Centers & Labs

Chief Scientist Laboratories

Cellular Dynamics Laboratory

Chief Scientist: Naoko Imamoto (Ph.D.)
Naoko  Imamoto(Ph.D.)

In eukaryotic cells, most of genomic information is stored in the cell nucleus. The main subject of our laboratory is to understand the nucleocytoplasmic transport and organization of cell nucleus to uncover new aspects and principles on regulation and maintenance of nuclear function. Our current effort has been focused on dissecting the dynamic behavior of nucleocytoplasmic transport machinery, transport pathways, and functional relation between nuclear envelope and chromatin structure in the context of live cells and cell-free reconstituted systems. We are taking cell biological, molecular biological, and biochemical approaches coupled with newly developed imaging techniques.

Main Research Field


Related Research Fields

Biological Sciences

Cell biology / Molecular biology / Functional biochemistry


  • Nucleocytoplasmic transport
  • Nuclear pore complex
  • Importin
  • Cell stress
  • Molecularchaperone

Selected Publications

  1. M. Kimura, M., Y. Morinaka, K. Imai, S. Kose, P. Horton, N. Imamoto.:
    "Extensive cargo identification reveals distinct biological roles of the 12 importin pathways."
    eLife 6, e21184s (2017)
  2. Y. Mimura, M. Takagi, M. Clever, N. Imamoto.:
    "ELYS regulates the localization of LBR by modulating its phosphorylation state."
    J Cell Sci. 129,4200-4212 (2016) selected as featured article
  3. S. Edvardson, S. Kose, C. Jalas, A. Fattal-Valevski, A. Watanabe, Y. Ogawa, H. Mamada, A.M. Fedick, S. Ben-Shachar, N.R. Treff, A. Shaag, S. Bale, J. Gärtner, *N. Imamoto, O. *Elpeleg.:
    "Leukoencephalopathy and early death associated with an Ashkenazi-Jewish founder mutation in the Hikeshi gene."
    J. Med. Genet. 53, 132-137 (2016) *equal correspondence
  4. Takagi, M., Nishiyama, Y., Taguchi A., Imamoro N.:
    "Ki67 antigen contributes to the timely accumulation of protein phosphatase 1γ on anaphase chromosomes."
    J. Biol. Chem. 289, 22877-22887 (2014).
  5. Kimura, M., S. Kose, N. Okumura, K. Imai, M. Furuta, N. Sakiyama, K. Tomii, P. Horton, T. Takao, and Imamoto N.:
    "Identification of cargo proteins specific for the nucleocytoplasmic transport carrier transportin by combination of an in vitro transport system and SILAC-based quantitative proteomics."
    Mol. Cell. Proteomics 12:145-157 (2013)
  6. Imamoto, N. and T. Funakoshi.:
    "Nuclear pore dynamics during the cell cycle."
    Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. 24:453-459 (2012).
  7. Kose S, Furuta M., Imamoto N.:
    "Hikeshi, a nuclear import carrier for Hsp70s, protects cells from heat-shock induced nuclear damage."
    Cell 149: 578-589 (2012).
  8. Funakoshi, T., Clever, M., Watanabe, A., Imamoto, N.:
    "Localization of Pom121 to the inner nuclear membrane is required for an early step of interphase NPC assembly."
    Mol. Biol. Cell. 7: 1058-1069 (2011).
  9. Maeshima K, Iino H, Hihara S, Funakoshi T, Watanabe A, Nishimura M, Nakatomi R, Yahata K, Imamoto F, Hashikawa T, Yokota H, Imamoto N.:
    "Nuclear pore formation but not nuclear growth is governed by cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) during interphase."
    Nat Struct Mol Biol. 17, 1065-1071 (2010).
  10. Tahara, K., Takagi, M., Ohsugi, M., Sone,T., Maeshima, K., Horiuchi,Y., Tokai-Nishizumi, N., Fumiko Nishiumi, F., Imamoto, F., Yamamoto, T., Kose, S. and Imamoto, N.:
    "Importin β and small GTPase Ran mediates the chromosome loading of human chromokinesin KID."
    J. Cell Biol, 180, 493-506 (2008).

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Naoko Imamoto
Chief Scientist

Core Members

Shingo Kose
Senior Research Scientist
Masatoshi Takagi
Senior Research Scientist
Takeshi Mizuno
Senior Research Scientist
Makoto Kimura
Senior Research Scientist
Yutaka Ogawa
Research Scientist
Hiroshi Mamada
Postdoctoral Researcher
Ai Watanabe
Technical Staff I
Hisae Yoneno
Technical Staff II
Yoshiko Hosono
Technical Staff II
Masae Takano

Contact information

2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan

Email: nimamoto [at]

Related links

Recent research results

June 9, 2017: RIKEN RESEARCH
The nuclear transport option

Annual research report