Philipsen, Sjaak

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Sjaak Philipsen obtained his PhD in Biochemistry in 1988 from the State University of Groningen (NL). He studied estrogen-dependent induction of chicken yolk protein genes in the liver. He applied direct in vivo footprinting to analyse the dynamic changes in transcription factor occupancy of the promoters of these genes after estrogen induction and withdrawal. He was awarded an EMBO long-term fellowship for a post-doctoral training period at the National Institute for Medical Research (London, UK). Here, he performed a functional dissection of the hypersensitive sites of the beta-globin Locus Control Region in transgenic mice. He demonstrated through point mutagenesis that the activity of the LCR requires specific combinations of GATA binding sites and CACC boxes. This work sparked his interest in the GATA and Sp/XKLF transcription factor families.

In 1993, he took up a faculty position in the Erasmus MC Department of Cell Biology, where he started to use transgenic overexpression and (conditional) knockouts to unravel the role of transcription factors in erythropoiesis and globin switching. He has focused on members of the GATA- and Sp/KLF transcription factor families. His laboratory is using an array of state-of-the-art technologies in these studies, including gene expression analysis with micro-arrays (Affymetrix), protein complex purification using in vivo biotinylation tagging followed by mass spectrometry analysis, and functional screens with lentiviral RNAi libraries.


Philipsen group pages



Drissen, R., Palstra, R.J., Gillemans, N., Splinter, E., Grosveld, F., Philipsen, S. and de Laat, W. (2004)
The active spatial organization of the beta-globin locus requires the transcription factor EKLF
Genes Dev 18:2485-2490

Ferreira, R., Wai, A., Shimizu, R., Gillemans, N., Rottier, R., von Lindern, M., Ohneda, K., Grosveld, F., Yamamoto, M. and Philipsen, S. (2007)
Dynamic regulation of Gata factor levels is more important than their identity
Blood 109:5481-5490

Van Dijk, T.B., Gillemans, N., Pourfarzad, F., van Lom, K., von Lindern, M., Grosveld, F. and Philipsen, S. (2010)
Fetal globin expression is regulated by Friend of Prmt1
Blood 116:4349-4352

Borg, J., Papadopoulos, P., Georgitsi, M., Gutierrez, L., Grech, G., Fanis, P., Phylactides, M., Verkerk, A.J., van der Spek, P.J., Scerri, C.A., Cassar, W., Galdies, R., van Ijcken, W., Ozgur, Z., Gillemans, N., Hou, J., Bugeja, M., Grosveld, F.G., von Lindern, M., Felice, A.E., Patrinos, G.P. and Philipsen, S. (2010)
Haploinsufficiency for the erythroid transcription factor KLF1 causes hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin
Nat Genet 42:801-805