Head of laboratory

Scientific Staff

Technician and administration staff

Asset 1 w.tkacz@nencki.edu.pl

PhD Students


Research profile

Processes like learning and memory require functional modification of neuronal networks through reorganization of existing synapses, modification of their efficacy, or modulation of neuronal endogenous excitability. Synapses are particularly prone to dynamic alterations and thus are believed to play a major role in plasticity. We study structural and functional synaptic modifications regulated by posttranslational modifi- cations including: i) protein-specific proteolysis by extracellular matrix proteolytic modifiers, ii) S-nitrosylation and S-palmitoylation i.e. addition of palmitate or nitric oxide that reversibly modifies numerous classes of neuronal proteins. We focus on the role of rapid posttranslational modifications of synaptic proteins in protein organization in the synapse under physiological stimuli as well as pathological conditions (such as chronic stress). We employ novel imaging based techniques and mass spectrometry methods to assess the reorganization of activity patterns accompanied by local volumetric and molecular changes at the synapses.

Current research activities

  • cooperative involvement of serotonin signaling pathways and extracellular matrix in synaptic plasticity underlying the pathogenesis of stress-related disorders
  • structural brain plasticity driven by extracellular matrix modifiers
  • quantitative analysis of dendritic spine turnover, morphological changes and receptor composition within the spine
  • interplay between the posttranslational modifications in the chronic stress disorders
  • novel methodical approaches to analyze posttranslational modifications.

Selected recent publications

Zareba-Koziol M, Bartkowiak-Kaczmarek A, Figiel I, Krzystyniak A, Wojtowicz T, Bijata M, Wlodarczyk J. (2019). Stress-induced changes in the S-palmitoylation and S-nitrosylation of synaptic proteins. Mol. Cell Prot. 18: 1916-1938

Antoniuk S, Bijata M, Ponimaskin E, Wlodarczyk J. (2019). Chronic unpredictable mild stress for modeling depression in rodents: meta-analysis of model reliability. Neurosci. Biobeh. Rev. 99:101-116

Bijata M, Labus J, Guseva D, Stawarski M, Butzlaff M, Dzwonek J, Schneeberg J, Bohm K, Michaluk P, Rusakov D.A, Dityatev A, Wilczynski G, Wlodarczyk J*, Ponimaskin E*. (2017) Synaptic remodeling depends on signaling between serotonin receptors and the extracellular matrix. Cell Rep., 19:1767–1782; (*) co-corresponding author

Tang Z, Junhong Luo O, Li X, Zheng M, Jufen Zhu J, Szalaj, Trzaskoma P, Magalska A, Włodarczyk J, Ruszczycki B, Michalski P, Piecuch E, Wang P, Wang D, Zhongyuan Tian S, Penrad-Mobayed M, M Sachs L, Ruan X, Wei C, T Liu E, Wilczyński G, Plewczyński D, Li G, Ruan Y. (2015) CTCF-mediated human 3D genome architecture reveals chromatin topology for transcription. Cell, 163 (7): 1611-1627.

Stawarski M, Rutkowska-Wlodarczyk I, Zeug A, Bijata M, Madej H, Kaczmarek L, Wlodarczyk J. (2014) Genetically encoded FRET-based biosensor for imaging MMP-9 activity. Biomaterials, 35: 1402-1410.