Mar. Drugs2014, 12(8), 4274-4290; doi:10.3390/md12084274 - published online 24 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The cytotoxic effects of thirteen triterpene glycosides from Holothuria scabra Jaeger and Cucumaria frondosa Gunnerus (Holothuroidea) against four human cell lines were detected and their cytotoxicity-structure relationships were established. The apoptosis-inducing activity of a more potent glycoside echinoside A (1) in HepG2 cells was further investigated by determining its effect on the morphology, mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Δψm) and mRNA expression levels of the apoptosis-related genes. The results showed that the number of glycosyl residues in sugar chains and the side chain of aglycone could affect their cytotoxicity towards tumor cells and selective cytotoxicity. 1 significantly inhibited cell viability and induced apoptosis in HepG2 cells. 1 also markedly decreased the Δψm and Bcl-2/Bax mRNA express ratio, and up-regulated the mRNA expression levels of Caspase-3, Caspase-8 and Caspase-9 in HepG2 cells. Therefore, 1 induced apoptosis in HepG2 cells through both intrinsic and extrinsic pathway. These findings could potentially promote the usage of these glycosides as leading compounds for developing new antitumor drugs.
Mar. Drugs2014, 12(7), 4260-4273; doi:10.3390/md12074260 - published online 23 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: LPS molecules of marine bacteria show structures distinct from terrestrial bacteria, due to the different environment that marine bacteria live in. Because of these different structures, lipid A molecules from marine bacteria are most often poor stimulators of the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) pathway. Due to their low stimulatory potential, these lipid A molecules are suggested to be applicable as antagonists of TLR4 signaling in sepsis patients, where this immune response is amplified and unregulated. Antagonizing lipid A molecules might be used for future therapies against sepsis, therapies that currently do not exist. In this review, we will discuss these differences in lipid A structures and their recognition by the immune system. The modifications present in marine lipid A structures are described, and their potential as LPS antagonists will be discussed. Finally, since clinical trials built on antagonizing lipid A molecules have proven unsuccessful, we propose to also focus on different aspects of the TLR4 signaling pathway when searching for new potential drugs. Furthermore, we put forward the notion that bacteria probably already produce inhibitors of TLR4 signaling, making these bacterial products interesting molecules to investigate for future sepsis therapies.
Mar. Drugs2014, 12(7), 4247-4259; doi:10.3390/md12074247 - published online 23 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The marine brown alga Dictyota pfaffii from Atol das Rocas, in Northeast Brazil is a rich source of dolabellane diterpene, which has the potential to be used in future antiviral drugs by inhibiting reverse transcriptase (RT) of HIV-1. Reexamination of the minor diterpene constituents yielded three new dolabellane diterpenes, (1R*,2E,4R*,7S,10S*,11S*,12R*)10,18-diacetoxy-7-hydroxy-2,8(17)-dolabelladiene (1), (1R*,2E,4R*,7R*,10S*,11S*,12R*)10,18-diacetoxy-7-hydroxy-2,8(17)-dolabelladiene (2), (1R*,2E,4R*,8E,10S*,11S,12R*)10,18-diacetoxy-7-hydroxy-2,8-dolabelladiene (3), termed dolabelladienols A–C (1–3) respectively, in addition to the known dolabellane diterpenes (4–6). The elucidation of the compounds 1–3 was assigned by 1D and 2D NMR, MS, optical rotation and molecular modeling, along with the relative configuration of compound 4 and the absolute configuration of 5 by X-ray diffraction. The potent anti-HIV-1 activities displayed by compounds 1 and 2 (IC50 = 2.9 and 4.1 μM), which were more active than even the known dolabelladienetriol 4, and the low cytotoxic activity against MT-2 lymphocyte tumor cells indicated that these compounds are promising anti-HIV-1 agents.
Mar. Drugs2014, 12(7), 4231-4246; doi:10.3390/md12074231 - published online 23 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The present survey deals with the initial stage of the calcification process in bone and other hard tissues, with special reference to the organic-inorganic relationship and the transformation that the early inorganic particles undergo as the process moves towards completion. Electron microscope studies clearly exclude the possibility that these particles might be crystalline structures, as often believed, by showing that they are, instead, organic-inorganic hybrids, each comprising a filamentous organic component (the crystal ghost) made up of acidic proteins. The hypothesis is suggested that the crystal ghosts bind and stabilize amorphous calcium phosphate and that their subsequent degradation allows the calcium phosphate, once released, to acquire a hydroxyapatite, crystal-like organization. A conclusive view of the mechanism of biological calcification cannot yet be proposed; even so, however, the role of crystal ghosts as a template of the structures usually called “crystallites” is a concept that has gathered increasing support and can no longer be disregarded.
Mar. Drugs2014, 12(7), 4214-4230; doi:10.3390/md12074214 - published online 15 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Fucoxanthin, a natural carotenoid, is abundant in seaweed with antioxidant properties. This study investigated the role of fucoxanthin in the induction of antioxidant enzymes involved in the synthesis of reduced glutathione (GSH), synthesized by glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic subunit (GCLC) and glutathione synthetase (GSS), via Akt/nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related (Nrf2) pathway in human keratinocytes (HaCaT) and elucidated the underlying mechanism. Fucoxanthin treatment increased the mRNA and protein levels of GCLC and GSS in HaCaT cells. In addition, fucoxanthin treatment promoted the nuclear translocation and phosphorylation of Nrf2, a transcription factor for the genes encoding GCLC and GSS. Chromatin immune-precipitation and luciferase reporter gene assays revealed that fucoxanthin treatment increased the binding of Nrf2 to the antioxidant response element (ARE) sequence and transcriptional activity of Nrf2. Fucoxanthin treatment increased phosphorylation of Akt (active form), an up-regulator of Nrf2 and exposure to LY294002, a phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt inhibitor, suppressed the fucoxanthin-induced activation of Akt, Nrf2, resulting in decreased GCLC and GSS expression. In accordance with the effects on GCLC and GSS expression, fucoxanthin induced the level of GSH. In addition, fucoxanthin treatment recovered the level of GSH reduced by ultraviolet B irradiation. Taken together, these findings suggest that fucoxanthin treatment augments cellular antioxidant defense by inducing Nrf2-driven expression of enzymes involved in GSH synthesis via PI3K/Akt signaling.
Mar. Drugs2014, 12(7), 4200-4213; doi:10.3390/md12074200 - published online 15 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Stellettin B was isolated from marine sponge Jaspis stellifera.In vitro antitumor activities were investigated on 39 human cancer cell lines. Stellettin B exhibited highly potent inhibition against the growth of a human glioblastoma cell line SF295, with a GI50 of 0.01 μM. In contrast, stellettin B showed very weak inhibitory activity on normal cell lines including HMEC, RPTEC, NHBE and PrEC, with GI50s higher than 10 μM, suggesting its relatively selective cytotoxicity against human cancer cells compared to normal human cell lines. We then focused on the antitumor activity of this compound on SF295 cells. Flow cytometric analysis indicated that stellettin B induced apoptosis in SF295 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Further study indicated that stellettin B increased the production of ROS, the activity of caspase 3/7, as well as the cleavage of PARP, each of which is known to be involved in apoptosis. To investigate the molecular mechanism for cell proliferation inhibition and apoptosis induction, effect on the phosphorylation of several signal proteins of PI3K/Akt and RAS/MAPK pathways was examined. Stellettin B inhibited the phosphorylation of Akt potently, with no activity on p-ERK and p-p38, suggesting that inhibition of PI3K/Akt pathway might be involved in the antiproliferative and apoptosis-inducing effect. However, homogenous time-resolved fluorescence (HTRF) assay indicated that stellettin B did not inhibit PI3K activity, suggesting that the direct target might be signal protein upstream of Akt pathway other than PI3K.