Welcome to the Furuse Lab
The epithelium separates the body from the external environment and creates distinct fluid compartments within the body. This epithelial barrier function is crucial for physiological functions of most organ systems and homeostasis. In the Furuse Lab, we are interested in how the epithelial barrier function is created and regulated. To address these questions, we are investigating the molecular architecture and mechanism of occluding junctions: cell-cell junctions that work as permeability barriers at the intercellular space, including vertebrate tight junctions and invertebrate septate junctions. Despite recent progress in the studies of molecular organization and in vivo significance of tight junctions, many cell biological aspects in their formation and functional regulation are not understood.
Most of our research is based on the analyses of occluding junction-associated molecules we originally identified. In our research on tight junctions, we use cultured epithelial cells as an accessible model for basic analyses and gene manipulated mice to investigate in vivo function. We also use Drosophila to study septate junction in the gut as a model of the intestinal barrier function. We apply a combination of cell biological, physiological and genetic approaches to clarify the molecular basis of occluding junctions in terms of epithelial biology.

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Last modified: 2017-08-22