Göttinger Graduiertenschule für Neurowissenschaften, Biophysik und Molekulare Biowissenschaften

Uhmann, Anja, PD Dr.*

Lab leader Molecular Developmental Genetics

  • 2016: Habilitation, Molecular Human Genetics, University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany
  • Since 2009: Lab leader, Institute of Human Genetics, University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany
  • Since 2008: Project leader, Institute of Human Genetics, University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany
  • 2006-2008: Postdoctoral fellow, Institute of Human Genetics, University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany
  • 2006: Dr. rer. nat., Institute of Human Genetics, University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany
  • 2002: Diploma, Biology, Department of Genetics, University of Bayreuth, Germany

Major Research Interests

The ability of the body to repair and replace cells and tissues without disturbing other cell populations led to the identification of adult stem cells (aSC) in a variety of organs and tissues. During the last years several signaling pathways (e.g. WNT, Notch and Hedgehog (Hh) signaling) have been identified to regulate the maintenance, differentiation and self-renewal capacities of aSC and transit-amplifying cells (TAC) as well as their balanced crosstalk with the stromal environment or their stem cell niche. In this context it seems to be obvious to link aSC to the development of cancers as aSC possess several basic properties to fulfill the role of the origin of tumorigenesis. Moreover the majority of actual data points towards resident aSC or primitive TAC as cancer cells of origin and highlights the importance of aSC not only as propagators but also as initiators of cancer.
With respect to this very fascinating connection between aSC/TAC and cancer development our group is investigating the role of Hh signaling in aSC of the skin and the pituitary gland and their function in normal organ homoeostasis as well as in cancer development. Therefore we utilize mouse models for lineage tracing experiments and for the deregulation of Hh signaling in vivo as well as fresh human skin and pituitary adenoma samples to transfer our data to the human organism. Our investigations comprise the following topics: (a) identification of unknown roles of Hh signaling in adult tissues and cancers; (b) identification of cancer-initiating mechanisms and cells; (c) analyses of stroma-cancer cell interactions; (d) investigations about the interaction of the proteins Ptch and Smo and their role in Hh signaling inhibition and (e) validation of potential targeted therapies against Hh-associated cancers.

Homepage Department/Research Group


Selected Recent Publications

  • Pyczek, J., Buslei R, Schult D, Hölsken A, Buchfelder M, Heß I, Hahn H, Uhmann A. Hedgehog signaling activation induces stem cell proliferation and hormone release in the adult pituitary gland. Sci Rep. 2016 Apr 25;6:24928. doi: 10.1038/srep24928.
  • Linder B, Weber S, Dittmann K, Adamski J, Hahn H, Uhmann A. A Functional and Putative Physiological Role of Calcitriol in Patched1/Smoothened Interaction. J Biol Chem. 2015 Aug 7;290(32):19614-28. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M115.646141. Epub 2015 Jun 30.
  • Uhmann A, Heß I, Frommhold A, König S, Zabel S, Nitzki F, Dittmann K, Lühder F, Christiansen H, Reifenberger J, Schulz-Schaeffer W, Hahn H. DMBA/TPA treatment is necessary for BCC formation from patched deficient epidermal cells in Ptch(flox/flox)CD4Cre(+/-) mice. J. Invest. Dermatol. 2014 Oct;134(10):2620-9. doi: 10.1038/jid.2014.157. Epub 2014 Mar 24.
  • Uhmann A, Niemann H, Lammering B, Henkel C, Hess I, Nitzki F, Fritsch A, Prüfer N, Rosenberger A, Dullin C, Schraepler A, Reifenberger J, Schweyer S, Pietsch T, Strutz F, Schulz-Schaeffer W, Hahn H. Antitumoral effects of calcitriol in basal cell carcinomas involve inhibition of hedgehog signaling and induction of vitamin D receptor signaling and differentiation. Mol Cancer Ther. 2011 Nov;10(11):2179-88. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-11-0422. Epub 2011 Aug 30.
  • van Dop WA, Uhmann A, Wijgerde M, Heijmans J, Offerhaus GJ, van den Bergh Weerman MA, Hommes DW, Hardwick JC, Hahn H, van den Brink GR. Depletion of the colonic epithelial precursor cell compartment upon conditional activation of the hedgehog pathway. Gastroenterology 2009 Jun;136(7):2195-2203.e1-7. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2009.02.068. Epub 2009 Mar 6.
  • Uhmann A, Dittmann K, Nitzki F, Kolova M, Frommhold A, Zibat A, Binder C, Adham I, T Heller, Armstrong V, Schulz-Schaeffer W, Wienands J, Hahn H. The Hedgehog receptor Patched controls lymphoid lineage commitment. Blood. 2007 Sep 15;110(6):1814-23. Epub 2007 May 29.