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. Conducted studies are closely related to distinct human diseases, including ciliopathies, inflammation, cancer, and neuromuscular diseases. Approaches range from molecular biology to whole-organism physiology.


Cilia and basal body analysis are conducted by Dr. Wloga’s group with application of molecular, biochemical, immunocyto- chemical and ultrastructural approaches. Cilia are assembled by nearly all type of cells in human body and lack or dysfunction of cilia in human lead to wide range of disorders called ciliopathies. The main goal of the group is to elucidate the molecular mecha- nisms that control cilia assembly and transduction of signal that regulates cilia beating. Particularly, studies are undertaken to iden- tify and perform functional analysis of new proteins involved in the regulation of cilia and basal bodies assembly using ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila and mammalian cells as a models. Group analyze also a role of microtubule severing proteins and microtubule posttranslational modifications in the microtubular cytoskeleton reorganization and motile cilia assembly.


Immunoresponses and their underlying mechanisms, such as TLR4 signalling in macrophages, are investigated by Prof. Kwiatkowska’s group. The essential approach is to examine how ac- tivated receptors initiate cascades of events leading to pro-inflam- matory responses of cells which are related to sepsis and several other human diseases. In particular, this group focuses on the in- volvement of lipids and proteins enriched in rafts of the plasma membrane in receptor signalling, including the role of the turnover of PI(4,5)P2, ceramide and acylated proteins in modulation of LPS-induced signalling pathways, cytokine production and sub-membrane cytoskeleton reorganization.


Grainyhead-like (GRHL) transcription factors in signal transduction in mammalian cells are investigated by Dr. Wilanowski’s group. The research is focused on regulation of gene expression by the GRHL proteins, regulation of expression of GRHL genes and post-translational regulation of the activity of GRHL factors. The studies aim at unraveling the mechanisms of GRHL functions in health and disease, in particular, on roles of the GRHL factors in various types of cancer.


Synapse development and neuronal organization are investigated by Dr. Prószyński’s group, which uses mouse models including conditional knockout mice to elucidate mechanisms un- derlying cytoskeleton organization in synaptogenesis and during neuronal development. The research is focused on candidate genes that were identified in biochemical screens with the aim to understand their function in the organization of neuromuscular junctions as well as in the development of neuronal networks in the central nervous system.


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.