Laboratory of Cytoskeleton and Cilia Biology

Head: Dorota Włoga

Staff: Rafał Bazan (PhD student), Hanna Fabczak, Hanan Farahat (PhD student), Iwona Filipiuk, Ewa Joachimiak, Leszek Kuźnicki (Professor emeritus), Martyna Poprzeczko (PhD student), Paulina Urbańska (PhD student), Ewa Wacławek (PhD student)


Research profile:

Cilia, the microtubule-based structures, are assembled by nearly all type of cells in human body. Using free living ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila and mammalian cells as models we perform functional analysis of new proteins that are involved in the regulation of cilia and basal bodies assembly and motile cilia beating. One of our main goals is to decipher the molecular mechanism that regulate cilia beating. To do so we search for new ciliary proteins (we called them “missing links”) that play roles in the transduction of the mechanochemical signals from central pair complex to dynein arms. Our 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.


Current research activities:


  • identification and functional analysis of new ciliary proteins using ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila and ciliated mammalian cells as model systems.
  • analysis of the molecular mechanisms that regulate motile cilia beating
  • role of katanin, a microtubule severing protein and tubulin posttranslational modifications in cilia assembly and function.
  • function of phosducin-like proteins (PhLPs) as regulators of ciliogenesis...
  • identification and functional analysis of the posttranslation modifications of non-microtubular tubulins.
  • functional analysis of basal body proteins



• cell cultures (mammalian cells, insect cells, ciliate Tetrahymena)
• standard immunocytochemical methods
• ultrastructure analysis at the electron and scanning microscopy levels
• biochemistry: protein complex purification, co-IP, Western blot
• mass spectrometry
• molecular biology techniques


Selected publications

Urbanska P, Song K, Joachimiak E, Krzemien-Ojak L, Koprowski P, Hennessey T, Jerka-Dziadosz M, Fabczak H, Gaertig J, Nicastro D, Wloga D. (2015) The CSC proteins FAP61 and FAP251 build the basal substructures of radial spoke 3 in cilia. Mol Biol Cell. 26(8): 1463-1475.


Vasudevan KK, Song K, Alford LM, Sale WS, Dymek EE, Smith EF, Hennessey T, Joachimiak E, Urbanska P, Wloga D, Dentler W, Nicastro D, Gaertig J. (2015) FAP206 is a microtubule-docking adapter for ciliary radial spoke 2 and dynein c. Mol Biol Cell. 26(4): 696-710.


Bregier C, Krzemień-Ojak L, Wloga 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. J Cell Physiol. 228(11): 2175-2189.


Gaertig J, Wloga D, Vasudevan KK, Guha M, Dentler W. (2013) Discovery and functional evaluation of ciliary proteins in Tetrahymena thermophila. Methods Enzymol. 525: 265-284.


Joachimiak E, Kiersnowska M, Jedynak K, Majewska M, Fabczak H, Fabczak S.(2013) Cell cycle-dependent modulations of fenestrin expression in Tetrahymena pyriformis. Eur J Protistol. 49(4): 564-574.