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Professor

Naotada Ishihara, Ph.D.

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Professor, Department of Protein Biochemistry, Institute of Life Science, Kurume University Kurume research center building, 1-1 Hyakunen-koen, Kurume, 839-0864, Japan contact: ishihara_naotada(at)kurume-u.ac.jp

Research:
Regulation and physiological roles of mitochondrial fusion and fission in mammalian cells. Mitochondria are not only the main source of energy by oxidative phosphorylation but play central roles in a variety of cellular processes such as lipid metabolism, apoptosis or Ca2+-signaling. They dynamically change the morphology in response to cell differentiation or pathological conditions by regulated fusion and fission. The several conserved GTPase proteins were identified as modulators of mitochondrial fusion and fission. Mitochondrial fusion plays important role in maintenance of mitochondrial DNA in yeast, and the mitochondrial fusion proteins Mfn2 and OPA1 are identified as the cause gene products for neurodegenerative disorders. Mitochondrial fission have important roles in regulation of apoptosis. Now we are going on the analysis in detailed molecular mechanism and physiological roles in mitochondrial fusion and fission in mammal.

1989-1993 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Kyushu University
1993-1995 Graduate Student, Department of Biology, Graduate School of Science, Kyushu University (Professor Tsuneo Omura’s lab)
1995-1998 Graduate Student, Department of Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyushu University (Professor Katsuyoshi Mihara’s lab): Awarded the degree of PhD, for protein translocation across mitochondrial membrane
1998-2000 Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Cell Biology, National Institute for Basic Biology (Professor Yoshinori Ohsumi’s lab): membrane dynamics in yeast autophagy
2000-2006 Research Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyushu University (Professor Katsuyoshi Mihara’s lab): mitochondrial fusion and fission in mammalian cells
2007- 2010  Research Assistant Professor / Junior Associate Professor, Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Graduate School and Faculty of Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University (Professor Noboru Mizushima’s lab): membrane dynamics of mitochondria and autophagy
2010- Professor, Department of Protein Biochemistry, Institute of Life Science, Kurume University. 

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