Toshiro Moroishi

Professor, Faculty of Life Sciences, Kumamoto University *Profile is at the time of the award.

2021Inamori Research GrantsBiology & Life sciences

Research topics
Elucidating the molecular mechanisms of cell differentiation controlled by iron
Iron is the most abundant element by weight on Earth, and it is believed that life has utilized iron for metabolic activities since its origin. Recently, it has been suggested that iron contributes to a variety of biological functions through the regulation of various cellular functions such as cell death and mitochondrial function, but the detailed molecular mechanisms and biological significance of these functions have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we will focus on the regulation of cellular differentiation by iron metabolism in order to deepen our understanding of iron-mediated biological phenomena.


With the goal of understanding the mechanisms that maintain the body's homeostasis, I am engaged in life science research with the keywords of signal transduction and metabolic regulation. I would like to pursue the fun of science while interacting with people with diverse backgrounds.

Outline of Research Achievments

Iron is the most abundant element by weight on Earth. Iron plays an essential role in life functions of a wide range of organisms because it serves as a cofactor for many enzymes involved in various metabolic processes. In this study, we examined the role of iron in hematopoiesis and blood cell functions, revealing its crucial role for the differentiation of macrophages and B-cells. We also found that iron accumulated in cancer tissues exacerbates inflammatory responses by immune cells and accelerates cancer progression. This highlights the importance of understanding iron dynamics in the tumor microenvironment, offering new insights into the pathophysiology of cancer.

Yamane T, et al. (2022) Iron accelerates Fusobacterium nucleatum–induced CCL8 expression in macrophages and is associated with colorectal cancer progression. JCI Insight 7(21).

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Biology & Life sciences