Koh Ishihara

Research field

developmental and regenerative medicine

石原 宏


"Role of chromatin insulators in transcriptional regulation of clustered gene in development and regeneration."

Chromatin insulators partition the genome into independent chromosomal domains to control individual gene expression. The boundaries produced by these insulators have the ability to block interactions between enhancers and promoters when positioned between them (enhancer-blocking activity) and/or their ability to block repressive chromatin effects on the flanking regions (barrier activity). Most vertebrate insulators are found to contain unique binding sites for the CCCTC binding factor (CTCF), which is essential for the insulation. To know the function of CTCF in regulating cell-type or developmental stage-specific expression of clustered genes, we focused on the HOX gene locus, the APO gene cluster locus, and the CDKN2A/CDKN2B locus, which are involved in important biological processes, such as development, cell differentiation, metabolism, cancer, aging, etc. We are identifying the novel insulators in these loci and studying the significance of CTCF and its partner CHD8. The results will contribute to understand the regulation of gene expression by higher-order chromatin structure in development and regeneration.


  • 1997.3 Graduated from Department of Biology, Faculty of sciences, Kyushu University.
  • 1999.3 Completed the master course in Department of Biology, Graduate school of sciences, Kyushu University.
  • 1999.4 JSPS Research Fellowship for Young Scientists (DC1)
  • 2002.3 Completed the doctor course in Department of Genetics, School of Life Science, Graduate University for Advanced Studies. (Ph.D)
  • 2002.4 Institute of Molecular Embryology and Genetics, Kumamoto University. Part-time researcher.
  • 2004.4 Institute of Molecular Embryology and Genetics, Kumamoto University. COE Research Associate
  • 2007.4 Institute of Molecular Embryology and Genetics, Kumamoto University. Part-time researcher.
  • 2007.12 Priority Organization for Innovation and Excellence, Kumamoto University.  Assistant Professor
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