Lukáš Čajánek Group

Mechanisms and functions of primary cilia

Dr. Lukas Cajanek is a head of the group. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2011 from Karolinska Institute in Sweden (lab of Ernest Arenas), where he studied WNT signaling in the context of dopamine neuron differentiation. For a postdoc he joined the lab of Erich Nigg (Biozentrum of University of Basel in Switzerland). There he explored mechanisms of centrosome biogenesis and ciliogenesis. In 2015 he came to Brno as SoMoPro fellow to establish his own research lab. Following successful grant application to a PROMYS grant scheme of Swiss National Science Foundation he has been in 2017 appointed assistant professor. His research is currently supported by grants from Czech Science Foundation.

His main scientific interest is to find out how cilia and centrosome are built and what different functions they serve.

The primary cilium is an antenna-like organelle that has emerged as a fundamental regulator of embryonic development as well as tissue homeostasis. Consequently, the deregulation of its assembly, maintenance, or function leads to numerous human diseases, collectively termed ciliopathies. It has been estimated that cilia dysfunctions are responsible for as many as 100 human diseases. However, the mechanistic explanation of primary cilia assembly and function, crucial for the understanding of cilia-related defects and their therapeutic targeting, is insufficient.

The lab has a long-term interest in the role of a kinase termed TTBK2, which has emerged as a master regulator of primary cilia across vertebrates. The successful candidate will have access to unique research tools, state-of-the-art methodology, and advanced instrumentation (cellular and animal models, proteomics, gene editing, lentiviral transduction, live cell imaging, super-resolution microscopy, etc.).


Bernatik O, Pejskova P, Vyslouzil D, Hanakova K, Zdrahal Z, Čajánek L. Phosphorylation of multiple proteins involved in ciliogenesis by Tau Tubulin kinase 2. Mol Biol Cell., 2020.

Pejskova P, Reilly ML, Bino L, Bernatik O, Dolanska L, Ganji RS, Zdrahal Z, Benmerah A, Čajánek L. KIF14 controls ciliogenesis via regulation of Aurora A and is important for Hedgehog signaling. J Cell Biol., 2020.

Čajánek L, Nigg EA. Cep164 triggers ciliogenesis by recruiting Tau tubulin kinase 2 to the mother centriole. PNAS, 2014.

Bhogaraju S, Čajánek L, et al. Molecular basis of tubulin transport within the cilium by IFT74 and IFT81. Science, 2013.

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