The Department of Molecular Anatomy


Welcome to the official homepage of Department of Molecular Anatomy. If you have any questions or requests, please contact Prof. Mitsutoshi Setou. Our mission is to heal people from suffering and diseases and to bring delightful perpetual-youth and long life. Our studies are related to aging and longevity.


Long and healthy life


We still live in primeval ages. Unfortunately most people are not able to live out their natural life-span limit because of diseases and accidents: cancers, vascular diseases, and infection involving pneumonia. We are directly observing materials obtained from aging-related diseases by new imaging mass spectrometry techniques, which have been developed by our group. Depending on the findings from imaging mass spectrometry, we quest for a therapy by studying the dynamics of the identified molecules after reconstruction by in vitro and in vivo experimental model with laboratory animal like mouse and others.
Though we would successfully finish studies and overcome all diseases in the future, our life would still end up at around 120 years old. Therefore, we have to study to extend the life span limit at the same time. Especially we focus on posttranslational modifications of proteins and DNA modifications, which could be the plastic mechanisms that record the aging.

Molecular Anatomy

The aim of our laboratory is to identify the mechanisms of aging and age-dependent disorders. We are trying to understand molecular anatomy of aging by two different approaches.

The first approach makes use of imaging mass spectrometry (IMS). Especially, we have developed a new technology for imaging mass spectrometry that enables us to identify the distribution of biomolecules in tissues at high resolution.

The second approach consists in molecular and cellular biology of post-translational modifications. For example, we are focusing on the post-translational modifications, such as tubulin modifications. We are also making mouse models to study the function of these modified enzymes which may cause disorders.

Our current research projects are

  • 1) developing new technology for imaging mass spectrometry,
  • 2) identifying molecular mechanisms of disorders by using imaging mass spectrometry,
  • 3) molecular anatomy of animals by using imaging mass spectrometry, and
  • 4) molecular anatomy of model mice by using molecular/cellular biological approaches.
Recent publications
  1. Ide Y, Waki M, Hayasaka T, Nishio T, Morita Y, Tanaka H, Sasaki T, Koizumi K, Matsunuma R, Hosokawa Y, Ogura H, Shiiya N, Setou M. "Human Breast Cancer Tissues Contain Abundant Phosphatidylcholine(36:1) with High Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase-1 Expression" PLoS One. 2013 Apr 16;8(4):e61204.
  2. Yang H, Sugiura Y, Ikegami K, Konishi Y, Setou M."Axonal Gradient of Arachidonic Acid-containing Phosphatidylcholine and Its Dependence on Actin Dynamics."J Biol Chem. 2012 Feb 17;287(8):5290-300.
  3. Waki ML, Onoue K, Takahashi T, Goto K, Saito Y, Inami K, Makita I, Angata Y, Suzuki T, Yamashita M, Sato N, Nakamura S, Yuki D, Sugiura Y, Zaima N, Goto-Inoue N, Hayasaka T, Shimomura Y, Setou M. "Investigation by imaging mass spectrometry of biomarker candidates for aging in the haircortex" PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e26721.
  4. Ikegami K, Sato S, Nakamura K, Ostrowski LE, Setou M."Tubulin polyglutamylation is essential for airway ciliary function through the regulation of beating asymmetry."2010 Jun 8;107(23):10490-5.
  5. Konishi Y, Setou M."Tubulin tyrosination navigates the kinesin-1 motor domain to axons."Nat Neurosci. 2009 May;12(5):559-67.

Hamamatsu University School of Medicine