Dr Gonca Bayraktar


My research aims to understand how synaptic plasticity governs learning and memory function of the brain and how gradual loss of function or impairment leads to neurodegeneration. My research focuses on the study of neurodegeneration from various aspects 1) at the level of transcription in relation to epigenetic mechanisms and chromatin biology (studies with ATAC-seq, Split-seq single-nucleotide transcriptomics) and 2) at the level of protein translation through elongation control. Protein translation and signalling mechanisms regulating different stages of protein translation are known to be implicated in diseases of synaptic degeneration. The key proteins controlling the translation elongation are eEF2 and its kinase eEF2K. We modulate the eEF2/eEF2K pathway, known to be impaired in neurodegeneration, in vitro and in vivo studies to find the basis for an early possible intervention in early neurodegeneration.

Research Focus



translation control


synaptic plasticity

learning and memory

Clinical conditions

Alzheimer's disease


Prion diseases


Behavioural analysis

Cell culture

Confocal microscopy

Fluorescence microscopy

gene expression assays, qPCR, protein immunoblotting, ex vivo tissue treatment



Protein purification

Recombinant protein expression


United Kingdom

Owen Sansom Web: http://www.beatson.gla.ac.uk/Invasio...

Anne Willis Web: https://www.mrc-tox.cam.ac.uk/staff/p...


Jenny Russ Web: https://www.dzne.de/en/rese...

Paolo Salomoni Web: https://www.dzne.de/en/rese...

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Bayraktar G, Yuanxiang P, Confettura AD, Gomes GM, Raza SA, Stork O, Tajima S, Suetake I, Karpova A, Yildirim F, Kreutz MR (2020), “Synaptic control of DNA methylation involves activity-dependent degradation of DNMT3A1 in the nucleus” Neuropsychopharmacology 45: 2120-2130



    Bayraktar G, Kreutz MR (2018), “Neuronal DNA methyltransferases: epigenetic mediators between synaptic activity and gene expression?” The Neuroscientist 24(2): 171-185

    Bayraktar G, Kreutz MR (2018), “The role of activity-dependent DNA demethylation in the adult brain and in neurological disorders” Frontiers in molecular neuroscience 11(169)


    Spilker C, Nullmeier S, Grochowska KM, Schumacher A, Butnaru I, Macharadze T, Gomes GM, Yuanxiang P, Bayraktar G, Rodenstein C, Geiseler C, Kolodziej A, Lopez-Rojas J, Montag D, Angenstein F, Bär J, D'Hanis W, Roskoden T, Mikhaylova M, Budinger E, Ohl FW, Stork O, Zenclussen AC, Karpova A, Schwegler H, Kreutz MR (2016), “A Jacob/Nsmf gene knockout results in hippocampal dysplasia and impaired BDNF signaling in dendritogenesis” PLoS genetics 12(3)


    Wegenast-Braun BM, Skodras A, Bayraktar G, Mahler J, Fritschi SK, Klingstedt T, Mason JJ, Hammarström P, Nilsson KPR, Liebig C, Jucker M (2012), “Spectral discrimination of cerebral amyloid lesions after peripheral application of luminescent conjugated oligothiophenes” The American journal of pathology 181(6): 1953-1960