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Laboratory of Molecular Genetics of Development

Group leaders: Marie Macurkova, Lenka Libusova


Our laboratory is interested in intracellular transport and its impact on signal transduction. We strive to understand the role of actin cytoskeleton in vesicular transport of mammalian cells. We are also studying how microtubules and actin filaments coordinate growth and the correct directionality of neural processes (called axons). Better insight into these phenomena could open up new avenues in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders.

Our main focus is on the signaling cascade driven by protein Wnt. It plays an indispensable role in the development of multicellular organisms and its impairment often leads to carcinogenesis. We study proteins which play a role either in secretion of Wnt from a producing cell or influence signal transduction in a Wnt-receiving cell. Besides cell culture experiments, we also take advantage of the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. It enables us to test the role of individual genes by using modern gene editing techniques and observing its impact in the context of a whole body.

>> Presentation card of our laboratory (English) 

Microscopic pictures taken during a practical course in cell biology. Top: U-2 OS FUCCI cell line expressing markers of cell cycle. Bottom left: Cells expressing LifeAct-GFP, which binds to F-actin and enables live imaging of actin cytoskeleton. Bottom right: Cells stained with MitoTracker which stains mitochondria in live cells.

Lab location: Viničná 7, ground floor, door n. 48,


Group leaders:

Libusová Lenka (RNDr.,Ph.D.)
Contact: V7/P48; +420 22195 1780; lenka.libusova@natur.cuni.cz

Macůrková Marie (Mgr.,Ph.D.)
Contact: V7/P48; +420 22195 1780; marie.macurkova@natur.cuni.cz


Doubravská Lenka (Mgr.,Ph.D.)
Contact: V7/P48; +420 22195 1780; lenka.doubravska@natur.cuni.cz

Doctoral students:

Dostál Vojtěch (Mgr.)
Contact: V7/P54; +420 22195 1948; vojtech.dostal@natur.cuni.cz
Start year: 2015/16, supervisor: RNDr. Lenka Libusová, Ph.D.

Knop Filip (Mgr.)
Contact: V7/P54; +420 22195 1948; filip.knop@natur.cuni.cz
Start year: 2016/17, supervisor: Mgr. Marie Macůrková, Ph.D.

Humhalová Tereza (Mgr.)
Contact: V7/P54; +420 22195 1948; tereza.ziskalova@natur.cuni.cz
Start year: 2017/18, supervisor: RNDr. Lenka Libusová, Ph.D.

Master's students:

Pácalt Ondřej
Contact: V7/P54; +420 22195 1948; pacalto@natur.cuni.cz
Start year: 2016/17, supervisor: Mgr. RNDr. Lenka Libusová, Ph.D.

Majer Jan
Contact: V7/P54; +420 22195 1948; jan.majer@natur.cuni.cz
Start year: 2016/17, supervisor: Mgr. RNDr. Lenka Libusová, Ph.D.

Horázná Daniela
Contact: V7/P54; +420 22195 1948; daniela.horazna@natur.cuni.cz
Start year: 2017/18, supervisor: Mgr. Marie Macůrková, Ph.D.

Sixtová Nikola
Contact: V7/P54; +420 22195 1948; nikola.sixtova@natur.cuni.cz
Start year: 2017/18, supervisor: Mgr. Marie Macůrková, Ph.D.

Tomášová Štěpánka
Contact: V7/P54; +420 22195 1948; stepanka.tomasova@natur.cuni.cz
Start year: 2018/19, supervisor: Mgr. RNDr. Lenka Libusová, Ph.D.


Velčevová Jitka
Contact: V7/P45; +420 22195 1798; velcevoj@natur.cuni.cz


Microtubule drugs: action, selectivity, and resistance across the kingdoms of life. Dostál V, Libusová L. Protoplasma. 2014 Sep;251(5):991-1005. doi: 10.1007/s00709-014-0633-0. Epub 2014 Mar 21

de Groot RE, Farin HF, Macůrková M, van Es JH, Clevers HC, Korswagen HC. (2013) Retromer dependent recycling of the wnt secretion factor wls is dispensable for stem cell maintenance in the mammalian intestinal epithelium. PLoS One 8(10):e76971. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076971. [IF2012=3.730]

Harterink, M., Port, F., Lorenowicz, MJ., McGough, IJ., Šilhánková, M., Betist, MC., van Weering, JR., van Heesbeen, RG., Middelkoop, TC., Basler, K., Cullen, PJ., Korswagen, HC. (2011) A SNX3-dependent retromer pathway mediates retrograde transport of the Wnt sorting receptor Wntless and is required for Wnt secretion. Nat Cell Biol. 13(8):914-23

Libusová L., Stemmler M.P., Hierholzer A., Schwarz H. and Kemler R. (2010) N-cadherin can structurally substitute for E-cadherin during intestinal development but leads to polyp formation. Development, 137 (14), 2297-2305.

Libusová L., Dráber P. (2006) Multiple tubulin forms in Tetrahymena and Paramecium. Protoplasma, 227, 65-76.

Libusová L., Sulimenko T., Sulimenko V., Janisch R., Hozák P. and Dráber P. (2005) Distinct localization of beta-tubulin epitope in Tetrahymena and Paramecium cortex. Protoplasma, 225, 157-167.

Libusová L., Sulimenko T., Sulimenko V., Hozák P. and Dráber P. (2004) γ-Tubulin in Leishmania: cell cycle-dependent changes in subcellular localization and heterogeneity of its isoforms. Exp. Cell Res. 295, 378-386.

Kratzerová L., Dráberová E., Juliano C., Viklický V., Fiori P. L., Cappuccinelli P. and Dráber P. (2001) Cell Cycle-Dependent Changes in Localization of a 210-kDa Microtubule- Interacting Protein in Leishmania. Exp. Cell Res. 266, 270-278.

Šilhánková, M., Port, F., Harterink, M., Basler, K., Korswagen, HC (2010) Wnt signalling requires MTM-6 and MTM-9 myotubularin lipid-phosphatase function in Wnt-producing cells. EMBO J 29(24):4094-105

Yang, P-T., Lorenowicz, M., Šilhánková, M., Coudreuse, DY., Betist, MC., Korswagen, HC (2008) Wnt signaling requires retromer-dependent recycling of MIG-14/Wntless in Wnt producing cells. Dev Cell 14(1):140-7

Šilhánková, M., Korswagen, HC. (2007) Migration of neuronal cells along the anteriorposterior body axis of C. elegans: Wnts are in control. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 17(4):320-5

Asahina, M., Valenta, T., Šilhánková, M., Kořínek, V., Jindra, M. (2006) Crosstalk between a nuclear receptor and beta-catenin signaling decides cell fates in the C. elegans somatic gonad. Dev Cell 11(2):203-11

Šilhánková, M., Jindra, M., Asahina, M. (2005) Nuclear receptor NHR-25 is required for cellshape dynamics during epidermal differentiation in Caenorhabditis elegans. J Cell Sci. 118(Pt 1):223-32

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