Membranology Unit (Keiko Kono)

Cellular wounding and repair of local plasma membranes occur constantly in our bodies. Plasma membrane damage can be induced by various triggers ranging from physical disruption and pathogen invasion to physiological cellular activities, such as muscle contraction. Accumulating evidence suggests the involvement of cellular wound healing in various diseases, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy. However, the molecular mechanisms and physiological consequences of plasma membrane repair are poorly understood. Our unit tackles these issues using cell biology, biochemistry and genetics in multiple systems, including yeast and human cultured cells. We previously discovered two key mechanisms: 1) proteasomal degradation triggers repair responses (Kono et al., Cell, 2012), and 2) a cell cycle checkpoint in G1 monitors plasma membrane damage (Kono et al., PNAS, 2016). A long-term scientific goal will be to reveal the link between cancer/senescence and a plasma membrane.


Latest Posts

  • 7/1/2024, Dr. Enaam Alghamdi joined Kono lab

    A new postdoc, Enaam, joined our team. Welcome Enaam, we are so excited to work with you!

  • 3/29/2024, Kou officially received Ph.D. degree

    Our Ph.D. student Kou who led the Nature Aging paper officially received his Ph.D. today. Congrats Dr. Suda! We, lab members, are all proud of your achievement!

  • 3/21/2024. Our paper is featured on the Cover of Nature Aging

    Our paper appeared on the cover of the Nature Aging March issue!

    Cover Image  Image: Amy Cao. Cover design: Lauren Heslop.

    Kintsugi is the traditional Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold and urushi. Although the pottery is repaired, it does not return to its original state. This explains our finding: plasma membrane damaged cells change their cell fate to senescence after the membrane resealing.