Laboratory of Intracellular Ion Channels


Staff: Bartłomiej Augustynek (PhD student), Piotr Bednarczyk, Michał Laskowski (PhD student), Agnieszka Łukasiak, Anna Olszewska (PhD student), Antoni Wrzosek, Agata Zgrzywa

Research profile:

Intracellular ion channels regulate many key cellular functions by controlling the ion flux across different intracellular compartments. Our laboratory is particularly interested in ion channels normally found in the mitochondrial inner membrane. Recently, we have focused on intracellular ion homeostasis, pharmacology of intracellular potassium channels, pharmacology of mitochondria, interaction of potassium channel openers with mitochondria, role of mito- chondria in ischemic preconditioning and cytoprotection, intracellular receptors for antidiabetic sulfonylureas and potassium channel openers, role of mitochondrial ion channels in apoptosis, regulation of chromaffin granules potassium channels by pH and nucleotides. Our overall objective is to study the role of intracellular ion translocating mechanisms in cardiovascular function during health and disease
More information about Laboratory on the web page.


• electrophysiology
• patch-clamp technique on mitoplasts
PLM (planar lipid membrane) measurements
• oxygen consumption measurements polarographically with Clark-type electrode
• immunocytochemistry and cytometry
• primary culture of rat brain hippocampal cells
• preparation of intracellular membrane fractions

Current research activities:

The laboratory, established in June 1999, is focused on intra- cellular ion channels. We study the following topics:

• mechanism of cytoprotective action of potassium channel openers
• functional role of mitochodrial ATP-regulated potassium channel in hippocampus mitochondria
• mitochondrial large conductance potassium (BKCa) channel in glioma cells
• mitochondrial ion channels as early effectors of cellular apoptosis
• regulation of mitochondrial ATP-regulated potassium channels by phosphorylation
• regulation of calcium homeostasis by potassium channel openers in excitable and nonexcitable cells

Selected publications:

Wrzosek A., Tomaskova Z., Ondrias K., Łukasiak A., Szewczyk A. (2012) The potassium channel opener CGS7184 activates Ca²+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum. European Journal of Pharmacology, 690: 60-67.

Kajma A., Szewczyk A. (2012) A new pH-sensitive rectifying potassium channel in mitochondria from the embryonic rat hippocampus. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 1817: 1867-1878.

Kulawiak B., Szewczyk A. (2012) Glutamate-induced cell death in HT22 mouse hippocampal cells is attenuated by paxilline, a BK channel inhibitor. Mitochondrion, 12: 169-172.

Matkovic K., Koszela-Piotrowska I., Jarmuszkiewicz W., Szewczyk A. (2011) Ion conductance pathways in potato tuber (Solanum tuberosum) inner mitochondrial membrane. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 1807: 275-285.

Bednarczyk P., Kowalczyk J.E, Beresewicz M., Dołowy K., Szewczyk A., Zabłocka B. (2010) Identification of a voltage-gated potassium channel in gerbil hippocampal mitochondria. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 397: 614-620