Hans-Willem Snoeck

CUNY Graduate Center, New York, New York, United States

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Publications (32)379.36 Total impact

  • Hans-Willem Snoeck
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms underlying the aging process are not understood. Even tissues endowed with somatic stem cells age while the germline appears immortal. I propose that this paradox may be explained by the pervasive use of glycolysis by somatic stem cells as opposed to the predominance of mitochondrial respiration in gametes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Cell stem cell 06/2015; 16(6). DOI:10.1016/j.stem.2015.04.021 · 22.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Severe influenza disease strikes otherwise healthy children and remains unexplained. We report compound heterozygous null mutations in IRF7, which encodes the transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 7, in an otherwise healthy child who suffered life-threatening influenza during primary infection. In response to influenza virus, the patient's leukocytes and plasmacytoid dendritic cells produced very little type I and III interferons (IFNs). Moreover, the patient's dermal fibroblasts and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived pulmonary epithelial cells produced reduced amounts of type I IFN and displayed increased influenza virus replication. These findings suggest that IRF7-dependent amplification of type I and III IFNs is required for protection against primary infection by influenza virus in humans. They also show that severe influenza may result from single-gene inborn errors of immunity. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
    Science 03/2015; DOI:10.1126/science.aaa1578 · 31.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lung and airway epithelial cells generated in vitro from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have applications in regenerative medicine, modeling of lung disease, drug screening and studies of human lung development. Here we describe a strategy for directed differentiation of hPSCs into developmental lung progenitors, and their subsequent differentiation into predominantly distal lung epithelial cells. The protocol entails four stages that recapitulate lung development, and it takes ∼50 d. First, definitive endoderm (DE) is induced in the presence of high concentrations of activin A. Subsequently, lung-biased anterior foregut endoderm (AFE) is specified by sequential inhibition of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and Wnt signaling. AFE is then ventralized by applying Wnt, BMP, fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and retinoic acid (RA) signaling to obtain lung and airway progenitors. Finally, these are further differentiated into more mature epithelial cells types using Wnt, FGF, cAMP and glucocorticoid agonism. This protocol is conducted in defined conditions, it does not involve genetic manipulation of the cells and it results in cultures in which the majority of the cells express markers of various lung and airway epithelial cells, with a predominance of cells identifiable as functional type II alveolar epithelial cells.
    Nature Protocols 03/2015; 10(3):413-25. DOI:10.1038/nprot.2015.023 · 7.78 Impact Factor
  • Hans-Willem Snoeck
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    ABSTRACT: Directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into mature cells, tissues and organs holds major promise for the development of novel approaches in regenerative medicine, and provides a unique tool for disease modeling and drug discovery. Sometimes underappreciated is the fact that directed differentiation of hPSCs also provides a unique model for human development, with a number of important advantages over model organisms. Here, I discuss the importance of using human stem cell models for understanding human lung development and disease. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
    Development 01/2015; 142(1):13-6. DOI:10.1242/dev.115469 · 6.27 Impact Factor
  • Larry Luchsinger, Hans-Willem Snoeck
    Experimental Hematology 08/2014; 42(8S):S21. DOI:10.1016/j.exphem.2014.07.076 · 2.81 Impact Factor
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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; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1315464111 · 9.81 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(1). DOI:10.1038/nbt.2754 · 39.08 Impact Factor
  • Kenjiro Kamezaki, Larry L. 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; DOI:10.1016/j.exphem.2013.11.008 · 2.81 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. DOI:10.1097/MOH.0b013e3283623c77 · 4.05 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 03/2013; 35(3). DOI:10.1002/bies.201200090 · 4.84 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. DOI:10.1016/j.stem.2012.05.020 · 22.15 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. DOI:10.1016/j.stem.2012.01.019 · 22.15 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. DOI:10.1182/blood-2011-07-365080 · 9.78 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 05/2011; 9:51. DOI:10.1186/1741-7015-9-51 · 7.28 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. DOI:10.1182/blood-2010-08-300145 · 9.78 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. DOI:10.1038/nbt.1788 · 39.08 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. DOI:10.1093/gerona/glq041 · 4.98 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. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.0901922 · 5.36 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. DOI:10.1016/S0076-6879(10)76023-7 · 2.19 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

457 Citations
379.36 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2015
    • CUNY Graduate Center
      New York, New York, United States
  • 2013–2014
    • Columbia University
      • Columbia Center for Translational Immunology
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2002–2012
    • Mount Sinai School of Medicine
      • Department of Oncological Sciences
      Manhattan, New York, United States
  • 2008
    • Universität Witten/Herdecke
      • Institute of Cell Biology
      Witten, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany