Laboratory of Cell Signalling

127_RNDr. Pavel Branny, CSc.

Prokaryotic group

Head of the Laboratory:
RNDr. Pavel Branny, CSc.

Phone: + 420 296 442 658
Fax:       +420 241 722 257



RNDr. Pavel Branny, CSc. Head of the Laboratory
Ing. Tomáš Vomastek, Ph.D. Scientist
Mgr. Karolína Buriánková, Ph.D. Scientist
RNDr. Linda Doubravová, Ph.D. Scientist
Mgr. Aleš Ulrych, Ph.D. Scientist
Mgr. Tomáš Groušl, Ph.D. Postdoctoral fellow
RNDr. Volha Ramaniuk, Ph.D. Postdoctoral fellow
Mgr. Jan Rasl PhD student
Bc. Věra Chvalová PhD student
Mgr. Václava Stauberová PhD student
Mgr. Josipa Grušanovič PhD student
Mgr. Zuzana Klímová PhD student
Mgr. Viegnesh Venkada Subramanian PhD student
Ing. Oliva Branná Research assistant
MVDr. Silvia Bezoušková Research assistant
Bc. Bohumil Kubeša Student
Kateřina Mašková Student
Bc. Jan Keil Student

The research in the Laboratory of Cell Signalling headed by Pavel Branny.
Our laboratory consists of two workgroups
Prokaryotic focuses on  the molecular mechanisms that bacteria use for intra- and intercellular communication.

Eukaryotic focuses on the role the Extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK) cascade plays in the regulation of
a diverse array of cellular programs.

Prokaryotic group

Our laboratory, established in 2002, focuses on signal transduction mechanisms, in particular those which are mediated by Ser/Thr protein kinases of eukaryotic type in bacteria. Through reversible protein phosphorylation, protein kinases and phosphatases provide the fundamental machinery for environmental sensing and physiological signaling. A major goal is to understand the functions of Ser/Thr protein phosphorylation in pathogenic bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Research topics Staff Publications Methods News

Our former research was focused on cell signalling proteins of pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa or differentiating bacterium Streptomyces. Previously we have been engaged also in the projects investigating bilirubin degradation by Clostridium perfringens and epidemiology of causative agent of cat scratch disease, Bartonella henselae.

Mikroskop s pozadim


In 2011 the proteomics group of Dr. Jaroslav Weiser joined the lab. We use 2D gel electrophoresis based proteomic techniques in studies of actinomycetes differentiation and biofilm formation and we are involved in collaborations with other labs in the Institute of Microbiology.

Elektronova mikroskopie


Micrograph of Streptococcus pneumoniae wild type and ΔstkP mutant. Arrows indicate multiple division septa in mutant cells. Electron microscopy performed by Oldřich Benada, Institute of Microbiology CAS.

Eukaryotic group

Head of the Eukaryotic group:

Tomáš Vomastek, PhD. 

Phone: + 420 241 062 167

Eukaryotic group

Ing.Tomáš Vomastek, PhD.Head of the Eukaryotic group:

Tomáš Vomastek, PhD. 

Phone: + 420 241 062 167


T. Vomastek’s research group focuses on the function of the ERK signaling pathway in mammalian cells. The ERK pathway, with core composed of protein kinases Raf, MEK and ERK, is an integral part of evolutionarily conserved signaling cascades that enable eukaryotic cells to sense and read a multitude of extracellular signals. In a series of sequential phosphorylation reactions, the ERK cascade converts these extracellular signals into a variety of specific intracellular biological responses such as differentiation, cell movement, cell division and apoptosis. The activation of protein kinase ERK is a key regulator of these responses as ERK phosphorylates and thus alters the function of plethora of cellular proteins, ultimately bringing about the responses appropriate for the particular extracellular signal. Importantly, subverted regulation of ERK signaling is central to cancer development and cancer progression where it promotes the expression of pro-oncogenic genes, uncontrolled proliferation, invasion and metastasis formation.

Our research group investigates molecular mechanisms by which the ERK signaling pathway implements multiple extracellular signals into unique biological responses.
We focus on how ERK, through the phosphorylation of specific substrates, regulates the establishment of migratory and invasive phenotype, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, cell shape and polarity and the cancer development and progression.

The current projects in the lab concern these topics:

  • The role of the ERK pathway and actin remodeling in the establishment of cell shape and polarity.
  • The dynamic changes in gene expression and in transcriptome upon the ERK pathway activation.
  • The role of the ERK pathway in the development and metastatic progression of squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

Bachelor’s, master’s and PhD thesis are often available in the lab. If interested, contact T. Vomastek