Welcome to the Martin Zenke Lab, Faculty of Medicine of RWTH Aachen University and  RWTH Aachen University Hospital Aachen, Germany. The Martin Zenke Lab is affiliated with the Department of Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation, Department of Medicine IV, RWTH Aachen University Medical School, Aachen, Germany.


The Martin Zenke Lab studies stem cells and their differentiated progeny. This includes adult stem cells, such as hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells, and embryonic stem cells (ES cells). We also study engineered stem cells, such as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), and use precision genome engineering with CRISPR/Cas to generate cells with desired properties.  Stem cells are differentiated into a large array of terminally differentiated cell types with a focus on antigen presenting dendritic cells. Additionally, iPS cells are differentiated into mesenchymal cells, endothelial cells, mast cells and megakaryocytes, which are used for disease modelling and compound screening.

About Martin Zenke

Martin Zenke, PhD, Professor of Cell Biology (Biosketch; CV) leads the group since April 2022 after retiring from the position as director of the Institute for Biomedical Engineering - Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine of RWTH Aachen University in March 2022.

 Complete list of publications

Proinflammatory phenotype of iPS cell-derived JAK2 V617F megakaryocytes induces fibrosis in 3D in vitro bone marrow niche.
Flosdorf, N., Böhnke, J., Toledo, M. A. S., Lutterbach, N., Gómez Lerma, V., Grashoff, M., Olschok, K., Gupta, S., Tharmapalan, V., Schmitz, S., Götz, K., Schüler, H. M., Maurer, A., Sontag, S., Küstermann C., Seré, K., Wagner, W., G. Costa, I. G., Brümmendorf, T. H., Koschmieder, S., Chatain, N., Castilho, M., Schneider, R. K. and Zenke, M. (2024).
Stem Cell Reports 19, 224-238.  Abstract | Full
KIT D816V mast cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells recapitulate systemic mastocytosis transcriptional profile.
Toledo, M. A. S., Fu, X., Maié, T., Buhl, E. M., Götz, K., Schmitz, S., Kaiser, A.,Boor, P., Braunschweig, T., Chatain, N., Costa, I. G., Brümmendorf, T. H., Koschmieder, S. and Zenke, M. (2023).
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 24, 5275.  Abstract | Full
A lncRNA identifies IRF8 enhancer element in negative feedback control of dendritic cell differentiation..
Xu, H., Li, Z., Kuo, C.-C. Götz, K., Look, T., Toledo, M. A. S., Seré, K., Costa, I. G. and Zenke, M. (2023).
eLife 12, e83342. Abstract | Full
Guidelines for mouse and human dendritic cell generation.
Lutz, M. B., Ali, S. Audiger, C., Autenrieth, S. E., Berod, L., Bigley, V., Cyran, L., Dalod, M., Dörrie, J., Dudziak, D., Flórez-Grau, G., Giusiano, L., Godoy, G. J., Heuer, M., Krug, A. B., Lehmann, C. H. K., Mayer, C. T., Naik, S. H., Scheu, S., Schreibelt, G., Segura, E., Seré, K., Sparwasser, T., Tel, J., Xu, H. and Zenke, M. (2023).
Eur. J. Immunol. 53, 2249816. Abstract | Full
Intrathymic dendritic cell precursors promote human T-lineage specification via IRF8- driven transmembrane TNF.
Liang, K. L., Roels, J., Lavaert, M., Putteman, T., Boehme, L., Tilleman, L., Velghe, I., Pegoretti, V., van de Walle, I., Sontag, S., Vandewalle, J., Vandekerckhove, B., Leclercq, G., van Vlierberghe, P., Libert, C., van Nieuwerburgh, F., Fischer, R., Kontermann, R. E., Pfizenmaier, K., Doody, G., Zenke, M., and Taghon, T. (2022).
Nat. Immunol. 24, 474-486. Abstract | Full
Towards personalized medicine with iPS cell technology: A case report of advanced systemic mastocytosis with associated eosinophilia.
Atakhanov, S., Christen, D., Rolles, B., Schüler, H. M., Panse, J., Chatain, N., Koschmieder, S., Brümmendorf, T. H., Toledo, M. A. S., and Zenke, M. (2022).
Ann. Hematol., 101, 2533–2536. Abstract | Full
Dendritic cells generated from induced pluripotent stem cells and by direct reprogramming of somatic cells.
Flosdorf, N., and Zenke, M. (2022).
Eur. J. Immunol. 52, 1880-1888. Abstract | Full
Cell cluster sorting in automated differentiation of patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells towards blood cells.
Ma, Z., Toledo, M. A. S., Wanek, P., Mabrouk, M. H. E., Smet, F Pulak, R., Pieske, S., Piotrowski, T., Herfs, W., Brecher, C., Schmitt, R. H., Wagner, W., and Zenke, M. (2022).
Front. Bioeng. Biotech. 10, 755983.
CRISPR/Cas9-engineered human ES cells harboring heterozygous and homozygous c-KIT knockout.
Toledo, M. A. S., Fu, X., Kluge, F., Götz, K., Schmitz, S., Wanek, P., Schüler, H. M., Pannen, K., Chatain, N., Koschmieder, S., Brümmendorf, T. H., and Zenke, M. (2022).
Stem Cell Research 60, 102732.
CRISPR/Cas9 editing in conditionally immortalized HoxB8 cells for studying gene regulation in mouse dendritic cells.
Xu, H., Look, T., Prithiviraj, S., Lennartz, D., Delgado Cáceres, M., Götz, K., Wanek, P., Häcker, H., Kramann, R., Seré, K., and Zenke, M. (2021).
Eur. J. Immunol. 52, 1859-1862.
CALR frameshift mutations accelerate maturation of megakaryocytes in MPN patient-derived iPS cells.
Olschok, K., Han, L., Toledo, M. A. S., Boehnke, J., Graßhoff, M., Costa, I. G., Theocharides, A., Maurer, A., Schüler, H. M., Buhl, E. M., Pannen, K., Baumeister, J., Kalmer, M., Gupta, S., Boor, P., Gezer, D., Brümmendorf, T. H., Zenke, M., Chatain, N., and Koschmieder, S. (2021).
Stem Cell Reports 16, 2768-2783.
Chromatin-accessibility estimation from single-cell ATAC data with scOpen.
Li, Z., Kuppe, C., Ziegler, S., Cheng, M., Kabgani, N., Menzel, S., Zenke, M., Kramann, R., and Ivan G. Costa, I. G. (2021).
Nature Communications 12, 6386.
CRISPR/Cas9 mediated CXCL4 knockout in human iPS cells of polycythemia vera patient with JAK2 V617F mutation.
Boehnke, J., Atakhanov, S., Toledo, M. A. S., Schüler, H. M., Sontag, S., Chatain, N., Koschmieder, S., Brümmendorf, T. H., Kramann, R., and Zenke, M. (2021).
Stem Cell Research 55, 102490.
Human DC3 antigen presenting dendritic cells from induced pluripotent stem cells.
Satoh, T., Toledo, M. A. S., Boehnke, J., Olschok, K., Küstermann, C., Sontag, S., Seré, K., Koschmieder, S., Brümmendorf, T. H., Chatain, N., Tagawa, Y.-I., and Zenke, M. (2021).
Front. Cell Dev. Biol. 9, 667304.
Nintedanib targets KIT D816V neoplastic cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells of systemic mastocytosis.
Toledo, M. A. S., Gatz, M., Sontag, S., Gleixner, K. V., Eisenwort, G., Feldberg, K., Hamouda, A. E. I., Kluge, F., Guareschi, R., Rossetti, G., Sechi, A. S., Dufva, O. M. J., Mustjoki, S. M., Maurer, A., Schüler, H. M., Goetzke, R., Braunschweig, T., Simonowski, A., Panse, J., Jawhar, M., Reiter, A., Hilberg, F., Ettmayer, P., Wagner, W., Koschmieder, S., Brümmendorf, T. H., Valent, P., Chatain, N., and Zenke, M. (2021).
Blood 137, 2070-2084.
(see also Commentary by A. Dorrance, Blood 137, 1993-1994, 2021).
Human sensory neurons derived from pluripotent stem cells for disease modelling and personalized medicine.
Lampert, A., Bennett, D. L., McDermott, L. A., Neureiter, A., Eberhardt, E., Winner, B., and Zenke, M. (2020).
Neurobiol. Pain 8, 100055.
Human ES cell-derived dendritic cells: meeting the challenge of immune rejection in allogeneic cell therapy.
Zenke, M. (2020).
EBioMedicine 62, 103144
Epigenetic aspects of DC development and differentiation.
Chauvistré, H., and Seré, K. (2020).
Mol. Immunol. 128,116-124.
The StemCellFactory: a modular system integration for automated generation and expansion of human induced pluripotent stem cells.
Elanzew, A., Nießing, B., Langendoerfer, D., Rippel, O., Piotrowski, T., Schenk, F., Kulik, M., Peitz, M., Breitkreuz, Y., Jung, S., Wanek, P., Stappert, L., Schmitt, R. H., Haupt, S., Zenke, M., König, N., and Brüstle, O. (2020).
Front. Bioeng. Biotech. 8, 580352.
 | Full
The role of Nav1.7 in human nociceptors: insights from human iPS cell-derived sensory neurons of erythromelalgia patients.
Meents, J. E., Bressan, E., Sontag, S., Foerster, A., Hautvast, P., Rösseler, C., Hampl, M., Schüler, H., Goetzke, R., Chi Le, T. K., Kleggetveit, I. P., Le Cann, K., Kerth, C., Rush, A. M., Rogers, M., Kohl, Z., Schmelz, M., Wagner, W., Jørum, E., Namer, B., Winner, B., Zenke, M., and Lampert, A. (2019).
Pain 160, 1327-1341.
Identification of transcription factor binding sites using ATAC-seq.
Li, Z., Schulz, M. H., Look, T., Begemann, M., Zenke, M., and Ivan G. Costa, I. G. (2019).
Genome Biol. 20, 45.
Stem cell research – Current scientific and societal developments.
Zenke, M., Marx-Stölting and Schickl, H., Editors (2018).
Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Nomos Publisher, Baden-Baden, Germany.
Differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) and embryonic stem cells (ES cells) into dendritic cell (DC) subsets.
Sontag, S., Förster, M., Seré, K. and Zenke, M. (2017).
Bio-protocol 7, e2419.
Modelling IRF8 deficient human hematopoiesis and dendritic cell development with engineered induced pluripotent stem cells.
Sontag, S., Förster, M., Qin, J., Wanek, P., Mitzka, S., Schüler, H. M., Koschmieder, S., Rose-John, S., Seré, K. and Zenke, M. (2017).
Stem Cells 35, 898-908.
Surface-grafted nanogel arrays direct cell adhesion and motility.
Sechi, A, Freitas, J, Wünnemann, P, Töpel, A, Paschoalin, RT, Ullmann, S, Schröder, R, Aydin, G, Rütten, S, Böker, A, Zenke, M and Pich, A. (2016).
Adv. Mater. Int. 1600455.
Analysis of computational footprinting methods for DNase sequencing experiments.
Gusmao, E. G., Allhoff, M., Zenke, M., and Costa, I. G. (2016).
Nature Methods 13, 303-309 (see also Editorial Nature Methods 13, 185)  Abstract Full
Epigenetic program and transcription factor circuitry of dendritic cell development.
Lin, Q., Chauvistré, H., Costa, I. G., Gusmão, E. G., Mitzka, S., Haenzelmann, S., Baying, B., Klisch, T., Moriggl, R., Hennuy, B., Smeets, H., Hoffmann, K., Benes, V., Seré, K., and Zenke, M. (2015).
Nucl. Acid Res. 43, 9680-9693.  Abstract Full
Crucial role for the LSP1-Myosin 1e bi-molecular complex in the regulation of Fcγ receptor-driven phagocytosis.
Maxeiner, S., Shi, N., Schalla, C., Aydin, G., Hoss, M., Vogel, S., Zenke, M., and Sechi, A. S. (2014).
Mol. Biol. Cell 26, 1652-1664.  Abstract | Full
The clash of Langerhans cell homeostasis: Should I stay or should I go?
Hieronymus, T., Zenke, M., Baek, J. H., and Seré, K. (2014).
Semin. Cell. Dev. Biol., S1084-9521. Abstract | Full
Cell fusion enhances mesendodermal differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells.
Qin, J., Sontag, S., Lin, Q., Mitzka, S., Leisten, I., Schneider, R. K., Wang, X., Jauch, A., Peitz, M., Brüstle, O., Wagner, W., Zhao, R. C., and Zenke, M. (2014).
Stem Cells Dev. 23, 2875-2482. Abstract | Full
Dendritic cell development requires histone deacetylase activity.
Chauvistré, H., Küstermann, C., Rehage, N., Klisch, T., Mitzka, S., Felker, P., Rose-John, S., Zenke, M., and Seré, K. (2014).
Eur. J. Immunol. 44, 2478-2488.
The polycomb protein Ezh2 impacts on induced pluripotent stem cell generation.
Ding, X., Wang, X., Sontag, S., Qin, J., Wanek, P., Lin, Q., and Zenke, M. (2014).
Stem Cells Dev. 23, 931-940. Abstract | Full
Two distinct types of Langerhans cells populate the skin during steady state and inflammation.
Seré, K., Baek, J. H., Ober-Blöbaum, J., Müller-Newen, G., Tacke, F., Yokota, Y., Zenke, M., and Hieronymus, T. (2012).
Immunity 37, 905-916.
(see also Preview by Romani, N., Tripp, C. H. and Stoitzner, P. (2012).  Langerhans cells come in waves. Immunity 37, 766-768).
The HGF receptor/met tyrosine kinase is a key regulator of dendritic cell migration in skin immunity.
Baek, J. H., Birchmeier, C., Zenke, M., and Hieronymus, T. (2012).
J. Immunol. 189, 1699-1707.
TGF-ß1 accelerates dendritic cell differentiation from common dendritic cell progenitors and directs subset specification toward conventional dendritic cells.
Felker, P., Seré, K., Lin, Q., Becker, C., Hristov, M., Hieronymus, T., and Zenke, M. (2010).
J. Immunol. 185, 5326-5335.
Human adult germline stem cells in question.
Ko, K., Araúzo-Bravo, M. J., Tapia, N., Kim, J., Lin, Q., Bernemann, C., Han, D. W., Gentile, L., Reinhardt, P., Greber, B., Schneider, R. K., Kliesch, S., Zenke, M., and Schöler, H. R. (2010).
Nature 465, E1-E3.  Abstract | Full
Pluripotent stem cells induced from adult neural stem cells by reprogramming with two factors.
Kim, J. B., Zaehres, H., Wu, G., Gentile, L., Ko, K., Sebastiano, V., Arauzo-Bravo J. M., Ruau, D., Han, D. W., Zenke, M., and Schöler H. R. (2008).
Nature 54, 646-650.
Pluripotency associated genes are reactivated by chromatin modifying agents in neurosphere cells.
Ruau, D., Ensenat-Waser, R., Dinger, T. C., Vallabhapurapu, D. S., Rolletschek, A., Hacker, C., Hieronymus, T., Wobus, A. M., Müller, A. M., and Zenke, M. (2008).
Stem Cells 26, 920-926.
Assessment of stem cell/biomaterial combinations for stem cell-based tissue engineering. 
Neuss, S., Apel, C., Buttler, P., Denecke, B., Dhanasingh, A., Ding, X., Grafahrend, D., Groger, A., Hemmrich, K., Herr, A., Jahnen-Dechent, W., Mastitskaya, S., Perez-Bouza, A., Rosewick, S., Salber, J., Wöltje, M., and Zenke, M. (2008).
Biomaterials 29, 302-313.  Abstract | Full
Towards an understanding of the transcription factor network of dendritic cell development. 
Zenke, M., and Hieronymus, T. (2006).
Trends Immunol. 27, 140-145.
Progressive and controlled development of mouse dendritic cells from Flt3+CD11b+ progenitors in vitro. 
Hieronymus, T., Gust, T. C., Kirsch, R. D., Jorgas, T., Blendinger, G., Goncharenko, M., Supplitt, K., Rose-John, S., Muller, A. M., and Zenke, M. (2005).
J. Immunol. 174, 2552-2562.
RNA-containing adenovirus/polyethylenimine transfer complexes effectively transduce dendritic cells and induce antigen-specific T cell responses. 
Gust, T. C., Diebold, S. S., Cotten, M., and Zenke, M. (2004).
J. Gene Med. 6, 464-470.
Abstract | Full
Transcriptional profiling identifies Id2 function in dendritic cell development. 
Hacker. C., Kirsch, R. D., Ju, X.-S., Hieronymus, T., Gust, T. C., Kuhl, C., Jorgas, T., Kurz, S. M., Rose-John, S., Yokota, Y., and Zenke, M. (2003).
Nat. Immunol. 4, 380-386.  Abstract | Full
The impact of c-met/scatter factor receptor on dendritic cell migration. 
Kurz S. M., Diebold S. S., Hieronymus T., Gust T. C., Bartunek P., Sachs M., Birchmeier W. and Zenke M. (2002).
Eur. J. Immunol. 32, 1832-1838.  Abstract | Full
MHC class II presentation of endogenously expressed antigens by transfected dendritic cells. 
Diebold, S. S., Cotten, M., Koch, N., and Zenke, M. (2001).
Gene Ther. 8, 487-493.
Mannose polyethylenimine conjugates for targeted DNA delivery into dendritic cells. 
Diebold, S. S., Kursa, M., Wagner, E., Cotten, M., and Zenke, M. (1999).
J. Biol. Chem. 274, 19087-19094.
Growth and differentiation of human stem cell factor/erythropoietin-dependent erythroid progenitor cells in vitro.
Panzenböck, B., Bartunek, P., Mapara, M. Y., and Zenke, M. (1998).
Blood 92, 3658-3668.  Abstract | Full
Retinoid X receptor and c-cerbA/thyroid hormone receptor regulate erythroid cell growth and differentiation
Bartunek, P., and Zenke, M. (1998).
Mol. Endocrinol. 12, 1269-1279.  Abstract | Full
Dendritic cell progenitor is transformed by a conditional v-Rel estrogen receptor fusion protein v-RelER. 
Boehmelt, G., Madruga, J., Dorfler, P., Briegel, K., Schwarz, H., Enrietto, P. J., and Zenke, M. (1995).
Cell 80, 341-352.
Ectopic expression of a conditional GATA-2/estrogen receptor chimera arrests erythroid differentiation in a hormone-dependent manner. 
Briegel, K., Lim, K. C., Plank, C., Beug, H., Engel, J. D., and Zenke, M. (1993).
Genes Dev. 7, 1097-1109.  Abstract | Full
Receptor-mediated endocytosis of transferrin-polycation conjugates: An efficient way to introduce DNA into hematopoietic cells. 
Zenke, M., Steinlein, P., Wagner, E., Cotten, M., Beug, H., and Birnstiel, M. L. (1990).
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 87, 3655-3659.  Abstract | Full
v-erbA oncogene activation entails the loss of hormone-dependent regulator activity of c-erbA. 
Zenke, M., Munoz, A., Sap, J., Vennström, B., and Beug, H. (1990).
Cell 61, 1035-1049.  Abstract | Full
v-erbA specifically suppresses transcription of the avian erythrocyte anion transporter (band 3) gene. 
Zenke, M., Kahn, P., Disela, C., Vennstrom, B., Leutz, A., Keegan, K., Hayman, M. J., Choi, H. R., Yew, N., Engel, J. D., et al. (1988).
Cell 52, 107-19.  Abstract | Full
Multiple sequence motifs are involved in SV40 enhancer function. 
Zenke, M., Grundstrom, T., Matthes, H., Wintzerith, M., Schatz, C., Wildeman, A., and Chambon, P. (1986).
EMBO J. 5, 387-97.  Abstract | Full


PubMed Link (to last publications)

Martin Zenke Lab
Department of Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell Transplantation
Department of Medicine IV
RWTH Aachen University Medical School
Pauwelstrasse 30
52074 Aachen

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Phone: +49-241-80 38779