Masataka Okabe

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Drosophila neuronal stem cell neuroblasts (NB) constantly change character upon division, to produce a different type of progeny at the next division. Transcription factors Hunchback (HB), Krüppel (KR), Pdm (PDM), etc. are expressed sequentially in each NB and act as determinants of birth-order identity. How a NB switches its expression profile from one(More)
Transcription is thought to have a major role in the regulation of cell fate; the importance of translational regulation in this process has been less certain. Recent findings demonstrate that translational regulation contributes to cell-fate specification. The evolutionarily conserved, neural RNA-binding protein Musashi, for example, controls neural cell(More)
The intrinsic neurons of mushroom bodies (MBs), centers of olfactory learning in the Drosophila brain, are generated by a specific set of neuroblasts (Nbs) that are born in the embryonic stage and exhibit uninterrupted proliferation till the end of the pupal stage. Whereas MB provides a unique model to study proliferation of neural progenitors, the(More)
In Drosophila, cell-fate determination of all neuroectoderm-derived glial cells depends on the transcription factor Glial cells missing (GCM), which serves as a binary switch between the neuronal and glial cell fates. Because the expression of GCM is restricted to the early phase of glial development, other factors must be responsible for the terminal(More)
Different sensory organs, such the eye and ear, are widely thought to have separate origins, guided by distinct organ-specific factors that direct all aspects of their development. Previous studies of the D. melanogaster gene eyeless (ey) and its vertebrate homolog Pax6 suggested that this gene acts in such a manner and specifically drives eye development.(More)
Coelacanths are known as "living fossils," as they show remarkable morphological resemblance to the fossil record and belong to the most primitive lineage of living Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fishes and tetrapods). Coelacanths may be key to elucidating the tempo and mode of evolution from fish to tetrapods. Here, we report the genome sequences of five(More)
It has long been held that the parathyroid glands and parathyroid hormone evolved with the emergence of the tetrapods, reflecting a need for new controls on calcium homeostasis in terrestrial, rather than aquatic, environments. Developmentally, the parathyroid gland is derived from the pharyngeal pouch endoderm, and studies in mice have shown that its(More)
Inductive patterning mechanisms often use negative regulators to coordinate the effects and efficiency of induction. During Spitz EGF-mediated neuronal induction in the Drosophila compound eye and chordotonal organs, Spitz causes activation of Ras signaling in the induced cells, resulting in the activation of Ets transcription factor Pointed P2. We describe(More)
Given the limits of allogenic organ transplantation, an ultimate therapeutic solution is to establish a self-organ from autologous stem cells and transplant them as syngrafts back into donor patients. It was reported previously that human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) that are cultivated in growing rodent embryos can differentiate within a spatially and(More)
The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays a fundamental role in the early stages of breast cancer invasion. Snail, a zinc finger transcriptional repressor, is an important regulator of EMT. Snail is phosphorylated by GSK3β and is subsequently degraded by βTrCP-mediated ubiquitination. We identified an additional kinase, DYRK2, that regulates Snail(More)