Department of Biochemistry

Head of Department

RNDr. Miroslav Barančík, DrSc.


Within the Department of Biochemistry are research teams with research activities focused on the study of mechanisms involved in regulation and modulation of responses of animal cells to different physiological and pathological stimuli.

As part of this, the roles of intracellular signaling in regulation of cellular responses to stress stimuli and in cellular adaptive responses are studied.

Research activities within department are further focused on elucidation of functions of mitochondria and regulation of substrate and energetic metabolism in heart at physiological and pathological conditions. The involvement of Na,K-ATPase, a key enzyme system involved in maintaining the intracellular sodium and potassium ion concentrations, in the development of various diseases is also investigated.

Research activities in Department are further focused on study of effects of natural substances on adaptation and protection of cells against pathological stimuli. In addition, the potential role of these substances in preservation of mitochondrial function is determined. The molecular mechanisms and regulatory proteins involved in the protective effects of test substances are identified.   

Within the framework of others activities Department of Biochemistry cooperates with universities on realization of common research projects and employees of Department participate on education of students (supervising bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral thesis).      

Research areas

  • Intracellular signaling and its role in regulation of responses and adaptation of animal cells to different kinds of stress conditions (ischemia, hypoxia, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, doxorubicin cytotoxicity).
  • The role of regulatory proteins (protein kinases, matrix metalloproteinases, ion transporters) in mechanisms of short-term and long-term adaptation of to pathological stimuli.
  • Mitochondrial function in heart during physiological and pathological conditions (ischemia, hypoxia, hypertension, diabetes mellitus).
  • Characterization of the mitochondrial proteome under conditions of myocardial energy load at the level of changes in mitochondrial permeability transition pores, mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes and ROS effect.
  • Interaction between intracellular organelles and membrane systems.
  • Substrate and energy metabolism in the heart.
  • Involvement of the Na,K-ATPase, a key system involved in maintaining the intracellular sodium ion concentration, in the development of various diseases like hypertension, streptozotocin-induced diabetes, lipid metabolism disorders, inflammation diseases, etc.
  • Study the effect of various natural substances on functional properties of Na,K-ATPase for eventual protection of enzyme.


  • model of streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus type I in rats
  • model of spontaneous hypertension in rats
  • model of remote preconditioning
  • model of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity
  • cell culture models – immortal myoblast cell line H9c2 and kidney cell line HEK293
  • model of primary cell cultures – cardiomyocytes
  • isolated erythrocytes


  • basic laboratory analytical techniques
  • estimation of structurally-bound and soluble enzymes, investigation of kinetic parameters of the enzymes such as the Km and Vmax constants
  • biochemical methods of determination of enzyme activities (zymography, enzyme kinetics)
  • immunochemical methods (ELISA, Western blot analysis, and dot blot assay)
  • methods of cell culture
  • isolation and purification of proteins, and subcellular fractions (organelles)
  • isolation of heart mitochondria
  • fluorescent spectroscopy
  • liquid and mass spectrometry