Prof. Dr. Walter Volknandt

Institute for Cell Biology and Neuroscience
Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology
Max von Laue-Str. 13
D-60438 Frankfurt, Germany

Tel +49-69-798-42022
Fax +49-69-798-42021


Scientific Focus

We are interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal communication mediated by synaptic vesicles. Our studies aim to characterize the proteome of the synaptic vesicle compartment. To fulfil essential tasks such as uptake, storage and regulated release of signalling substances synaptic vesicles are equipped with a unique set of proteins. In the past many of the proteins that govern essential functions in the life cycle of these vesicular organelles have been identified and characterized in molecular detail by us and others. The development of highly sensitive mass spectrometric methods and novel gel systems especially designed for the separation of membrane proteins enabled us to perform in collaboration with the Karas and Schägger labs a comprehensive analysis of the proteinaceous inventory of the synaptic vesicle compartment. Novel proteins identified by this approach are now subject of a detailed molecular and functional analysis.


We have expertise in subcellular fractionation methods especially designed for organelles. For the separation of proteins we routinely apply various electrophoretic techniques such as Blue Native, IEF, double SDS, or BAC/SDS-PAGE. We produce antibodies for immunodetection by light- and electronmicroscopical immunohistochemistry, Westernblot analysis and for immunopurification of organelles. We have a large pepertoire of methods in molecular biology such as cloning and expression of tagged constructs, PCR, Northern and in-situ hybridization. We have experience in the analysis of intracellular transport of organelles by CLSM and FRAP.

Selected Publications

Weingarten J, Weingarten M, Wegner M, Volknandt W.(2017) APP-A Novel Player within the Presynaptic Active Zone Proteome. Front Mol Neurosci.10:43. doi:10.3389/fnmol.2017.00043

Laßek M, Weingarten J, Wegner M, Neupärtl M, Array TN, Harde E, Beckert B, Golghalyani V, Ackermann J, Koch I, Müller UC, Karas M, Acker-Palmer A, Volknandt W.(2017) APP Deletion Accounts for Age-Dependent Changes in the Bioenergetic Metabolism and in Hyperphosphorylated CaMKII at Stimulated Hippocampal Presynaptic Active Zones. Front Synaptic Neurosci. 9:1. doi: 10.3389/fnsyn.2017.00001

Waberer L, Henrich E, Peetz O, Morgner N, Dötsch V, Bernhard F, Volknandt W.(2017 The synaptic vesicle protein SV31 assembles into a dimer and transports Zn2.J Neurochem 140(2):280-293. doi: 10.1111/jnc.13886

Laßek M, Weingarten J, Wegner M, Mueller BF, Rohmer M, Baeumlisberger D, Arrey TN, Hick M, Ackermann J, Acker-Palmer A, Koch I, Müller U, Karas M, Volknandt W. (2016) APP Is a Context-Sensitive Regulator of the Hippocampal Presynaptic Active Zone.PLoS Comput Biol. 12(4):e1004832.

Laßek M, Weingarten J, Wegner M, Volknandt W.(2016)The Amyloid Precursor Protein-A Novel Player within the Molecular Array of Presynaptic Nanomachines.Front Synaptic Neurosci. 7:21.doi: 10.3389/fnsyn.2015.00021

About us