Warning: reset() expects parameter 1 to be array, boolean given in /www/zoology/classes/People.php on line 204 Kota Mizumoto :: The Department of Zoology at the University of British Columbia



  1. Chen X, Shibata AC, Hendi A, Kurashina M, Fortes E, Weilinger NL, MacVicar BA, Murakoshi H, Mizumoto K 2018. Rap2 and TNIK control Plexin-dependent tiled synaptic innervation in C. elegans. eLIFE e38801 [ Link ]
  2. Sugioka K, Fielmich LE, Mizumoto K, Bowerman B, van den Heuvel S, Kimura A, Sawa H. 2018. Tumor suppressor APC is an attenuator of spindle-pulling forces during C. elegans asymmetric cell division. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 30;115(5):E954-E963. [ Link ]
  3. Kratsios P., Kerk SY., Catela C., Liang J., Vidal B., Bayer EA., Feng W., De La Cruz ED., Croci L., Consalez GG., Mizumoto K., Hobert O 2017. An intersectional gene regulatory strategy defines subclass diversity of C. elegans motor neurons.. eLife 6:e25751 [ Link ]
  4. Miyazaki Y, Mizumoto K, Dey G, Kudo T, Perrino J, Chen LC, Meyer T, Wandless TJ. 2016. A method to rapidly create protein aggregates in living cells. Nat Commun 7:11689 [ Link ]
  5. Mizumoto K., Shen K 2013. Two Wnts instruct topographic synaptic innervation in C. elegans. Cell Reports 5(2):389-396 [ Link ]


Kota Mizumoto

Assistant Professor

Office phone: 604-827-0794
Web page: Lab page
Research area: Cell and Developmental Biology
Lab Members: E. Fortes, A. Hendi, M. Lu
History: 2007 PhD (Kobe University/RIKEN, CDB)
2008 Postdoc (RIKEN, CDB)
2014 Postdoc (Stanford University)

Movement precision, a key feature of animal movement, is ultimately determined by the resolution of the motor circuit at the level of single neurons and synapses. However, other factors such as muscle quality/quantity and joint flexibility also affect locomotion. Hence, it is not clear to what extent the fineness of the motor circuit determines physical ability. We tackle this question using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system. C. elegans moves with a sinusoidal pattern and has no skeletal structures or joints, enabling us to directly test how the synaptic pattern of the motor neurons affects locomotion.

In worms locomotion is regulated by 6 types of motor neurons. Each neuron in the same class innervates a non-overlapping segment of the muscle field by restricting its synapses to a distinct sub-axonal region. This type of innervation generates a phenomenon we term “synaptic tiling”. Recently we developed a genetic marker to visualize synaptic tiling between two motor neurons, and showed that Plexin-dependent axon-axon interaction is critical for establishing synaptic tiling (Mizumoto and Shen. Neuron 2013).

There are, however, many questions that remain unanswered, for example: 1. What are the other components in the Plexin signaling pathway? 2. How is tiling regulated in other neurons? 3. What effects do synaptic tiling defects have on locomotion? To answer these questions, I will attempt to identify the additional molecules involved in synaptic tiling; develop tools to stably distinguish neurons within the same class; and utilize high-sensitivity markers to monitor the effect of synaptic tiling on locomotion. With these studies I hope to use the power of genetics to determine how synaptic patterns affect locomotion.

Please contact me if you are interested in joining the lab as a PhD student or postdoc.



Michael Smith Scholar Award

For Research


HFSP Career Development Award

For Research

Last updated 30 June 2018