Glycans attached to proteins and lipids are called as “the third chain of living organisms”. There are many biological events in which proteins, the final products of genes, do not function without proper glycosylation. The structures of glycans change dramatically upon malignant transformation and diseases. Such changes are brought about by the altered expression levels of the specific glycosyltransferase genes at the transcriptional levels. However, the detailed transcriptional mechanism of the glycosyltransferase genes remains unknown.
Therefore, the researches in our laboratory focus on:
- Functional analysis of the glycans attached to proteins and lipids in the differentiation and malignant transformation.
- Analysis of the transcriptional mechanism of the glycosyltransferase genes related to cancer and diseases.
- Molecular genetic manipulation of transcription factors to suppress the malignant properties such as tumor growth, invasion and metastasis.
- Development of new drug screening systems by focusing on the transcriptional mechanism of the glycosyltransferase genes.