National Institute for Basic Biology
Department of Decvelopmental Biology
Division of Morphogenesis
research description: The complex morphogenesis of organisms is achieved by consecutive cell-to-cell interactions during development. Recent studies suggest that growth factors play crucial roles in controlling such intercellular communications in a variety of organisms. In addition to secretory factors that trigger intracellular signaling, transcription factors that act in the nucleus to regulate gene expression are thought to be essential for the determination of cell fates. Our main interest is to know how pattern formation and morphogenesis during development are regulated by these growth and transcription factors. We address this problem using several model animals, including frogs, mouse, zebrafish and ascidians, and by employing embryology, genetics, molecular and cellular biology, and biochemistry. Recently, we have been exploring a new field of developmental biology in which physical force generated within embryo is considered.