HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Paris, France or Virtually from your home or work.

6th Edition of International Conference on

Traditional Medicine, Ethnomedicine and Natural Therapies

June 20-22, 2024 | Paris, France

Traditional Medicine 2022

Bihter Avsar

Speaker at Traditional Medicine, Ethnomedicine and Natural Therapies 2022 - Bihter Avsar
Sabanci University, Turkey
Title : A microRNA from Atropa belladonna is Highly Homologous to Homo sapiens miRNA; both miRNAs have a role on the Neurologically Relevant, Zinc-Finger Transcription Factor ZNF-691


Recent advances in ethnobotanical and neurological research indicate that ingested plants from our diet may not only be a source of nutrition but also a source of biologically relevant nucleic-acid-encoded genetic information. A major source of RNA-encoded information from plants has been shown to be derived from small non-coding RNAs (sncRNAs) such as microRNAs (miRNAs) that can transfer information horizontally between plants and humans. In human hosts, the 3′-untranslated region (3′-UTR) of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) is targeted by these miRNAs to effectively down-regulate expression of that mRNA target in the host CNS. In this paper, we provide evidence that the Atropa belladonna aba-miRNA-9497 (miRBase conserved ID: bdi-miRNA-9497) is highly homologous to the CNS-abundant Homo sapiens miRNA-378 (hsa-miRNA-378) and both target the zinc-finger transcription factor ZNF-691 mRNA 3′-UTR to down-regulate ZNF-691 mRNA abundance. We speculate that the potent neurotoxic actions of the multiple tropane alkaloids of Atropa belladonna may be supplemented by the neuroregulatory actions of aba-miRNA-9497 on ZNF-691, and this may be followed by the modulation in the expression of ZNF-691-sensitive genes. This is the first example of a human brain-enriched transcription factor, ZNF-691, targeted and down-regulated by a naturally occurring plant microRNA, with potential to modulate gene expression in the human CNS and thus contribute to the neurotoxicological-and-psychoactive properties of the Atropa belladonna species of the deadly nightshade Solanaceae family.

What will audience learn from your presentation?

  • This study is one example of cross-kingdom regulation by exogenous plant microRNAs.
  • The audience will learn that the transferred microRNAs from the medicinal plants may have an effect on the central nervous system in human hosts.
  • The audience will learn that the identification of microRNA genes in medicinal plants is important since only one microRNA family can target multiple genes in the human hosts.
  • The audience will learn that microRNAs derived from plants appear to regulate mammalian gene expression in a sequence-specific manner, they may help define a superior and more efficacious class of ribonucleic-acid-based pharmaceuticals that hold a tremendous potential as orally administered genetically targeted therapeutics.
  • The audience will learn that the novel mechanisms of communication will considerably facilitate our understanding of biomedicine and applied nutrition and the nature miRNA-mediated dietary contributions to both human neurological health and disease.


Dr. Bihter Avsar is a researcher at the Molecular Biology, Genetics and Bioengineering program in Sabanci University, Istanbul.
The main scientific contributions of Dr. Avsar have focused on plant biochemistry, plant genetics and plant –omics areas.
The results of her studies have been published in the prestigious peer-reviewed journals as articles and book chapters as well as they have been presented in national/international conferences.
Dr. Avsar also serves as a reviewer in well-known journals and she is a member of professional research organizations.
She has received many scholarships and awards from national and international funders