Petter Woll group

Impact of alternative splicing on normal and malignant hematopoietic stem cell biology 

Because of their short half-life, millions of mature blood cells of multiple lineages are continuously replenished from a rare population of uncommitted hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) which possess the unique ability to self-renew and to develop towards all blood cell lineages.

Understanding the precise mechanisms involved in the regulation of this process is of considerable relevance for human health and disease, as these regulatory stages frequently are hijacked in hematologic malignancies. While alternative splicing is thought to represent an important level of regulation of normal development, its role in normal hematopoiesis remains unknown.

However, recently highly recurrent and mutually exclusive mutations in key components of the mRNA splicing machinery has been identified in hematologic malignancies, in particular in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes, highlight the impact of dysregulated splicing in malignant transformation within the hematopoietic hierarchy.

The major focus of our research program is towards the development and characterisation of clinically relevant genetic mouse models for recurrent splicing mutations in part to understand the cellular and molecular targets for these mutations. In parallel we will pursue loss- and gain-of-function studies to understand the role of these regulators in normal hematopoiesis. Mouse models will also be complement with studies of hematopoiesis in patients with the same splicing mutations.

Contact information

Petter S. Woll, Group Leader, Assistant Professor

 Selected publications

Myelodysplastic syndromes are propagated by rare and distinct human cancer stem cells in vivo.
Woll P, Kjällquist U, Chowdhury O, Doolittle H, Wedge D, Thongjuea S, et al
Cancer Cell 2014 Jun;25(6):794-808

Clonal variegation and dynamic competition of leukemia-initiating cells in infant acute lymphoblastic leukemia with MLL rearrangement.
Bardini M, Woll P, Corral L, Luc S, Wittmann L, Ma Z, et al
Leukemia 2015 Jan;29(1):38-50

Platelet-biased stem cells reside at the apex of the haematopoietic stem-cell hierarchy.
Sanjuan-Pla A, Macaulay I, Jensen C, Woll P, Luis T, Mead A, et al
Nature 2013 Oct;502(7470):232-6

Lymphomyeloid contribution of an immune-restricted progenitor emerging prior to definitive hematopoietic stem cells.
Böiers C, Carrelha J, Lutteropp M, Luc S, Green J, Azzoni E, et al
Cell Stem Cell 2013 Nov;13(5):535-48

Quiescent leukaemic cells account for minimal residual disease in childhood lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Lutz C, Woll P, Hall G, Castor A, Dreau H, Cazzaniga G, et al
Leukemia 2013 Apr;27(5):1204-7

FLT3-ITDs instruct a myeloid differentiation and transformation bias in lymphomyeloid multipotent progenitors.
Mead A, Kharazi S, Atkinson D, Macaulay I, Pecquet C, Loughran S, et al
Cell Rep 2013 Jun;3(6):1766-76

The earliest thymic T cell progenitors sustain B cell and myeloid lineage potential.
Luc S, Luis T, Boukarabila H, Macaulay I, Buza-Vidas N, Bouriez-Jones T, et al
Nat. Immunol. 2012 Feb;13(4):412-9

Coexistence of LMPP-like and GMP-like leukemia stem cells in acute myeloid leukemia.
Goardon N, Marchi E, Atzberger A, Quek L, Schuh A, Soneji S, et al
Cancer Cell 2011 Jan;19(1):138-52

Persistent malignant stem cells in del(5q) myelodysplasia in remission.
Tehranchi R, Woll P, Anderson K, Buza-Vidas N, Mizukami T, Mead A, et al
N. Engl. J. Med. 2010 Sep;363(11):1025-37

Human embryonic stem cells differentiate into a homogeneous population of natural killer cells with potent in vivo antitumor activity.
Woll P, Grzywacz B, Tian X, Marcus R, Knorr D, Verneris M, et al
Blood 2009 Jun;113(24):6094-101

Open positions

Five postdoctoral research fellow positions in regulation of normal and malignant hematopoiesis - last application date 19 December

HematologyRegenerative Medicine