Reprogramming and Epigenetics Laboratory
Doctor Jose M. Polo
Monash Immunology and Stem Cell
STRIP1, Level 3
Dr Christian Nefzger
Dr Sue Mei Lim
Mr Sam Cotton
The laboratory of reprogramming and epigenetics is led by Dr. Jose M. Polo who has recently relocated to Monash from Harvard University and has established his own research group.
The laboratory is interested in the transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms that govern pluripotency and the reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.
Being able to specifically reprogram a mature cellular program into a pluripotent state and from there back into another particular cellular program provides a unique tool to dissect the molecular and cellular events that permit the conversion of one cell type to another. Moreover, iPS cells and the reprogramming technology are of great interest in the pharmaceutical and clinical settings, since the technology can be used to generate animal and cellular models for the study of various diseases as well as in the future, to provide tailor made cells for patients for use in cellular replacement therapies. However, despite being one of the major growing research fields very little is known about the epigenetic and transcriptome changes occurring during this process. We are particularly interested in three aspects:
- The kinetics and universality of the epigenetic changes occurring during reprogramming.
- The in vitro and in vivo plasticity potential of the generated cells.
- The composition and assembly kinetics of transcriptional regulation complexes at pluripotency genes.
Using different molecular, biochemical and cellular techniques our lab is aiming to dissect the nature and dynamics of such events.
Ohi Y, Qin H, Hong C, Blouin L, Polo JM, Guo T, Qi Z, Downey SL, Manos PD, Rossi DJ, Yu J, Hebrok M, Hochedlinger K, Costello JF, Song JS, Ramalho-Santos M.” Incomplete DNA methylation underlies a transcriptional memory of somatic cells in human iPS cells.” Nature Cell Biology. 2011 May;13(5):541-9.
Polo JM, Liu S, Figueroa ME, Kulalert W, Eminli S, Tan KY, Apostolou E, Stadtfeld M, Li Y, Shioda T, Natesan S, Wagers AJ, Melnick A, Evans T, Hochedlinger K. “Cell type of origin influences the molecular and functional properties of mouse induced pluripotent stem cells. ” Nature Biotechnology. 2010 Aug;28(8):848-55.
Polo JM, Hochedlinger K. “When fibroblasts MET iPSCs” Cell Stem Cell. 2010 Jul 2;7(1):5-6.
Buecker C, Chen HH, Polo JM, Daheron L, Bu L, Barakat TS, Okwieka P, Porter A, Gribnau J, Hochedlinger K, Geijsen N. “A murine ESC-like state facilitates transgenesis and homologous recombination in human pluripotent stem cells.” Cell Stem Cell. 2010 Jun 4;6(6):535-46.
Utikal J and Polo JM*, Stadtfeld M, Maherali N, Kulalert W, Walsh RM, Khalil A, Rheinwald JG, Hochedlinger K. “Immortalization eliminates a roadblock during cellular reprogramming into iPS cells” Nature. 2009 Aug 27;460(7259):1145-8. (*Co- First Author).