are molecular chaperones maintaining cellular proteome homeostasis under stressful and physiological conditions. In humans, the
family is the most abundant HSP family consisting of at least thirteen highly homologous genes, which are constitutively expressed and/or their expression can be activated in response to various pathological conditions and environmental stress. The HSPAs expressed constitutively play the role of housekeeping molecular chaperones required for proper folding and activity of multiple cellular proteins. HSPA proteins are known as cytoprotective agents able to cope with various stress conditions. Their activity is beneficial for survival of normal and pathologically transformed cells.
Expression of many HSPA proteins is changed in cancer cells. Carcinogenesis is linked to stress caused by disturbances in signaling pathways and cellular metabolism. Altered expression of many HSPs is an important factor which modulates the phenotype of cancer cells. Characterization of molecular processes which have been modified by HSP activity would enable better understanding of complexity of carcinogenesis.
Our research topics:
Our studies aims to:
Analysis of mechanisms regulating the expression of HSPA genes under stressful (hypoxia, oxidative stress) and physiological conditions.
Elucidation of the role of HSPA proteins on cancer cells’ phenotype (lung and cervical cancers). In particular we would like to investigate how cancer cells respond to stress associated with hypoxia, oxidative stress and anticancer therapy depending on the level of HSPA expression.
Evaluation of potential relations between HSPA and other cytoprotective mechanisms (macroautophagy) in cancer cells.
Determination of the role of HSPA proteins in the process of stratified squamous epithelia differentiation. Our aim is to explain whether HSPA provides cytoprotection and/or are important player of differentiation process in keratinocytes.
Analysis of association between HSPA level and clinical characteristics of cancer patients (lung cancer, cervical cancer).
The team consists of researchers experienced in molecular and cellular biology. Their expertise spans the following research techniques:
Gene cloning. Construction of plasmid expression vectors encoding recombinant, mutant and fused proteins.
Establishment of cellular models for in vitro research characterized by overexpression or downregulation of studied proteins. For construction of genetically modified cell lines we use retro- or lentiviral gene transfer systems.
Isolation and culture of primary epidermal keratinocytes. Organotypic skin culture.
Cytotoxicity assays. Mechanisms of cell death analysis.
Gene expression analysis (RT-PCR, qRT-PCR, Western blot)
Immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent techniques
Flow cytometry and flow cytometry-based cell sorting.
Microscopic techniques (fluorescence and confocal microscopy).