Laboratory of Cell Systems EngineeringMedicine and Medical Science

Ph.D. Professor Hirohide Saito

RNA-Protein (RNP) complex plays a central role in gene expression by controlling translation, transcription, RNA processing, and so on.
Then, we came up with the idea that understanding of the necessary factors to form the RNP such as RNA sequences and structures would enable us to artificially create RNP complexes to control molecular mechanisms and cell-fates.
With this idea of synthetic biology, we are working on elucidating the programming mechanism of cells and controlling cell-fate precisely through the development of new technologies to understand, control and create RNP-based life systems.

Lab Website

Research and Education

Our group is focusing on the synthetic biological approaches based on RNA and RNP. By utilizing cell type-specific RNA and protein markers, we are working on the following themes in order to develop technologies that control molecular mechanisms specific to target cells and apply them to medical research.

(1-A) Construction of artificial RNA systems which detect intracellular information and regulate cell-fate.
(1-B) Development of RNA switch technologies that safely and precisely identify and recognize the target cells.
(1-C) Construction of RNP nanostructures functioning in cells and realizing RNP spatiotemporal control

In addition, we are engaging in the following themes in order to elucidate and control the molecular systems in the cell controlled by RNA and RNP.

(2-A) Understanding of the molecular mechanism of post-transcriptional regulation in cell programming
(2-B) Development of new technologies for comprehensive analysis of RNA-protein interaction.

In our group, each graduate student will work on original research theme and acquire the skills and knowledge of synthetic biology, molecular biology, cell engineering.

Recent Publications

  1. Kawasaki S*, Ono H, Hirosawa M, Kuwabara T, Sumi S, Lee S, Woltjen K, and Saito H*: Programmable mammalian translational modulators by CRISPR-associated proteins. Nature Communications, 2023 Apr 19;14(1):2243.
  2. Ohno H*, Akamine S, Mochizuki M, Hayashi K, Akichika S, Suzuki T, and Saito H*: Versatile strategy using vaccinia virus-capping enzyme to synthesize functional 5′ cap-modified mRNAs. Nucleic Acids Res., 2023 Feb 3:gkad019. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkad019.
  3. Kameda S, Ohno H, and Saito H*: Synthetic circular RNA switches and circuits that control protein expression in mammalian cells. Nucleic Acids Res., 2023 Feb 28;51(4):e24. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkac1252.
  4. Fujita Y*, Hirosawa M, Hayashi K, Hatani T, Yoshida Y, Yamamoto T, and Saito H*: A versatile and robust cell purification system with an RNA-only circuit composed of microRNA-responsive ON and OFF switches. Science Advances., 2022 Jan 7;8(1):eabj1793.
  5. Komatsu K R, Taya T, Matsumoto S, Miyashita E, Kashida S*, and Saito H*: RNA structure-wide discovery of functional interactions with multiplexed RNA motif library. Nature Communications, 2020 Dec 8;11(1):6275. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19699-5.


Professor:Hirohide Saito


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