Masaru Nakamoto


Ph.D. – Kagoshima University (1993)

M.D. – Kobe University (1986)


Research Interests

The broad goal of my research is to understand how cell-cell interactions contribute to establishment and maintenance of the spatial pattern of the vertebrate body and diseases. Cell-cell signaling plays pivotal roles in metazoan biological processes throughout the organism’s lifetime, and dysregulation of cell-cell signaling causes many diseases. Elucidation of the molecular mechanism of cell-cell signaling not only constitutes a fundamental quest of today’s life science research but also provides an important basis for development of novel therapeutic approaches.


My current research focuses on two main projects: (1) Molecular mechanisms of development, maintenance, and aging of the nervous system, and (2) Roles of cell-cell competition during cancer progression and inhibition. We take a broad range of approaches, including molecular, cellular, biochemical, pathological, and embryological methodologies.




Recent publications

Nakamoto, C., Durward, E., Horie, M., and Nakamoto, M. (2019) Nell2 regulates the contralateral-versus-ipsilateral visual projection as a domain-specific positional cue. Development 146: dev170704.


Nakamoto, M. and Nakamoto, C. (2019). Tol2 transposon-based regulation of gene expression in the developing chick retina. Methods in Molecular Biology (Springer) (in press).


Collinson, J.M., Lindström, N.O., Neves, C., Wallace, K., Meharg, C., Charles, R.H., Ross, Z.K., Fraser, A.M., Mbogo, I., Oras, K., Nakamoto, M., Barker, S., Duce, S., Miedzybrodzka, Z., and Vargesson, N. (2018). The developmental and genetic basis of ‘clubfoot’ in the peroneal muscular atrophy mutant mouse. Development 145: dev160093.


Nakamura, R., Oyama, T., Tajiri, R., Mizokami,  A., Namiki, M., Nakamoto, M., and Ooi, A. (2015). Expression and regulatory effects on cancer cell behavior of NELL1 and NELL2 in human renal cell carcinoma. Cancer Sci. 106, 656-64.


Nakamoto, C., Kuan, S-L., Findlay, A.S., Durward, E., Ouyang, Z., Zakrewska, E.D., Endo, T., and Nakamoto, M. (2014). Nel promotes differentiation and survival of retinal ganglion cells during development. Mol. Biol. Cell 25, 234-244.


Nakamura, R., Nakamoto, C., Obama, H., Durward, E., and Nakamoto, M. (2012). Structure-function analysis of Nel, a thrombospondin-1-like glycoprotein involved in neural development and functions. J. Biol. Chem. 287, 3282-3291.