Starszy asystent w Laboratorium Biologii Molekularnej Nowotworów

Field: Biological sciences (cancer biology)

Results of the competition:

Resulting from the conducted competition, the competition committee has recommender Anna M. Lenkiewicz, PhD, for the position of Senior Assistant.


Project title: Role of catulin in the regulation of cell-extracellular matrix interactions in tumor invasion and metastasis of head and neck squamous cellcarcinoma.

Project description: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is highly aggressive tumor and despite various treatment options available, HNSCC patients are still faced with a high chance of recurrence and/or metastasis, with a 5-year survival rate of only about 50 percent. Thus understanding the metastatic process is of high importance and is highly significant for
the development of novel treatments. Abnormal cell migration and invasion modulated by integrin-mediated interactions between the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the actin cytoskeleton are key components of metastasis. We recently identified that high expression of Rho-GEF binding protein α-catulin correlates with the ability of human squamous cell carcinoma cells to invade and metastasize. We showed that α-Catulin is preferentially expressed at the tumor invasion front and in the invasive streams of cells with minimal expression in the normal oral epithelia. Our in vitro data show that an upregulation of α-catulin expression correlates with the transition of tumor cells from an epithelial to mesenchymal morphology and knockdown of αcatulin in hHNSCC cell lines dramatically decreases the migratory and  invasive potential of those cells in vitro and metastatic potential in xenotransplants in vivo. α-catulin deficient cells exhibit defects in actin dynamics, Rho signaling and directional migration. Performed by us transcriptional and biochemical analyses of tumors deficient in αcatulin demonstrate that its ablation prevent tumor cells from invading the surrounding stroma which is accompanied by changes in expression of genes involved in cell migration and invasion. The main goal of the project is to understand molecular mechanism of signal transduction by the catulin-Rho/ROCK downstream from integrins in metastasizing squamous cell carcinoma cells in order to identify novel strategies for HNSCC treatments and prevent cancer cell metastasis.

More information available at:

Deadline: 25/03/2020

Attachment: download

Tags: inwazja nowotworowa, nowotworowe komórki macierzyste, przerzutowanie