Nao Terada, MD, PhD
Primary Areas of Research:
The long term goal of my research is to understand molecular mechanisms underlying mammalian cellular plasticity and application of these findings to regenerative medicine. Using embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, we have been determining signal transduction pathways, transcription factors and epigenetic regulations which direct the differentiation fate of pluripotent stem cells, or redirect somatic cell fate into other cell lineages. The research will ultimately enable us to prepare many valuable cell types with quality and quantity for the use in regenerative medicine.
Recently we have established the Center for Cellular Reprogramming in the institute to further apply reprogramming research to translational studies. Patient specific iPS cells are expected not only as a future source for cell-based transplantation therapies, but as a unique research tool for disease pathobiology studies. With the developed technologies, it is now feasible to generate various cell types such as pancreatic endocrine cells, motor neurons, cardiomyocytes, etc in culture dishes that retain exact patient genotypes. In collaboration with many other investigators within and outside of the institute, we are now applying such reprogramming strategies to both understand and cure human diseases.
Mammalian Mitochondrial ADP/ATP Transporters:
Another major focus of the lab is mitochondrial adenine nucleotide translocases (ANTs), which mediate the exchange of ADP and ATP on the inner mitochondrial membrane, and are thus essential for energy metabolism in eukaryotic cells. Until recently, it was believed humans posses three members of the ANT family of genes, whose transcription depends on tissue type, developmental stage, cell proliferation, and hormone status etc. We have recently identified the fourth member of ANT, ANT4, which is expressed exclusively during germ cell meiosis. ANT4 is conserved only in mammals and is indeed essential for male germ cell meiosis in mice. Using various approaches including mouse genetics, yeast genetics, phylogenetics and structural biochemistry, here we are identifying a unique and indispensable role for this ADP/ATP carrier in mammalian germ cell development. Further, by taking advantage of the unique structure and expression profile of ANT4, we are developing novel and safe male contraceptives.
Accepting New Students This Year
office: Medical Science Bldg, M650
lab: Medical Science Bldg, M652
phone: (352) 392-2696
Nao Terada earned his MD/PhD degrees from Osaka University, Osaka, Japan. As a postdoc, he joined Erwin Gelfand's laboratory at National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, CO, where he studied signal transduction in mammalian cell growth and differentiation. In 1994, he was appointed as an Assistant Professor at Pediatrics and Immunology at the University of Colorado. In 2000, he joined the faculty at the University of Florida in the Department of Pathology.
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