Experimental hematology Lab PD Dr. med. Dr. rer. nat. S. Balabanov


Melanie Balabanov

Telomere Biology in the progression of BCR-ABL-positive leukemia:
Uncovering the role of inflammatory processes and cellular senesence

Telomeres have been shown to inherit a pivotal role in human disease and organismal aging. Short telomeres were found in advanced stages of human neoplasia including chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), a myeloproliferative disorder caused by the oncogenic tyrosine kinase BCR-ABL in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). In this project we would like to decipher the role of telomere length in the progression of CML by using the telomerase knockout mouse model (mTR-/-). In particular, we aim to address the impact of cellular senescence as a potent anti-proliferative mechanism against leukemia formation and the role of a newly-discovered inflammatory phenotype that is closely related to telomere shortening.

In collaboration with Prof. Tim H. Brümmendorf, University Hospital Aachen, Department of Hematology/Oncology Aachen, Germany.


Further publications


Dyshlovoy SA, Venz S, Hauschild J, Tabakmakher KM, Otte K,  Madanchi R, Walther R, Guzii AG, Makarieva TN, Shubina LK, Fedorov SN, Stonik VA, Bokemeyer C, Balabanov S, Honecker F, Amsberg GV.
Anti-migratory activity of marine alkaloid monanchocidin A - proteomics-based discovery and confirmation.
Proteomics. 2016 Mar 22. (Epub ahead of print)

Weidner CI, Lin Q, Birkhofer C, Gerstenmaier U, Kaifie A, Kirschner M, Bruns H, Balabanov S, Trummer A, Stockklausner C, Höchsmann B, Schrezenmeier H, Wlodarski M, Panse J, Brümmendorf TH, Beier F, Wagner W.
DNA methylation in PRDM8 is indicative for dyskeratosis congenita.
Oncotarget. 2016 Mar 8;7(10):10765-72.



Dyshlovoy SA, Menchinskaya ES, Venz S, Rast S, Amann K, Hauschild J, Otte K, Kalinin VI, Silchenko AS, Avilov SA, Alsdorf W, Madanchi R, Bokemeyer C, Schumacher U, Walther R, Aminin DL, Fedorov SN, Shubina LK, Stonik VA, Balabanov S, Honecker F, von Amsberg G.
The marine triterpene glycoside frondoside A exhibits activity in vitro and in vivo in prostate cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2015 Dec 22. (Epub ahead of print)

Werner B, Beier F, Hummel S, Balabanov S, Lassay L, Orlikowsky T, Dingli D, Brümmendorf TH, Traulsen A.
Reconstructing the in vivo dynamics of hematopoietic stem cells from telomere length distributions.
Elife. 2015 Oct 15;4. (Epub ahead of print)

Dyshlovoy SA, Hauschild J, Amann K, Tabakmakher KM, Venz S, Walther R, Guzii AG, Makarieva TN, Shubina LK, Fedorov SN, Stonik VA, Bokemeyer C, Balabanov S, Honecker F, von Amsberg G.
Marine alkaloid Monanchocidin a overcomes drug resistance by induction of autophagy and lysosomal membrane permeabilization.
Oncotarget. 2015 Juli10;6(19):17328-41

Pällmann N, Braig M, Sievert H, Preukschas M, Hermans-Borgmeyer I, Schweizer M, Nagel CH, Neumann M, Wild P, Haralambieva E, Hagel C, Bokemeyer C, Hauber J, Balabanov S.
Biological Relevance and Therapeutic Potential of the Hypusine Modification System.
J Biol Chem. 2015 Jul 24;290(30):183-60. Epub 2015 Jun 2.

Ummanni R, Duscharla D, Barett C, Venz S, Schlomm T, Heinzer H, Walther R, Bokemeyer C, Brümmendorf TH, Murthy PV, Balabanov S.
Prostate cancer-associated autoantibodies in serum against tumor-associated antigens as potential new biomarkers.
J Proteomics. 2015 Apr 24;119:218-29. Epub 2015 Feb 24.

Niegisch G, Retz M, Thalgott M, Balabanov S, Honecker F, Ohlmann CH, Stöckle M, Bögemann M, Vom Dorp F, Gschwend J, Hartmann A, Ohmann C, Albers P.
Second-Line Treatment of Advanced Urothelial Cancer with Paclitaxel and Everolimus in a German Phase II Trial (AUO Trial AB 35/09).
Oncology. 2015;89(2):70-8. Epub Mar 11.



Sievert H, Pällmann N, Miller KK, Hermans-Borgmeyer I, Venz S, Sendoel A, Preukschas M, Schweizer M, Boettcher S, Janiesch PC, Streichert T, Walther R, Hengartner MO, Manz MG, Brümmendorf TH, Bokemeyer C, Braig M, Hauber J, Duncan KE, Balabanov S.
A novel mouse model for inhibition of DOHH-mediated hypusine modification reveals a crucial function in embryonic development, proliferation and oncogenic transformation.
Dis Model Mech. 2014 Aug 7;7(8):963-76.E pub 2014 May 15.

Lohmann F, Sachs M, Meyer TN, Sievert H, Lindenmeyer MT, Wiech T, Cohen CD, Balabanov S, Stahl RA, Meyer-Schwesinger C.
UCH-L1 induces podocyte hypertrophy in membranous nephropathy by protein accumulation.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Jul;1842(7):945-58. Epub 2014 Feb 28.

Balabanov S, Braig M, Brümmendorf TH.
Current aspects in resistence against tyrosine kinase inhibitors in chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Drug Discov Today Technol. 2014 Mar;11:89-99

Braig M, Pällmann N, Preukschas M, Steinemann D, Hofmann W, Gompf A, Streichert T, Braunschweig T, Copland M, Rudolph KL, Bokemeyer C, Koschmieder S, Schuppert A, Balabanov S, Brümmendorf TH.
A 'telomere-associated secretory phenotype' cooperates with BCR-ABL to drive malignant proliferation of leukemic cells.
Leukemia. 2014 Mar 7. (Epub ahead of print)


Honecker F. Rohlfing T, Harder S, Braig M, Gillis Aj, Glaesener S, Barett C, Bokemeyer C, Buck F, Brümmendorf TH, Looijenga LH, Balabanov S.
Proteome analysis of the effects of all-trans retinoic acid on human germ cell tumor cell lines.
J. Proteomics. 2013 Nov. 22; 96C:300-313.

Dyshlovoy SA, Venz S, Shubina LK, Fedorov SN, Walther R, Jacobsen C, Stonik VA, Bokemeyer C, Balabanov S, Honecker F.
Activity of aaptamine and two derivatives, demethyloxyaaptamine and isoaaptamine, in cisplatin-resistant germ cell cancer.
J Proteomics. 2013 Nov. 21; 96C:223-239.

Balabanov S, Wilhelm T, Venz S, Keller G, Scharf C, Pospisil H, Braig M, Barett C, Bokemeyer C, Walther R, Brümmendorf TH, Schuppert A.
Combination of a proteomics approach and reengineering of meso scale network models for prediction of mode-of-action for tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(1). Epub 2013 Jan 9.

Balabanov S, Evans CA, Abraham SA, Pellicano F, Copland M, Walker MJ, Whetton AD, Holyoake TL.
Quantitative proteomics analysis of BMS-214662 effects on CD34 positive cells from chronic myeloid leukaemia patients.
Proteomics 2013 Jan;13(1):153-68.


Balabanov S, Evans CA, Abraham SA, Pellicano F, Copland M, Walker MJ, Whetton AD, Holyoake TL.
Quantitative proteomics analysis of BMS-214662 effects on CD34 positive cells from CML patients.
Proteomics. 2012 Nov 26 (E pub ahead of print)

Nitzsche B, Gloesenkamp C, Schrader M, Hoffmann B, Zengerling F, Balabanov S, Honecker F, Höpfner M.
Anti-tumor activity of two novel compounds in cisplatin-resistant testicular germ cell cancer.
Br J Cancer. 2012 Nov 20; 107 (11): 1153-63.

Preukschas P, Hagel C, Schulte A, Weber A, Lamszus K, Sievert H, Pällmann N, Bokemeyer C, Hauber J, Braig M, Balabanov S.
Expression of Eukaryotic Initiation Factor FA and Hypusine Forming Enzymes in Glioblastoma Patient Samples: Implications for New Targeted Therapies.
PLoS One. 2012; 7 (8).

Martens T, Matschke J, Müller C, Riethdorf S, Balabanov S, Westphal M, Heese O.
Skeletal spread of an anaplastic astrocytoma (WHO grade III) and preservation of histopathological properties within metastases.
Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2012 Jun 13. (E pub ahead of print)

Ziegler P, Schrezenmeier H, Akkad J, Brassat U, Vankann L, Panse J, Wilop S, Balabanov S, Schwarz K, Martens UM, Brümmendorf TH.
Telomere elongation and clinical response to androgen treatment in a patient with aplastic anemia and a heterozygous hTERT gene mutation.
Ann Hematol. 2012 Jul; 91 (7): 115-20.

Meyer-Schwesinger C, Dehde S, Sachs M, Mathey S, Arefi K, Gatzemeier S, Balabanov S, Becker JU, Thaiss F, Meyer TN.
Rho-kinase inhibition prevents proteinuria in immune-complex mediated anti-podocyte nephritis.
Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2012 Jul 18. (E pub ahead of print)

Sievert H, Venz S, Platas-Barradas O, Dhople VM, Schaletzky M, Nagel CH, Braig M, Preukschas M, Pallmann N, Bokemeyer C, Brümmendorf TH, Portner R, Walther R. Duncan KE, Hauber J, Balabanov S.
Protein-Protein-Interaction Network Organization of the Hypusine Modification System.
Mol Cell Proteomics. 2012 Aug 10. (E pub ahead of print)

Ziegler P., Chahoud T, Wilhelm T., Pallman N., Braig M., Wiehle V., Ziegler S., Schroder M., Meier C., Kolodzik A., Rarey M., Panse J., Hauber J., Balabanov S., Brummendorf TH
Evaluation of deoxyhypusine synthase inhibitors targeting BCR-ABL positive leukemias.
Invest New Drugs 2012.

Ummanni R., Barreto F., Venz S., Scharf C., Barret C., Mannsperger H.A., Brase J.C., Kuner R., Schlomm T., Sauter G., Sultmann H., Korf U., Bokemeyer C., Walther R., Brummendorf TH, Balabanov S.
Peroxiredoxins 3 and 4 are overexpressed in prostate cancer tissue and affect the proliferation of prostate cancer cells in vitro.
J. Proteome Res 2012.

Dyshlovoy S.A., Naeth I., Venz S., Preukschas M., Sievert H., Jacobsen C., Shubina L., Gesell Salazar M., Scharf C., Walther R., Krepstakies M., Priyadarshini P., Hauber J., Fedorov S.N., Bokemeyer C., Stonik V.A., Balabanov S., Honecker F.
Proteomic profiling of germ cell cancer cells treated with aaptamine, a marine alkaolid with antiproliferative activity.
J Proteome Res 2012.


Schaletzky M., Platas Barradas O., Sievert H., Balabanov S., Zeng A.P., Portner R.
Cultivation strategies of a BA/F3 cell line for fundamental cell research.
BMC Proc 2011, 5 Suppl 8, P 48.

Werner, B., Lutz, D., Brummendorf, T. H., Traulsen, A., Balabanov, S. Dynamics of Resistance Development to Imatinib under Increasing Selection Pressure: A Combination of Mathematical Models and In Vitro Data.
PLoS One 2011, 6, e28955.

Ummanni, R., Mundt, F., Pospisil, H., Venz, S., Scharf, C., Barett, C., Falth, M., Kollermann, J., Walther, R., Schlomm, T., Sauter, G., Bokemeyer, C., Sultmann, H., Schuppert, A., Brummendorf, T. H., Balabanov, S.
Identification of clinically relevant protein targets in prostate cancer with 2D-DIGE coupled mass spectrometry and systems biology network platform.
PLoS One 2011, 6, e16833.

Ummanni, R., Jost, E., Braig, M., Lohmann, F., Mundt, F., Barett, C., Schlomm, T., Sauter, G., Senff, T., Bokemeyer, C., Sultmann, H., Meyer-Schwesinger, C., Brummendorf, T. H., Balabanov, S.
Ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase 1 (UCHL1) is a potential tumour suppressor in prostate cancer and is frequently silenced by promoter methylation.
Mol Cancer 2011, 10, 129.

Minner, S., Wittmer, C., Graefen, M., Salomon, G., Steuber, T., Haese, A., Huland, H., Bokemeyer, C., Yekebas, E., Dierlamm, J., Balabanov, S., Kilic, E., Wilczak, W., Simon, R., Sauter, G., Schlomm, T.
High level PSMA expression is associated with early PSA recurrence in surgically treated prostate cancer.


Prostate 2011, 71, 281-288.

Meyer-Schwesinger, C., Meyer, T. N., Sievert, H., Hoxha, E., Sachs, M., Klupp, E. M., Munster, S., Balabanov, S., Carrier, L., Helmchen, U., Thaiss, F., Stahl, R. A.
Ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase-l1 activity induces polyubiquitin accumulation in podocytes and increases proteinuria in rat membranous nephropathy.
Am J Pathol 2011, 178, 2044-2057.

Meyer-Schwesinger, C., Dehde, S., Klug, P., Becker, J. U., Mathey, S., Arefi, K., Balabanov, S., Venz, S., Endlich, K. H., Pekna, M., Gessner, J. E., Thaiss, F., Meyer, T. N.
Nephrotic syndrome and subepithelial deposits in a mouse model of immune-mediated anti-podocyte glomerulonephritis.
J Immunol 2011, 187, 3218-3229.

Brassat, U., Balabanov, S., Bali, D., Dierlamm, J., Braig, M., Hartmann, U., Sirma, H., Gunes, C., Wege, H., Fehse, B., Gontarewicz, A., Dikomey, E., Borgmann, K., Brummendorf, T. H., Functional p53 is required for effective execution of telomerase inhibition in BCR-ABL-positive CML cells.
Exp Hematol 2011, 39, 66-76 e61-62.

Balabanov, S., Gontarewicz, A., Keller, G., Raddrizzani, L., Braig, M., Bosotti, R., Moll, J., Jost, E., Barett, C., Rohe, I., Bokemeyer, C., Holyoake, T. L., Brummendorf, T. H.
Abcg2 overexpression represents a novel mechanism for acquired resistance to the multi-kinase inhibitor Danusertib in BCR-ABL-positive cells in vitro.
PLoS One 2011, 6, e19164.


Binder, M., Lechenne, B., Ummanni, R., Scharf, C., Balabanov, S., Trusch, M., Schluter, H., Braren, I., Spillner, E., Trepel, M.,
Stereotypical chronic lymphocytic leukemia B-cell receptors recognize survival promoting antigens on stromal cells.
PLoS One 2010, 5, e15992.


Benten, D., Keller, G., Quaas, A., Schrader, J., Gontarewicz, A., Balabanov, S., Braig, M., Wege, H., Moll, J., Lohse, A. W., Brummendorf, T. H.Aurora kinase inhibitor PHA-739358 suppresses growth of hepatocellular carcinoma in vitro and in a xenograft mouse model.
Neoplasia 2009, 11, 934-944.


Gontarewicz, A., Balabanov, S., Keller, G., Panse, J., Schafhausen, P., Bokemeyer, C., Fiedler, W., Moll, J., Brummendorf, T. H.
PHA-680626 exhibits anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activity on Imatinib-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia cell lines and primary CD34+ cells by inhibition of both Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase and Aurora kinases.


Leuk Res 2008, 32, 1857-1865.

Gontarewicz, A., Balabanov, S., Keller, G., Colombo, R., Graziano, A., Pesenti, E., Benten, D., Bokemeyer, C., Fiedler, W., Moll, J., Brummendorf, T. H.
Simultaneous targeting of Aurora kinases and Bcr-Abl kinase by the small molecule inhibitor PHA-739358 is effective against imatinib-resistant BCR-ABL mutations including T315I.
Blood 2008, 111, 4355-4364.

Glaesener, S., Honecker, F., Veltman, I. M., Gillis, A. J., Rohlfing, T., Streichert, T., Otto, B., Brummendorf, T. H., Looijenga, L. H., Bokemeyer, C., Balabanov, S.
Comparative proteome, transcriptome, and genome analysis of a gonadal and an extragonadal germ cell tumor cell line.
J Proteome Res 2008, 7, 3890-3899.


Mueller, S., Hartmann, U., Mayer, F., Balabanov, S., Hartmann, J. T., Brummendorf, T. H., Bokemeyer, C.
Targeting telomerase activity by BIBR1532 as a therapeutic approach in germ cell tumors.
Invest New Drugs 2007, 25, 519-524.

Drummond, M. W., Balabanov, S., Holyoake, T. L., Brummendorf, T. H.
Concise review: Telomere biology in normal and leukemic hematopoietic stem cells.
Stem Cells 2007, 25, 1853-1861.

Beier, F., Balabanov, S.*, Amberger, C. C., Hartmann, U., Manger, K., Dietz, K., Kotter, I., Brummendorf, T. H.
Telomere length analysis in monocytes and lymphocytes from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus using multi-color flow-FISH.
Lupus 2007, 16, 955-962. * joint first author

Balabanov, S., Gontarewicz, A., Ziegler, P., Hartmann, U., Kammer, W., Copland, M., Brassat, U., Priemer, M., Hauber, I., Wilhelm, T., Schwarz, G., Kanz, L., Bokemeyer, C., Hauber, J., Holyoake, T. L., Nordheim, A., Brummendorf, T. H.
Hypusination of eukaryotic initiation factor 5A (eIF5A): a novel therapeutic target in BCR-ABL-positive leukemias identified by a proteomics approach.
Blood 2007, 109, 1701-1711.


Zimmermann, U., Junker, H., Kramer, F., Balabanov, S., Kleist, B., Kammer, W., Nordheim, A., Walther, R.
Comparative proteomic analysis of neoplastic and non-neoplastic germ cell tissue.
Biol Chem 2006, 387, 437-440.


Brummendorf, T. H., Balabanov, S.
Telomere length dynamics in normal hematopoiesis and in disease states characterized by increased stem cell turnover.
Leukemia 2006, 20, 1706-1716.




Hartmann, U., Brummendorf, T. H., Balabanov, S., Thiede, C., Illme, T., Schaich, M., Telomere length and hTERT expression in patients with acute myeloid leukemia correlates with chromosomal abnormalities.
Haematologica 2005, 90, 307-316.

Hartmann, U. ,Balabanov, S., Ziegler, P., Fellenberg, J., van der Kuip, H., Duyster, J., Lipp, H. P., Bokemeyer, C., Kanz, L., Brummendorf, T. H.
Telomere length and telomerase activity in the BCR-ABL-transformed murine Pro-B cell line BaF3 is unaffected by treatment with imatinib.
Exp Hematol 2005, 33, 542-549.

Beier, F., Balabanov, S., Buckley, T., Dietz, K., Hartmann, U., Rojewski, M., Kanz, L., Schrezenmeier, H., Brummendorf, T. H.
Accelerated telomere shortening in glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-negative compared with GPI-positive granulocytes from patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) detected by proaerolysin flow-FISH.
Blood2005, 106, 531-533.

Bartolovic, K., Balabanov, S., Berner, B., Buhring, H. J., Komor, M., Becker, S., Hoelzer, D., Kanz, L., Hofmann, W. K., Brummendorf, T. H.
Clonal heterogeneity in growth kinetics of CD34+CD38- human cord blood cells in vitro is correlated with gene expression pattern and telomere length.
Stem Cells 2005, 23, 946-957.

Balabanov, S., Bartolovic, K., Komor, M., Kanz, L., Hofmann, W. K., Brummendorf, T. H., Gene expression profiling of normal hematopoietic progenitor cells under treatment with imatinib in vitro.
Leukemia 2005, 19, 1483-1485.

Balabanov, S., Appel, S., Kanz, L., Brossart, P., Brummendorf, T. H.
Effect of tyrosine kinase inhibition using imatinib on normal lymphohematopoietic cells.
Ann N Y Acad Sci2005, 1044, 168-177.

Appel, S., Balabanov, S., Brummendorf, T. H., Brossart, P.
Effects of imatinib on normal hematopoiesis and immune activation.
Stem Cells 2005, 23, 1082-1088.


Zimmermann, U., Balabanov, S., Giebel, J., Teller, S., Junker, H., Schmoll, D., Protzel, C., Scharf, C., Kleist, B., Walther, R.
Increased expression and altered location of annexin IV in renal clear cell carcinoma: a possible role in tumour dissemination.
Cancer Lett 2004, 209, 111-118.



Walther, R., Balabanov, S., Junker, H., Scharf, C., Zimmermann, U.
Proteome analysis of renal cell carcinoma to develop new strategies in diagnosis and therapy.
Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 2004, 42, 635-636.



Dallmann, K., Junker, H., Balabanov, S., Zimmermann, U., Giebel, J., Walther, R.
Human agmatinase is diminished in the clear cell type of renal cell carcinoma.
Int J Cancer 2004, 108, 342-347.

Bartolovic, K., Balabanov, S*., Hartmann, U., Komor, M., Boehmler, A. M., Buhring, H. J., Mohle, R., Hoelzer, D., Kanz, L., Hofmann, W. K., Brummendorf, T. H.
Inhibitory effect of imatinib on normal progenitor cells in vitro.
Blood 2004, 103, 523-529. * joint first author






Scheding, S., Ersoz, I., Hartmann, U., Bartolvic, K., Balabanov, S., Salama, A., Kanz, L., Brummendorf, T. H.
Peripheral blood cell telomere length measurements indicate that hematopoietic stem cell turnover is not significantly increased in whole blood and apheresis PLT donors.
Transfusion 2003, 43, 1089-1095.

Brummendorf, T. H., Ersoz, I., Hartmann, U., Bartolovic, K., Balabanov, S., Wahl, A., Paschka, P., Kreil, S., Lahaye, T., Berger, U., Gschaidmeier, H., Bokemeyer, C., Hehlmann, R., Dietz, K., Lansdorp, P. M., Kanz, L., Hochhaus, A.
Telomere length in peripheral blood granulocytes reflects response to treatment with imatinib in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia.
Blood2003, 101, 375-376.

Brummendorf, T. H., Ersoz, I., Hartmann, U., Balabanov, S., Wolke, H., Paschka, P., Lahaye, T., Berner, B., Bartolovic, K., Kreil, S., Berger, U., Gschaidmeier, H., Bokemeyer, C., Hehlmann, R., Dietz, K., Lansdorp, P. M., Kanz, L., Hochhaus, A.
Normalization of previously shortened telomere length under treatment with imatinib argues against a preexisting telomere length deficit in normal hematopoietic stem cells from patients with chronic myeloid leukemia.
Ann N Y Acad Sci 2003, 996, 26-38.




Schmoll, D., Balabanov, S., Schwarck, D., Burchell, A., Kleist, B., Zimmermann, U., Walther, R.
Differential expression of the subunits of the glucose-6-phosphatase system in the clear cell type of human renal cell carcinoma - no evidence for an overexpression of protein kinase B.
Cancer Lett 2001, 167, 85-90.

Balabanov, S., Zimmermann, U., Protzel, C., Scharf, C., Klebingat, K. J., Walther, R., Tumour-related enzyme alterations in the clear cell type of human renal cell carcinoma identified by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis.
Eur J Biochem 2001, 268, 5977-5980.