I joined the Thompson lab in 2009. I’m screening for cell fate choice regulating genes and elucidating their functions using a simple developmental model organism, Dictyostelium discoideum. The likeliness for Dicty cells to become stalk (stalky) or spore (spory) cells is highly related to cells’ growth history (e.g. metabolic state, cell-cycle position, cytosolic calcium concentration). We have some mutants which are ignorant to such growth history, and are studying the function of the genes to understand how genetically identical cells grown in homogeneous culture acquire heterogeneity in the likeliness toward certain cell fates.
From 2003 to 2009 I was a master then phD student in Professor Tetsuo Ohmachi’s lab in Hirosaki University, Japan. There I studied relationships between Dicty development and mitochondrial biogenesis and found that mitochondrial protein maturation is arrested in the middle stage of development and reactivated in the later stages.
Developmental lineage priming in Dictyostelium by heterogeneous Ras activation. Chattwood A, Nagayama K, Bolourani P, Harkin L, Kamjoo M, Weeks G, Thompson CR. Elife. 2013;2:e01067. doi: 10.7554/eLife.01067. Epub 2013 Nov 26. PMID: 24282234
Expression, identification and purification of Dictyostelium acetoacetyl-coA thiolase expressed in Escherichia coli. Tanaka T, Shima Y, Ogawa N, Nagayama K, Yoshida T, Ohmachi T. Int J Biol Sci. 2010 Dec 30;7(1):9-17. PMID: 21209787
Mitochondrial processing peptidase activity is controlled by the processing of alpha-MPP during development in Dictyostelium discoideum. Nagayama K, Ohmachi T. Microbiology. 2010 Apr;156(Pt 4):978-89. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.034306-0. Epub 2009 Dec 17. PMID: 20019080
Antisense RNA inhibition of the beta subunit of the Dictyostelium discoideum mitochondrial processing peptidase induces the expression of mitochondrial proteins. Nagayama K, Itono S, Yoshida T, Ishiguro S, Ochiai H, Ohmachi T. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2008 Jul;72(7):1836-46. Epub 2008 Jul 7. PMID: 18603769