Planning and Management Office


Management Director


Status : Management Director, Specially Appointed Prof.
Research Field : Biochmeistry, Tumor Biology, Bioresponse Regulation

Akira Kikuchi graduated from Kobe University, School of Medicine (Kobe, Japan) (M.D.) in 1982, and started the initial clinical training as a physician. During the clinical training, he also studied biochemistry as a post-graduate student. There he clarified the physiological significance of multiplicity of small GTP-binding proteins (G proteins) and their regulatory proteins. In 1989 he received Ph.D. in Biochemistry, and was appointed to an Assistant Professor at Department of Biochemistry, Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe University. In 1992 he took on a position of a visiting researcher in Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California San Francisco, and identified RalGDS as a novel effector protein of Ras. In 1994 he was promoted to full professorship at Department of Biochemistry, Hiroshima University School of Medicine. After he became independent, he started a new project concerning Wnt signaling and contributed to the understanding of the mechanism of Wnt signaling. In 2009 He moved to Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University. He is studying the underlying mechanism by which Wnt and other growth factor signaling co-operatively regulate epithelial morphogenesis and also developing new anti-cancer drugs based on his own discovered-molecules which are involved in epithelial morphogenesis. In 2022 he is serving as a Specially Appointed Professor and Director of Planning and Manger Office, CiDER.

Research Activities

・ Cellular and Individual Responses regulated by cellular signaling and pathogenesis due to their abnormality

・Regulatory mechanism of epithelial morphogenesis and differentiation

・ Identification of downstream molecules of Wnt signaling and the novel mechanism of tumorigenesis due to its abnormality

・Development of novel anti-tumor medicines


1.Matsumoto, S., Yamamichi, T., Shinzawa, K., Kasahara, Y., Nojima, S., Kodama, T., Obika, S., Takehara, T., Morii, E., Okuyama, H., and Kikuchi, A. GREB1 induced by Wnt signaling promotes development of hepatoblastoma by suppressing TGFβ signaling. Nat. Commun. 10: 3882. doi: 10. 1038/ s41467-019- 11533- x. 2019.

2.Kimura, H., Fumoto, K., Shojima, K., Nojima, S., Osugi, Y., Tomihara, H., Eguchi, H., Shintani, Y., Endo, E., Inoue, M., Doki, Y., Okumura, M., Morii, E., and Kikuchi, A. CKAP4 is involved in tumor progression as a Dickkopf1 receptor. J. Clin. Invest. 126, 2689-2705, 2016.

3.Yamamoto, H., Sakane, H., Yamamoto, H., Michiue, T., and Kikuchi, A. Wnt3a and Dkk1 regulate distinct internalization pathways of LRP6 to tune the activation of β-catenin signaling. Dev. Cell 15, 37-48, 2008.

4.Ikeda, S., Kishida, S., Yamamoto, H., Murai, H., Koyama, S., and Kikuchi, A. Axin, a negative regulator of the Wnt signaling pathway, forms a complex with GSK-3β and β-catenin and promotes GSK-3β-dependent phosphorylation of β-catenin. EMBO J. 17, 1371-1384, 1998.

5.Kikuchi, A., Demo, S. D., Ye, Z., Chen, Y., and Williams, L. T. ralGDS family members interact with the effector loop of ras p21. Mol. Cell. Biol. 14, 7483-7491, 1994.

6.Kikuchi, A., Yamashita, T., Kawata, M., Yamamoto, K., Ikeda, K., Tanimoto, T., and Takai, Y. Purification and characterization of a novel GTP-binding protein with a molecular weight of 24,000 from bovine brain membranes. J. Biol. Chem. 263, 2897-2904, 1988.

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