Profile IntroductionThe research in the Knoepfler lab focuses on the epigenetic and transcriptional control mechanisms that direct stem cell cell fate and tissue growth. We are particularly interested in the relationship and epigenomic ties between tumorigenicity and pluripotency. How are normal stem cells programmed and how does this programming go awry in cancer? Our cancer focus is predominantly on pediatric nervous system tumors. Our model systems including both mouse and human ESC, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, and cancer stem cells. Our two big picture goals are to make innovative cancer treatments (particularly for childhood nervous system tumors) and to make stem cell-based regenerative medicine therapies more effective as well as safer with lower risk of tumorigenesis.
|1998||PhD||Molecular Pathology||UC San Diego School of Medicine|
|1989||BA||English Literature||Reed College|
Stem cell and cancer epigenomics
Our lab's main research interest is focused on epigenomic control of stem and cancer cell behavior. We are particularly interested in three types of regulatory factors: MYC proteins, DPPA4/2, and the histone variant H3.3. Althought these proteins are not related to each other at the amino acid level, they share the same pattern of having key roles in normal stem cells and, when deregulated, in cancer. To study these factors we use a variety of methods including genetics, cell and molecular biology, genomics, protein biochemistry, and emerging gene editing technologies.
Department and Center Affiliations
CBS Grad Group Affiliations
Specialties / Focus
- Chromosome Dynamics and Nuclear Function
- Genomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics
- Molecular Medicine
- Cell Biology
- Developmental Biology
- Cancer Biology
- Stem Cell Biology
- Chromosome Biology
- Human Genetics and Genomics
- Integrated Genetics and Genomics
- Animal Genomics
- Cellular Physiology
- Molecular Physiology
- Developmental Physiology
Graduate Student Researcher, BMCDB
Priyanka Somanath Graduate Student, BMCDB
Graduate Student Researcher, BMCDB
CIRM Bridges Masters Student
Yuen BTK, Bush KM, Barrilleaux BL, Cotterman R, and Knoepfler, PS. Histone H3.3 regulates dynamic chromatin states during spermatogenesis. (2014) Development. Sep;141(18):3483-94.
BTK Yuen, PS Knoepfler. (2014) Histone H3. 3 Mutations: A Variant Path to Cancer. Cancer Cell 24 (5), 567-574.
Tung PY, Varlakhanova NV, and Knoepfler PS. (2013). Identification of DPPA4 and DPPA2 as a novel family of pluripotency-related oncogenes. Stem Cells, Aug 20. doi: 10.1002/stem.1526. [Epub ahead of print]. NIHMS525053
Bush KM, Yuen BT, Barrilleaux BL, Riggs JW, O Geen H, Cotterman R, Knoepfler PS. (2013). Endogenous mammalian histone H3.3 exhibits chromatin-related functions during development. Epigenetics Chromatin, Apr 9;6(1):7. PMC36359032013 Apr 9;6(1):7.
Riggs JW, Barrilleaux B, Varlakhanova N, Bush K, Chan V, and Knoepfler PS. Induced pluripotency and oncogenic transformation are related processes. Stem Cells & Dev. 2013 Jan 1;22(1):37-50.
Laskowski AI and Knoepfler PS. (2013). Myc binds the pluripotency factor Utf1 through the basic-helix-loop-helix leucine zipper domain. BBRC, Jun 14;435(4):551-6. PMC3694802
Automation of Library Preparation for High-resolution ChIP-seq Profiling. IM Henry, R Cotterman, P Knoepfler, L Comai, RW Kim, H O'Geen. Journal of Biomolecular Techniques. 2013. JBT 24 (Suppl), S45.
Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays for myc and N-myc. Barrilleaux BL, Cotterman R, Knoepfler PS. The Myc Gene, 117-133.
Scientists: you really need to get out of the lab more. Knoepfler PS. Nat Med. 2013 Sep 6;19(9):1086. doi: 10.1038/nm0913-1086.
Key Action Items for the Stem Cell Field: Looking Ahead to 2014. PS Knoepfler. Stem cells and development.
Stem Cells: An Insider's Guide. Book. 2013. World Scientific Publishing Company. Paul S. Knoepfler. http://www.amazon.com/Stem-Cells-An-Insiders-Guide/dp/9814508802
Meissen JK , Yuen BTK, Kind T, Riggs JW, Barupala DK, Knoepfler PS*, and Fiehn O*. (2012). Induced pluripotent stem cells show metabolomic differences to embryonic stem cells in polyunsaturated phosphatidylcholines and primary metabolism. PLoS One, 7(10): e46770. *co-corresponding authors. PMC3471894.