Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology

Laboratory for Lung Development

Team Leader: Mitsuru Morimoto (Ph.D.)
Mitsuru  Morimoto(Ph.D.)

The lung is an organ where circulating blood undergoes gas exchange, and is also continuously in contact with the external environment. Therefore, the lung epithelium plays roles in both gas exchange and biological defense. These functions are acquired during the fetal period by the tissue structure, cell function, cell arrangement that is accurately constructed based on genetic information. Even in the adult lungs, the lung epithelium has some repair and regenerative capabilities, and these mechanisms are gradually being elucidated.
We are investigating respiratory morphogenesis, adult tissue regeneration and diseases by using imaging, single-cell analysis and 3-dimensional stem cell culture technology.

Main Research Field

Biological Sciences

Related Research Fields



  • Respiratory organ
  • Development and regeneration
  • Stem cells
  • Tissue morphogenesis
  • Endoderm

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.
  1. Tsao P, Matsuoka C, Wei SC, Sato A, Sato S, Chen HK, Ling TY, Mori M, Cardoso WV and Morimoto M.:
    "Epithelial Notch signaling regulates lung alveolar morphogenesis and airway epithelial integrity."
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 113: 8242-7 (2016)
  2. Noguchi M, Sumiyama K and Morimoto M.:
    "Directed migration of pulmonary neuroendocrine cells toward airway branches organizes the stereotypic location of neuroepithelial bodies."
    Cell Rep 13.2679-2686 (2015)
  3. The FANTOM consortium (Morimoto M. is the152th in 261 authors):
    "A promoter-level mammalian expression atlas."
    Nature 507.462-470 (2014)
  4. The FANTOM consortium. (Morimoto M. is the 47th name listed out of 110 authors):
    "Transcribed enhancers lead waves of coordinated transcription in transitioning mammalian cells."
    Science 347.1010-4 (2015)
  5. *Morimoto M, (Nishinakamura R, Saga Y and Kopan R.:)
    "Different assemblies of Notch receptors coordinate the distribution of the major bronchial Clara, ciliated and neuroendocrine cells."
    Development 139.4365-73 (2012)
  6. *Morimoto M, (Liu Z, Cheng HT, Winters N, Bader D and Kopan R.:)
    "Canonical Notch signaling in the developing lung is required for determination of arterial smooth muscle cells and selection of Clara versus ciliated cell fate."
    J Cell Sci 123.213-24 (2010)
  7. *Demehri S, (Morimoto M, Farr G Andrew, and Kopan R.:)
    "Skin-derived TSLP triggers progression from epidermal-barrier defects to asthma."
    PLoS Biol 7.e1000067 (2009)
  8. *Morimoto M. and Kopan R.:
    "tTA toxicity limits the usefulness of the SP-C-rtTA transgenic mouse."
    Dev Biol 325.171-8 (2009)
  9. *Morimoto M, (Takahashi Y, Endo M and Saga Y.:)
    "The Mesp2 transcription factor establishes segmental borders by suppressing Notch activity."
    Nature 435.354-9 (2005)

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Mitsuru Morimoto
Team Leader

Core Members

Keishi Kishimoto
Research Scientist
Hirofumi Kiyokawa
Special Postdoctoral Researcher
Yoko Futatsugi
Technical Staff I
Chisa Matsuoka
Technical Staff I
Akira Yamaoka
Technical Staff II

Contact information

6F, RIKEN CDB Bldg.A, 2-2-3 Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0047, Japan

Email: mmorimoto [at]

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