Research topics

Mitochondrial bioenergetics in normal, cancer and stem cells

The experimental investigation of the response of the oxidative phosphorylation system to multi-site effectors or pathologic conditions (ischemia, chronic consumption of ethanol, cancer, hyperthermia) was analysed in terms of Metabolic Control Analysis



  1. The physiological role of calcium in control of heart mitochondrial respiration analysed by metabolic control analysis. Royal Society (UK), 1993-1995


  1. Bioenergetics of muscle tissue. Reseau Formation-Recherche Ministere de l Enseignement Superieur et de le Recherche (France), 1993-1996;


  1. Metabolic control analysis of oxidative phosphorylation: regulation of energy production in heart under normal conditions and after ischemia-induced damage. International Science Fundation, Open Society Fund - Lithuania, grant N LA2000, LHI100, 1994-1995;


  1. Control of energy metabolism in chronic alcoholism. National Health Institutes, USA. Joint grant with Thomas Jefferson University; 1997-1998;
  2. Control analysis of Sickle Cell. Assessment of insidious diseases caused by pollution. European Commision IVth Framework programme INCO-Copernicus (Netherlands, France, Russia, Hungary, Spain, Lithuania), 1997-1999;


VMSF financed projects

  1. Sutartis Nr. 37, 1999-03-16, VMSF papildomas finansavimas tarptautiniam COPERNICUS programos projektui “Pakenktos ląstelės kontrolės analizė. Aplinkos teršalų sukeltų latentinių ligų molekulinio mechanizmo tyrimas”, (vadovė). 1998-2000;
  2. Nr. 21158, "Mitochondrijų kvėpavimo ir ATP sintazės aktyvumo reguliacija Ca2+ jonais" (vykdytoja). 2001;
  3. Nr. V-054, 2001-2003 m. VMSF parama EUREKA projektui “Širdies audinio gyvybingumo biocheminių kriterijų parinkimas: NADH koncentracijos pokyčių širdies mitochondrijose įvertinimas pagal NADH fluorescensiją” (vykdytoja). 2001-2003
  4. Sutartis A-560, parama kūriniui “Biochemijos sąvokos”(vadovė). 2002
  5. Nr. T-05316,”Ca2+ perkrovos sukeltos mitochondrijų NAD(P)H oksidacijos tyrimas” (vykdytoja). 2005
  6. Nr. T-05312, ”Sunkiųjų metalų poveikis kepenų mitochondrijų NAD(P)H apykaitai” (vadovė), 2005
  7. Nr. T-34/06, “Vėžinių ląstelių jautrumo hipertermijai priežastys: mitochondrijų nespecifinio laidumo poros vaidmuo” (vadovė), 2006
  8. Aukštųjų technologijų plėtros projektas reg. nr. B-07041; sutarties Nr. B-26/2007 „Širdies struktūrų regeneracijos modelių kūrimas, naudojant kamienines ir specializuotas ląsteles bei biologinius audinius (projekto partnerio VDU koordinatorė). 2007-2008
  1. Sukovas A., Silkuniene G., Trumbeckaite S., Jasukaitiene A., Degutyte-Fomins L., Mildaziene V., Gulbinas A., Baniene R., Dambrauskas Z., Paskauskas S. Hyperthermia potentiates cisplatin cytotoxicity and negative effects on mitochondrial functions in OVCAR-3 cells. J Bioenerg Biomembr. 2019 51(4), 301-310. DOI: 1007/s10863-019-09805-8
  2. Satkauskiene I., Wood T., Rutkauskaite-Suciliene J., Mildaziene V., Tuckute S. Freshwater bryozoans of Lithuania (Bryozoa). ZooKeys 2018, 774(3):53-75. DOI: 3897/zookeys.774.21769
  3. Silkuniene G., Zukiene R., Nauciene Z., Degutytė Fomins, L. Mildaziene V. Impact of Gender and Age on Hyperthermia-Induced Changes in Respiration of Liver Mitochondria. Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania) 2018, 54(4):62. DOI: 3390/medicina54040062
  4. Žūkienė, Naučienė Z., Šilkūnienė G., Vanagas T., Gulbinas A., Zimkus A., Mildažienė. Contribution of mitochondria to injury of hepatocytes and liver tissue by hyperthermia // Medicina. 2017, vol. 53, no. 1, p. 40-49. DOI: 10.1016/j.medici.2017.01.001.
  5. Žūkienė R., Snitka V. Zinc oxide nanoparticle and bovine serum albumin interaction and nanoparticles influence on cytotoxicity in vitro. Colloids and surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 2015. 135, 316-323. DOI: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2015.07.054.
  6. Antanavičiūtė, Mildazienė V., Stankevičius E, Herdegen T., Skeberdis V. A. 2014. Hyperthermia differently affects connexin43 expression and gap junction permeability in skeletal myoblasts and HeLa cells. Mediators of Inflammation. Article ID 748290,
  7. Naučienė Z., Žūkienė R., Degutytė-Fomins L., Mildažienė V. Mitochondrial membrane barrier function as a target of hyperthermia. Medicina, 2012, 48(5), 249-255.
  8. Zukiene R., Nauciene, Zita, Ciapaite, J., Mildaziene, V. Acute temperature resistance threshold in heart mitochondria : Febrile temperature activates function but exceeding it collapses the membrane barrier. Int. J. Hypertherm. 2010, 26 (1), 56-66. DOI: 3109/02656730903262140
  9. Dressler C., Schwandt D., Beuthan J., Mildazienė V., Zabarylo U., Minet O. Thermally induced changes of optical and vital parameters in human cancer cells. Laser Physics Letters. 2010, 7(11), 817-823. DOI: 1002/lapl.201010070
  10. Ciapaite J.,Naucienė Z., Banienė R., Wagner M. J., Krab K., Mildaziene V. Modular kinetic analysis reveals differences in Cd2+ and Cu2+ ion-induced impairment of oxidative phosphorylation in liver. FEBS journal, 2009, 276(13), 2009, 3656-3668. DOI: 1111/j.1742-4658.2009.07084.x
  11. Baniene R, Nauciene Z., Maslauskaite S., Baliutyte G., Mildaziene V. Contribution of ATP synthase to stimulation of respiration by Ca2+ in heart mitochondria. IEE Proceedings - Systems Biology, 2006, 153(5), 350-353. DOI: 1049/ip-syb:20060009
  12. Lasaitiene D., Mildaziene V., Nauciene Z., Soudelin B., Johansson B. R., Yano M.,Friberg P. Tubular mitochondrial alterations in neonatal rats subjected to RAS inhibition. Am. J. Physiol. Renal physiol. 2006, 290 (5), 1260-1269. DOI: 1152/ajprenal.00150.2005
  13. Krišćiukaitis A, Minet O, Tamosiunas M, Zabarylo U, Bytautas A, Baniene R, Mildažiene V, Lekas R, Jakuska P, Lukosevicius K, Benetis R, Beuthan J. Heart tissue viability monitoring in vivo by using combined fluorescence, thermography and electrical activity measurements. Biomedizinische Technik, 2005, 50, 419-425. DOI: 1515/BMT.2005.059
  14. Mildažienė V., Naučienė Z., Krab K. The targets of 2,2’,5,5’-tetrachlorobiphenyl in the respiratory chain of rat liver mitochondria revealed by modular kinetic analysis. Mol. Biol. Reports, 2002, 29, 31-34. DOI: 1023/A:1020394016372
  15. Mildažienė V., Naučienė Z., Baniene R., Demin O., Krab K. Analysis of effects of 2,2’,5,5’-tetrachlorobiphenyl on the flux control in oxidative phosphorylation system in rat liver mitochondria. Mol. Biol. Reports, 2002, 29, 35-40. DOI: 1023/A:1020346100442
  16. Mildaziene, NaucieneZ., BanieneR., Grigiene J. Multiple effect of 2,2’,5,5’-tetrachlorobiphenyl on oxidative phosphorylation in rat liver mitochondria. Toxicol. Sci. 2002, 65, 220-227. DOI: 10.1093/toxsci/65.2.220
  17. Marcinkeviciute A., Mildaziene V., Crumm S., Demin O., Hoek J.B., Kholodenko B. Kinetics and control of oxidative phosphorylation in rat liver mitochondria ater chronic ethanol feeding. J., 2000, 349, 519-526. DOI: 10.1042/0264-6021:3490519
  18. Hansford R., Hogue B., Mildaziene V. Dependence of H2O2 formation by rat heart mitochondria on substrate availability and donor age. Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes 1997, 29(1), 89-95. DOI: 1023/A:1022420007908
  19. Mildaziene V., Baniene R., Marcinkeviciute A., et al.Tetraphenylphosphonium inhibits oxidation of physiological substrates in heart mitochondria. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 1997, 174, 67-70.DOI: 1023/A:1006812128286
  20. Mildaziene V., Baniene R., Nauciene Z., et al. Ca2+ stimulates both the respiratory and phosphorylation subsystems in rat heart mitochondria. Biochemical Journal 1996, 320(1), 329-334. DOI: 1042/bj3200329
  21. Borutaite V., Mildaziene V., Brown G., et al. Control and kinetic analysis of ischemia-damaged heart mitochondria: which parts of the oxidative phosphorylation system are affected by ischemia? BBA - Molecular Basis of Disease 1995, 1272(3), 154-158. DOI: 1016/0925-4439(95)00080-1
  22. Mildaziene V., Baniene R., Nauciene Z., et al. Calcium indirectly increases the control exerted by the adenine nucleotide translocator over 2-Oxoglutarate oxidation in rat heart mitochondria. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 1995, 324, 130-134. DOI: 1006/abbi.1995.9918
  23. Borutaité V., Mildažiene V., Katiliuté Z., et al. The function of ATP/ADP translocator in the regulation of mitochondrial respiration during development of heart ischemic injury. BBA - Bioenergetics 1993, 1142(1-2), 175-180. DOI: 1016/0005-2728(93)90099-2
  24. Borutaite V., Mildaziene V., Ivanoviene L., et al. The role of long-chain acyl-CoA in oxidative phosphorylation disturbances in the myocardium. Biokhimiya 1989, 54(12), 1947-1951
  25. Borutaite V., Mildažienė V., Ivanoviene L., et al. The role of long-chain acyl-CoA in the damage of oxidative phosphorylation in heart mitochondria. FEBS Letters 1989, 243(2), 264-266. DOI: 1016/0014-5793(89)80141-3

Plant response to seed treatment with physical stressors

Studies on the response of plants to stress have started to reveal complex molecular mechanisms underlying plant plasticity and adaptation, and this knowledge can be applied for the improvement of plant agricultural performance by ecologically friendly technologies. One of the intensively studied field in this area is plant response to seed treatment with physical stressors, such as low temperature plasma (cold plasma, CP), vacuum or electromagnetic field (EMF). These stressors, depending on the intensity of stress can cause a positive or negative response (eustress or distress). In the case of eustress, improved seed performance (e.g., increase in germination and early seeding growth) can be achieved for a large variety of plants after short-duration treatment of seeds with CP or EMF. We aim to estimate the response of plants to stress induced by pre-sowing seed treatment with CP and EMF, and to determine the molecular factors important for changes induced in germination, growth, production and composition of biomass.

2020-2024 COST project CA19110 – Plasma applications for smart and sustainable agriculture. National coordinator V. Mildaziene
2020 Santaka Valley project P20-BS1-128 „Innovative technologies for increasing production of biologically active plant metabolites“
2020 Baltic-Deutshes Hochschulkontor Project “Plasma application in agriculture: seed treatment with plasma as an alternative method for increasing plant productivity”
2019-2021 Project P-LJB-19-6 „Early development of seedling stress response to seed treatment with component-controlled cold plasma“; the Bilateral (Lithuania-Japan) cooperation program, Lithuanian Research Council. Position.
2019-2021 Project P-LB-19-13 „Development of Methods for Control of Quantity and Composition of Pharmacologically Valuable Compounds (Secondary Metabolites) in Plant Tissue by Plasma and Radio Frequency Seed Treatment“ supported by the Bilateral (Lithuania-Belarus) Cooperation Program Lithuanian Research Council. Position.
2017-2019 Lithuanian Research Council Researchers group project S-MIP-17-53 „Involvement of oxidative stress in molecular mechanism of seed response to cold plasma treatment“.
2018-2019 Vytautas Magnus university research cluster project P-FB-18-04 „Changes in red clover root nodulation and composition of root exudates caused by seed treatments by stressors“.
2017 Vytautas Magnus university research cluster project „Estimation of changes in dynamics of plant hormones  induced by seed treatment with physical stressors“.
2015-2016 EEE and Norvegian Environment Agency, grant priority sector Environmental protection and management programme LT03 Biodiversity and ecosystem services “Estimation of an impact of climate change on biological diversity in The Southwest Lithuania and development of measures for adjustment (Botanica sudavica)”.
2013-2014 Lithuanian Research Council. Lithuania-Belarus cooperation project TAP-LB-12-013 „Enhancement of plant metabolism and fungicidal protection using plasma and radio waves seed treatment“.
2013-2014 ESF project “Improvement of Training of High Qualification Specialists for Biotechnology and Biopharmacy Sector” (BIOTEFA-A) (VPI-2.2-ŠMM-09-V-01-009).
  1. Ivankov, A., Nauciene, Z., Zukiene, R., Degutyte-Fomins, L., Malakauskiene, A., Kraujalis, P., Venskutonis, P.R., Filatova, I., Lyushkevich, V., Mildaziene V. Changes in growth and production of non-psychotropic cannabinoids induced by pre-sowing treatment of hemp seeds with cold plasma, vacuum and electromagnetic field, Applied Sciences, 2020, accepted for publication.
  2. Sirgedaitė‐Šėžienė, V., Mildažienė, V., Žemaitis, P., Ivankov, A., Koga, K., Shiratani, M., & Baliuckas. Long‐term response of Norway spruce to seed treatment with cold plasma: Dependence of the effects on the genotype. Plasma Proc. Polym. 2020, doi:10.1002/ppap.202000159
  3. Tamošiūnė, I., Gelvonauskienė, D., Haimi, P., Mildažienė, V., Koga, K., Shiratani, M., & Baniulis, D.  Cold Plasma Treatment of Sunflower Seeds Modulates Plant-Associated Microbiome and Stimulates Root and Lateral Organ Growth. Frontiers in Plant Science, 2020,
  4. Mildažienė V., Ivankov, A., Paužaitė G., Naučienė Z., Žūkienė R., Degutytė-Fomins, Pukalskas A., Venskutonis P.R., Filatova I., Lyuskevich V. Seed treatment with cold plasma and electromagnetic field induces changes in red clover root growth dynamics, flavonoid exudation, and activates nodulation. Plasma Proc. Polym. 2020, 18(2), 2000160.
  5. Mildažienė V., Paužaitė G., Naučienė Z., Žūkienė R., Malakauskienė A., Norkevičienė E., Šlepetienė A., Stukonis V., Olšauskaitė V., Padarauskas A., Filatova I., Lyuskevich V. Effect of seed treatment with cold plasma and electromagnetic field on red clover germination, growth and content of major isoflavones. J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 2020, 53, 264001.
  6. Koga K., P. Attri, K. Kamataki, N. Itakagi, Shiratani M. , Mildažienė V. Impact of radish sprouts seeds coat color on the electron paramagnetic resonance signals after plasma treatment. Jpn. J. Appl. Phys., 59, SHHF01, 2020.

7.     Degutytė-Fomins L., Paužaitė G., Žukienė R., Mildažienė V., Koga K., Shiratani M. Relationship between cold plasma treatment-induced changes in radish seed germination and phytohormone balance Jpn. J. Appl. Phys., 59, SH1001, 2020.

8.Blinstrubienė A., Burbulis N., Juškevičiūtė N., Vaitkevičienė N., Žūkienė R. Effect of growth regulators on Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni callus genesis and influence of auxin and proline to steviol glycosides, phenols, flavonoids accumulation, and antioxidant activity in vitro. Molecules. 2020, 25 (12), 1-15. DOI: 10.3390/molecules25122759.

  1. Blinstrubienė A., Burbulis N., Juškevičiūtė N., Žūkienė R.. Factors affecting organogenesis of Stevia rebaudianaand in vitro accumulation of steviol glycosides. Žemdirbystė/Agriculture. 2020, 107 (2), 171–178. DOI :10.13080/z-a.2020.107.022.
  2. Zukiene R., Nauciene Z., Januskaitiene I., Pauzaite G., Mildaziene V., Koga K., Shiratani M. DBD plasma treatment induced changes in sunflower seed germination, phytohormone balance, and seedling growth. Appl. Phys. Express, 2019, 12, 126003. DOI: 7567/1882-0786/ab5491
  3. Mildažienė V, Vesta Aleknavičiūtė V, Žūkienė R., Paužaitė G, Naučienė Z., Filatova I., Lyushkevich V., Haimi P., Tamošiūnė I.,Baniulis D.Treatment of common sunflower(Helianthus annus ) seeds with radio-frequency electromagnetic field and cold plasma Induces changes in seed phytohormone balance, seedling development and leaf protein expression. Sci Rep. 2019, 9:6437.
  4. Vaičiukynė M., Žiauka J., Žūkienė R., Vertelkaitė L., Kuusienė, S. Abscisic acid promotes root system development in birch tissue culture: a comparison to aspen culture and conventional rooting‐related growth regulators. Physiologia Plantarum. 2019, 165(1), 114-122, DOI: 1111/ppl.12860.
  5. Mildaziene V., Pauzaite G., Nauciene Z., Malakauskiene A., Zukiene R., Januskaitiene I., Jakstas V., Ivanauskas I., Filatova I., Lyushkevich Pre-sowing seed treatment with cold plasma and electromagnetic field increases secondary metabolite content in purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) leaves. Plasma Proc. Polym. 2018 15(2), 1700059,
  6. Pauzaite G., Malakauskiene A., Nauciene Z., Zukiene R., Filatova I., Lyushkevich , Azarko I., Mildaziene V. Changes in Norway spruce germination and growth induced by pre-sowing seed treatment with cold plasma and electromagnetic field: short-term versus long-term effects. Plasma Proc. Polym. 2018, 15(2);1700068,
  7. Mildaziene V., Pauzaite G., Malakauskiene A., Zukiene R., Nauciene Z., Filatova I., Azharonok I., Lyushkevich V. Response of Perennial Woody Plants to Seed Treatment by Electromagnetic Field and Low-Temperature Plasma // Bioelectromagnetics. 2016, 37, 536-548. DOI: 1002/bem.22003
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