Mar. Drugs2014, 12(12), 5719-5763; doi:10.3390/md12125719 - published 26 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The emergence of marine toxins in water and seafood may have a considerable impact on public health. Although the tendency in Europe is to consolidate, when possible, official reference methods based on instrumental analysis, the development of alternative or complementary methods providing functional or toxicological information may provide advantages in terms of risk identification, but also low cost, simplicity, ease of use and high-throughput analysis. This article gives an overview of the immunoassays, cell-based assays, receptor-binding assays and biosensors that have been developed for the screening and quantification of emerging marine toxins: palytoxins, ciguatoxins, cyclic imines and tetrodotoxins. Their advantages and limitations are discussed, as well as their possible integration in research and monitoring programs.
Mar. Drugs2014, 12(11), 5698-5718; doi:10.3390/md12115698 - published 24 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria are two major kingdoms of life producing paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), a large group of neurotoxic alkaloids causing paralytic shellfish poisonings around the world. In contrast to the well elucidated PST biosynthetic genes in cyanobacteria, little is known about the dinoflagellates. This study compared transcriptome profiles of a toxin-producing dinoflagellate, Alexandrium catenella (ACHK-T), and its non-toxic mutant form (ACHK-NT) using RNA-seq. All clean reads were assembled de novo into a total of 113,674 unigenes, and 66,812 unigenes were annotated in the known databases. Out of them, 35 genes were found to express differentially between the two strains. The up-regulated genes in ACHK-NT were involved in photosynthesis, carbon fixation and amino acid metabolism processes, indicating that more carbon and energy were utilized for cell growth. Among the down-regulated genes, expression of a unigene assigned to the long isoform of sxtA, the initiator of toxin biosynthesis in cyanobacteria, was significantly depressed, suggesting that this long transcript of sxtA might be directly involved in toxin biosynthesis and its depression resulted in the loss of the ability to synthesize PSTs in ACHK-NT. In addition, 101 putative homologs of 12 cyanobacterial sxt genes were identified, and the sxtO and sxtZ genes were identified in dinoflagellates for the first time. The findings of this study should shed light on the biosynthesis of PSTs in the dinoflagellates.
Mar. Drugs2014, 12(11), 5677-5697; doi:10.3390/md12115677 - published 24 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Bacterial-derived lipopolysaccharides (LPS) can cause defective intestinal barrier function and play an important role in the development of inflammatory bowel disease. In this study, a nanocarrier based on chitosan and fucoidan was developed for oral delivery of berberine (Ber). A sulfonated fucoidan, fucoidan-taurine (FD-Tau) conjugate, was synthesized and characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR)spectroscopy. The FD-Tau conjugate was self-assembled with berberine and chitosan (CS) to form Ber-loaded CS/FD-Tau complex nanoparticles with high drug loading efficiency. Berberine release from the nanoparticles had fast release in simulated intestinal fluid (SIF, pH 7.4), while the release was slow in simulated gastric fluid (SGF, pH 2.0). The effect of the berberine-loaded nanoparticles in protecting intestinal tight-junction barrier function against nitric oxide and inflammatory cytokines released from LPS-stimulated macrophage was evaluated by determining the transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and paracellular permeability of a model macromolecule fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran (FITC-dextran) in a Caco-2 cells/RAW264.7 cells co-culture system. Inhibition of redistribution of tight junction ZO-1 protein by the nanoparticles was visualized using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). The results suggest that the nanoparticles may be useful for local delivery of berberine to ameliorate LPS-induced intestinal epithelia tight junction disruption, and that the released berberine can restore barrier function in inflammatory and injured intestinal epithelial.
Mar. Drugs2014, 12(11), 5657-5676; doi:10.3390/md12115657 - published 24 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The production of fungal metabolites can be remarkably influenced by various cultivation parameters. To explore the biosynthetic potentials of the marine fungus, Neosartorya pseudofischeri, which was isolated from the inner tissue of starfish Acanthaster planci, glycerol-peptone-yeast extract (GlyPY) and glucose-peptone-yeast extract (GluPY) media were used to culture this fungus. When cultured in GlyPY medium, this fungus produced two novel diketopiperazines, neosartins A and B (1 and 2), together with six biogenetically-related known diketopiperazines,1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-2, 3-dimethyl-1,4-dioxopyrazino[1,2-a]indole (3), 1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-2-methyl-3-methylen e-1,4-dioxopyrazino[1,2-a]indole (4), 1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-2-methyl-1,3,4-trioxopyrazino[1,2-a] indole (5), 6-acetylbis(methylthio)gliotoxin (10), bisdethiobis(methylthio)gliotoxin (11), didehydrobisdethiobis(methylthio)gliotoxin (12) and N-methyl-1H-indole-2-carboxamide (6). However, a novel tetracyclic-fused alkaloid, neosartin C (14), a meroterpenoid, pyripyropene A (15), gliotoxin (7) and five known gliotoxin analogues, acetylgliotoxin (8), reduced gliotoxin (9), 6-acetylbis(methylthio)gliotoxin (10), bisdethiobis(methylthio) gliotoxin (11) and bis-N-norgliovictin (13), were obtained when grown in glucose-containing medium (GluPY medium). This is the first report of compounds 3, 4, 6, 9, 10 and 12 as naturally occurring. Their structures were determined mainly by MS, 1D and 2D NMR data. The possible biosynthetic pathways of gliotoxin-related analogues and neosartin C were proposed. The antibacterial activity of compounds 2–14 and the cytotoxic activity of compounds 4, 5 and 7–13 were evaluated. Their structure-activity relationships are also preliminarily discussed.
Mar. Drugs2014, 12(11), 5643-5656; doi:10.3390/md12115643 - published 24 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In the present study, we investigated the effect of agelasine D (AD) on osteoclastogenesis. Treatment of bone marrow macrophages (BMMs) with receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL) resulted in a differentiation of BMMs into osteoclasts as evidenced by generation of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive, multinucleated cells and formation of pits in calcium phosphate-coated plates. However, RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis was significantly suppressed by AD treatment. We also confirmed the increased mRNA and protein expression of osteoclastic markers, such as TRAP, cathepsin K and matrix metalloproteinase-9, during RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation and this was down-regulated by AD treatment. Moreover, AD treatment significantly suppressed RANKL-induced mRNA expression of DC-STAMP and OC-STAMP and cell fusion of TRAP-positive mononuclear osteoclast precursors. In addition, AD suppressed RANKL-induced expression of transcription factors, c-Fos and nuclear factor of activated T cells c1 (NFATc1), which are important transcription factors involved in differentiation of BMMs into osteoclasts. Furthermore, RANKL-induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) and activation of NF-κB were also inhibited by AD treatment. Collectively, these results suggest that AD inhibits RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis by down-regulation of multiple signaling pathways involving c-Fos, NFATc1, NF-κB and ERK. Our results also suggest that AD might be a potential therapeutic agent for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.
Mar. Drugs2014, 12(11), 5619-5642; doi:10.3390/md12115619 - published 24 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Chitosan is the N-deacetylated derivative of chitin, a naturally abundant mucopolysaccharide that consists of 2-acetamido-2-deoxy-β-d-glucose through a β (1→4) linkage and is found in nature as the supporting material of crustaceans, insects, etc. Chitosan has been strongly recommended as a suitable functional material because of its excellent biocompatibility, biodegradability, non-toxicity, and adsorption properties. Boosting all these excellent properties to obtain unprecedented performances requires the core competences of materials chemists to design and develop novel processing strategies that ultimately allow tailoring the structure and/or the composition of the resulting chitosan-based materials. For instance, the preparation of macroporous materials is challenging in catalysis, biocatalysis and biomedicine, because the resulting materials will offer a desirable combination of high internal reactive surface area and straightforward molecular transport through broad “highways” leading to such a surface. Moreover, chitosan-based composites made of two or more distinct components will produce structural or functional properties not present in materials composed of one single component. Our group has been working lately on cryogenic processes based on the unidirectional freezing of water slurries and/or hydrogels, the subsequent freeze-drying of which produce macroporous materials with a well-patterned structure. We have applied this process to different gels and colloidal suspensions of inorganic, organic, and hybrid materials. In this review, we will describe the application of the process to chitosan solutions and gels typically containing a second component (e.g., metal and ceramic nanoparticles, or carbon nanotubes) for the formation of chitosan nanocomposites with a macroporous structure. We will also discuss the role played by this tailored composition and structure in the ultimate performance of these materials.