Laboratory of Molecular Enzymology and Oncology


Our team conducts basic research in the field of cancer cell biology with an emphasis on breast cancer study. Co-evolution of tumour stroma with neoplastic cells is being increasingly recognized as a key factor of disease progression and patients` response to the treatment. The search for new markers and mechanisms of developing resistance to available therapies is the greatest challenge of contemporary oncology. To meet the most urgent scientific problems, the research profile of our laboratory focuses on the analysis of the heterogeneity of the tumour cell population, induced by the interaction of cancer cells with the tumour microenvironment (TME). The highest quality of research is ensured by the provided analyses at three complementary levels: in vitro, in vivo and clinical studies. We use a wide range of strategies to investigate the molecular basis of cancer cell-TME interaction, including comprehensive cancer cell line-based techniques (3D cultures, migration/invasion assays, fluorescence microscopy, clonogenic assays, etc.), biochemical and molecular biology methods (co-immunoprecipitation, Western blotting, proximity ligation assay, gene silencing, immunocytochemistry, RT-qPCR, ChIP-seq etc.) complemented with analyses of patient samples (immunohistochemistry, quantitative gene expression analysis using Nanostring technology) and in vivo mice xenograft studies.

Our studies include three fields of interest:

  • Determination of the role of Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptors - FGFR family in cancer cells progression, invasion and resistance to available targeted therapies in breast cancer
  • Study of the molecular mechanisms of the evolution of non-invasive, ductal carcinoma in situ to invasive breast cancers in response to various tumour microenvironmental factors such as fibroblast growth factors, proinflammatory cytokines, etc.
  • Identification of new molecular markers that may improve tumour prognostication and, above all, assist appropriate selection of breast cancer patients for specific therapies



Laboratory of Molecular Enzymology and Oncology

Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology UG&MUG
Dębinki 1 Street, 80-211 Gdańsk

Ph. +48 58 3491470, +48 58 3491469



Head: prof. Rafał Sądej
tel.: + 48 58 349 1585 [e-mail]

List of Employees and PhD students:

Prof. Andrzej C. Składanowski
tel:: + 48 58 349 1470 [e-mail]
PhD Kamila Kitowska - Marszałkowska
+48 58 349 1469 [e-mail]
PhD Dominika Piasecka 
+48 58349 14 69 [e-mail]
MSc Monika Górska-Arcisz 
+48 58349 14 69 [e-mail]
MSc Adrianna Skwira

MSc Izabela Żarczyńska [e-mail]
MSc Barbara Galikowska [e-mail]
MSc Zuzanna Polakiewicz [e-mail]
MSc Anna Przychodzka [e-mail]


  1. Skwira Adrianna, Szewczyk Adrian, Sądej Rafał, Prokopowicz Magdalena. Bioglass obtained via one-pot synthesis as osseointegrative drug delivery system. International Journal of Pharmaceutics 2023, 633: 122610 (doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2023.122610)

  2. Mieczkowski Kamil, Kitowska Kamila, Braun Marcin, Galikowska-Bogut Barbara, Górska-Arcisz Monika, Piasecka Dominika, Stawiski Konrad, Żaczek Anna J., Nejc Dariusz, Kordek Radzisław, Romanska Hanna M., Sądej Rafał. FGF7/FGFR2-JunB signalling counteracts the effect of progesterone in luminal breast cancer. Molecular Oncology 2022, 16(15): 2823-2842 (doi: 10.1002/1878-0261.13274).

  3. Solek Julia, Chrzanowski Jędrzej, Cieślak Adrianna, Zielińska Aleksandra, Piasecka Dominika, Braun Marcin, Sądej Rafał, Romanska Hanna M.. Subtype-Specific Tumour Immune Microenvironment in Risk of Recurrence of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ: Prognostic Value of HER2. Biomedicines 2022, 10(5): 1061 (doi: 10.3390/biomedicines10051061)

  4. Nagel Anna, Popęda Marta, Muchlinska Anna, Sądej Rafał, Szade Jolanta, Zieliński Jacek, Skokowski Jarosław, Niemira Magdalena, Kretowski Adam, Markiewicz Aleksandra, Żaczek Anna J.. ER alpha 36-High Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts as an Unfavorable Factor in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. Cancers 2022, 14(8): 2005 (doi: 10.3390/cancers14082005)

  5. Pianka Joanna, Gruba Natalia, Kitowska Kamila, Mieczkowski Kamil, Wysocka Magdalena, Sądej Rafał, Lesner Adam. Simplified theta-defensin [Ser3,7,12,16] RTD-2 analog is involved in proteasomal degradation pathway in breast cancer. Anticancer Research 2021, 41(11): 5415-5423 (doi: 10.21873/anticanres.15353)

  6. Żarczyńska Izabela, Górska-Arcisz Monika, Cortez Alexander Jorge, Kujawa Katarzyna Aleksandra, Wilk Agata Małgorzata, Składanowski Andrzej, Stanczak Aleksandra, Skupinska Monika, Wieczorek Maciej, Lisowska Katarzyna Marta, Sądej Rafał, Kitowska-Marszałkowska Kamila. p38 Mediates Resistance to FGFR Inhibition in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Cells 2021, 10(12): 3363 (doi: 10.3390/cells10123363)

  7. Szewczyk Adrian, Skwira Adrianna, Konopacka Agnieszka, Sądej Rafał, Prokopowicz Magdalena. Mesoporous Silica-Bioglass Composite Pellets as Bone Drug Delivery System with Mineralization Potential. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2021, 22(9): 4708 (doi: 10.3390/ijms22094708)

  8. Kitowska Kamila, Górska-Arcisz Monika, Antoun Dima, Żarczyńska Izabela, Czaplińska Dominika, Szczepaniak Adrian, Składanowski Andrzej C., Wieczorek Maciej, Stanczak Aleksandra, Skupinska Monika, Sądej Rafał. MET-Pyk2 Axis Mediates Acquired Resistance to FGFR Inhibition in Cancer Cells. Frontiers in Oncology 2021, 11: 633410 (doi: 10.3389/fonc.2021.633410)

  9. Braun Marcin, Piasecka Dominika, Bobrowski Matusz, Kordek Radzisław, Sądej Rafał, Romanska Hanna M.. A ‘Real-Life’ Experience on Automated Digital Image Analysis of FGFR2 Immunohistochemistry in Breast Cancer. Diagnostics 2020, 10(12): 1060 (doi: 10.3390/diagnostics10121060)

  10. Szewczyk Adrian, Skwira Adrianna, Konopacka Agnieszka, Sądej Rafał, Walker Gavin, Prokopowicz Magdalena. Mesoporous silica pellets as bifunctional bone drug delivery system for cefazolin. International journal of pharmaceutics 2020, 588: 119718 (doi:10.1016/j.ijpharm.2020.119718)

  11. Piasecka Dominika, Braun Marcin, Mieszkowska Magdalena, Kowalczyk  Łukasz,Kopczynski Janusz, Kordek Radzislaw, Sądej Rafał, Romanska Hanna M.. Upregulation of HIF1-α via an NF-κB/COX2 pathway confers proliferative dominance of HER2-negative ductal carcinoma in situ cells in response to inflammatory stimuli. Neoplasia 2020, 22 (11): 576-589 (doi: 10.1016/j.neo.2020.09.003)

  12. Braun Marcin, Piasecka Dominika, Tomasik Bartłomiej, Mieczkowski Kamil, Stawiski Konrad, Zielińska Aleksandra, Kopczyński Janusz, Nejc Dariusz, Kordek Radzisław, Sądej Rafał, Romańska Hanna M.. Hormonal Receptor Status Determines Prognostic Significance of FGFR2 in Invasive Breast Carcinoma. Cancers 2020, 12, 2713 (doi:10.3390/cancers12092713)

  13. Skwira Adrianna, Szewczyk Adrian, Konopacka Agnieszka, Górska Monika, Majda Dorota, Sądej Rafał, Prokopowicz Magdalena. Silica-Polymer Composites as the Novel Antibiotic Delivery Systems for Bone Tissue Infection. Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(1): 28 (doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics12010028)

  14. Prokopowicz Magdalena, Szewczyk Adrian, Skwira Adrianna, Sądej Rafał, Walker Gavin. Biphasic composite of calcium phosphate-based mesoporous silica as a novel bone drug delivery system. Drug Delivery and Translational Research 2020, 10: 455–470 (doi: 10.1007/s13346-019-00686-3)

  15. Piasecka Dominika, Braun Marcin, Kitowska Kamila, Mieczkowski Kamil, Kordek Radzisław, Sądej Rafał, Romańska Hanna. FGFs/FGFRs-dependent signalling in regulation of steroid hormone receptors – implications for therapy of luminal breast cancer. Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2019, 38 (1): 230 (doi: 10.1186/s13046-019-1236-6)

  16. Mieszkowska Magdalena, Piasecka Dominika, Potemski Piotr, Debska-Szmich Sylwia, Rychłowski Michał, Kordek Radzisław, Sądej Rafał, Romanska Hanna M.. Tetraspanin CD151 impairs heterodimerization of ErbB2/ErbB3 in breast cancer cells. Translational Research 2019, 207: 44-55 (doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2018.12.007)

  17. Sądej Rafał, Lu Xiaohong, Turczyk Łukasz, Novitskaya Vera, Lopez-Clavijo Andrea F., Kordek Radzisław, Potemski Piotr, Wakelam Michael J.O., Romanska Hanna, Berditchevski Fedor. CD151 regulates expression of FGFR2 in breast cancer cells via PKC-dependent pathways. Journal of Cell Science 2018, (131(21): UNSP jcs220640 ) (doi: 10.1242/jcs.220640)

  18. Piasecka Dominika, Braun Marcin, Kordek Radzisław, Sądej Rafał, Romańska Hanna. MicroRNAs in regulation of triple-negative breast cancer progression. Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology 2018, 144(8): 1401-1411(doi: 10.1007/s00432-018-2689-2)

  19. Czaplińska Dominika, Górska Monika, Mieczkowski Kamil, Peszynska-Sularz Grazyna, Żaczek Anna J.,Romanska Hanna M., Sądej Rafał . RSK1 promotes murine breast cancer growth and metastasis. Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica 2018, 56(1): 11-20 (doi: 10.5603/FHC.a2018.0001)

  20. Kitowska Kamila, Kowalska Agnieszka, Mieszkowska Magdalena, Piasecka Dominika, Składanowski Andrzej C., Romanowska Hanna M., Sądej Rafał. Progesterone impairs Herceptin effect on breast cancer cells. Oncology Letters 2018,15: 1817-1822 (doi: 10.3892/ol.2017.7493)

  21. Grudowska Alicja, Czaplińska Dominika, Polom Wojciech, Matuszewski Marcin, Sądej Rafał, Składanowski Andrzej C. Tetraspanin CD151 mediates communication between PC3 prostate cancer cells and osteoblasts. Acta Biochimica Polonica 2017, 64(1): 135-141 (doi: 10.18388/abp.2016_1356)

  22. Turczyk Łukasz, Kitowska Kamila, Mieszkowska Magdalena, Mieczkowski Kamil, Czaplinska Domonika, Piasecka Dominika, Kordek Radzisław, Składanowski Andrzej C., Potemski Piotr, Romańska Hanna M., Sądej Rafał. FGFR2-Driven Signaling Counteracts Tamoxifen Effect on ERα-Positive Breast Cancer Cells. Neoplasia 2017, 19: 791–804 (doi: 10.1016/j.neo.2017.07.006)

  23. Strzelecka Paulina,  Czaplinska Dominika, Sadej Rafal, Wardowska Anna, Pikula Michal, Lesner Adam. Simplified, serine-rich theta-defensin analogues as antitumour peptides. Chemical Biology & Drug Design 2017, 90(1): 52-63 (doi: 10.1111/cbdd.12927)

  24. Piasecka Dominika, Kitowska Kamila, Czaplinska Dominika, Mieczkowski Kamil, Mieszkowska Magdalena, Turczyk Łukasz, Składanowski Andzej C., Żaczek Anna J., Biernat Wojciech, Kordek Radzisław, Romanska Hanna M., Sądej Rafał. Fibroblast growth factor signalling induces loss of progesterone receptor in breast cancer cells. Oncotarget 2016, (doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.13322)

  25. Czaplińska Dominika, Mieczkowski Kamil, Supernat Anna,  Skladanowski Andrzej C., Kordek Radzislaw, Biernat Wojciech, Żaczek Anna J., Romanska Hanna M., Sądej Rafał. Interactions between FGFR2 and RSK2—implications for breast cancer prognosis, Tumor Biology 2016, (doi: 10.1007/s13277-016-5266-9).

  26. Koszałka Patrycja,Gołuńska Monika, Urban Aleksandra, Stasiłojć Grzegorz, Stanisławowski Marcin, Majewski Marceli, Składanowski Andrzej C, Bigda Jacek.Specific activation of A(3), A(2A) and A(1) adenosine receptors in CD73-knockout mice affects B16F10 melanoma growth, neovascularization, angiogenesis and macrophage infiltration. Plos One 2016, 11(3): e0151420 (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151420)

  27. Boros-Majewska J., Turczyk Ł., Wei X., Milewski S., Williams D. W. A novel in vitro assay for assessing efficacy and toxicity of antifungals using human leukaemic cells infected with Candida albicansJournal of Applied Microbiology 2015, 119(1): 177-187 (doi: 10.1111/jam.12817).

  28. Koszałka Patrycja, Gołuńska Monika, Stanisławowski Marcin, Urban Aleksandra, Stasiłojć Grzegorz, Majewski Marceli, Wierzbicki Piotr, Składanowski Andrzej C., Bigda Jacek. CD73 on B16F10 melanoma cells in CD73-deficient mice promotes tumor growth, angiogenesis, neovascularization, macrophage infiltration and metastasis. International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology 2015, 69: 1-10 (doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2015.10.003).

  29. Piasecka Dominika, Składanowski Andrzej C. , Kordek Radzisław, Romańska Hanna M., Sądej Rafał. Aspekty regulacji aktywności receptora progesteronu (PR) - znaczcenie w progresji raka gruczołu piersiowego [Aspects of progesterone receptor (PR) activity regulation - impact on breast cancer progression]. Postępy Biochemii 2015, 61(2): 198-206 (pdf).

  30. Romańska Hanna M., Potemski Piotr, Krakowska Magdalena, Mieszkowska Magdalena, Chaudhri Shalini, Kordek Radzisław, Kubiak Robert, Speirs Valerie, Hanby Andrew M., Sądej Rafał, Berditchevski Fedor. Lack of CD151/integrin a3b1 complex is predictive of poor outcome in node-negative lobular breast carcinoma: opposing roles of CD151 in invasive lobular and ductal breast cancers. British Journal of Cancer 2015 (doi: 10.1038/bjc.2015.344).

  31. Romańska Hanna M., Potemski Piotr, Kusińska Renata, Kopczyński Janusz, Sądej Rafał, Kordek Radzisław. Expression of CD151/Tspan24 and integrin alpha 3 complex in aid of prognostication of HER2-negative high-grade ductal carcinoma in situ. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology 2015, 8(8): 9471-9478 (pdf).

  32. Wierzbicka J. M., Binek A., Ahrends T. , Nowacka J. D., Szydłowska A., Turczyk Ł. , Wąsiewicz T., Wierzbicki P. M., Sądej R. , Tuckey R. C., Slominski A. T., Chybicki J., Adrych K., Kmieć Z., Żmijewski M. A. . Differential antitumor effects of vitamin D analogues on colorectal carcinoma in culture . International Journal of Oncology 2015, 47(3): 1084-1096 (doi: 10.3892/ijo.2015.3088).

  33. Czaplińska DominikaTurczyk ŁukaszGrudowska AlicjaMieszkowska Magdalena, Lipińska Andrea D., Składanowski Andrzej C., Żaczek Anna J., Romańska Hanna M., Sądej Rafał. Phosphorylation of RSK2 at Tyr529 by FGFR2-p38 enhances human mammary epithelial cells migration. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Molecular Cell Research 2014, 1843(11): 2461-2470 (doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2014.06.022).
  34. Koszałka Patrycja, Pryszlak Anna, Gołuńska Monika, Kolasa Justyna, Stasiłojć Grzegorz, Składanowski Andrzej C., Bigda Jacek J. Inhibition of CD73 stimulates the migration and invasion of B16F10 melanoma cells in vitro, but results in impaired angiogenesis and reduced melanoma growth in vivoOncology Reports 2014, 31(2): 819-827 (doi: 10.3892/or.2013.2883)

  35. Sądej RafałGrudowska AlicjaTurczyk Łukasz, Kordek Radzisław, Romańska Hanna M. CD151 in cancer progression and metastasis: A complex scenario. Laboratory Investigation 2014, 94(1): 41-51.

  36. Składanowski Andrzej C. The Role of Soluble 5'-Nucleotidases in the Conversion of Nucleotide Analogs: Metabolic and Therapeutic Aspects. Current Medicinal Chemistry 2013, 20(34): 4249-4259.

  37. Sądej RafałSkładanowski Andrzej C. Dual, enzymatic and non-enzymatic, function of ecto-5 '-nucleotidase (eN, CD73) in migration and invasion of A375 melanoma cells. Acta Biochimica Polonica 2012, 59(4): 647-652.

  38. Kleszczyński KonradSkładanowski Andrzej C. Mechanism of cytotoxic action of perfluorinated acids. III. Disturbance in Ca2+ homeostasis. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 2011, 251(2): 163-168.

  39. Rusiecka IzabelaSkładanowski Andrzej C. Induction of the multixenobiotic/multidrug resistance system in HeLa cells in response to imidazolium ionic liquids. Acta Biochimica Polonica 2011, 58(2): 187-192.

  40. Slominski Andrzej T., Żmijewski Michał A., Zbytek Blazej, Brozyna Anna A., Granese Jackie, Pisarchik Alexander, Szczesniewski Andre, Tobin Desmond J. Regulated Proenkephalin Expression in Human Skin and Cultured Skin Cells. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 2011, 131(3): 613-622.

  41. Slominski Andrzej T., Janjetovic Zorica, Fuller Brian E., Żmijewski Michał A., Tuckey Robert C., Nguyen Minh N., Sweatman Trevor, Li Wei, Zjawiony Jordan, Miller Duane, Chen Tai C., Lozanski Gerard, Holick Michael F. Products of Vitamin D3 or 7-Dehydrocholesterol Metabolism by Cytochrome P450scc Show Anti-Leukemia Effects, Having Low or Absent Calcemic Activity. PLoS ONE 2010, 5(3): e9907.

  42. Żmijewski Michał A.,Slominski Andrzej T. Emerging role of alternative splicing of CRF1 receptor in CRF signaling. Acta Biochimica Polonica 2010, 51(1): 1-13.

  43. Kleszczyński KonradSkładanowski Andrzej C. Mechanism of cytotoxic action of perfluorinated acids. I. Alteration in plasma membrane potential and intracellular pH level. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 2009, 234(3): 300-305.

  44. Kleszczyński Konrad, Stepnowski Piotr, Składanowski Andrzej C. Mechanism of cytotoxic action of perfluorinated acids II. Disruption of mitochondrial bioenergetics. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 2009, 235(2): 182-190.

  45. Żmijewski M. A., Sweatman T. W., Slominski A. T. The melatonin-producing system is fully functional in retinal pigment epithelium (ARPE-19). Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 2009, 307(1-2): 211-216.

  46. Żmijewski Michał A., Slominski A.T. Modulation of corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) signaling through receptor splicing in mouse pituitary cell line AtT-20 - emerging role of soluble isoforms. Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 2009, 60(suppl. 4): 39-46.


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Submitted on Monday, 15. December 2014 - 12:38 by Elżbieta Moroz Changed on Thursday, 7. September 2023 - 09:25 by Maria Maja Pega