Intranet Čeština

Mitochondrial Physiology

Mitochondrial Physiology

Our research group focuses on the role of mitochondria in physiological and pathophysiological processes of the cell and organism. Mitochondria are the main source of cellular energy, ATP, which is essential for maintaining vital cell functions. Additionally, mitochondrial metabolism also leads to the production of oxygen radicals, reactive molecules that have a negative impact on the cell functioning, i.e. irreversible damage of cellular proteins, lipids and DNA (both mitochondrial and nuclear). Such prolonged oxidative stress in extreme cases leads to cell death. Chronic, albeit relatively moderate oxidative stress accompanies number of pathophysiological disorders including neurodegenerative diseases (such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease), but for example also type 2 diabetes and pulmonary hypertension, the etiology of which we study in our laboratory. In case of irreversible damage mitochondria must be removed by specific pathway of autophagy, called mitophagy. This process is crucial for mitochondrial quality control process, disruption of which is accompanied by a number of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, which is where we study the mitophagy. Moreover, mitochondria are semiautonomous organelles for they have mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Genetic manipulation of the mtDNA is rather complicated and yet there has not been found satisfactory method which would allow us for e.g. gene silencing or in-situ quantification of genetic mutations in mtDNA. The development of such techniques is one of out goals. Since mitochondria are rather small organelles and resolution of commonly available light and fluorescence microscopy is not sufficient to study certain aspects of their morphology, we employ special super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. The prototype of such microscope we have recently purchased for our department. We develop further methodologies of “nanoscopy” to study mitochondrial morphology and function. Finally, we study the role of mitochondrial signaling in cancer cells and cancer-specific enzymatic pathways, study of which could be essential for the development of future anticancer drugs.

Concerning applied research, we also develop novel drug carriers to transport specific anticancer drugs called photosensitizers into cancer tissues. Our findings have been patented in Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic.





Rohlenová, Kateřina - Sachaphibulkij, K. - Stursa, J. - Bezawork-Geleta, A. - Blecha, Jan - Endaya, B. - Werner, L. - Černý, Jiří - Zobalová, Renata - Goodwin, J. - Špaček, Tomáš - Pesdar, E.A. - Yan, B. - Nguyen, M.N. - Vondrusová, Magdaléna - Sobol, Margaryta - Ježek, Petr - Hozák, Pavel - Truksa, Jaroslav - Rohlena, Jakub - Dong, L.F. - Neužil, Jiří . Selective Disruption of Respiratory Supercomplexes as a New Strategy to Suppress Her2(high) Breast Cancer . Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. 2017, roč. 26, 2, p. 84-103 . IF = 6.337 [ASEP] [ doi ]
Alán, Lukáš - Špaček, Tomáš - Pajuelo-Reguera, David - Jabůrek, Martin - Ježek, Petr . Mitochondrial nucleoid clusters protect newly synthesized mtDNA during Doxorubicin- and Ethidium Bromide-induced mitochondrial stress . Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. 2016, roč. 302, Jul 1, p. 31-40 . IF = 3.791 [ASEP] [ doi ]
Zelenka, J. - Dvořák, Aleš - Alán, Lukáš - Zadinová, M. - Haluzík, M. - Vítek, L. Hyperbilirubinemia Protects against Aging-Associated Inflammation and Metabolic Deterioration . Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2016, roč. 2016, 2016, článku 6190609 . IF = 4.593 [ASEP] [ doi ]
Bartůněk, V. - Rak, J. - Pelánková, B. - Junková, J. - Mezlíková, M. - Král, V. - Kuchař, M. - Engstová, Hana - Ježek, Petr - Šmucler, R. Large scale preparation of up-converting YF3:YbEr nanocrystals with various sizes by solvothermal syntheses using ionic liquid bmimCl . Journal of Fluorine Chemistry. 2016, roč. 188, Aug, p. 14-17 . IF = 2.101 [ASEP] [ doi ]
Plecitá-Hlavatá, Lydie - Ježek, Petr . Integration of superoxide formation and cristae morphology for mitochondrial redox signaling . International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology. 2016, roč. 80, Nov, p. 31-50 . IF = 3.505 [ASEP] [ doi ]


Institute of Physiology AS CR, v.v.l.
Depertment of Mitochondrial Physiology
Vídeňská 1083
14220 Prague 4
Czech Republic
tel. +420 241 062 760
  +420 241 065 585
fax. +420 241 062 488


  RNDr. Petr Ježek, DrSc.
head of the department
  Ing. Andrea Dlasková, Ph.D.
deputy head of the department
  Mgr. Hana Engstová, Ph.D.
senior researcher

Mgr. Blanka Holendová, Ph.D.

senior researcher

  Mgr. Martin Jabůrek, Ph.D.
senior researcher
  RNDr. Jan Ježek, Ph.D.
senior researcher
  RNDr. Miloš Nekvasil
senior researcher
  RNDr. Lydie Plecitá, Ph.D.
senior researcher
  RNDr. Katarína Smolková, Ph.D.
senior researcher
  Ing. Tomáš Špaček, Ph.D.
senior researcher
  Mgr. Jitka Špačková (Šantorová), Ph.D.
senior researcher
  Ing. Jan Tauber, Ph.D.
senior researcher
  Mgr. Aleš Dvořák
PhD student
  Ing. Anežka Kahancová
PhD student

Vojtěch Pavluch

PhD student


Nikola Capková

pregraduate student

  Jitka Smiková
lab technician
  Ludmila Šimečková
lab technician
  Jana Vaicová
lab technician