Our research goal is to explore the biological significance of sperm cells and eukaryotic cilia and flagella, using several marine organisms, such as tunicates, sea urchin, sea snail, comb jelly, spiny lobster, flounder, etc. Main projects in my lab are: Biology of Sperm: Molecular characterization of sperm flagella, Molecular mechanism of flagellar motility and its regulation, Sperm activation and chemotaxis by egg-derived substances, structure and function of a novel Ca2+-binding protein “calaxin”, genomic and poroteomic analyses of testis-expressed genes and proteins, molecular mechanism of spermatogenesis, function of gastropod parasperm, molecular diversity of sperm protein. Biology of cilia and flagella: Structure and function of axonemal dyneins, regulation of flagellar motility by protein kinase and phosphatase, molecular architecture of axoneme, cDNA and proteomic analysis of axonemal protein, in vitro assembly of axoneme, functions of cilia and flagella in development, CNS and immune system, phylogenetic analysis of ciliary and flagellar proteins, evolution and diversity of cilia and flagella.
Cilia and flagella
Top eight panels show sperm from several animals. Right top, comb plate from a comb jelly (EM); bottom, SEM and immunofluoresce nce image of stained images of parasperm from a sea snail.