Jun-ichi Iwata

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Protein quality-control, especially the removal of proteins with aberrant structures, has an important role in maintaining the homeostasis of non-dividing neural cells. In addition to the ubiquitin-proteasome system, emerging evidence points to the importance of autophagy--the bulk protein degradation pathway involved in starvation-induced and constitutive(More)
Inactivation of constitutive autophagy results in formation of cytoplasmic protein inclusions and leads to liver injury and neurodegeneration, but the details of abnormalities related to impaired autophagy are largely unknown. Here we used mouse genetic analyses to define the roles of autophagy in the aforementioned events. We report that the ubiquitin- and(More)
Autophagy is a regulated lysosomal degradation process that involves autophagosome formation and transport. Although recent evidence indicates that basal levels of autophagy protect against neurodegeneration, the exact mechanism whereby this occurs is not known. By using conditional knockout mutant mice, we report that neuronal autophagy is particularly(More)
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved bulk-protein degradation pathway in which isolation membranes engulf the cytoplasmic constituents, and the resulting autophagosomes transport them to lysosomes. Two ubiquitin-like conjugation systems, termed Atg12 and Atg8 systems, are essential for autophagosomal formation. In addition to the pathophysiological(More)
Cleft palate, a malformation of the secondary palate development, is one of the most common human congenital birth defects. Palate formation is a complex process resulting in the separation of the oral and nasal cavities that involves multiple events, including palatal growth, elevation, and fusion. Recent findings show that transforming growth factor beta(More)
Peroxisomes are degraded by autophagic machinery termed "pexophagy" in yeast; however, whether this is essential for peroxisome degradation in mammals remains unknown. Here we have shown that Atg7, an essential gene for autophagy, plays a pivotal role in the degradation of excess peroxisomes in mammals. Following induction of peroxisomes by a 2-week(More)
Cleft palate is one of the most common human birth defects and is associated with multiple genetic and environmental risk factors. Although mutations in the genes encoding transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) signaling molecules and interferon regulatory factor 6 (Irf6) have been identified as genetic risk factors for cleft palate, little is known about(More)
Cleft palate represents one of the most common congenital birth defects. Transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling plays crucial functions in regulating craniofacial development, and loss of TGFβ receptor type II in cranial neural crest cells leads to craniofacial malformations, including cleft palate in mice (Tgfbr2(fl/fl);Wnt1-Cre mice). Here we have(More)
Transforming growth factor-beta (Tgf-beta) signaling is crucial for regulating craniofacial development. Loss of Tgf-beta signaling results in defects in cranial neural crest cells (CNCC), but the mechanism by which Tgf-beta signaling regulates bone formation in CNCC-derived osteogenic cells remains largely unknown. In this study, we discovered that(More)
Patients with mutations in either TGF-β receptor type I (TGFBR1) or TGF-β receptor type II (TGFBR2), such as those with Loeys-Dietz syndrome, have craniofacial defects and signs of elevated TGF-β signaling. Similarly, mutations in TGF-β receptor gene family members cause craniofacial deformities, such as cleft palate, in mice. However, it is unknown whether(More)