Stem Cell Differentiation

kao Jun K. Yamashita, MD, PhD, Professor   btn

Cardiovascular diseases are major causes of death in advanced nations, and are valuable targets of regenerative medicine. In our laboratory, with the use of a systematic cardiovascular cell differentiation system from pluripotent stem cells as a core experimental system, we are intensively performing integrative researches both for basic studies of cell differentiation and more applied studies for regenerative medicine.

Research and Education

We have been investigating cardiovascular cell differentiation and regeneration with a unique cardiovascular system using pluripotent stem cells. That is, we explored a systematic differentiation of endothelial cells, vascular mural cells, blood cells, and cardiomyocytes from common progenitor, Flk1+ mesoderm cells. This system is amenable to dissect each differentiation process sequentially even at the single cell level. We are extending this system from ES cells to iPS cells, and from mouse to human. Then, we are investigating basic mechanisms for cell differentiation and cardiovascular regeneration strategies mainly through cardiac cell therapy and drug discovery.


Enlargement of human iPS cell-derived cardiac cell sheets. With the use of 10cm-diameter culture dish (right), we succeeded in generating a cardiac cell sheet with approximately 3 cm diameter.


Lab members.

Recent Publications

  1. Masumoto H, Ikuno T, Takeda M, Fukushima H, Marui A, Katayama S, Shimizu T, Ikeda T, Okano T, Sakata R, Yamashita JK*. Human iPS cell-engineered cardiac tissue sheets with cardiomyocytes and vascular cells for cardiac regeneration. Sci Rep. 4: 6716, 2014
  2. Uosaki H*, Magadum A, Seo K, Fukushima H, Takeuchi A, Nakagawa Y, Moyes KW, Narazaki G, Kuwahara K, Laflamme M, Matsuoka S, Nakatsuji N, Nakao K, Kwon C, Kass DA, Engel FB, Yamashita JK*. Identification of chemicals inducing cardiomyocyte proliferation in developmental stage-specific manner with pluripotent stem cells. Circ Cardiovasc Genet, 6: 624-633, 2013
  3. Yamamizu K, Fujihara M, Tachibana M, Katayama S, Takahashi A, Hara E, Imai H, Shinkai Y, Yamashita JK*. Protein kinase A determines timing of early differentiation through epigenetic regulation with G9a. Cell Stem Cell, 10: 759-770, 2012
  4. Uosaki H, Fukushima H, Takeuchi A, Matsuoka S, Nakatsuji N, Yamanaka S, Yamashita JK*. Efficient and scalable purification of cardiomyocytes from human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells by VCAM1 surface expression. PLoS One, 6: e23657. 2011
  5. Yamamizu K, Matsunaga T, Uosaki H, Fukushima H, Katayama S, Hiraoka-Kanie M, Mitani K, Yamashita JK*. Convergence of Notch and β-catenin signaling induces arterial fate in vascular progenitors. J Cell Biol, 189: 325-338, 2010

Stem Cell Differentiation

Professor Jun K. Yamashita
Tel: +81-75-366-7057
Fax: +81-75-366-7076