Pia Harryson

Pia Harryson


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Works at Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Telephone 08-16 42 38
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 16
Room K 307
Postal address Institutionen för biokemi och biofysik 106 91 Stockholm


Structural and Functional studies of the Intrinsically Disordered Dehydrin Plant Stress Proteins

Sudden temperature changes and vanishing supply of water present major challenges to plant growth, productivity and survival.  This project investigates the biological and molecular function of the dehydrins, a class of disordered stress proteins that are induced under drought, cold or high salt content in soils, to broaden our understanding of how plants adapt to altered environmental conditions.  The approach is based on a combination of biochemical studies and biophysical analysis of structural properties in vitro.

Dehydrins are highly expressed under conditions of desiccation and cold stress. Their molecular function in ensuring plant survival is not yet known, but several studies suggest their involvement in membrane stabilisation or as chaperones. The dehydrins are characterised by a broad repertoire of conserved and repetitive amino acid sequences, out of which the archetypical K-segment has been implicated in membrane binding.


Selected Publications

'Tunable Membrane Binding of the Intrinsically Disordered Dehydrin Lti30, a Cold-Induced Plant Stress Protein”.

Eriksson SK, Kutzer M, Procek J, Gröbner G, Harryson P.

Plant Cell. 2011 Jun;23 (6):2391-404


“Dehydrins: Molecular biology, Structure and Function”

Eriksson SK and Harryson P

Plant Desiccation Tolerance, 2011. 289-305.  eds Lutte et al, Springer verlag


“Mimicking the plant cell interior under water stress by macromolecular crowding: disordered dehydrin proteins are highly resistant to structural collapse”.

Mouillon JM, Eriksson SK, Harryson P.

Plant Physiol. 2008 Dec;148(4):1925-37.


”Structural investigation of disordered stress proteins. Comparison of full-length dehydrins with isolated peptides of their conserved segments.”

Mouillon JM, Gustafsson P and Harryson P

Plant Physiol.  2006 Jun;141(2):638-50.

Last updated: March 3, 2020

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