Department of Molecular and Systems Biology
Two laboratories are affiliated to Department
Laboratory of Genomics
Head: Dr. Luiza Handschuh
Research Technicians: Dr. Jan Podkowiński, Dr. Paweł Wojciechowski, Dr. Agnieszka Żmieńko
Laboratory of Cell and Tissue Cultures
Head: Dr. Paweł Stróżycki
Research Technicians: Hanna Glapiak, Nelli Malinowska, Dr. Mariola Piślewska-Bednarek
complex intracellular systems, structural genomics, DNA copy number polymorphism, archaeogenomics, regulatory RNA, RNA degradome, circular RNA, RNA-binding proteins, ribonuclease
A long-term goal of our research is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that underlie the formation and functioning of complex intracellular systems. In particular, our studies are focused on the systems whose main components are nucleic acids, both DNA and RNA. In case of DNA, an example of such system is a genome. Thus, we try to identify and get to know the factors that determine genome structure and influence its functioning. The main research objects are model eukaryotic genomes, i.e. Arabidopsis thaliana and human genomes.
In case of RNA, we especially concentrate on its regulatory potential. Accordingly, we are interested in the processes giving rise to complex regulatory RNA-based systems and the mechanisms that allow these systems to function. Initially our studies were mainly focused on RNA viruses. At present, we use model plant organisms and human cell lines, just as in case of the studies on eukaryotic genomes. Another important field of our investigation is a search for new regulatory RNAs. In order to identify such molecules, we apply both the traditional method of in vitro selection of RNA molecules as well as the innovative bioinformatic methods. Moreover, we elaborate the methods to design short molecules regulating miRNA biogenesis, translation or replication of viral RNAs. Recently, we have also begun the studies of RNA degradome. There are several lines of evidence that stable intermediates of RNA degradation (the so-called RNA fragments) have regulatory function in eukaryotic cells. One of our goals is to recognize the role of RNA fragments in virus-host interactions. We not only focus on regulatory RNAs that are encoded in the host genome, but also on viral genome-derived RNA fragments. It seems that RNA degradome may also be a source of biomarkers. Another recently launched project concerns identification and analysis of the functional potential of circular RNAs.
Current research activity:
1. Copy number polymorphism in plant genomes
- factors inducing copy number variation
- mechanisms underlying copy number polymorphism
- functional gene clusters
- population inhabiting contemporary Great Poland territory in 1st Millennium CE
- archaeogenomics of microorganisms
3. RNA as a regulator of cell processes
- RNA involvement in regulation of miRNA/siRNA biogenesis
- RNA degradome as a source of regulatory RNAs (biogenesis and functioning of RNA fragments)
- evolution of regulatory RNAs
- circular RNAs in plants and human
Most important research achievements:
1. P. Jackowiak, M. Nowacka, P. M. Stróżycki, M. Figlerowicz.
2. A. Tyczewska, A. Kurzyńska-Kokorniak, N. Koralewska, A. Szopa, A. M. Kietrys, J. Wrzesiński, T. Twardowski, M. Figlerowicz
3. J. Sztuba-Solińska, A. Urbanowicz, M. Figlerowicz, J. J. Bujarski
4. M. Nowacka, P. Jackowiak, A. Rybarczyk, T. Magacz, P. M. Stróżycki, J. Barciszewski, M. Figlerowicz
5. A. Kurzynska-Kokorniak, N. Koralewska, A. Tyczewska, T. Twardowski, M. Figlerowicz
6. M. Nowacka, P. M. Strozycki, P. Jackowiak, A. Hojka-Osinska, M. Szymanski, M. Figlerowicz
7. A. Zmieńko, A. Samelak, P. Kozłowski, M. Figlerowicz
8. P. Jackowiak, K. Kuls, L. Budźko, A. Mania, M. Figlerowicz, M. Figlerowicz
9. Kurzynska-Kokorniak A, Koralewska N, Pokornowska M, Urbanowicz A, Tworak A, Mickiewicz A, Figlerowicz M.
10. Zmienko A, Samelak-Czajka A, Goralski M, Sobieszczuk-Nowicka E, Kozlowski P, Figlerowicz M.
11. Budzko L, Marcinkowska-Swojak M, Jackowiak P, Kozlowski P, Figlerowicz M.
12. Kurzynska-Kokorniak A, Pokornowska M, Koralewska N, Hoffmann W, Bienkowska-Szewczyk K, Figlerowicz M.
13. Tworak A, Urbanowicz A, Podkowinski J, Kurzynska-Kokorniak A, Koralewska N, Figlerowicz M.
14. Penzkofer T, Jäger M, Figlerowicz M, Badge R, Mundlos S, Robinson PN, Zemojtel T.
15. Zmienko A, Samelak-Czajka A, Kozlowski P, Szymanska M, Figlerowicz M.