Laboratory of Molecular Bases of Aging

Head: Ewa SIKORA


Team: Anna Bielak-Żmijewska, Agnieszka Bojko, Magdalena Dąbrowska, Magdalena Dudkowska Dorota Janiszewska, Anna Karpa, Grażyna Mosieniak, Małgorzata Piechota


PhD students: Agata Ciołko, Joanna Czarnecka, Wioleta Grabowska, Karolina Kucharewicz, Anna Strzeszewska, Piotr Sunderland



Laboratory of the Molecular Mechanisms of Ageing is involved in studies concerning the role of cellular senescence in the ageing of organism. Particularly we are focused on revealing the mechanisms of replicative and  stress induced premature senescence (SIPS) of primary and cancer cells (only SIPS).


Our current projects are as follow:

  1. the role of  senescence induced secretory phenotype (SIPS) of senescing human vascular smooth cells (vsmc) in modulating of the immune cell function,
  2. the role of cytoskeletal proteins in direct communication between  human senescent  cells (vsmc, fibroblasts),
  3. the influence of natural polyphenol, curcumin on DNA damage and its role in senescence of normal and cancer cells,
  4. the role of DNA damage and DNA damage response (DDR) in senescence, autophagy and cell death of rodent neurons and human iPSCs,
  5. mechanisms of cell senescence  in cancer cells with non-functional DDR, particularly due to the lack of functional the p53 protein,
  6. the interconnection between senescence escaping, polyploidy and atypical cell divisions of cancer cells; the role of reactive oxygen species and cancer stem cells,
  7.  the mechanisms of cytotoxicity of tacrin- melatonin derivatives (apoptosis, necroptosis, autophagy, senescence) in cancer cells,
  8. The influence of novel agents targeting telometes on cancer and normal cell fate,
  9. Inflammaging in healthy and unhealthy ageing.


Recently, we have shown that DNA damage response is characteristic for replicative senescence (normal cells), however is not indispensable for SIPS either normal or cancer cells.

Selected publications:


Piechota M, Sunderland P, Wysocka A, Nalberczak M, Sliwinska MA, Radwanska K, Sikora E. Is senescence-associated β-galactosidase a marker of neuronal senescence? Oncotarget. 2016 Oct 19. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.12752.


Przybylska D, Janiszewska D, Goździk A, Bielak-Zmijewska A, Sunderland P, Sikora E, Mosieniak G. NOX4 downregulation leads to senescence of human vascular smooth muscle cells. Oncotarget. 2016 Sep 16. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.12079.


Grabowska W, Suszek M, Wnuk M, Lewinska A, Wasiak E, Sikora E, Bielak-Zmijewska A. Curcumin elevates sirtuin level but does not postpone in vitro senescence of human cells building the vasculature. Oncotarget. 2016 Apr 12;7(15):19201-13.


Mosieniak G, Sliwinska MA, Przybylska D, Grabowska W, Sunderland P, Bielak-Zmijewska A, Sikora E. Curcumin-treated cancer cells show mitotic disturbances leading to growth arrest and induction of senescence phenotype. Int  J Biochem Cell Biol. 2016 May;74:33-43. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2016.02.014.


Mosieniak G, Sliwinska MA, Alster O, Strzeszewska A, Sunderland P, Piechota M, Was H, Sikora E. Polyploidy Formation in Doxorubicin-Treated Cancer Cells Can Favor Escape from Senescence. Neoplasia. 2015 Dec;17(12):882-93. doi: 10.1016/j.neo.2015.11.008.


Bielak-Zmijewska A, Wnuk M, Przybylska D, Grabowska W, Lewinska A, Alster O, Korwek Z, Cmoch A, Myszka A, Pikula S, Mosieniak G, Sikora E. A comparison of replicative senescence and doxorubicin-induced premature senescence of vascular smooth muscle cells isolated from human aorta. Biogerontology. 2014 Feb;15(1):47-64.