Kei Miyamoto graduated with a BA of Agricultural Sciences from Kyoto University, Japan. He received his PhD in 2009 from Kyoto University, working on mammalian nuclear transfer and reprogramming. Reprogramming techniques hold great promise for future regenerative medicine. Moreover, reprogramming of differentiated cells can be efficiently induced in eggs and oocytes (1). He developed an oocyte cell-free system, in which reprogramming events are induced in a large number of cells, in order to analyze reprogramming by biochemical. This oocyte extract enabled him to identify DJ-1 protein as a necessary oocyte component for development of nuclear transfer embryos (2). He then joined to the laboratory of Prof. John Gurdon in the University of Cambridge as a Research Associate. He continued to study oocyte reprogramming factors involved in the activation of embryonic genes. He has reported that polymerized actin in an oocyte nucleus is required for this reprogramming of transcription (3). He has also found that a nuclear actin-binding protein WAVE1 plays a key role in reprogramming and development (4). These findings unravel unexpected roles of actin and actin-binding protein. More recently, together with his colleagues he was able to identify molecular steps leading to transcriptional reprogramming in oocytes (5). From 2015, he returned to Japan to start up his research group at Kindai University. His current research interest is to further reveal reprogramming factors and mechanisms that eggs/oocytes possess and dissect epigenetic regulations important for early embryonic development (6).
1. Jullien J, Pasque V, Halley-Stott RP, Miyamoto K and Gurdon JB. Mechanisms of nuclear reprogramming by eggs and oocytes: a deterministic process? Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2011; Vol.12(7):453-459.
2. Miyamoto K. et al., Identification and characterization of an oocyte factor required for development of porcine nuclear transfer embryos. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2011; Vol.108(17):7040-7045
3. Miyamoto K. et al., Nuclear actin polymerization is required for transcriptional reprogramming of Oct4 by oocytes. Genes Dev. 2011; Vol.25(9):946-958.
4. Miyamoto K. et al., Nuclear WAVE1 is required for reprogramming transcription in oocytes and for normal development. Science. 2013; Vol. 341(6149):1002-1005.
5. Jullien J*, Miyamoto K*, Pasque V*, et al., *co-first authors. Hierarchical molecular events driven by oocyte-specific factors lead to rapid and extensive reprogramming. Mol Cell. 2014; Vol. 55(4):524-536.
6. Herberg S, Simeone A, Oikawa M, Jullien J, Bradshaw CR, Teperek M, Gurdon J and Miyamoto K. Histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation is required for suppressing the expression of an embryonically activated retrotransposon in Xenopus laevis. Sci Rep. 2015; Vol. 5:14236.