Developmental Cellular Physiology and Pathophysiology Lab
- Function of the Wilms tumor protein WT1 in embryonic development and disease
- Molecular mechanisms of oxygen-dependent gene expression
- Developmental erythropoietin production in liver and kidney
- Role of polyamines in acute and chronic kidney injury
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Main research topics of the Developmental Cellular Physiology and Pathophysiology Lab
Our group is interested in transcriptional mechanisms controlling cardiovascular development and formation of the genitourinary system. The major focus of our work is on the regulation and function of the Wilms’ tumor gene, WT1. Another research topic is the regulation of gene expression by the local oxygen concentration and hypoxia, respectively.
Our group is interested in transcriptional mechanisms controlling cardiovascular development and formation of the genitourinary system. The major focus of our work is on the regulation and function of the Wilms' tumor gene, WT1. Another research topic is the regulation of gene expression by the local oxygen concentration and hypoxia, respectively.
Based on its mutational inactivation in pediatric renal malignancies (Wilms' tumor, nephroblastoma) WT1 has been identified as a tumor suppressor gene. The WT1 gene product belongs to a group of zinc finger proteins that regulate gene transcription by binding to a GC-rich consensus sequence. Some WT1 splice variants exhibit a reduced DNA binding affinity and have been implicated in mRNA processing. Targeted inactivation of Wt1 in mice caused a failure of normal formation of the kidneys and gonads, the mesothelium, hematopoietic tissue and sensory neuroepithelia. Wt1-deficient murine embryos die from a failure of normal heart formation, which is likely due to impaired vascularization of the developing myocardium. Accumulating evidence suggests a role of WT1 in the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of epicardial progenitor cells, which possess the characteristics of cardiac stem cells. WT1 expression in the heart is increased in hypoxia.
By studying the regulation of WT1 and by identifying WT1 downstream target genes we aim at deciphering key molecular events in cardiovascular and genitourinary differentiation. Our recent findings indicate that WT1 stimulates transcription of the metalloproteinase ADAMTS16 in murine embryonic kidneys and gonads. Transcriptional activation of the Adamts16 gene by WT1 is a critical mechanism for the normal development of these tissues.
Our research is driven by a genuine interest in the transcriptional signaling mechanisms underlying normal embryogenesis. Importantly, the adult organism frequently reactivates an embryonic gene expression program in response to tissue damage. Reexpression of "fetal genes", including WT1, is likely to promote and sustain organ repair. A detailed knowledge of the key molecular pathways in embryonic development can therefore provide important insights in regenerative processes following tissue injury.
German Research Foundation: DFG SFB 1365 Renoprotection, B05 The polyamine system in gender-related renoprotection, Project leader: Dr. Karin Kirschner, Professor Dr. Holger Scholz, 2019-2022.
Wilhelm Sander-Stiftung Project 2018.015.1: Characterization of WT1 as a potential target molecule in neuroblastomen, Project leader: Professor Dr. Holger Scholz, 2018-2020.
Deutsche Diabetes Stiftung: FB-0403-2017: Impact of the Wt1 genotype on glucose homeostasis, Project leader: Professor Dr. Holger Scholz, 2018-2019.
German Research Foundation: DFG KI 1441/4-1: Molecular mechanisms of adaptation to intrauterine and perinatal changes of oxygen partial pressure: The liver-to-kidney switch of Erythropoietin production as model System, Project leader: Dr. Karin Kirschner, 2017-2020.
Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung: 2014_A23: The Wilms tumor protein Wt1 and diabetes mellitus, Project leader: Professor Dr. Holger Scholz, 2014-2017
German Research Foundation: DFG SCHO 634/8-1: Regulation and synergism of transcription factors Wt1 and Gata 4 in the heart and gonads, Project leader: Professor Dr. Holger Scholz, 2011-2014.
German Research Foundation: DFG SCHO 634/6-1: Mechanisms and consequences of an oxygen-dependent expression of TrkB neurotrophin receptor, Project leader: Professor Dr. Holger Scholz, 2007-2010.
German Research Foundation: DFG FA 845/2-2: Posttranscriptional control of bHLH transcription factor Mash1 gene expression rate, in co-operation with Prof. Dr. Michael Fähling, 2008-2014.
- Prof. Dr. Christof Dame (Klinik für Pädiatrie m. S. Molekulare Neonatologie, Charité, Berlin)
- Prof. Dr. Christoph Englert (Fritz Lipmann-Institut, Jena)
- Prof. Dr. Christian Freund (Institut für Biochemie, Freie Universität Berlin)
- Prof. Dr. Andreas Schedl (INSERM U145, Nizza, Frankreich)
- PD Dr. Kay-Dietrich Wagner (INSERM U907, Nizza, Frankreich)
Publications (since 2006)
Sciesielski LK, Kirschner KM: HIF prolyl hydroxylase inhibitors – the new lifestyle drug? Acta Physiologica 227: e13370, 2019
Krueger K, Catanese L, Scholz H: Intermittent hypoxia: Friend and foe. Acta Physiologica 226:e13276, 2019
Krueger K, Catanese L, Sciesielski LK, Kirschner KM, Scholz H: Deletion of an intronic HIF-2α binding site suppresses hypoxia-induced WT1 expression. Biochemica et Biophysic Acta, BBA – Gene Regulatory Mechanisms: 1862:71-83, 2019
Schmidt V, Kirschner KM: Alternative pre-mRNA splicing. Acta Physiologica 222:e13053, 2018
Mathia S, Rudigier LJ, Kasim M, Kirschner KM, Persson PB, Eckardt K-U, Rosenberger C, Fähling M: A dual role of miR-22 in rhabdomyolysis-induced acute kidney injury. Acta Physiologica 224: e13102, 2018
Kirschner KM, Sciesielski LK, Krueger K, Scholz H: Wilms tumor protein-dependent transcription of VEGF receptor 2 and hypoxia regulate expression of the testis-promoting gene Sox9 in murine embryonic gonads. Journal of Biological Chemistry 292: 20281-2091, 2017
Müller M, Bondke Persson A, Krueger K, Kirschner KM, Scholz H: The Wilms tumor protein WT1 stimulates transcription of the gene encoding insulin-like growth factor binding protein 5 (IGFBP5). Gene 619: 21-29, 2017
Rudigier LJ, Dame C, Scholz H, Kirschner KM: Ex vivo cultures combined with vivo-morpholino induced gene knockdown provide a system to assess the role of WT1 and GATA4 during gonad Differentiation. PLOS one 12: e0176296, 2017
Kasim, M, Heß V, Scholz H, Persson PB, Fähling M: Achaete-Scute Homolog 1 Expression Controls Cellular Differentiation of Neuroblastoma. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience 9:156, 2016
Krueger K, Shen J, Maier A, Tepel M, Scholze A: Lower Superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) Protein Content in mononuclear cells is associated with better survival in patients with hemodialysis therapy. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, Volume 2016. Article ID 7423249, 8 pages, 2016
Holzweber M, Lippitz A, Krueger K, Jankowski J, Unger WES: Surface characterization of dialyzer polymer membranes by Imaging ToF-SIMS and quantitative XPS line scans. Biointerphases 10: 019011, 2015
Persson PB, Müller M: Transcription. Acta Physiologica 215: 159-160, 2015
Schley G, Scholz H, Kraus A, Hackenbeck T, Klanke B, Willam C, Wiesener MS, Heinze E, Burzlaff N, Eckardt K-U, Buchholz B: Hypoxia inhibits nephrogenesis through paracrine Vegfa despite the ability to enhance tubulogenesis. Kidney Intern., 88: 1283-1292, 2015
Albert GI, Schell C, Kirschner KM, Schäfer S, Naumann R, Müller A, Kretz O, Kuropka B, Girbig M, Hübner N, Krause E, Scholz H, Huber TB, Knobeloch K-P, Freund C: The GYF Domain Protein CD2BP2 is critical for embryogenesis and podocyte function. J Mol Cell Biol, 7: 402-414, 2015
Staudacher JJ, Naarmann-de Vries IS, Ujvari SJ, Klinger B, Kasim M, Benko E, Ostareck-Lederer A, Ostareck DH, Bondke Persson A, Lorenzen S, Meier JC, Blüthgen N, Persson PB, Henrion-Caude A, Mrowka R, Fähling M: Hypoxia-induced gene expression results from selective mRNA partitioning to the endoplasmic reticulum. Nucleic Acids Research, 43: 3219-3236, 2015
Kirschner KM, Braun JFW; Jacobi CL, Rudigier LJ, Bondke Persson A, Scholz H: Amine Oxidase Copper-containing 1 (AOC1) Is a Downstream Target Gene of the Wilms Tumor Protein, WT1, during Kidney Development. Journal of Biological Chemistry 289: 24452-24462, 2014
Jacobi CLJ, Rudigier LJ, Scholz H, Kirschner KM: Transcriptional regulation by the Wilms tumor protein, Wt1, suggests a role of the metalloproteinase Adamts16 in murine genitourinary development. Journal of Biological Chemistry 289(16): 11566, 2014 (Additions and Corrections)Dülsner A, Gatzke N, Hillmeister P, Glaser J, Zietzer A, Nagorka S, Janke D, Pfitzner J, Stawowy P, Meyborg H, Urban D, Bondke Persson A, Buschmann IR: PPARγ activation inhibits cerebral arteriogenesis in the hypoperfused rat brain. Acta Physiologica, 210: 354-368, 2014
Bondke Persson A and Persson PB: Sleep. Acta Physiologica 210: 229-230, 2014
Bondke Persson A and Persson PB: Dealing with radicals. Acta Physiologica 210: 2-4, 2014
Bondke Persson, A and Persson, PB: The physiologist: researcher, inventor, physician, educator and visionary. Acta Physiologica 209: 193-194, 2013
Bondke Persson A: G – protein – receptors, signals and function. Acta Physiol 209: 91-93, 2013
Bondke Persson A, Persson PB: Tools of our trade. Acta Physiol 208: 289-291, 2013
Bondke Persson A, Persson PB: On beauty. Acta Physiol 208: 215- 217, 2013
Duelsner A, Bondke Persson A: Animal models in cardiovascular research. Acta Physiol 208: 1- 5, 2013
Persson PB, Bondke Persson A: Nitric oxide: a classic revisited. Acta Physiologica 207: 427-429, 2013
Persson PB, Bondke Persson A: A matter of taste. Acta Physiologica 207: 203-205, 2013
Persson PB, Bondke Persson A: Obesity: The BIG issue. Acta Physiologica 207: 1-4, 2013
Jacobi CLJ, Rudigier LJ, Scholz H, Kirschner KM: Transcriptional regulation by the wilms tumor protein, Wt1, suggests a role of the metalloproteinase Adamts16 in murine genitourinary development. The Journal of Biol Chem 288(26): 18811-18824, 2013
Fähling M, Persson AB, Klinger B, Benko E, Steege A, Kasim M, Patzak A, Persson PB, Wolf G, Blüthgen N, Mrowka R: Multi-level regulation of HIF-1 signaling by TTP. Mol Biol Cell 23:4129-4141, 2012
Bondke Persson A and Persson, PB: Cycling in Physiology. Acta Physiologica (Oxford) 206: 1-3, 2012
Dülsner A, Gatzke N, Glasner J, Hillmeister P, Li M, Lee EJ, Lehmann K, Urban D, Meyborg H, Stawowy P, Busjahn A, Nagorka S, Bondke Persson A, Buschmann IR: Acetylsalicylic acid, but no clopidogrel, inhibits therapeutically induced cerebral arteriogenesis in the hypoperfused rat brain. J Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism 32: 105-114, 2012
Dülsner A, Gatzke N, Glaser J, Hillmeister P, Li M, Lee EJ, Lehmann K, Urban D, Meyborg H, Stawowy P, Busjahn A, Nagorka S, Bondke Persson A, Buschmann IR: Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor Improves Cerebrovascular Reserve Capacity by Enhancing Collateral Growth in the Circle of Willis. Cerebrovascular Diseases 33: 419-429, 2012
Persson PB, Bondke Persson A: Age your garlic for longevity. Acta Physiologica (Oxford) 205: 1-2, 2012
Bondke Persson A and Persson PB: Let 'em grow: the Yin and Yang of vessel growth. Acta Physiologica (Oxford) 204: 466-468, 2012
Bondke Persson A and Persson, PB: Getting a kick out of thermoregulation. Acta Physiologica (Oxford) 204: 291-293, 2012
Bondke Persson A, Buschmann E-E, Lindhorst R, Troidl K, Langhoff R, Schulte K-L, Buschmann I: Therapeutic arteriogenesis in peripheral arterial disease: combining intervention and passive training. Vasa 40:177-187, 2011
Scholz H, Kirschner KM: Oxygen-dependent gene expression in development and cancer: lessons learned from the Wilms' tumor gene, WT1. Front Mol Neurosci. 4, Article 4:1-11, 2011
Bondke Persson A, Buschmann IR: Vascular growth in health and disease. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience 4, 2011
Benko E, Winkelmann A, Meier JC, Persson PB, Scholz H, and Fähling M: Phorbol-ester mediated suppression of hASH1 synthesis: Multiple ways to keep the level down. Front Mol Neurosci. 4, Article 1:1-11, 2011
Sciesielski LK, Kirschner KM, Scholz H, Persson AB. Wilms' tumor protein Wt1 regulates the Interleukin-10 (IL-10) gene. FEBS Letters 584:4665-4671, 2010.
Kirschner KM, Sciesielski LK, Scholz H. Wilms' tumor protein Wt1 stimulates transcription of the gene encoding vascular endothelial cadherin. Pflügers Arch.-Europ. J. Physiol. 460:1051-1061, 2010.
Sciesielski LK, Paliege A, Martinka P, Scholz H. Enhanced pulmonary expression of the TrkB neurotrophin receptor in hypoxic rats is associated with increased acetylcholine-induced airway contractility. Acta Physiol. 197:253-264, 2009.
Fähling M, Mrowka R, Steege A, Kirschner KM, Benko E, Förstera B, Persson PB, Thiele BJ, Meier JC, Scholz H. Translational regulation of the human achaete-scute homologue-1 by fragile X mental retardation protein. J. Biol. Chem. 284(7):4255-4266, 2009.
Scholz H, Wagner KD, Wagner N. Role of the Wilms' tumor transcription factor, Wt1, in blood vessel formation. Pflügers Arch.-Europ. J. Physiol. 458:315-323, 2009.
Kirschner KM, Hagen P, Hussels CS, Ballmaier M, Scholz H, Dame C: The Wilms' tumor suppressor Wt1 activates transcription of the erythropoietin receptor in hematopoietic progenitor cells. FASEB J. 22(8):2690-2701, 2008.
Steege A, Fähling M, Paliege A, Bondke A, Kirschner KM, Martinka P, Kaps C, Patzak A, Persson PB, Thiele BJ, Scholz H, Mrowka R. Wilms' tumor protein WT1(-KTS) modulates renin gene transcription. Kidney Int. 74(4):458-466, 2008.
Martens LK, Kirschner KM, Warnecke C, Scholz H: Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is a transcriptional activator of the TrkB neurotrophin receptor gene. J.Biol.Chem. 282(19):14379-14388, 2007.
Kirschner KM, Wagner N, Wagner KD, Wellmann S, Scholz H: The Wilms tumor suppressor Wt1 promotes cell adhesion through transcriptional activation of the alpha4integrin gene. J.Biol.Chem. 281(42):31930-31939, 2006.
Wagner N, Wagner KD, Scholz H, Kirschner KM, Schedl A: Intermediate filament protein nestin is expressed in developing kidney and heart and might be regulated by the Wilms' tumor suppressor Wt1. Am.J.Physiol.Regul.Integr.Comp.Physiol. 291(3):R779-787, 2006.
Dame C, Kirschner KM, Bartz KV, Wallach T, Hussels CS, Scholz H: Wilms tumor suppressor, Wt1, is a transcriptional activator of the erythropoietin gene. Blood 107 (11):4282-4290, 2006.