Ohba/Tei Group

Research

We pursue two scientific interests:

  1. Molecular mechanisms underlying skeletal development and metabolism
  2. Applications of basic findings on biological processes

Theme

1. Skeletal development and metabolism

Our primary focus is on the transcriptional regulation of genes which are involved in the differentiation and maturation of osteoblasts and chondrocytes. We are combining mouse genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology to study those biological processes (Development 131(6):1309-1318, 2004; Dev Cell 14(5):689-699, 2008; J Biol Chem 287(21):17860-17869, 2012; J Biol Chem 288(14):9924-9932, 2013; PLoS ONE 9(10):e109597, 2014). In addition, we take advantage of genome-scale analyses with bioinformatics: chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-seq), assay for transposase-accessible chromatin with high throughput sequencing (ATAC-seq), and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) (Stem Cells 31(12):2667-2679, 2013; Cell Rep 12(2):229-243, 2015; Dev Cell 37(3):238-253, 2016; Development 143(16):3012-3023, 2016; Trends Genet 32(12):774-787, 2016). The genome-scale approaches enable us to unravel gene regulatory network and epigenetic landscape as well as thier cell-type-distinct signatures, leading to understanding of transcriptional program during skeletal development in an unbiased, genome-wide manner.

2. Application of basic findings

We try to develop gene therapy- and nucleic acid-based regeneration system of skeletal tissues (FASEB J 21(8):1777-1787, 2007; Mol Ther 15(9):1655-1662, 2007; Sci Rep 6:18743, 2016), protocols for directing pluripotent stem cells toward skeletal cells (Stem Cell Reports 2(6):751-760, 2014; Sci Adv 3(5):e1602875, 2017), osteogenic and chondrogenic small compounds (Biochem Biophys Res Commun 357(4):854-860, 2007; Ann Rheum Dis 72(5):748-753, 2013; Biomaterials 34(22):5530-5537, 2013; Biochem Biophys Res Commun 479(4):772-778, 2016), and bio-compatible medical materials. Our goal is to establish tissue regeneration system for bone and cartilage defects as well as novel strategies for the treatment of osteoporosis and cartilage degeneration.

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Collaborators

  • University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
  • University of Connecticut Health Center
  • Harvard University
  • National Institute of Health (NIH)
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • McGill University