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Molecules, Volume 22, Issue 4 (April 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The figure showed in the cover describes the action of barbatic acid from the lichen Cladia [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview Structural and Biochemical Properties of Novel Self-Cleaving Ribozymes
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040678
Received: 27 November 2016 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 24 April 2017
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2595 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fourteen well-defined ribozyme classes have been identified to date, among which nine are site-specific self-cleaving ribozymes. Very recently, small self-cleaving ribozymes have attracted renewed interest in their structure, biochemistry, and biological function since the discovery, during the last three years, of four novel
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Fourteen well-defined ribozyme classes have been identified to date, among which nine are site-specific self-cleaving ribozymes. Very recently, small self-cleaving ribozymes have attracted renewed interest in their structure, biochemistry, and biological function since the discovery, during the last three years, of four novel ribozymes, termed twister, twister sister, pistol, and hatchet. In this review, we mainly address the structure, biochemistry, and catalytic mechanism of the novel ribozymes. They are characterized by distinct active site architectures and divergent, but similar, biochemical properties. The cleavage activities of the ribozymes are highly dependent upon divalent cations, pH, and base-specific mutations, which can cause changes in the nucleotide arrangement and/or electrostatic potential around the cleavage site. It is most likely that a guanine and adenine in close proximity of the cleavage site are involved in general acid-base catalysis. In addition, metal ions appear to play a structural rather than catalytic role although some of their crystal structures have shown a direct metal ion coordination to a non-bridging phosphate oxygen at the cleavage site. Collectively, the structural and biochemical data of the four newest ribozymes could contribute to advance our mechanistic understanding of how self-cleaving ribozymes accomplish their efficient site-specific RNA cleavages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ribozymes and RNA Catalysis)
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Open AccessArticle UVA, UVB and UVC Light Enhances the Biosynthesis of Phenolic Antioxidants in Fresh-Cut Carrot through a Synergistic Effect with Wounding
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 668; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040668
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 24 April 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2092 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Previously, we found that phenolic content and antioxidant capacity (AOX) in carrots increased with wounding intensity. It was also reported that UV radiation may trigger the phenylpropanoid metabolism in plant tissues. Here, we determined the combined effect of wounding intensity and UV radiation
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Previously, we found that phenolic content and antioxidant capacity (AOX) in carrots increased with wounding intensity. It was also reported that UV radiation may trigger the phenylpropanoid metabolism in plant tissues. Here, we determined the combined effect of wounding intensity and UV radiation on phenolic compounds, AOX, and the phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activity of carrots. Accordingly, phenolic content, AOX, and PAL activity increased in cut carrots with the duration of UVC radiation, whereas whole carrots showed no increase. Carrot pies showed a higher increase compared to slices and shreds. Phenolics, AOX, and PAL activity also increased in cut carrots exposed to UVA or UVB. The major phenolics were chlorogenic acid and its isomers, ferulic acid, and isocoumarin. The type of UV radiation affected phenolic profiles. Chlorogenic acid was induced by all UV radiations but mostly by UVB and UVC, ferulic acid was induced by all UV lights to comparable levels, while isocoumarin and 4,5-diCQA was induced mainly by UVB and UVC compared to UVA. In general, total phenolics correlated linearly with AOX for all treatments. A reactive oxygen species (ROS) mediated hypothetical mechanism explaining the synergistic effect of wounding and different UV radiation stresses on phenolics accumulation in plants is herein proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Plant Phenolics)
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Open AccessArticle Inhibitory Effect of Triterpenoids from Panax ginseng on Coagulation Factor X
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 649; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040649
Received: 23 February 2017 / Revised: 9 April 2017 / Accepted: 11 April 2017 / Published: 24 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (6326 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Enzymes involved in the coagulation process have received great attention as potential targets for the development of oral anti-coagulants. Among these enzymes, coagulation factor Xa (FXa) has remained the center of attention in the last decade. In this study, 16 ginsenosides and two
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Enzymes involved in the coagulation process have received great attention as potential targets for the development of oral anti-coagulants. Among these enzymes, coagulation factor Xa (FXa) has remained the center of attention in the last decade. In this study, 16 ginsenosides and two sapogenins were isolated, identified and quantified. To determine the inhibitory potential on FXa, the chromogenic substrates method was used. The assay suggested that compounds 5, 13 and 18 were mainly responsible for the anti-coagulant effect. Furthermore, these three compounds also possessed high thrombin selectivity in the thrombin inhibition assay. Furthermore, Glide XP from Schrödinger was employed for molecular docking to clarify the interaction between the bioactive compounds and FXa. Therefore, the chemical and biological results indicate that compounds 5 (ginsenoside Rg2), 13 (ginsenoside Rg3) and 18 (protopanaxtriol, PPT) are potential natural inhibitors against FXa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in Ginseng Research)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Photocatalytic and Adsorption Performances of Faceted Cuprous Oxide (Cu2O) Particles for the Removal of Methyl Orange (MO) from Aqueous Media
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 677; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040677
Received: 25 February 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 23 April 2017
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (4173 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Particles of sub-micron size possess significant capacity to adsorb organic molecules from aqueous media. Semiconductor photocatalysts in particle form could potentially be utilized for dye removal through either physical adsorption or photo-induced chemical process. The photocatalytic and adsorption capabilities of Cu2O
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Particles of sub-micron size possess significant capacity to adsorb organic molecules from aqueous media. Semiconductor photocatalysts in particle form could potentially be utilized for dye removal through either physical adsorption or photo-induced chemical process. The photocatalytic and adsorption capabilities of Cu2O particles with various exposed crystal facets have been studied through separate adsorption capacity test and photocatalytic degradation test. These crystals display unique cubic, octahedral, rhombic dodecahedral, and truncated polyhedral shapes due to specifically exposed crystal facet(s). For comparison, Cu2O particles with no clear exposed facets were also prepared. The current work confirms that the surface charge critically affects the adsorption performance of the synthesized Cu2O particles. The octahedral shaped Cu2O particles, with exposed {111} facets, possess the best adsorption capability of methyl orange (MO) dye due to the strongest positive surface charge among the different types of particles. In addition, we also found that the adsorption of MO follows the Langmuir monolayer mechanism. The octahedral particles also performed the best in photocatalytic dye degradation of MO under visible light irradiation because of the assistance from dye absorption. On top of the photocatalytic study, the stability of these Cu2O particles during the photocatalytic processes was also investigated. Cu(OH)2 and CuO are the likely corrosion products found on the particle surface after the photocorrosion in MO solution. By adding hole scavengers in the solution, the photocorrosion of Cu2O was greatly reduced. This observation confirms that the photocatalytically generated holes were responsible for the photocorrosion of Cu2O. Full article
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Open AccessReview Adenosine A1 and A2A Receptors in the Brain: Current Research and Their Role in Neurodegeneration
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040676
Received: 25 March 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 23 April 2017
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (5360 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The inhibitory adenosine A1 receptor (A1R) and excitatory A2A receptor (A2AR) are predominantly expressed in the brain. Whereas the A2AR has been implicated in normal aging and enhancing neurotoxicity in multiple neurodegenerative diseases, the inhibitory A1R has traditionally been ascribed to have a
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The inhibitory adenosine A1 receptor (A1R) and excitatory A2A receptor (A2AR) are predominantly expressed in the brain. Whereas the A2AR has been implicated in normal aging and enhancing neurotoxicity in multiple neurodegenerative diseases, the inhibitory A1R has traditionally been ascribed to have a neuroprotective function in various brain insults. This review provides a summary of the emerging role of prolonged A1R signaling and its potential cross-talk with A2AR in the cellular basis for increased neurotoxicity in neurodegenerative disorders. This A1R signaling enhances A2AR-mediated neurodegeneration, and provides a platform for future development of neuroprotective agents in stroke, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adenosine Receptors)
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Open AccessArticle High-Performance Prediction of Human Estrogen Receptor Agonists Based on Chemical Structures
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040675
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 16 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 23 April 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2839 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many agonists for the estrogen receptor are known to disrupt endocrine functioning. We have developed a computational model that predicts agonists for the estrogen receptor ligand-binding domain in an assay system. Our model was entered into the Tox21 Data Challenge 2014, a computational
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Many agonists for the estrogen receptor are known to disrupt endocrine functioning. We have developed a computational model that predicts agonists for the estrogen receptor ligand-binding domain in an assay system. Our model was entered into the Tox21 Data Challenge 2014, a computational toxicology competition organized by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. This competition aims to find high-performance predictive models for various adverse-outcome pathways, including the estrogen receptor. Our predictive model, which is based on the random forest method, delivered the best performance in its competition category. In the current study, the predictive performance of the random forest models was improved by strictly adjusting the hyperparameters to avoid overfitting. The random forest models were optimized from 4000 descriptors simultaneously applied to 10,000 activity assay results for the estrogen receptor ligand-binding domain, which have been measured and compiled by Tox21. Owing to the correlation between our model’s and the challenge’s results, we consider that our model currently possesses the highest predictive power on agonist activity of the estrogen receptor ligand-binding domain. Furthermore, analysis of the optimized model revealed some important features of the agonists, such as the number of hydroxyl groups in the molecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Analysis for Protein Structure and Interaction)
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Open AccessArticle Production of Laccase by a New Myrothecium verrucaria MD-R-16 Isolated from Pigeon Pea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] and its Application on Dye Decolorization
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040673
Received: 9 March 2017 / Revised: 16 April 2017 / Accepted: 17 April 2017 / Published: 23 April 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2684 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study was conducted to screen a laccase-producing fungal endophyte, optimize fermentation conditions, and evaluate the decolorization ability of the laccase. A new fungal endophyte capable of laccase-producing was firstly isolated from pigeon pea and identified as Myrothecium verrucaria based on a
[...] Read more.
The present study was conducted to screen a laccase-producing fungal endophyte, optimize fermentation conditions, and evaluate the decolorization ability of the laccase. A new fungal endophyte capable of laccase-producing was firstly isolated from pigeon pea and identified as Myrothecium verrucaria based on a ITS-rRNA sequences analysis. Meanwhile, various fermentation parameters on the laccase production were optimized via response surface methodology (RSM). The optimal fermentation conditions were a fermentation time of five days, temperature 30 °C and pH 6.22. Laccase activity reached 16.52 ± 0.18 U/mL under the above conditions. Furthermore, the laccase showed effective decolorization capability toward synthetic dyes (Congo red, Methyl orange, Methyl red, and Crystal violet) in the presence of the redox mediator ABTS, with more than 70% of dyes decolorizing after 24 h of incubation. Additionally, the activity of laccase was relatively stable with pH (4.5–6.5) and a temperature range of 35–55 °C. Therefore, the high laccase production of the strain and the new fungal laccase could provide a promising alterative approach for industrial and environmental applications. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Modified Nucleotides as Substrates of Terminal Deoxynucleotidyl Transferase
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 672; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040672
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 10 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 22 April 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1773 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The synthesis of novel modified nucleotides and their incorporation into DNA sequences opens many possibilities to change the chemical properties of oligonucleotides (ONs), and, therefore, broaden the field of practical applications of modified DNA. The chemical synthesis of nucleotide derivatives, including ones bearing
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The synthesis of novel modified nucleotides and their incorporation into DNA sequences opens many possibilities to change the chemical properties of oligonucleotides (ONs), and, therefore, broaden the field of practical applications of modified DNA. The chemical synthesis of nucleotide derivatives, including ones bearing thio-, hydrazino-, cyano- and carboxy groups as well as 2-pyridone nucleobase-containing nucleotides was carried out. The prepared compounds were tested as substrates of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT). The nucleotides containing N4-aminocytosine, 4-thiouracil as well as 2-pyridone, 4-chloro- and 4-bromo-2-pyridone as a nucleobase were accepted by TdT, thus allowing enzymatic synthesis of 3’-terminally modified ONs. The successful UV-induced cross-linking of 4-thiouracil-containing ONs to TdT was carried out. Enzymatic post-synthetic 3’-modification of ONs with various photo- and chemically-reactive groups opens novel possibilities for future applications, especially in analysis of the mechanisms of polymerases and the development of photo-labels, sensors, and self-assembling structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nucleoside and Nucleotide Analogues)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Flavonoids and Triterpene Analogues from Leaves of Eleutherococcus sieboldianus (Makino) Koidz. ‘Himeukogi’ in 3T3-L1 Preadipocytes
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 671; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040671
Received: 16 February 2017 / Revised: 16 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 22 April 2017
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Abstract
Eleutherococcus sieboldianus (Makino) Koidz. is a local product from the area in and around Yonezawa City in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. It has been used as a medicinal plant for a long time. We isolated and identified four types of flavonoid glycosides [astragalin (
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Eleutherococcus sieboldianus (Makino) Koidz. is a local product from the area in and around Yonezawa City in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. It has been used as a medicinal plant for a long time. We isolated and identified four types of flavonoid glycosides [astragalin (1), isoquercetin (2), rhamnocitrin 3-O-glucoside (3), and nicotiflorin (4)], a triterpene [methyl hederagenin (5)], and three types of triterpene glycosides [δ-hederin (6), echinocystic acid 3-O-arabinoside (7), and cauloside B (8)] from the methanol extract of E. sieboldianus, which regulates lipid accumulation in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Among the compounds isolated, 2 and 8 up- and down-regulated lipid accumulation and insulin induced adipocyte differentiation in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Compound 2 induced up-regulation of lipid accumulation and decreased adipocyte size, while 8 down-regulated lipid accumulations without decreasing cell size. Additionally, 2 increased adipogenic proteins [peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (C/EBPα), and fatty-acid-binding protein 4 (FABP4)]. In contrast, 8 decreased the levels of all adipogenic proteins and glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4), but increased adiponectin. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Multiple UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase and Sulfotransferase Enzymes are Responsible for the Metabolism of Verproside in Human Liver Preparations
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040670
Received: 6 April 2017 / Revised: 17 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 22 April 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3774 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Verproside, an active iridoid glycoside component of Veronica species, such as Pseudolysimachion rotundum var. subintegrum and Veronica anagallis-aquatica, possesses anti-asthma, anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive, antioxidant, and cytostatic activities. Verproside is metabolized into nine metabolites in human hepatocytes: verproside glucuronides (M1, M2)
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Verproside, an active iridoid glycoside component of Veronica species, such as Pseudolysimachion rotundum var. subintegrum and Veronica anagallis-aquatica, possesses anti-asthma, anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive, antioxidant, and cytostatic activities. Verproside is metabolized into nine metabolites in human hepatocytes: verproside glucuronides (M1, M2) via glucuronidation, verproside sulfate (M3) via sulfation, picroside II (M4) and isovanilloylcatalpol (M5) via O-methylation, M4 glucuronide (M6) and M4 sulfate (M8) via further glucuronidation and sulfation of M4, and M5 glucuronide (M7) and M5 sulfate (M9) via further glucuronidation and sulfation of M5. Drug-metabolizing enzymes responsible for verproside metabolism, including sulfotransferase (SULT) and UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT), were characterized. The formation of verproside glucuronides (M1, M2), isovanilloylcatalpol glucuronide (M7), and picroside II glucuronide (M6) was catalyzed by commonly expressed UGT1A1 and UGT1A9 and gastrointestinal-specific UGT1A7, UGT1A8, and UGT1A10, consistent with the higher intrinsic clearance values for the formation of M1, M2, M6, and M7 in human intestinal microsomes compared with those in liver microsomes. The formation of verproside sulfate (M3) and M5 sulfate (M9) from verproside and isovanilloylcatalpol (M5), respectively, was catalyzed by SULT1A1. Metabolism of picroside II (M4) into M4 sulfate (M8) was catalyzed by SULT1A1, SULT1E1, SULT1A2, SULT1A3, and SULT1C4. Based on these results, the pharmacokinetics of verproside may be affected by the co-administration of relevant UGT and SULT inhibitors or inducers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medicinal Chemistry)
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Open AccessReview Polyphenolic Compounds and Digestive Enzymes: In Vitro Non-Covalent Interactions
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 669; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040669
Received: 9 March 2017 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 22 April 2017
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1419 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The digestive enzymes–polyphenolic compounds (PCs) interactions behind the inhibition of these enzymes have not been completely studied. The existing studies have mainly analyzed polyphenolic extracts and reported inhibition percentages of catalytic activities determined by UV-Vis spectroscopy techniques. Recently, pure PCs and new methods
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The digestive enzymes–polyphenolic compounds (PCs) interactions behind the inhibition of these enzymes have not been completely studied. The existing studies have mainly analyzed polyphenolic extracts and reported inhibition percentages of catalytic activities determined by UV-Vis spectroscopy techniques. Recently, pure PCs and new methods such as isothermal titration calorimetry and circular dichroism have been applied to describe these interactions. The present review focuses on PCs structural characteristics behind the inhibition of digestive enzymes, and progress of the used methods. Some characteristics such as molecular weight, number and position of substitution, and glycosylation of flavonoids seem to be related to the inhibitory effect of PCs; also, this effect seems to be different for carbohydrate-hydrolyzing enzymes and proteases. The digestive enzyme–PCs molecular interactions have shown that non-covalent binding, mostly by van der Waals forces, hydrogen binding, hydrophobic binding, and other electrostatic forces regulate them. These interactions were mainly associated to non-competitive type inhibitions of the enzymatic activities. The present review emphasizes on the digestive enzymes such as α-glycosidase (AG), α-amylase (PA), lipase (PL), pepsin (PE), trypsin (TP), and chymotrypsin (CT). Existing studies conducted in vitro allow one to elucidate the characteristics of the structure–function relationships, where differences between the structures of PCs might be the reason for different in vivo effects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Phenolic Compounds Isolated from Caesalpinia coriaria Induce S and G2/M Phase Cell Cycle Arrest Differentially and Trigger Cell Death by Interfering with Microtubule Dynamics in Cancer Cell Lines
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040666
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 17 April 2017 / Accepted: 18 April 2017 / Published: 22 April 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3169 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Caesalpinia coriaria (C. coriaria), also named cascalote, has been known traditionally in México for having cicatrizing and inflammatory properties. Phytochemical reports on Caesalpinia species have identified a high content of phenolic compounds and shown antineoplastic effects against cancer cells. The aim
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Caesalpinia coriaria (C. coriaria), also named cascalote, has been known traditionally in México for having cicatrizing and inflammatory properties. Phytochemical reports on Caesalpinia species have identified a high content of phenolic compounds and shown antineoplastic effects against cancer cells. The aim of this study was to isolate and identify the active compounds of a water:acetone:ethanol (WAE) extract of C. coriaria pods and characterize their cytotoxic effect and cell death induction in different cancer cell lines. The compounds isolated and identified by chromatography and spectroscopic analysis were stigmasterol, ethyl gallate and gallic acid. Cytotoxic assays on cancer cells showed different ranges of activities. A differential effect on cell cycle progression was observed by flow cytometry. In particular, ethyl gallate and tannic acid induced G2/M phase cell cycle arrest and showed interesting effect on microtubule stabilization in Hep3B cells observed by immunofluorescence. The induction of apoptosis was characterized by morphological characteristic changes, and was supported by increases in the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 expression and activation of caspase 3/7. This work constitutes the first phytochemical and cytotoxic study of C. coriaria and showed the action of its phenolic constituents on cell cycle, cell death and microtubules organization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle Development of User-Friendly Method to Distinguish Subspecies of the Korean Medicinal Herb Perilla frutescens Using Multiplex-PCR
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040665
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 8 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 21 April 2017
PDF Full-text (3229 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Perilla (Perilla frutescens) is an economically and culturally important plant in East Asia. Plant breeding between cultivars has enhanced the genetic diversity of perilla overall, but means that functionally diverse subspecies are more difficult to identify and distinguish. In this study,
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Perilla (Perilla frutescens) is an economically and culturally important plant in East Asia. Plant breeding between cultivars has enhanced the genetic diversity of perilla overall, but means that functionally diverse subspecies are more difficult to identify and distinguish. In this study, we developed gene-based DNA markers to distinguish between the Korean herbal medicinal perilla varieties. We identified informative simple sequence repeat (SSR) regions on the promoter regions of the Myb-P1 and dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) genes, as well as a large insertion-deletion (indel) region in the limonene synthase (LS) gene, and developed markers to characterize the distinct subspecies differences (PfMyb-P1pro, PfDFRpro, and PfLS, respectively). Using the PfLS primers, a 430-bp region could be amplified from P. frutescens var. acuta, crispa, and f. viridis (known as Jasoyeop, Jureum-soyeop, and Chungsoyeop, respectively), but not from P. frutescens var. japonica (Dlggae). The PfMybpro primers resulted in PCR products of 314 or 316, 330, 322, and 315 bp from Dlggae, Jasoyeop, Jureum-soyeop, and Chungsoyeop, respectively, and the PfDFRpro primers resulted in products of 189 or 202, 187 or 189, 185 or 189, and 193bp, respectively, for the four perilla subspecies. Combining these three reactions into a single multiplex PCR approach resulted in subspecies-specific PCR band patterns for six common types of commercial perilla, distinguishing between three varieties of Dlggae (Cham-Dlggae, Ip-Dlggae, and Bora-Dlggae), as well as identifying Jasoyeop, Jureum-soyeop, and Chungsoyeop. These user-friendly markers will be valuable as a simple and efficient method for identifying the Korean medicinal herb Jasoyeop, as well as distinguishing between other functionally distinct subspecies, which may have broad applications in the Korean herbal industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Diversity)
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Open AccessArticle Ameliorative Effects and Possible Molecular Mechanism of Action of Black Ginseng (Panax ginseng) on Acetaminophen-Mediated Liver Injury
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040664
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 17 April 2017 / Published: 21 April 2017
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (4311 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Frequent overdosing of acetaminophen (APAP) has become the major cause of acute liver injury (ALI). The present study aimed to evaluate the potential hepatoprotective effects of black ginseng (BG) on APAP-induced mice liver injuries and the underlying mechanisms of action were
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Background: Frequent overdosing of acetaminophen (APAP) has become the major cause of acute liver injury (ALI). The present study aimed to evaluate the potential hepatoprotective effects of black ginseng (BG) on APAP-induced mice liver injuries and the underlying mechanisms of action were further investigated for the first time. Methods: Mice were treated with BG (300, 600 mg/kg) by oral gavage once a day for seven days. On the 7th day, all mice were treated with 250 mg/kg APAP which caused severe liver injury after 24 h and hepatotoxicity was assessed. Results: Our results showed that pretreatment with BG significantly decreased the levels of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) compared with the APAP group. Meanwhile, hepatic antioxidant including glutathione (GSH) was elevated compared with the APAP group. In contrast, a significant decrease of the levels of the lipid peroxidation product malondialdehyde (MDA) was observed in the BG-treated groups compared with the APAP group. These effects were associated with significant increases of cytochrome P450 E1 (CYP2E1) and 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) levels in liver tissues. Moreover, BG supplementation suppressed activation of apoptotic pathways through increasing Bcl-2 and decreasing Bax protein expression levels according to western blotting analysis. Histopathological examination revealed that BG pretreatment significantly inhibited APAP-induced necrosis and inflammatory infiltration in liver tissues. Biological indicators of nitrative stress like 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT) were also inhibited after pretreatment with BG, compared with the APAP group. Conclusions: The results clearly suggest that the underlying molecular mechanisms of action of BG-mediated alleviation of APAP-induced hepatotoxicity may involve its anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory and anti-nitrative effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in Ginseng Research)
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Open AccessArticle On the Morphology of Group II Metal Fluoride Nanocrystals at Finite Temperature and Partial Pressure of HF
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 663; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040663
Received: 2 February 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 14 April 2017 / Published: 21 April 2017
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Abstract
We have investigated the bulk and surface properties of the group II metal fluorides CaF2, SrF2 and BaF2 using periodic density functional theory (DFT) calculations and surface thermodynamics. Our bulk results show that the best agreement with experiment is
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We have investigated the bulk and surface properties of the group II metal fluorides CaF 2 , SrF 2 and BaF 2 using periodic density functional theory (DFT) calculations and surface thermodynamics. Our bulk results show that the best agreement with experiment is achieved with the B3LYP and PBE functionals. We determined the relative importance of the low index surfaces in vacuum and found that an fluoride microcrystal exposes only the (111) surface in which the undercoordinated cations are sevenfold coordinated. With methods of ab initio surface thermodynamics, we analyzed the stability of different surfaces under hydrogen fluoride (HF) pressure and determined the presumable shape of the crystals with respect to different HF concentrations and temperatures. In the case of CaF 2 and SrF 2 , the calculated shapes of the crystals agree well with TEM images of fluorolytic sol-gel synthesized nanocrystals at room temperature and high HF concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-sized Metal Fluorides: Novel Approaches to Lewis Acid Catalysts)
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