, differentiation, proliferation, morphogenesis, apoptosis and metabolism.
At present, little is known about the role of microRNAs in haematopoiesis and immunity. However, microRNA is considered to be a critical regulator for development and functions of immune cells. Studying the biology of microRNA in the immune system may directly contribute to understanding the molecular mechanism of immune system integrity. Furthermore, the knowledge of microRNA in immunology would provide clues to elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of infection and immune diseases such as autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. In our lab, we are studying the roles of microRNAs in the hematopoietic-immune system by using various reverse genetics approaches (Knock-out and Knock-in) and transgenic technologies in the mouse system with high-throughput multi-(prote-/ gen-/ etc.)Omics-based bioinformatic analyses.