Department of Cell Biology

Head: Prof. Katarzyna Kwiatkowska


The Department of Cell Biology consists of research groups whose common interests address fundamental issues of plasma membrane receptor activation and signal transduction under physiological and pathological conditions. Approaches range from molecular biology to whole-organism physiology.

Grainyhead-like (GRHL) transcription factors in signal transduction in mammalian cells are investigated by Dr. Wilanowski’s group. These studies aim to unravel the mechanisms of GRHL functions in health and disease, and the roles of the GRHL factors in skin cancer and in wound healing.

Immunoresponses and their underlying mechanisms, such as TLR4 signalling on macrophages, are investigated by Prof. Kwiatkowska’s group. The essential approach is to examine how activated receptors initiate cascades of events leading to pro-inflammatory responses of cells. In particular, this group focuses on the involvement of lipids and proteins enriched in rafts of the plasma membrane in receptor signalling, including the role of PIP2, phosphoinositide and tyrosine kinases, sphingomyelin and its derivatives in modulation of cytokine production and submembrane cytoskeleton reorganization.

Neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and their maturation mechanisms are investigated by Dr. Prószyński’s group. The goal of their research is to elucidate, in detail, the function of candidate postsynaptic organizers, search for novel key regulators and explore possibility that podosomes, actin- rich, dynamic, adhesive organelles may be involved in this process.


Cilia, the microtubule-based structures, are assembled by nearly all type of cells in human body. The main goal of Dr. Wloga’s group is identification and functional analysis of new proteins that are involved in the regulation of cilia and basal bodies assembly using ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila and mammalian cells as a models. The group is also investigating role of katanin, the microtubule severing protein and microtubule posttranslational modifications in the microtubular cytoskeleton reorganization and in motile cilia assembly.

Selected publications:


Urbańska P., Song K., Joachimiak E., Krzemien-Ojak L., Koprowski P., Hennessey T., Jerka-Dziadosz M., Fabczak H., Gaertig J., Nicastro D., Włoga D. (2015) The CSC proteins FAP61 and FAP251 build the basal substructures of radial spoke 3 in cilia. Molecular Biology of the  Cell, 26: 1463-75.


Vasudevan K.K., Song K., Alford L.M., Sale W.S., Dymek E.E., Smith E.F., Hennessey T., Joachimiak E., Urbańska P., Włoga D., Dentler W., Nicastro D., Gaertig J. (2015) FAP206 is a microtubule-docking adapter for ciliary radial spoke 2 and dynein c. Molecular Biology of the  Cell, 26: 696-710.


Płóciennikowska A., Hromada-Judycka A., Borzęcka K., Kwiatkowska K. (2015) Co-operation of TLR4 and raft proteins in LPS-induced pro-inflammatory signaling. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 72: 557-581.


Płóciennikowska A., Zdioruk M.I., Traczyk G., Świątkowska A., Kwiatkowska K. (2015) LPS-induced clustering of CD14 triggers generation of (PI4,5)P2. Journal of Cell Science, in press.


Ciesielska A., Kwiatkowska K. (2015) Modification of pro-inflammatory signaling by dietary components: The plasma membrane as a target. Bioessays, 37: 789-801.


Mlącki M., Kikulska A., Krzywinska E., Pawlak M., Wilanowski T. (2015) Recent discoveries concerning the involvement of transcription factors from the the Grainyhead-like family in cancer. Experimental Biology  and Medicine, in press.


Bernadzki K.M., Rojek K.O., Prószyński T.J. (2014) Podosomes in muscle cells and their role in the remodeling of neuromuscular postsynaptic machinery. European Journal of Cell Biology, 93: 478-485.


Dworkin S., Simkin J., Darido C., Partridge D.D., Georgy S.R., Caddy J., Wilanowski T., Lieschke G.J., Doggett K., Heath J.K., Jane S.M. (2014) Grainyhead-like 3 regulation of endothelin-1 in the pharyngeal endoderm is critical for growth and development of the craniofacial skeleton. Mechanisms of Development, 133: 77-90.


Mlacki M., Darido C., Jane S.M., Wilanowski T. (2014) Loss of Grainy head-like 1 is associated with disruption of the epidermal barrier and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin.PLoS One. 9:e89247.


Borzęcka K., Płóciennikowska A., Bjorkelund H., Sobota A., Kwiatkowska K. (2013) CD14 mediates binding of high doses of LPS but is dispensable for TNF-α production.  Mediators of Inflammation,  2013:824919.


Bregier C., Krzemień-Ojak L., Włoga D., Jerka-Dziadosz M., Joachimiak E., Batko K., Filipiuk I., Smietanka U., Gaertig J., Fabczak S., Fabczak H. (2013) PHLP2 is essential and plays a role in ciliogenesis and microtubule assembly in Tetrahymena thermophila. Journal of Cellular Physiology, 228: 2175-2189.


Joachimiak E., Kiersnowska M., Jedynak K., Majewska M., Fabczak H., Fabczak S. (2013) Cell cycle-dependent modulations of fenestrin expression in Tetrahymena pyriformis. European Journal of Protistology, 49: 564-74.


Prószyński T.J., Sanes J.R. (2013) Amotl2 interacts with LL5β, localizes to podosomes and regulates postsynaptic differentiation in muscle.  Journal of Cell Science, 126: 2225-2235.