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Takanari Inoue

Takanari Inoue

Department Affiliation: Primary: Cell Biology; Secondary: Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences
Degree: Ph.D., University of Tokyo
Rank: Professor
Telephone Number: 443-287-7668
E-mail address:
School of Medicine Address: 453 Rangos Bldg., 855 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205

Synthetic cell biology: total synthesis of cellular functions such as neutrophil chemotaxis and ciliary mechano-sensation.

Our research focuses on "synthetic cell biology" to dissect and reconstitute intricate signaling networks.  In particular, we investigate positive-feedback mechanisms underlying the initiation of neutrophil chemotaxis (known as a symmetry breaking process), as well as spatio-temporally dynamic information processing at various compartments in living cells.  In parallel, our lab also tries to understand how cell morphology affects biochemical functions.  Ultimately, we will generate completely orthogonal nano-machinery in artificial cells that can achieve existing, and even novel, cellular functions. 

Our research is conducted in an open lab style building which embodies a multidisciplinary research.  Students who are enthusiastic about learning diverse disciplines, developing innovative techniques and challenging fundamental biological problems would enjoy the environment.  Students are always welcomed to our lab for discussions about potential research projects.

Representative Publications:

  • Thevathasan, J.V., Tan, E., Hui, Z., Lin, Y.C., Li, Y., Inoue, T., Fivaz, M.  "Local positive feedback from PI3K to Ras drives cell polarization and migration"  Molecular Biology of the Cell (doi:10.1091/mbc.E12-12-0905). 
  • Lin, Y.C., Liu, T-Y., Razavi, S. and Inoue, T.  "Rapidly reversible manipulation of molecular activities using dual chemical dimerizers"  Angewandte Chemie 52, 6450 (2013). Pub Med Reference
  • Lin, Y.C., Niewiadomski, P., Lin, B., Nakamura, H., Phua, S.C., Jiao, J., Levchenko, A., Inoue, T., Rohatgi, T., and Inoue, T.  "Chemically-inducible diffusion trap reveals molecular sieve-like barrier at primary cilia"  Nature Chemical Biology 9, 437, (2013). Pub Med Reference
    Note: "Research on cilia heats up:  Implications for hearing vision loss and kidney disease"  Press release, featured in "ChemBioVault", "New cilia research could have implications for kidney disease" (American Society of Nephrology, In The Loop). "New clues about molecular composition of cilia" MIGMS Latest News, "Cilia Admit Large Cytosolic Proteins", Kidney News, "Signaling: Shifting at Ciliary Base" News & Views, Nature Chemical Biology
  • Lin, B., Wang, J., Ueno, T., Harwell, A., Inoue, T., and Levchenko, A.  "Synthetic spatially graded Rac activation drives directed cell polarization and locomotion" PNAS 109, E3668 (2012). Pub Med Reference
    Note: "Origin of Disease" Interview by TV science program (NHK Japanese broadcasting company, May 2013 on air), "Rac Gets Cells on Track" Introductory article by Cell Migration Gateway, News and Views by "Biofutur", Press release "Microchoreography: Researchers use synthetic molecule to guide cellular dance"
  • Phua, S.C., Pohlmeyer, C., and Inoue, T.  "Rapidly relocating molecules between organelles to manipulate small GTPase activity" ACS Chemical Biology 7, 1950 (2012). Pub Med Reference
    Note: "Podcast", (ACS Chemical Biology), F1000
  • Miyamoto, T., DeRose, R., Suarez, A., Ueno, T., Chen, M., Sun, T.-p., WOlfgang, M.J., Mukherjee, C., Meyers, D. and Inoue, T.  "Rapid and orthogonal logic gating with a gibberellin-induced dimerization system" Nature Chemical Biology 8, 465-470 (2012). Pub Med Reference
    Note: "Tools in Brief", (Nature Methods, 9, 534, (2012), "Rapamycin's Sister"), "Interview" by TV Science Channel, Karga7 Pictures, "This Changes Everything" (2012), Press Release: "Researchers Turn Living Cells into Logic Gates, Moving Toward Cell Circuits" ("TRENDING", at SLATE,
  • De Rose, R., Pohlmeyer, C., Umeda, N., Ueno, T., Nagano, T., Kuo, S., and Inoue, T.  Journal of Visualized Experiments, e3794 (2012) "Moving molecules by light: Spatio-temporal manipulation of small GTPase activity at subcellular level and on timescale of seconds in living cells". Pub Med Reference
  • Ueno, T., Falkenburger, B.H., Pohlmeyer, C., and Inoue, T.  "Triggering actin comets versus membrane ruffles: Distinctive effects of phosphoinositides on active reorganization" Science Signaling 4(203), ra87 (2011). Pub Med Reference
    Note:  “Perspective” (Science Signaling, 5, pe7 (2012), "How Actin Gets the PIP"), “Editorial Guides” (Science Signaling, 5, eg3 (2012) "A Sense of Direction), Press release: "Rearranging the Cell's Skeleton" (Biochemist e-VOLUTION at Biochemical Society), Featured in F1000, Selected for Cover Article.
  • Umeda, N., Ueno, T., Pohlmeyer, C., Nagano, T. and Inoue, T.  "A photocleavable rapamycin conjugate for spatiotemporal control of small GTPase activity" Journal of American Chemical Society 133(1), 12-14 (2011). PMID 21142151Pub Med Reference
    Note: Press release: "Scientists Use Light to Move Molecules Within Living Cells" ("Science News" at ScienceDaily)
  • Komatsu, T., Kukelyansky, I., McCaffery, J.M., Uenot, T., Varela, L.C. and Inoue T. "Organelle-specific, rapid induction of molecular activities and membrane tethering" Nature Methods 7, 206-208 (2010). PMID 20154678 Pub Med Reference
    Note: "Breaking News" (Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News "Hopkins researchers put proteins right where they want them"), Selected for 2013 calendar by ibidi


Other graduate programs in which Dr. Inoue participates: 

BCMB Program

Biological Chemistry
Biomedical Engineering