During embryonic development, the unique cellular phenotypes of the adult are established. The diverse cell types are genetically identical, but differ in their form and function due to differences in gene expression. Therefore, gene activity is an important mechanism in embryonic development and adult stem cell differentiation.

Transcriptional activity is regulated by DNA binding transcription factors, but these typically act in more than one cell lineage activating different subsets of target genes in each. Their cell lineage-specific effects are governed by chromatin structure. Thus, we are particularly interested in the function of chromatin modifiers, including the MYST family of histone acetyltransferases. We have shown that MOZ/MYST3 is essential for the development of haematopoietic stem cells and that QKF/MYST4 has a critical role in neural stem cells and in brain development.

We are currently investigating the function of chromatin modifiers during embryonic development, in adult stem cell populations and in cancer, and modelling chromatin-based intellectual disability to discover ameliorating treatments.


Selected publications from Prof Anne Voss

Kueh AJ, Bergamasco MI, Quaglieri A, Phipson B, Li-Wai-Suen CSN, Lönnstedt IM, Hu Y, Feng ZP, Woodruff C, May RE, Wilcox S, Garnham AL, Snyder MP, Smyth GK, Speed TP, Thomas T, Voss AK. Stem cell plasticity, acetylation of H3K14, and de novo gene activation rely on KAT7.
Cell Rep. 2023 Jan 31;42(1):111980. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111980. Epub 2023 Jan 14. PMID: 36641753

Ke FS, Holloway S, Uren RT, Wong AW, Little MH, Kluck RM, Voss AK, Strasser A. The BCL-2 family member BID plays a role during embryonic development in addition to its BH3-only protein function by acting in parallel to BAX, BAK and BOK. EMBO J. 2022 Aug 1;41(15):e110300. doi: 10.15252/embj.2021110300. Epub 2022 Jun 27. PMID: 35758142

Wichmann J, Pitt C, Eccles S, Garnham AL, Li-Wai-Suen CSN, May R, Allan E, Wilcox S, Herold MJ, Smyth GK, Monahan BJ, Thomas T, Voss AK. Loss of TIP60 (KAT5) abolishes H2AZ lysine 7 acetylation and causes p53, INK4A, and ARF-independent cell cycle arrest Cell Death Dis. 2022 Jul 20;13(7):627. doi: 10.1038/s41419-022-05055-6. PMID: 35853868

Ke FFS, Brinkmann K, Voss AK, Strasser A. Some mice lacking intrinsic, as well as death receptor induced apoptosis and necroptosis, can survive to adulthood Cell Death Dis. 2022 Apr 7;13(4):317. doi: 10.1038/s41419-022-04731-x. PMID: 35393408

El-Saafin F, Bergamasco MI, Chen Y, May RE, Esakky P, Hediyeh-Zadeh S, Dixon M, Wilcox S, Davis MJ, Strasser A, Smyth GK, Thomas T, Voss AK. Loss of TAF8 causes TFIID dysfunction and p53-mediated apoptotic neuronal cell death Cell Death Differ. 2022 May;29(5):1013-1027. doi: 10.1038/s41418-022-00982-5. Epub 2022 Mar 31. PMID: 35361962
: 32994169

Delbridge ARD^, Kueh AJ^, Ke F, Zamudio NM, El-Saafin F, Jansz N, Wang GY, Iminitoff M, Beck T, Haupt S, Hu Y, May RE, Whitehead L, Tai L, Chiang W, Herold MJ, Haupt Y, Smyth GK, Thomas T, Blewitt ME*, Strasser A*, Voss AK*. Loss of p53 Causes Stochastic Aberrant X-Chromosome Inactivation and Female-Specific Neural Tube Defects. Cell Rep. 2019 Apr 9;27(2):442-454.e5. PMID: 30970248

Baell JB, Leaver DJ, Hermans SJ, Kelly GL, Brennan MS, Downer NL, Nguyen N, Wichmann J, McRae HM, Yang Y, Cleary B, Lagiakos HR, Mieruszynski S, Pacini G, Vanyai HK, Bergamasco MI, May RE, Davey BK, Morgan KJ, Sealey AJ, Wang B, Zamudio N, Wilcox S, Garnham AL, Sheikh BN, Aubrey BJ, Doggett K, Chung MC, de Silva M, Bentley J, Pilling P, Hattarki M, Dolezal O, Dennis ML, Falk H, Ren B, Charman SA, White KL, Rautela J, Newbold A, Hawkins ED, Johnstone RW, Huntington ND, Peat TS, Heath JK, Strasser A, Parker MW, Smyth GK, Street IP, Monahan BJ, Voss AK*, Thomas T*. Inhibitors of histone acetyltransferases KAT6A/B induce senescence and arrest tumour growth. Nature. 2018 Aug;560(7717):253-257. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0387-5. Epub 2018 Aug 1. PMID: 30069049

Ke FFS, Vanyai HK, Cowan AD, Delbridge ARD, Whitehead L, Grabow S, Czabotar PE, Voss AK*, Strasser A*. Embryogenesis and Adult Life in the Absence of Intrinsic Apoptosis Effectors BAX, BAK, and BOK. Cell. 2018 May 17;173(5):1217-1230.e17. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.04.036. PMID: 29775594

Sheikh BN, Downer NL, Phipson B, Vanyai HK, Kueh AJ, McCarthy DJ, Smyth GK, Thomas T*, Voss AK*. MOZ and BMI1 play opposing roles during Hox gene activation in ES cells and in body segment identity specification in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 112(17):5437-5442. PMID: 25922517

Vanyai HK, Thomas T*, Voss AK*. Mesodermal expression of Moz is necessary for cardiac septum development. Developmental Biology. 2015 403(1):22-29. PMID: 25912687

Sheikh BN, Downer NL, Kueh AJ, Thomas T*, Voss AK*. Excessive versus physiologically relevant levels of retinoic acid in embryonic stem cell differentiation. Stem Cells. 2014 Jun;32(6):1451-8. PMID: 25099890.

Voss AK, Vanyai HK, Collin C, Dixon MP, McLennan TJ, Sheikh BN, Scambler P, Thomas T. MOZ regulates the Tbx1 locus, and Moz mutation partially phenocopies DiGeorge syndrome. Dev Cell. 2012 Sep 11;23(3):652-63. PMID: 22921202

Voss AK, Collin C, Dixon MP, Thomas T. Moz and retinoic acid coordinately regulate H3K9 acetylation, Hox gene expression, and segment identity. Dev Cell. 2009 Nov;17(5):674-86. PMID: 19922872

Thomas T, Dixon MP, Kueh AJ, Voss AK. Mof (MYST1 or KAT8) is essential for progression of embryonic development past the blastocyst stage and required for normal chromatin architecture. Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Aug;28(16):5093-105. PMID: 18541669

Thomas T, Corcoran LM, Gugasyan R, Dixon MP, Brodnicki T, Nutt SL, Metcalf D, Voss AK. Monocytic leukemia zinc finger protein is essential for the development of long-term reconstituting hematopoietic stem cells. Genes Dev. 2006 May 1;20(9):1175-86. PMID: 16651658

Interested in supporting our research?

Your support will help WEHI’s researchers make discoveries and find treatments to ensure healthier, longer lives for you and your loved ones.

Contact our friendly team to find out how you can help.