Hans-Willem Snoeck

New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York City, New York, United States

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Publications (27)265.7 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The B-myb (MYBL2) gene is a member of the MYB family of transcription factors and is involved in cell cycle regulation, DNA replication, and maintenance of genomic integrity. However, its function during adult development and hematopoiesis is unknown. We show here that conditional inactivation of B-myb in vivo results in depletion of the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) pool, leading to profound reductions in mature lymphoid, erythroid, and myeloid cells. This defect is autonomous to the bone marrow and is first evident in stem cells, which accumulate in the S and G2/M phases. B-myb inactivation also causes defects in the myeloid progenitor compartment, consisting of depletion of common myeloid progenitors but relative sparing of granulocyte-macrophage progenitors. Microarray studies indicate that B-myb-null LSK(+) cells differentially express genes that direct myeloid lineage development and commitment, suggesting that B-myb is a key player in controlling cell fate. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that B-myb is essential for HSC and progenitor maintenance and survival during hematopoiesis.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2014; · 9.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ability to generate lung and airway epithelial cells from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) would have applications in regenerative medicine, modeling of lung disease, drug screening and studies of human lung development. We have established, based on developmental paradigms, a highly efficient method for directed differentiation of hPSCs into lung and airway epithelial cells. Long-term differentiation of hPSCs in vivo and in vitro yielded basal, goblet, Clara, ciliated, type I and type II alveolar epithelial cells. The type II alveolar epithelial cells were capable of surfactant protein-B uptake and stimulated surfactant release, providing evidence of specific function. Inhibiting or removing retinoic acid, Wnt and BMP-agonists to signaling pathways critical for early lung development in the mouse-recapitulated defects in corresponding genetic mouse knockouts. As this protocol generates most cell types of the respiratory system, it may be useful for deriving patient-specific therapeutic cells.
    Nature Biotechnology 12/2013; · 32.44 Impact Factor
  • Kenjiro Kamezaki, Larry Luchsinger, Hans-Willem Snoeck
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    ABSTRACT: FLT3 is one of the most frequently mutated genes in acute leukemias. However, the role in leukemogenesis of wt Flt3, which is highly expressed in many hematological malignancies, is unclear. We show here that in mouse models established by retroviral transduction of leukemic fusion proteins deletion of Flt3 strongly inhibits MLL-ENL and to lesser extent p210(BCR-ABL)-induced leukemogenesis, but has no effect in MLL-AF9 or AML1-ETO9a models. Flt3 acts at the level of leukemic stem cells (LSCs), as a fraction of LSCs in MLL-ENL, but not in MLL-AF9-induced leukemia, expressed Flt3 in vivo, and Flt3 expression on LSCs was associated with leukemia development in this model. Furthermore, efficiency of MLL-ENL, but not of MLL-AF9-induced leukemia induction was significantly enhanced after transduction of Flt3(+) compared to Flt3(-) wt myeloid progenitors. However, Flt3 is not required for immortalization of bone marrow cells in vitro by MLL-ENL and does not affect colony-formation by MLL-ENL LSCs in vitro, suggesting that in vitro models do not reflect the in vivo biology of MLL-ENL leukemia with respect to Flt3 requirement. We conclude that wt Flt3 plays a role in leukemia initiation in vivo, which is, however, not universal.
    Experimental hematology 11/2013; · 3.11 Impact Factor
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  • Hans-Willem Snoeck
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    ABSTRACT: Aging of the hematopoietic system is associated with myeloid malignancies, anemia and immune dysfunction. As hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) generate all cells of the hematopoietic system, age-associated changes in HSCs may underlie many features of the aged hematopoietic system. Recent findings on age-associated changes in HSCs are reviewed here. Aged HSCs are myeloid biased, have acquired DNA damage and are functionally compromised. However, overall function of the HSC compartment is well maintained through age-associated expansion of HSCs. Many age-related changes in the hematopoietic system, in particular the clonal myeloid bias of HSCs and the decrease in B and T-cell development, in fact begin during development. Furthermore, HSCs possess specific protective mechanisms aimed at maintaining their number, even at the expense of accumulating damaged cells. We argue that age-related changes in HSCs and in the hematopoietic system may not entirely be due to a degenerative aging process, but are the result of developmental and stem cell-protective mechanisms aimed at maximizing fitness during reproductive life. These mechanisms may be disadvantageous later in life as damaged HSCs accumulate and establishment of responses to neoantigens becomes compromised because of the reduced generation of naive T and B cells.
    Current opinion in hematology 07/2013; 20(4):355-61. · 5.19 Impact Factor
  • Michael D Green, Sarah X L Huang, Hans-Willem Snoeck
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    ABSTRACT: We review recent progress in the stem cell biology of the respiratory system, and discuss its scientific and translational ramifications. Several studies have defined novel stem cells in postnatal lung and airways and implicated their roles in tissue homeostasis and repair. In addition, significant advances in the generation of respiratory epithelium from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) now provide a novel and powerful platform for understanding lung development, modeling pulmonary diseases, and implementing drug screening. Finally, breakthroughs have been made in the generation of decellularized lung matrices that can serve as a scaffold for repopulation with respiratory cells derived from either postnatal or PSCs. These studies are a critical step forward towards the still distant goal of stem cell-based regenerative medicine for diseases of lung and airways.
    BioEssays 11/2012; · 5.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many signals must be integrated to maintain self-renewal and pluripotency in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and to enable induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) reprogramming. However, the exact molecular regulatory mechanisms remain elusive. To unravel the essential internal and external signals required for sustaining the ESC state, we conducted a short hairpin (sh) RNA screen of 104 ESC-associated phosphoregulators. Depletion of one such molecule, aurora kinase A (Aurka), resulted in compromised self-renewal and consequent differentiation. By integrating global gene expression and computational analyses, we discovered that loss of Aurka leads to upregulated p53 activity that triggers ESC differentiation. Specifically, Aurka regulates pluripotency through phosphorylation-mediated inhibition of p53-directed ectodermal and mesodermal gene expression. Phosphorylation of p53 not only impairs p53-induced ESC differentiation but also p53-mediated suppression of iPSC reprogramming. Our studies demonstrate an essential role for Aurka-p53 signaling in the regulation of self-renewal, differentiation, and somatic cell reprogramming.
    Cell stem cell 08/2012; 11(2):179-94. · 23.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two populations of Nkx2-1(+) progenitors in the developing foregut endoderm give rise to the entire postnatal lung and thyroid epithelium, but little is known about these cells because they are difficult to isolate in a pure form. We demonstrate here the purification and directed differentiation of primordial lung and thyroid progenitors derived from mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Inhibition of TGFβ and BMP signaling, followed by combinatorial stimulation of BMP and FGF signaling, can specify these cells efficiently from definitive endodermal precursors. When derived using Nkx2-1(GFP) knockin reporter ESCs, these progenitors can be purified for expansion in culture and have a transcriptome that overlaps with developing lung epithelium. Upon induction, they can express a broad repertoire of markers indicative of lung and thyroid lineages and can recellularize a 3D lung tissue scaffold. Thus, we have derived a pure population of progenitors able to recapitulate the developmental milestones of lung/thyroid development.
    Cell stem cell 04/2012; 10(4):398-411. · 23.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hematopoiesis is the process whereby BM HSCs renew to maintain their number or to differentiate into committed progenitors to generate all blood cells. One approach to gain mechanistic insight into this complex process is the investigation of quantitative genetic variation in hematopoietic function among inbred mouse strains. We previously showed that TGF-β2 is a genetically determined positive regulator of hematopoiesis. In the presence of unknown nonprotein serum factors TGF-β2, but not TGF-β1 or -β3, enhances progenitor proliferation in vitro, an effect that is subject to mouse strain-dependent variation mapping to a locus on chr.4, Tb2r1. TGF-β2-deficient mice show hematopoietic defects, demonstrating the physiologic role of this cytokine. Here, we show that TGF-β2 specifically and predominantly cell autonomously enhances signaling by FLT3 in vitro and in vivo. A coding polymorphism in Prdm16 (PR-domain-containing 16) underlies Tb2r1 and differentially regulates transcriptional activity of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ), identifying lipid PPAR ligands as the serum factors required for regulation of FLT3 signaling by TGF-β2. We furthermore show that PPARγ agonists play a FLT3-dependent role in stress responses of progenitor cells. These observations identify a novel regulatory axis that includes PPARs, Prdm16, and TGF-β2 in hematopoiesis.
    Blood 10/2011; 118(23):6078-86. · 9.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Directed differentiation of human embryonic stem (hES) cells and human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cells captures in vivo developmental pathways for specifying lineages in vitro, thus avoiding perturbation of the genome with exogenous genetic material. Thus far, derivation of endodermal lineages has focused predominantly on hepatocytes, pancreatic endocrine cells and intestinal cells. The ability to differentiate pluripotent cells into anterior foregut endoderm (AFE) derivatives would expand their utility for cell therapy and basic research to tissues important for immune function, such as the thymus; for metabolism, such as thyroid and parathyroid; and for respiratory function, such as trachea and lung. We find that dual inhibition of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β and bone morphogenic protein (BMP) signaling after specification of definitive endoderm from pluripotent cells results in a highly enriched AFE population that is competent to be patterned along dorsoventral and anteroposterior axes. These findings provide an approach for the generation of AFE derivatives.
    Nature Biotechnology 02/2011; 29(3):267-72. · 32.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fetal liver and adult bone marrow hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) renew or differentiate into committed progenitors to generate all blood cells. PRDM16 is involved in human leukemic translocations and is expressed highly in some karyotypically normal acute myeloblastic leukemias. As many genes involved in leukemogenic fusions play a role in normal hematopoiesis, we analyzed the role of Prdm16 in the biology of HSCs using Prdm16-deficient mice. We show here that, within the hematopoietic system, Prdm16 is expressed very selectively in the earliest stem and progenitor compartments, and, consistent with this expression pattern, is critical for the establishment and maintenance of the HSC pool during development and after transplantation. Prdm16 deletion enhances apoptosis and cycling of HSCs. Expression analysis revealed that Prdm16 regulates a remarkable number of genes that, based on knockout models, both enhance and suppress HSC function, and affect quiescence, cell cycling, renewal, differentiation, and apoptosis to various extents. These data suggest that Prdm16 may be a critical node in a network that contains negative and positive feedback loops and integrates HSC renewal, quiescence, apoptosis, and differentiation.
    Blood 02/2011; 117(19):5057-66. · 9.06 Impact Factor
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    Michael D Green, Hans-Willem Snoeck
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    ABSTRACT: Pluripotent stem cells have the capacity to generate all cell lineages, and substantial progress has been made in realizing this potential. One fascinating but as yet unrealized possibility is the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into thymic epithelial cells. The thymus is a primary lymphoid organ essential for naïve T-cell generation. T cells play an important role in adaptive immunity, and their loss or dysfunction underlies in a wide range of autoimmune and infectious diseases. T cells are generated and selected through interaction with thymic epithelial cells, the functionally essential element of thymus. The ability to generate functional thymic epithelial cells from pluripotent stem cells would have applications in modeling human immune responses in mice, in tissue transplantation, and in modulating autoimmune and infectious disease.
    BMC Medicine 01/2011; 9:51. · 6.68 Impact Factor
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    Ritu Kumar, Serine Avagyan, Hans-Willem Snoeck
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms underlying age-associated thymic involution are unknown. In mice, thymic involution shows mouse strain-dependent genetic variation. Identification of the underlying genes would provide mechanistic insight into this elusive process. We previously showed that responsiveness of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) to transforming growth factor-beta 2, a positive regulator of HSPC proliferation, is regulated by a quantitative trait locus (QTL) on chr. 4, Tb2r1. Interestingly, Tgfb2(+/-) mice have delayed thymic involution. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that a QTL on chr. 4 might regulate thymic involution. Aged, but not young, B6.D2-chr.4 congenic mice, where the telomeric region of chr. 4 was introgressed from DBA/2 to C57BL/6 mice, had larger thymi, and better maintenance of early thymic precursors than C57BL/6 control mice. These observations unequivocally demonstrate that the telomeric region of chr. 4 contains a QTL, Ti1 (thymic involution 1) that regulates thymic involution, and suggest the possibility that Ti1 may be identical to Tb2r1.
    The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 04/2010; 65(6):620-5. · 4.31 Impact Factor
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    Valentina Fossati, Ritu Kumar, Hans-Willem Snoeck
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    ABSTRACT: B cells, the Ab-producing cells of the immune system, develop from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) through well-defined stages during which Ig genes are rearranged to generate a clonal BCR. Signaling through the BCR plays a role in the subsequent cell fate decisions leading to the generation of three distinct types of B cells: B1, marginal zone, and follicular B cells. Common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs) are descended from HSCs, and although recent observations suggest that CLPs may not be physiological T cell precursors, it is generally accepted that CLPs are obligate progenitors for B cells. In addition, a CLP-like progenitor of unknown significance that lacks expression of c-kit (kit(-)CLP) was recently identified in the mouse model. In this study, we show that CLPs, kit(-)CLPs and a population within the lin(-)Sca1(+)kit(+)flt3(-) HSC compartment generate mature B cell types in different proportions: CLPs and kit(-)CLPs show a stronger marginal zone/follicular ratio than lin(-)Sca1(+)kit(+)flt3(-) cells, whereas kit(-)CLPs show a stronger B1 bias than any other progenitor population. Furthermore, expression of Sca1 on B cells depends on their progenitor origin as B cells derived from CLPs and kit(-)CLPs express more Sca1 than those derived from lin(-)Sca1(+)kit(+)flt3(-) cells. These observations indicate a role for progenitor origin in B cell fate choices and suggest the existence of CLP-independent B cell development.
    The Journal of Immunology 02/2010; 184(3):1251-60. · 5.52 Impact Factor
  • Serine Avagyan, Yacine M Amrani, Hans-Willem Snoeck
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    ABSTRACT: Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) can self-renew and give rise to all the cells of the blood and the immune system. As they differentiate, HSCs progressively lose their self-renewal capacity and generate lineage-restricted multipotential progenitor cells that in turn give rise to mature cells. The development of rigorous quantitative in vivo assays for HSC activity combined with multicolor flow cytometry and high-speed sorting have resulted in the phenotypic definition of HSCs to virtual purity. Here, we describe the isolation and identification of HSCs by flow cytometry and the use of competitive repopulation to assess HSC number and function.
    Methods in enzymology 01/2010; 476:429-47. · 1.90 Impact Factor
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    Ritu Kumar, Valentina Fossati, Mason Israel, Hans-Willem Snoeck
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    ABSTRACT: The significance of a population in mouse bone marrow of lineage-negative (Lin(-)), Sca1-positive, c-kit-negative (LSK(-)) cells, which is reported to be devoid of long-term repopulation capacity or myeloid potential, is unknown. In this study, we show that the LSK(-) population is composed of several subsets defined by the expression of flt3, CD25, and IL-7Ralpha. The first subset was CD25(-) and more than 90% expressed either flt3, IL-7Ralpha, or both. The CD25(-)LSK(-) population had T cell, B cell, and NK cell potential in vivo, and most of this activity was localized in the flt3(+) subset, irrespective of the expression of IL-7Ralpha. Although lymphoid potential of flt3(+)LSK(-) cells in vivo was 3-fold lower than that of lin(-)Sca1(low)kit(low)IL7Ralpha(+) common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs), their cloning efficiency in vitro was 10-fold lower than that of CLPs. Furthermore, although the myeloid potential of flt3(+)LSK(-) cells was 10-fold lower than that of CLPs in the absence of M-CSF, the relative myeloid potential of both populations was similar in its presence. These observations suggest differential growth factor requirements of both populations. The second subset of LSK(-) cells was homogeneously CD25(+)flt3(-)IL7Ralpha(+) and could be generated from both CD25(-)LSK(-) cells and from CLPs, but did not engraft in immunodeficient Rag1(-/-) or Rag1(-/-)gamma(c)(-/-) hosts. This population, of which the significance is unclear, was increased in Rag1(-/-) mice and in old mice. Thus, the LSK(-) population is phenotypically and functionally heterogeneous and contains early lymphoid-committed precursors. Our findings imply that the early stages of lymphoid commitment are more complex than was thus far assumed.
    The Journal of Immunology 01/2009; 181(11):7507-13. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) compartment is subject to extensive quantitative genetic variation. We have previously shown that TGF-beta2 at low concentrations enhances flt3 ligand-induced growth of HSPCs, while it is potently antiproliferative at higher concentrations. This in vitro enhancing effect was subject to quantitative genetic variation, for which a quantitative trait locus (QTL) was tentatively mapped to chromosome 4 (chr.4). Tgfb2(+/-) mice have a smaller and more slowly cycling HSPC compartment, which has a decreased serial repopulation capacity, and are less susceptible to the lethal effect of high doses of 5-fluorouracil. To unequivocally demonstrate that these phenotypes can be attributed to the enhancing effect of TGF-beta2 on HSPC proliferation observed in vitro and are therefore subject to mouse strain-dependent variation as well, we generated congenic mice where the telomeric region of chr.4 was introgressed from DBA/2 into C57BL/6 mice. In these mice, the enhancing effect of TGF-beta2 on flt3 signaling, but not the generic antiproliferative effect of high concentrations of TGF-beta2, was abrogated, confirming the location of this QTL, which we named tb2r1, on chr.4. These mice shared a smaller and more slowly cycling HSPC compartment and increased 5-fluorouracil resistance but not a decreased serial repopulation capacity with Tgfb2(+/-) mice. The concordance of phenotypes between Tgfb2(+/-) and congenic mice indicates that HSPC frequency and cycling are regulated by tb2r1, while an additional QTL in the telomeric region of chr.4 may regulate the serial repopulation capacity of hematopoietic stem cells.
    The Journal of Immunology 12/2008; 181(9):5904-11. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: More than 2700 stem cell researchers from 44 different countries attended the 6th ISSCR Annual Meeting in Philadelphia from June 11 to 14, 2008. The meeting covered a wide range of topics discussed in 7 plenary and 16 concurrent sessions and presented in 1150 posters.
    Cell Stem Cell. 01/2008;
  • Jessica C Langer, Ritu Kumar, Hans-Willem Snoeck
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    ABSTRACT: We discovered a novel population of gammadelta T cells in the mouse that accumulates with age in hematopoietic organs, but not in epithelia. These cells are CD25low (an unusual phenotype for gammadelta T cells in the mouse); express higher levels of TCRgammadelta and CD44 than do CD25- gammadelta T cells; mainly express Vgamma2, Vgamma3, and Vgamma4 chains; and are largely quiescent. A very similar cell population appears in the late stages of fetal thymus organ cultures, suggesting that the accumulation of CD44 + CD25lowTCRgammadelta + cells is a response to stress induced by aging in vivo or by culture in vitro. The precursors of CD44 + CD25lowTCRgammadelta + cells are generated during fetal or very young adult life, as this population was undetectable in aged recipients of bone marrow from old or young donors. CD44 + CD25lowTCRgammadelta + cells may be a biomarker of aging, but could also play a role in the inflammatory changes that accompany aging.
    The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 07/2006; 61(6):568-71. · 4.31 Impact Factor
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    Ritu Kumar, Jessica C Langer, Hans-Willem Snoeck
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms regulating thymic involution are unclear. In inbred mouse strains the rate of thymic involution and the function of the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) compartment are subject to quantitative genetic variation. We have shown previously that transforming growth factor-beta2 (TGF-beta2) is a genetically determined positive regulator of HSCs. Here, we demonstrate that genetic variation in the rate of thymic involution correlates with genetic variation in the responsiveness of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells to TGF-beta2. Corroborating these correlations, thymic cellularity and peripheral naive T-cell frequency were higher in old Tgfb2+/- mice than in wild-type littermates. The frequency of early T-cell precursors was increased in Tgfb2+/- mice, suggesting that TGF-beta2 affects the earliest stages of T-cell development in old mice. Reciprocal transplantation experiments indicated that TGF-beta2 expressed both in the (micro)environment and in the hematopoietic system can accelerate thymic involution; however, the age of the stem cells appeared irrelevant. Thus, although thymic involution is largely determined by the aged environment, TGF-beta2 plays a major modulatory role that is subject to genetic variation and is possibly mediated through its regulatory effects on early hematopoiesis.
    Blood 04/2006; 107(5):1974-9. · 9.06 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

309 Citations
265.70 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011
    • New York Presbyterian Hospital
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2002–2011
    • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
      • Department of Oncological Sciences
      Manhattan, New York, United States
  • 2008
    • Universität Witten/Herdecke
      Witten, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany