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Cellular Physiology

Cellular Physiology

Kid Törnquist, Ph. D., professor (Head)

Contact information
Cell Biology
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Artillerigatan 6
201520 Turku


Group Members

Asghar , Muhammad Yasir, Ph.D.

Pulli, Ilari, M.Sc.

Lassila, Taru, M.Sc.


Fields of Research

  • Mechanisms regulating thyroid cancer invasion and migration
  • Importance of sphingolipids as regulators of cancer cell invasion, migration and proliferation
  • Ion channels as regulators of cell signalling in normal and cancer cells
  • Regulation of sphingolipid receptor expression in cancer cells
  • Regulation of VEGF receptor expression in cancer cells
  • Caclium signalling in cancer
  • Mitochondrial signalling


Methods used

  • Cell culture
  • Single cell calcium imaging using cytosolic calcium-sensitive probes; organelle-targeted luminescent calcium probes (ER, mitochondria, plasma membrane, caveolae)
  • Cytosolic pH-measurements
  • Migration and invasion techniques (Transwell chambers, wound healing)
  • Basic and advanced microscopy techniques
  • A palette of basic cell- and molecular biology techniques


Selected publications (2008 – 2018)

Pulli I, Lassila T, Pan G, Yan D, Olkkonen V, Törnquist K: Oxysterol-binding proteins (ORPs) 5 and 8 regulate calcium signaling at specific cellular compartments. Cell Calcium 72:62-69 (2018).

Kemppainen K, Wentus N, Lassila T, Laiho A, Törnquist K: Sphingosylphosphorylcholine regulates the Hippo signaling pathway in a dual manner. Cell Signal, 28:1894-1903 (2016).

Kalhori V, Magnusson M, Asghar MY, Pulli I, Törnquist K: FTY720 (Fingolimod) attenuates basal and sphingosine 1-phosphate-evoked invasion of thyroid cancer cells. Endocr-Relat Cancer, 23:457-468 (2016).

Asghar MY, Magnusson M, Kemppainen K, Pulli I, Törnquist K: Transient receptor potential canonical 1 (TRPC1) channels as regulators of sphingolipid- and VEGF receptor expression: implications for thyroid cancer cell migration and proliferation. J Biol Chem, 290:16116-16131 (2015).

Hyder C*, Kemppainen K*, Isoniemi K, Imanishi SY, Goto H, Inagaki M, Fazeli E, Eriksson JE, Törnquist K: Sphingolipids inhibit vimentin-dependent cell migration. J Cell Sci, 128:2057-2069 (2015). *) Equal contribution. Chosen for “In this issue”.

Pulli I, Blom T, Löf C, Magnusson M, Rimessi A, Pinton P, Törnquist K: A novel chimeric aequorin fused with caveolin-1 reveals a sphingosine kinase 1-regulated Ca 2+ microdomain in the caveolar compartment. Biochem Biophys Acta (Mol Cell Res) 1853:2173-2182 (2015).

Kalhori V*, Kemppainen K*, Asghar MY, Bergelin N, Jaakkola P, Törnquist K: Sphingosine 1-phosphate enhances hypoxia-induced factor 1a (HIF-1a) stability in ML-1 thyroid carcinoma cells. Evidence for HIF-1a as a regulator of migration. PLOS One 8:e66189 (2013). *) Equal contribution.

Hyrskyluoto A, Pulli I, Törnquist K, Ho TH, Lindholm D, Korhonen L: Sigma-1 receptor agonist PRE084 is protective against mutant huntigtin-induced cell degeneration: involvement of the NF-kB pathway. Cell Death Dis, 4: e646; doi:10.1038/cddis.2013.170 (2013).

Sukumaran P, Lönnfors M, Långvik O, Pulli I, Törnquist K, Slotte JP: Complexation of C6-ceramide with cholesteryl phosphocholine – a potent solvent-free ceramide delivery formulation for cells in culture. PLoS One 8:e61290 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061290 (2013).

Viitanen T, Sukumaran P, Löf C, Törnquist K: Functional coupling of TRPC2 cation channels and the calcium-activated anion channels in rat thyroid cells: Implications for iodide homeostasis. J Cell Physiol 228:814-823 (2013).

Sukumaran P, Löf C, Kemppainen K, Kankaanpää P, Pulli I, Näsman J, Viitanen T, Törnquist K: Canonical transient receptor potential 2 and calcium signaling in rat thyroid FRTL-5 cells: Importance of protein kinase C d and STIM2. J Biol Chem 287:44345-44360 (2012).

Löf C, Sukumaran P, Viitanen T, Vainio M, Kemppainen K, Pulli I, Näsman J, Kukkonen JP, Törnquist K: Communication between the calcium and cAMP pathways regulate the expression of the TSH receptor: TRPC2 in the center of action. Mol Endocrinol 26:2046-2057 (2012).

Asghar MY, Kemppainen K, Viitanen T, Törnquist K: Sphingosine 1-phosphate and human ether-a’-go-go related gene (HERG) potassium channels modulate migration in human anaplastic thyroid cancer cells. Endocr-Relat Cancer 19:667-680 (2012).

Bergelin N, Löf C, Balthasar S, Kalhori V, Törnquist K: S1P receptor 1 and VEGF receptor 2 form a signalling complex with ERK1/2 and PKCa regulating ML-1 thyroid carcinoma cell migration. Endocrinology 151:2994-3005 (2010).

Alam CM, Valkonen SH, Ohls S, Törnquist K, Hänninen A: Enhanced trafficking to the pancreatic lymph nodes and auto-antigen presentation capacity distinguishes peritoneal B lymphocytes in non-obese diabetic mice. Diabetologia 53:346-355 (2010).

Afrasiabi E, Hietamäki M, Viitanen T, Sukumaran P, Bergelin N and Törnquist K: Expression and significance of HERG (KCNH2) potassium channels in the regulation of MDA-MB-435S melanoma cell proliferation and migration. Cell Signal 22: 57-64 (2010).

Ramström C, Chapman H, Viitanen T, Fox H, Kivelä J, Soini S, Korhonen L, Lindholm D, Pasternack M, Törnquist K: HERG (KCNH2) K + channel surface expression is modulated by diacylglycerol. Cell Mol Life Sci, 67:157-169 (2010).

Gratschev D, Löf C, Heikkilä J, Björkbom A, Sukumaran P, Slotte JP, Hinkkanen A and Törnquist K: Sphingosine kinase as a regulator of calcium entry through autocrine sphingosine 1-phosphate signalling. Endocrinology 150:5125-5134 (2009).

Bergelin N, Blom T, Löf C, Alam C, Balthasar S, Heikkilä J, Slotte JPS, Hinkkanen A and Törnquist K: Sphingosine kinase as an oncogene: autocrine sphingosine 1-phoshate modulates ML-1 thyroid carcinoma cell migration by a mechanism dependent on PKC-a and ERK1/2. Endocrinology, 150:2055-2063 (2009).

Balthasar S, Bergelin N, Löf C,, Vainio M, Andersson S, Törnquist K: Interaction between sphingosine 1-phosphate and vascular endothelial growth factor signaling in ML-1 follicular thyroid cancer. Endocr-Relat Cancer, 15: 521-534 (2008).örnquist+k

Uppdaterad 5.4.2018