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Chief Scientist Laboratories Cellular Dynamics Laboratory

Chief Scientist: Naoko Imamoto (Ph.D.)

Research Summary

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 Fields

  • Biology

Related Research Fields

  • Biological Sciences
  • Cell biology
  • Molecular biology
  • Functional biochemistry


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

Selected Publications

  • 1.Ogawa, Y., Imamoto, N.:
    “Nuclear transport adapts to varying heat stress in a multistep mechanism.“
    J. Cell Biol. 217, 2341 - 2352 (2018)
  • 2.Imamoto, N.:
    “Heat stress-induced nuclear transport mediated by Hikeshi confers nuclear function of Hsp70s.“
    Curr. Opin.. Cell Biol. 52, 82-87 (2018).
  • 3.Takagi, M., Ono, T., Natsume, T., Sakamoto, Chi., Nakao, M., Saitoh, N., Kanemaki, M., Hirano, T., Imamoto, N.:
    “Ki-67 and condensins support the integrity of mitotic chromosomes through distinct mechanisms.“
    J Cell Sci., 131(6). Pli:jcs212092 (2018)
  • 4.Mimura, Y., Takemoto, S., Tachibana, T., Ogawa, Y., Nishimura, M., Yokota, H., Imamoto, N.:
    “ Statistical image analysis framework for pore-free islands derived from heterogeneity distribution of nuclear pore complex.”
    Sci. Rep. 7, 16315 (2018)
  • 5.Kimura, M., Morinaka, Y., Imai, K., Kose, S., Horton, P., Imamoto, N.:
    "Extensive cargo identification reveals distinct biological roles of the 12 importin pathways."
    eLife 6, e21184s (2017)
  • 6.Mimura, Y., Takagi, M., Clever, M., Imamoto, N.:
    "ELYS regulates the localization of LBR by modulating its phosphorylation state."
    J Cell Sci. 129, 4200-4212 (2016) selected as featured article
  • 7.Edvardson, S., Kose, S., Jalas, C., Fattal-Valevski, A., Watanabe, A., Ogawa, Y., Mamada, H., Fedick, A.M., Ben-Shachar, S., Treff, N.R., Shaag, A., Bale, S., Gärtner, J.,*Imamoto, N,*Elpeleg, O.:
    "Leukoencephalopathy and early death associated with an Ashkenazi-Jewish founder mutation in the Hikeshi gene."
    J. Med. Genet. 53, 132-137 (2016)*equal correspondence
  • 8.Kimura, M., Kose, S., Okumura, N., Imai, K., Furuta, M., Sakiyama, N., Tomii, K., Horton, P., Takao, T., 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)
  • 9.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).
  • 10.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).

Recent Research Results

Annual research report

Related Links

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
Ai Watanabe
Technical Staff I
Hisae Yoneno
Technical Staff II
Yoshiko Hosono
Technical Staff II
Masae Takano
Yuko Tokuhisa

Contact Information

2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan
Email: nimamoto [at] riken.jp