Jakub Włodarczyk

Jakub Włodarczyk

Nencki Institute, Warsaw, Poland

Jakub Włodarczyk


Dr. Jakub Wlodarczyk obtained his PhD in Physics from Warsaw University (Poland) in 2006 and a postdoctoral training in Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Goettingen. Germany). Since 2012, he leads a Laboratory of Cell Biophysics at the Nencki Institute (Warsaw, Poland). In 2020 he was nominated Professor of Natural Sciences. The main field of his interest is aberrant synaptic plasticity underlying stress related disorders and stress resilience. He studies structural and functional synaptic modifications regulated by posttranslational modifications. He develops and employs 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.

Description of the general focus of the symposium "Posttranslational Modifications as a Key to Neuronal Plasticity"

Omics research enables the analysis of thousands of proteins, lipids, and expression levels of genetic material, which provides a wealth of information about phenomena affecting tissues, cells, and isolated cellular structures. However, it should be noted that not only the level of protein expression but very often its activation at the right time and place in the cell or outside it, is the factor that ultimately determines its correct function. Therefore, at this Symposium, I propose to discuss the latest trends in research on cellular and synaptic plasticity of neurons, to come closer to understanding the complexity of multi-stage protein maturation systems in the cell and the complexity of regulating their activity. Post-translational modifications of proteins and nucleic acids (including epigenetic aspects) is a field that escapes the scope of omnic data and requires detailed measurements at the level of individual proteins or chromosomes. The question arises whether we can define more general theses about the role of post-translational modifications (palmitoylation, glycosylation, acetylation, methylation, sumoylation, ubiquitination, and others) on the observed changes in the physiology of cells of the nervous system, which would mark the general condition of neurons plasticity?


Stress resilience is an ability of neuronal networks to maintain their function despite the stress exposure. In this study, we investigate whether stress resilience is an actively developed dynamic process in adult mice. In order to assess the resilient and anhedonic behavioral phenotypes developed after induction of the chronic unpredictable stress, we quantitatively characterized the structural and functional plasticity of excitatory synapses in the hippocampus using a combination of proteomic, electrophysiological, and imaging methods. Our results indicate that stress resilience is a dynamic and multifactorial process manifested by structural, functional, and molecular changes in synapses. We reveal that chronic stress influences palmitoylation, whose profiles differ between resilient and anhedonic animals. We also observed that stress resilience is associated with structural compensatory plasticity of the postsynaptic parts of synapses. Finally we indicated the signaling pathway that promotes resilience.

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