About Our Research

The functioning of the cells that make up our bodies is directed by genes. Genes can be thought of as “instructions” written in DNA, but whether these instructions are read or not is largely determined by a substance called chromatin, which is a combination of DNA and histone proteins. Chromatin changes its structure according to the type of cell and its developmental stage, controlling whether genes are turned on or off.

However, the process by which our bodies differentiate into a wide variety of cells and how chromatin is involved in this process is not yet fully understood. Our research focuses on the role that chromatin plays in determining the “fate” of cells. Specifically, we are studying how various factors, such as chemical changes in histones, the spatial arrangement of DNA, and the distance between enhancers and promoters (which act as genetic switches), combine to alter the structure of chromatin and guide cells in a specific direction.

We refer to this complex process as the “epicode,” viewing it as a postnatal “code” that influences cell differentiation and organismal development. Our goal is to decipher this code, and through a new understanding of chromatin, to bring about a major transformation in life sciences, or in other words, a paradigm shift.


Makoto Tachibana
Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University

深谷計画研究代表による総説が BioEssays 誌に掲載されました!
Dynamic modulation of enhancer-promoter and promoter-promoter connectivity in gene regulation

2024年7月17日(水)14:00〜16:00(オンライン開催 ・録画あり・要事前参加登録)

大川計画研究代表による成果が Nature Communications 誌に掲載されました!
Plasma cell differentiation is regulated by the expression of histone variant H3.3


木村計画研究代表、山縣計画研究分担による成果が Histochemistry and Cell Biology 誌に掲載されました。
Visualizing histone H4K20me1 in knock-in mice expressing the mCherry-tagged modification-specific intracellular antibody



Copyright © Deciphering the epicode of chromatin, which controls cell fate decisions in organisms