Jensen Group: Cell fate control during development, homeostasis and disease

The Jensen group investigates the mechanisms that control stem cell behavior and cell fate choices during development, homeostasis and disease using the epithelia of the skin and intestine as model systems

The epithelia of the gastrointestinal tract and the skin are subject to continuous renewal throughout adult life. Stem cells residing in specific locations/environments (stem cell niches) are responsible for the life-long cellular replenishment of these tissues. Extrinsic factors provided by the stem cell niche in combination with the intrinsic properties of the stem cells control the balance between expansion of the stem cell pool by self-renewal and commitment to differentiation following exit from the niche. The regulatory mechanisms that control normal homeostasis are compromised during diseases such as cancer, as excessive accumulation of cell fuels tumor growth. During development and tissue regeneration a similar imbalance between gain and loss of cells can be observed to either fuel organ growth or wound healing. Using mouse models, clinical samples from human patients and state of the art cell culture models, our aim is to identify and characterize the regulatory mechanisms controlling cell fate decisions during development, homeostasis and diseases such as cancer.

Ongoing projects

  1. Identification and characterization of the regulatory control mechanisms that control normal tissue homeostasis
  2. Functional characterization of the gene regulatory networks that control regionalisation and maturation of fetal progenitors into adult epithelial stem cells
  3. Understanding mechanisms that regulate aberrant stem cell fate behavior during diseases such as cancer and during regeneration.

 Selected Publications

Schweiger, Pawel J., Ditte L. Clement, Mahalia E. Page, Troels Schepeler, Xiangang Zou, Gabor Sirokmány, Fiona M. Watt and Kim B. Jensen (2018). Lrig1 marks a population of gastric epithelial cells capable of long-term tissue maintenance and growth in vitro. Scientific Reports, 8(1):15255, doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-33578-6.

Li, Yuan, Christoffer Soendergaard, Fredrik Holmberg Bergenheim, David M. Aronoff, Ginger Milne, Lene Buhl Riis, Jakob Benedict Seidelin, Kim B. Jensen & Ole Haagen Nielsen (2018). COX-2–PGE2 Signaling Impairs Intestinal Epithelial Regeneration and Associates with TNF Inhibitor Responsiveness in Ulcerative Colitis. EBioMedicine, pii: S2352-3964(18)30329-3, doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2018.08.040.

Petersen, Natalia, Thomas M. Frimurer, Marianne Terndrup Pedersen, Kristoffer L. Egerod, Nicolai J. Wewer Albrechtsen, Jens J. Holst, Anne Grapin-Botton, Kim B. Jensen & Thue W. Schwartz (2018). Inhibiting RHOA Signaling in Mice Increases Glucose Tolerance and Numbers of Enteroendocrine and Other Secretory Cells in the Intestine.Gastroenterology, 155(4), 1164-1176, doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2018.06.039

Boyd, Mette, Malte Thodberg, Morana Vitezic, Jette Bornholdt, Kristoffer Vitting-Seerup, Yun Chen, Mehmet Coskun, Yuan Li, Bobby Zhao Sheng Lo, Pia Klausen, Pawel Jan Schweiger, Anders Gorm Pedersen, Nicolas Rapin, Kerstin Skovgaard, Katja Dahlgaard, Robin Andersson, Thilde Bagger Terkelsen, Berit Lilje, Jesper Thorvald Troelsen, Andreas Munk Petersen, Kim Bak Jensen, Ismail Gögenur, Peter Thielsen, Jakob Benedict Seidelin, Ole Haagen Nielsen, Jacob Tveiten Bjerrum & Albin Sandelin (2018) Characterization of the enhancer and promoter landscape of inflammatory bowel disease from human colon biopsiesNature Communications, 9(1661), doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03766-z.

Moestrup, Kasper S., Yun Chen, Troels Schepeler, Pawel J. Schweiger & Kim B. Jensen (2018). Dietary Control of Skin Lipid Composition and MicrobiomeJournal of Investigative Dermatology 138 (5), 1225 – 1228, doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2017.12.005

Yui, Shiro, Luca Azzolin, Martti Maimets, Marianne Terndrup Pedersen, Robert P. Fordham, Stine L. Hansen, Hjalte L. Larsen, Jordi Guiu, Mariana R.P. Alves, Carsten F. Rundsten, Jens V. Johansen, Yuan Li, Chris D. Madsen, Tetsuya Nakamura, Mamoru Watanabe, Ole H. Nielsen, Pawel J. Schweiger, Stefano Piccolo & Kim B. Jensen (2018). YAP/TAZ-Dependent Reprogramming of Colonic Epithelium Links ECM Remodeling to Tissue Regeneration. Cell Stem Cell, 22:35-49, doi:10.1016/j.stem.2017.11.001.