Motomi Enotomi-Iwamoto, PhD, DDS
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DDS, Osaka University - 1983
Expertise and Research Interests
My research interests are to determine the regulatory mechanism of cartilage development, especially endochondral ossification and to understand pathogenesis of joint diseases such as osteoarthritis. Recently we are focusing on Wnt signaling, which exerts critical roles in a variety of biological processes. We have demonstrated that a major Wnt pathway, beta-catenin-LEF/TCF dependent signaling is essential for progression of chondrocyte maturation during skeletal formation. Now we are investigating 1) how this signaling regulates cartilage matrix turn-over and its replacement to bone, 2) how this signaling interacts with other important pathways including retionid and BMP signaling and 3) whether this signaling is involved in pathological degeneration of articular cartilage in joints. We are also interesting in regulation of cytoskeletal structures of chondrocytes. We have found that Rac-1, a small GTPase protein plays important roles in regulation of cell shape and function in chondrocytes. We are now studying on upstream and downstream of Rac-1 proteins.
Cartilage; chondrocyte; Wnt; beta-catenin; endochondral ossification; osteoarthritis; small GTPase