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2022 Speakers

Evaluation of prion-like proteins synthesis of the plant under influence stress factors

Namik Rashydov

Namik Rashydov, Speaker at
Institute Cell Biology and Genetic Engineering of NAS of Ukraine, Ukraine
Title : Evaluation of prion-like proteins synthesis of the plant under influence stress factors


The prion-like proteins have a unique biochemical memory through destructive self-organizing changes of conformation and function. They have a general biological nature, and their behavior was widely studied in mammals, bacteria, and fungi. For less than a dozen plant species, this process, the acquisition of prion properties by proteins are reported in the scientific literature, but they do not have a clear evidence base as well for the appearance of amyloid fibrils. Recently, we and other authors suggested that stress factors might cause a protein with prion-like properties in plant. However, available data is preliminary and hardly convincing. Therefore, it is timely to explore if selected plant proteins, having crucial biochemical functions, such as cupins, auxin-binding proteins, RuBisCo and other photosynthetic proteins, can acquire prion-like properties due to influence of the abiotic chronic stress factors.

The aim of our study is the transition of the α-structure to β-conformation in proteins and the appearance of amyloid aggregates in plant cells challenged by suboptimal conditions under influence abiotic stress factors using state-of-the-art proteomics, microscopy, and molecular biology.

Our previous studies showed that under chronic irradiation in the Chernobyl zone flax accumulates proteins with prion-like properties (Gábrišová et al., 2016). Moreover, we demonstrated with FTIR spectrometry that in X-ray-irradiated Arabidopsis thaliana transition of the α-state of proteins to β-conformation increased by 12% (Litvinov et al., 2018). Changing the conformation of proteins and increasing the relative proportion of β-sheets compared to the α-helices, which are dominant in proteins at the normal conditions, is a sign of the appearance of prion-like proteins.

Experiments elucidating the appearance of prion-like proteins in plants could shed the light to mitigate the severe consequences of prion diseases in offspreds. Since this approach allows us to identify proteins in the transition to a state with a high content of β-domain, they could also acquire allergenic properties, which is very relevant for the feeding of mammals suffered from a chronic wasting disease.


Namik Rashydov since 2003 till present – Head of Laboratory of Biophysics of Signal Systems, Institute of Cell Biology and Genetic Engineering, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Department of Biophysics and Radiobiology, Kiev;

International scholarships/trainings:

·         FP7 Program People Marie Curie Actions International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES 2013-2017, #612587). Short-term research visits to Gottingen University (Germany), Institute of Plant Genetics and Biotechnology, Slovak Academy of Sciences (Nitra, Slovakia), Aberystwyth University (Aberystwyth, UK), Institute of Experimental Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences (Prague, Czech Republic)

·         NATO Advanced Training Courses 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 – Speaker and participant of several NATO training courses (supported by NATO travel grant)

·         Speaker of the conferences: PSB 2016 (St.-Petersburg), SEAB 2016 (Antalya), IPC 2016 (Berlin), SEAB 2017 (Minsk), Institute of Experimental Botany 2017 (Prague), Zhytomyr University 2018 (Ukraine)

·         National Scholarship Program of Slovak Republic for the support of mobility of students, PhD students, university teachers and researchers, project “Chernobyl seeds”, Dr. Martin Hajduch, Institute of Plant Genetics and Biotechnology, Nitra, Slovak Republic (2007, 2 months & 2010, 2 months)

·         Speaker of the training course "Molecular Aspects of Salt and Drought Tolerance in Crops (plants)", Genetic Engineering Research Center (GERC), Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, Egypt, September, 2007

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