Open AccessArticle
The Positive Correlation of the Enhanced Immune Response to PCV2 Subunit Vaccine by Conjugation of Chitosan Oligosaccharide with the Deacetylation Degree
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(8), 236; doi:10.3390/md15080236 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Chitosan oligosaccharides (COS), the degraded products of chitosan, have been demonstrated to have versatile biological functions. In primary studies, it has displayed significant adjuvant effects when mixed with other vaccines. In this study, chitosan oligosaccharides with different deacetylation degrees were prepared and conjugated
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Chitosan oligosaccharides (COS), the degraded products of chitosan, have been demonstrated to have versatile biological functions. In primary studies, it has displayed significant adjuvant effects when mixed with other vaccines. In this study, chitosan oligosaccharides with different deacetylation degrees were prepared and conjugated to porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) subunit vaccine to enhance its immunogenicity. The vaccine conjugates were designed by the covalent linkage of COSs to PCV2 molecules and administered to BALB/c mice three times at two-week intervals. The results indicate that, as compared to the PCV2 group, COS–PCV2 conjugates remarkably enhanced both humoral and cellular immunity against PCV2 by promoting lymphocyte proliferation and initiating a mixed T-helper 1 (Th1)/T-helper 2 (Th2) response, including raised levels of PCV2-specific antibodies and an increased production of inflammatory cytokines. Noticeably, with the increasing deacetylation degree, the stronger immune responses to PCV2 were observed in the groups with COS-PCV2 vaccination. In comparison with NACOS (chitin oligosaccharides)–PCV2 and LCOS (chitosan oligosaccharides with low deacetylation degree)–PCV2, HCOS (chitosan oligosaccharides with high deacetylation degree)–PCV2 showed the highest adjuvant effect, even comparable to that of PCV2/ISA206 (a commercialized adjuvant) group. In summary, COS conjugation might be a viable strategy to enhance the immune response to PCV2 subunit vaccine, and the adjuvant effect was positively correlated with the deacetylation degree of COS. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Toxicity at the Edge of Life: A Review on Cyanobacterial Toxins from Extreme Environments
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 233; doi:10.3390/md15070233 -
Abstract
Cyanotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by cyanobacteria, of varied chemical nature and toxic effects. Although cyanobacteria thrive in all kinds of ecosystems on Earth even under very harsh conditions, current knowledge on cyanotoxin distribution is almost restricted to freshwaters from temperate latitudes. In
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Cyanotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by cyanobacteria, of varied chemical nature and toxic effects. Although cyanobacteria thrive in all kinds of ecosystems on Earth even under very harsh conditions, current knowledge on cyanotoxin distribution is almost restricted to freshwaters from temperate latitudes. In this review, we bring to the forefront the presence of cyanotoxins in extreme environments. Cyanotoxins have been reported especially in polar deserts (both from the Arctic and Antarctica) and alkaline lakes, but also in hot deserts, hypersaline environments, and hot springs. Cyanotoxins detected in these ecosystems include neurotoxins—anatoxin-a, anatoxin-a (S), paralytic shellfish toxins, β-methylaminopropionic acid, N-(2-aminoethyl) glycine and 2,4-diaminobutyric acid- and hepatotoxins –cylindrospermopsins, microcystins and nodularins—with microcystins being the most frequently reported. Toxin production there has been linked to at least eleven cyanobacterial genera yet only three of these (Arthrospira, Synechococcus and Oscillatoria) have been confirmed as producers in culture. Beyond a comprehensive analysis of cyanotoxin presence in each of the extreme environments, this review also identifies the main knowledge gaps to overcome (e.g., scarcity of isolates and –omics data, among others) toward an initial assessment of ecological and human health risks in these amazing ecosystems developing at the very edge of life. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Functional Comparison for Lipid Metabolism and Intestinal and Fecal Microflora Enzyme Activities between Low Molecular Weight Chitosan and Chitosan Oligosaccharide in High-Fat-Diet-Fed Rats
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 234; doi:10.3390/md15070234 -
Abstract
The present study investigated and compared the regulatory effects on the lipid-related metabolism and intestinal disaccharidase/fecal bacterial enzyme activities between low molecular weight chitosan and chitosan oligosaccharide in high-fat-diet-fed rats. Diet supplementation of low molecular weight chitosan showed greater efficiency than chitosan oligosaccharide
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The present study investigated and compared the regulatory effects on the lipid-related metabolism and intestinal disaccharidase/fecal bacterial enzyme activities between low molecular weight chitosan and chitosan oligosaccharide in high-fat-diet-fed rats. Diet supplementation of low molecular weight chitosan showed greater efficiency than chitosan oligosaccharide in suppressing the increased weights in body and in liver and adipose tissues of high-fat-diet-fed rats. Supplementation of low molecular weight chitosan also showed a greater improvement than chitosan oligosaccharide in imbalance of plasma, hepatic, and fecal lipid profiles, and intestinal disaccharidase activities in high-fat-diet-fed rats. Moreover, both low molecular weight chitosan and chitosan oligosaccharide significantly decreased the fecal microflora mucinase and β-glucuronidase activities in high-fat-diet-fed rats. These results suggest that low molecular weight chitosan exerts a greater positive improvement than chitosan oligosaccharide in lipid metabolism and intestinal disaccharidase activity in high-fat-diet-induced obese rats. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mertensene, a Halogenated Monoterpene, Induces G2/M Cell Cycle Arrest and Caspase Dependent Apoptosis of Human Colon Adenocarcinoma HT29 Cell Line through the Modulation of ERK-1/-2, AKT and NF-κB Signaling
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 221; doi:10.3390/md15070221 -
Abstract
Conventional treatment of advanced colorectal cancer is associated with tumor resistance and toxicity towards normal tissues. Therefore, development of effective anticancer therapeutic alternatives is still urgently required. Nowadays, marine secondary metabolites have been extensively investigated due to the fact that they frequently exhibit
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Conventional treatment of advanced colorectal cancer is associated with tumor resistance and toxicity towards normal tissues. Therefore, development of effective anticancer therapeutic alternatives is still urgently required. Nowadays, marine secondary metabolites have been extensively investigated due to the fact that they frequently exhibit anti-tumor properties. However, little attention has been given to terpenoids isolated from seaweeds. In this study, we isolated the halogenated monoterpene mertensene from the red alga Pterocladiella capillacea (S.G. Gmelin) Santelices and Hommersand and we highlight its inhibitory effect on the viability of two human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell lines HT29 and LS174. Interestingly, exposure of HT29 cells to different concentrations of mertensene correlated with the activation of MAPK ERK-1/-2, Akt and NF-κB pathways. Moreover, mertensene-induced G2/M cell cycle arrest was associated with a decrease in the phosphorylated forms of the anti-tumor transcription factor p53, retinoblastoma protein (Rb), cdc2 and chkp2. Indeed, a reduction of the cellular level of cyclin-dependent kinases CDK2 and CDK4 was observed in mertensene-treated cells. We also demonstrated that mertensene triggers a caspase-dependent apoptosis in HT29 cancer cells characterized by the activation of caspase-3 and the cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). Besides, the level of death receptor-associated protein TRADD increased significantly in a concentration-dependent manner. Taken together, these results demonstrate the potential of mertensene as a drug candidate for the treatment of colon cancer. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Ladder-Shaped Ion Channel Ligands: Current State of Knowledge
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 232; doi:10.3390/md15070232 -
Abstract
Ciguatoxins (CTX) and brevetoxins (BTX) are polycyclic ethereal compounds biosynthesized by the worldwide distributed planktonic and epibenthic dinoflagellates of Gambierdiscus and Karenia genera, correspondingly. Ciguatera, evoked by CTXs, is a type of ichthyosarcotoxism, which involves a variety of gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms, while
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Ciguatoxins (CTX) and brevetoxins (BTX) are polycyclic ethereal compounds biosynthesized by the worldwide distributed planktonic and epibenthic dinoflagellates of Gambierdiscus and Karenia genera, correspondingly. Ciguatera, evoked by CTXs, is a type of ichthyosarcotoxism, which involves a variety of gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms, while BTXs cause so-called neurotoxic shellfish poisoning. Both types of toxins are reviewed together because of similar mechanisms of their action. These are the only molecules known to activate voltage-sensitive Na+-channels in mammals through a specific interaction with site 5 of its α-subunit and may compete for it, which results in an increase in neuronal excitability, neurotransmitter release and impairment of synaptic vesicle recycling. Most marine ciguatoxins potentiate Nav channels, but a considerable number of them, such as gambierol and maitotoxin, have been shown to affect another ion channel. Although the extrinsic function of these toxins is probably associated with the function of a feeding deterrent, it was suggested that their intrinsic function is coupled with the regulation of photosynthesis via light-harvesting complex II and thioredoxin. Antagonistic effects of BTXs and brevenal may provide evidence of their participation as positive and negative regulators of this mechanism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Rapid Estimation of Astaxanthin and the Carotenoid-to-Chlorophyll Ratio in the Green Microalga Chromochloris zofingiensis Using Flow Cytometry
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 231; doi:10.3390/md15070231 -
Abstract
The green microalga Chromochloris zofingiensis can accumulate significant amounts of valuable carotenoids, mainly natural astaxanthin, a product with applications in functional food, cosmetics, nutraceuticals, and with potential therapeutic value in cardiovascular and neurological diseases. To optimize the production of astaxanthin, it is essential
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The green microalga Chromochloris zofingiensis can accumulate significant amounts of valuable carotenoids, mainly natural astaxanthin, a product with applications in functional food, cosmetics, nutraceuticals, and with potential therapeutic value in cardiovascular and neurological diseases. To optimize the production of astaxanthin, it is essential to monitor the content of astaxanthin in algal cells during cultivation. The widely used HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography) method for quantitative astaxanthin determination is time-consuming and laborious. In the present work, we present a method using flow cytometry (FCM) for in vivo determination of the astaxanthin content and the carotenoid-to-chlorophyll ratio (Car/Chl) in mixotrophic C. zofingiensis. The method is based on the assessment of fluorescent characteristics of cellular pigments. The mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) of living cells was determined by FCM to monitor pigment formation based on the correlation between MFI detected in particular channels (FL1: 533 ± 15 nm; FL2: 585 ± 20 nm; FL3: >670 nm) and pigment content in algal cells. Through correlation and regression analysis, a linear relationship was observed between MFI in FL2 (band-pass filter, emission at 585 nm in FCM) and astaxanthin content (in HPLC) and applied for predicting astaxanthin content. With similar procedures, the relationships between MFI in different channels and Car/Chl ratio in mixotrophic C. zofingiensis were also determined. Car/Chl ratios could be estimated by the ratios of MFI (FL1/FL3, FL2/FL3). FCM is thus a highly efficient and feasible method for rapid estimation of astaxanthin content in the green microalga C. zofingiensis. The rapid FCM method is complementary to the current HPLC method, especially for rapid evaluation and prediction of astaxanthin formation as it is required during the high-throughput culture in the laboratory and mass cultivation in industry. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Microindolinone A, a Novel 4,5,6,7-Tetrahydroindole, from the Deep-Sea-Derived Actinomycete Microbacterium sp. MCCC 1A11207
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 230; doi:10.3390/md15070230 -
Abstract
A novel indole, microindolinone A (1), was isolated from a deep-sea-derived actinomycete Microbacterium sp. MCCC 1A11207, together with 18 known compounds (219). By detailed analysis of the 1H, 13C, HSQC, COSY, HMBC, high resolution electron
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A novel indole, microindolinone A (1), was isolated from a deep-sea-derived actinomycete Microbacterium sp. MCCC 1A11207, together with 18 known compounds (219). By detailed analysis of the 1H, 13C, HSQC, COSY, HMBC, high resolution electron spray ionization mass spectrum (HRESIMS), and circular dichroism (CD) data, the absolute configuration of 1 was elucidated as 5R-hydroxy-4,5,6,7-tetrahydroindole-4-one. It is noteworthy that 1 is the second example of a saturated indole isolated from nature. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Inhibitory Activity of Luzonicosides from the Starfish Echinaster luzonicus against Human Melanoma Cells
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 227; doi:10.3390/md15070227 -
Abstract
Malignant melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, with a rapidly increasing incidence rate. Despite recent advances in melanoma research following the approval of several novel targeted and immuno-therapies, the majority of oncological patients will ultimately perish from the disease. Thus,
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Malignant melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, with a rapidly increasing incidence rate. Despite recent advances in melanoma research following the approval of several novel targeted and immuno-therapies, the majority of oncological patients will ultimately perish from the disease. Thus, new effective drugs are still required. Starfish steroid glycosides possess different biological activities, including antitumor activity. The current study focused on the determination of the in vitro inhibitory activity and the mechanism of action of cyclic steroid glycosides isolated from the starfish Echinaster luzonicus—luzonicoside A (LuzA) and luzonicoside D (LuzD)—in human melanoma RPMI-7951 and SK-Mel-28 cell lines. LuzA inhibited proliferation, the formation of colonies, and the migration of SK-Mel-28 cells significantly more than LuzD. Anti-cancer activity has been ascribed to cell cycle regulation and apoptosis induction. The molecular mechanism of action appears to be related to the regulation of the activity of cleaved caspase-3 and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), along with Survivin, Bcl-2, p21 and cyclin D1 level. Overall, our findings support a potential anti-cancer efficacy of luzonicosides A and D on human melanoma cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Transcriptomic Survey of Ion Channel-Based Conotoxins in the Chinese Tubular Cone Snail (Conus betulinus)
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 228; doi:10.3390/md15070228 -
Abstract
Conotoxins in the venom of cone snails (Conus spp.) are a mixture of active peptides that work as blockers, agonists, antagonists, or inactivators of various ion channels. Recently we reported a high-throughput method to identify 215 conotoxin transcripts from the Chinese tubular
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Conotoxins in the venom of cone snails (Conus spp.) are a mixture of active peptides that work as blockers, agonists, antagonists, or inactivators of various ion channels. Recently we reported a high-throughput method to identify 215 conotoxin transcripts from the Chinese tubular cone snail, C. betulinus. Here, based on the previous datasets of four transcriptomes from three venom ducts and one venom bulb, we explored ion channel-based conotoxins and predicted their related ion channel receptors. Homologous analysis was also performed for the most abundant ion channel protein, voltage-gated potassium (Kv; with Kv1.1 as the representative), and the most studied ion channel receptor, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR; with α2-nAChR as the representative), in different animals. Our transcriptomic survey demonstrated that ion channel-based conotoxins and related ion channel proteins/receptors transcribe differentially between the venom duct and the venom bulb. In addition, we observed that putative κ-conotoxins were the most common conotoxins with the highest transcription levels in the examined C. betulinus. Furthermore, Kv1.1 and α2-nAChR were conserved in their functional domains of deduced protein sequences, suggesting similar effects of conotoxins via the ion channels in various species, including human beings. In a word, our present work suggests a high-throughput way to develop conotoxins as potential drugs for treatment of ion channel-associated human diseases. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Biological Activities of Sesterterpenoid-Type Ophiobolins
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 229; doi:10.3390/md15070229 -
Abstract
Ophiobolins (Ophs) are a group of tricarbocyclic sesterterpenoids whose structures contain a tricyclic 5-8-5 carbotricyclic skeleton. Thus far, 49 natural Ophs have been reported and assigned into A–W subgroups in order of discovery. While these sesterterpenoids were first characterized as highly effective phytotoxins,
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Ophiobolins (Ophs) are a group of tricarbocyclic sesterterpenoids whose structures contain a tricyclic 5-8-5 carbotricyclic skeleton. Thus far, 49 natural Ophs have been reported and assigned into A–W subgroups in order of discovery. While these sesterterpenoids were first characterized as highly effective phytotoxins, later investigations demonstrated that they display a broad spectrum of biological and pharmacological characteristics such as phytotoxic, antimicrobial, nematocidal, cytotoxic, anti-influenza and inflammation-promoting activities. These bioactive molecules are promising drug candidates due to the developments of their anti-proliferative activities against a vast number of cancer cell lines, multidrug resistance (MDR) cells and cancer stem cells (CSCs). Despite numerous studies on the biological functions of Ophs, their pharmacological mechanism still requires further research. This review summarizes the chemical structures, sources, and biological activities of the oph family and discusses its mechanisms and structure–activity relationship to lay the foundation for the future developments and applications of these promising molecules. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Urinary Excretion of Tetrodotoxin Modeled in a Porcine Renal Proximal Tubule Epithelial Cell Line, LLC-PK1
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 225; doi:10.3390/md15070225 -
Abstract
This study examined the urinary excretion of tetrodotoxin (TTX) modeled in a porcine renal proximal tubule epithelial cell line, LLC-PK1. Time course profiles of TTX excretion and reabsorption across the cell monolayers at 37 °C showed that the amount of TTX
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This study examined the urinary excretion of tetrodotoxin (TTX) modeled in a porcine renal proximal tubule epithelial cell line, LLC-PK1. Time course profiles of TTX excretion and reabsorption across the cell monolayers at 37 °C showed that the amount of TTX transported increased linearly for 60 min. However, at 4 °C, the amount of TTX transported was approximately 20% of the value at 37 °C. These results indicate that TTX transport is both a transcellular and carrier-mediated process. Using a transport inhibition assay in which cell monolayers were incubated with 50 µM TTX and 5 mM of a transport inhibitor at 37 °C for 30 min, urinary excretion was significantly reduced by probenecid, tetraethylammonium (TEA), l-carnitine, and cimetidine, slightly reduced by p-aminohippuric acid (PAH), and unaffected by 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+), oxaliplatin, and cefalexin. Renal reabsorption was significantly reduced by PAH, but was unaffected by probenecid, TEA and l-carnitine. These findings indicate that TTX is primarily excreted by organic cation transporters (OCTs) and organic cation/carnitine transporters (OCTNs), partially transported by organic anion transporters (OATs) and multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRPs), and negligibly transported by multidrug and toxic compound extrusion transporters (MATEs). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Accumulation of Microcystin (LR, RR and YR) in Three Freshwater Bivalves in Microcystis aeruginosa Bloom Using Dual Isotope Tracer
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 226; doi:10.3390/md15070226 -
Abstract
Abstract: Stable isotope tracers were first applied to evaluate the Microcystis cell assimilation efficiency of Sinanodonta bivalves, since the past identification method has been limited to tracking the changes of each chl-a, clearity, and nutrient. The toxicity profile and accumulation
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Abstract: Stable isotope tracers were first applied to evaluate the Microcystis cell assimilation efficiency of Sinanodonta bivalves, since the past identification method has been limited to tracking the changes of each chl-a, clearity, and nutrient. The toxicity profile and accumulation of MC-LR, -RR and -YR in different organs (foot and digestive organs) from the three filter-feeders (Sinanodonta woodina, Sinanodonta arcaeformis, and Unio douglasiae) were assessed under the condition of toxigenic cyanobacteria (Microcystis aeruginosa) blooms through an in situ pond experiment using 13C and 15N dual isotope tracers. Chl-a concentration in the manipulated pond was dramatically decreased after the beginning of the second day, ranging from 217.5 to 15.6 μg·L−1. The highest amount of MCs was incorporated into muscle and gland tissues in U. douglasiae during the study period, at nearly 2 or 3 times higher than in S.woodiana and S. arcaeformis. In addition, the incorporated 13C and 15N atom % in the U. douglasiae bivalve showed lower values than in other bivalves. The results demonstrate that U. douglasiae has less capacity to assimilate toxic cyanobacteria derived from diet. However, the incorporated 13C and 15N atom % of S. arcaeformis showed a larger feeding capacity than U. douglasiae and S. wodiana. Our results therefore also indicate that S. arcaeformis can eliminate the toxin more rapidly than U. douglasiae, having a larger detoxification capacity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Selenium-Containing Polysaccharide-Protein Complex in Se-Enriched Ulva fasciata Induces Mitochondria-Mediated Apoptosis in A549 Human Lung Cancer Cells
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 215; doi:10.3390/md15070215 -
Abstract
The role of selenium (Se) and Ulva fasciata as potent cancer chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agents has been supported by epidemiological, preclinical, and clinical studies. In this study, Se-containing polysaccharide-protein complex (Se-PPC), a novel organoselenium compound, a Se-containing polysaccharide-protein complex in Se-enriched Ulva fasciata
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The role of selenium (Se) and Ulva fasciata as potent cancer chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agents has been supported by epidemiological, preclinical, and clinical studies. In this study, Se-containing polysaccharide-protein complex (Se-PPC), a novel organoselenium compound, a Se-containing polysaccharide-protein complex in Se-enriched Ulva fasciata, is a potent anti-proliferative agent against human lung cancer A549 cells. Se-PPC markedly inhibited the growth of cancer cells via induction of apoptosis which was accompanied by the formation of apoptotic bodies, an increase in the population of apoptotic sub-G1 phase cells, upregulation of p53, and activation of caspase-3 in A549 cells. Further investigation on intracellular mechanisms indicated that cytochrome C was released from mitochondria into cytosol in A549 cells after Se-PPC treatment. Se-PPC induced depletion of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) in A549 cells through regulating the expression of anti-apoptotic (Bcl-2, Bcl-XL) and pro-apoptotic (Bax, Bid) proteins, resulting in disruption of the activation of caspase-9. This is the first report to demonstrate the cytotoxic effect of Se-PPC on human cancer cells and to provide a possible mechanism for this activity. Thus, Se-PPC is a promising novel organoselenium compound with potential to treat human cancers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Inhibitory Growth of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cancer via Bacterial Prodigiosin
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 224; doi:10.3390/md15070224 -
Abstract
Chemotherapy drugs for oral cancers always cause side effects and adverse effects. Currently natural sources and herbs are being searched for treated human oral squamous carcinoma cells (OSCC) in an effort to alleviate the causations of agents in oral cancers chemotherapy. This study
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Chemotherapy drugs for oral cancers always cause side effects and adverse effects. Currently natural sources and herbs are being searched for treated human oral squamous carcinoma cells (OSCC) in an effort to alleviate the causations of agents in oral cancers chemotherapy. This study investigates the effect of prodigiosin (PG), an alkaloid and natural red pigment as a secondary metabolite of Serratia marcescens, to inhibit human oral squamous carcinoma cell growth; thereby, developing a new drug for the treatment of oral cancer. In vitro cultured human OSCC models (OECM1 and SAS cell lines) were used to test the inhibitory growth of PG via cell cytotoxic effects (MTT assay), cell cycle analysis, and Western blotting. PG under various concentrations and time courses were shown to effectively cause cell death and cell-cycle arrest in OECM1 and SAS cells. Additionally, PG induced autophagic cell death in OECM1 and SAS cells by LC3-mediated P62/LC3-I/LC3-II pathway at the in vitro level. These findings elucidate the role of PG, which may target the autophagic cell death pathways as a potential agent in cancer therapeutics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis of Poly(norbornene-methylamine), a Biomimetic of Chitosan, by Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization (ROMP)
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 223; doi:10.3390/md15070223 -
Abstract
ROMP is an effective method for preparing functional polymers due to its having characteristics of “living” polymerization and rapid development of catalysts. In the present work, poly(norbornene-methylamine), a mimic of chitosan, was synthesized via ROMP reaction. The amino-protected product, 5-norbornene-2-(N-methyl)-phthalimide, was
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ROMP is an effective method for preparing functional polymers due to its having characteristics of “living” polymerization and rapid development of catalysts. In the present work, poly(norbornene-methylamine), a mimic of chitosan, was synthesized via ROMP reaction. The amino-protected product, 5-norbornene-2-(N-methyl)-phthalimide, was prepared by a reaction of 5-norbornene-2-methylamine with phthalic anhydride, which was then subjected to the ROMP reaction in the presence of Hoveyda-Grubbs 2nd catalyst to afford poly(norbornene-(N-methyl)-phthalimide). The target product, poly(norbornene-methylamine), was obtained by deprotection reaction of poly(norbornene-(N-methyl)-phthalimide). The products in each step were characterized by FTIR and 1H-NMR, and their thermal stabilities were determined by TG analysis. The effects of molar ratio between monomer ([M]/[I]) and catalyst on the average relative molecular weight (Mn¯) and molecular weight distribution of the produced polymer products were determined by gel permeation chromatography (GPC). It was found that the Mn¯ of poly(norbornene-(N-methyl)-phthalimide) was controllable and exhibited a narrow polydispersity index (PDI) (~1.10). The synthesis condition of 5-norbornene-2-(N-methyl)-phthalimide was optimized by determining the yields at different reaction temperatures and reaction times. The highest yield was obtained at a reaction temperature of 130 °C and a reaction time of 20 min. Our work provides a new strategy to synthesize polymers with controllable structures and free –NH2 groups via ROMP. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sponge-Inspired Dibromohemibastadin Prevents and Disrupts Bacterial Biofilms without Toxicity
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 222; doi:10.3390/md15070222 -
Abstract
Since the banning of several families of compounds in antifouling (AF) coatings, the search for environmentally friendly AF compounds has intensified. Natural sources of AF compounds have been identified in marine organisms and can be used to create analogues in laboratory. In a
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Since the banning of several families of compounds in antifouling (AF) coatings, the search for environmentally friendly AF compounds has intensified. Natural sources of AF compounds have been identified in marine organisms and can be used to create analogues in laboratory. In a previous study, we identified that dibromohemibastadin-1 (DBHB) is a promising AF molecule, leading to the inhibition of the activity of phenoloxidase, an enzyme involved in the attachment of mussels to surfaces. This paper describes the activity of the DBHB on biofilm formation and its detachment and on bacterial adhesion and communication: quorum sensing. DBHB has an anti-biofilm activity without affecting adhesion of marine and terrestrial bacteria at a dose of 10 µM. Moreover, DBHB activity on quorum sensing (QS) is demonstrated at doses of 8 and 16 µM. The activity of DBHB on QS is compared to kojic acid, a quorum sensing inhibitor already described. This compound is a promising environmentally friendly molecule potentially useful for the inhibition of microfouling. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Maitotoxin-4, a Novel MTX Analog Produced by Gambierdiscus excentricus
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 220; doi:10.3390/md15070220 -
Abstract
Maitotoxins (MTXs) are among the most potent toxins known. These toxins are produced by epi-benthic dinoflagellates of the genera Gambierdiscus and Fukuyoa and may play a role in causing the symptoms associated with Ciguatera Fish Poisoning. A recent survey revealed that, of the
[...] Read more.
Maitotoxins (MTXs) are among the most potent toxins known. These toxins are produced by epi-benthic dinoflagellates of the genera Gambierdiscus and Fukuyoa and may play a role in causing the symptoms associated with Ciguatera Fish Poisoning. A recent survey revealed that, of the species tested, the newly described species from the Canary Islands, G. excentricus, is one of the most maitotoxic. The goal of the present study was to characterize MTX-related compounds produced by this species. Initially, lysates of cells from two Canary Island G. excentricus strains VGO791 and VGO792 were partially purified by (i) liquid-liquid partitioning between dichloromethane and aqueous methanol followed by (ii) size-exclusion chromatography. Fractions from chromatographic separation were screened for MTX toxicity using both the neuroblastoma neuro-2a (N2a) cytotoxicity and Ca2+ flux functional assays. Fractions containing MTX activity were analyzed using liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) to pinpoint potential MTX analogs.Subsequent non-targeted HRMS analysis permitted the identification of a novel MTX analog, maitotoxin-4 (MTX4, accurate mono-isotopic mass of 3292.4860 Da, as free acid form) in the most toxic fractions. HRMS/MS spectra of MTX4 as well as of MTX are presented. In addition, crude methanolic extracts of five other strains of G. excentricus and 37 other strains representing one Fukuyoa species and ten species, one ribotype and one undetermined strain/species of Gambierdiscus were screened for the presence of MTXs using low resolution tandem mass spectrometry (LRMS/MS). This targeted analysis indicated the original maitotoxin (MTX) was only present in one strain (G. australes S080911_1). Putative maitotoxin-2 (p-MTX2) and maitotoxin-3 (p-MTX3) were identified in several other species, but confirmation was not possible because of the lack of reference material. Maitotoxin-4 was detected in all seven strains of G. excentricus examined, independently of their origin (Brazil, Canary Islands and Caribbean), and not detected in any other species. MTX4 may therefore serve as a biomarker for the highly toxic G. excentricus in the Atlantic area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Epiphytic Genus Gambierdiscus (Dinophyceae) in the Kermadec Islands and Zealandia Regions of the Southwestern Pacific and the Associated Risk of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 219; doi:10.3390/md15070219 -
Abstract
Species in the genus Gambierdiscus produce ciguatoxins (CTXs) and/or maitotoxins (MTXs), which may cause ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) in humans if contaminated fish are consumed. Species of Gambierdiscus have previously been isolated from macroalgae at Rangitahua (Raoul Island and North Meyer Islands, northern
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Species in the genus Gambierdiscus produce ciguatoxins (CTXs) and/or maitotoxins (MTXs), which may cause ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) in humans if contaminated fish are consumed. Species of Gambierdiscus have previously been isolated from macroalgae at Rangitahua (Raoul Island and North Meyer Islands, northern Kermadec Islands), and the opportunity was taken to sample for Gambierdiscus at the more southerly Macauley Island during an expedition in 2016. Gambierdiscus cells were isolated, cultured, and DNA extracted and sequenced to determine the species present. Bulk cultures were tested for CTXs and MTXs by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The species isolated were G. australes, which produced MTX-1 (ranging from 3 to 36 pg/cell), and G. polynesiensis, which produced neither MTX-1 nor, unusually, any known CTXs. Isolates of both species produced putative MTX-3. The risk of fish, particularly herbivorous fish, causing CFP in the Zealandia and Kermadec Islands region is real, although in mainland New Zealand the risk is currently low. Both Gambierdiscus and Fukuyoa have been recorded in the sub-tropical northern region of New Zealand, and so the risk may increase with warming seas and shift in the distribution of Gambierdiscus species. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Genome Sequence of Pseudomonas stutzeri 273 and Identification of the Exopolysaccharide EPS273 Biosynthesis Locus
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 218; doi:10.3390/md15070218 -
Abstract
Pseudomonas stutzeri 273 is a marine bacterium producing exopolysaccharide 273 (EPS273) with high anti-biofilm activity against P. aeruginosa PAO1. Here, the complete genome of P. stutzeri 273 was sequenced and the genome contained a circular 5.03 Mb chromosome. With extensive analysis of
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Pseudomonas stutzeri 273 is a marine bacterium producing exopolysaccharide 273 (EPS273) with high anti-biofilm activity against P. aeruginosa PAO1. Here, the complete genome of P. stutzeri 273 was sequenced and the genome contained a circular 5.03 Mb chromosome. With extensive analysis of the genome, a genetic locus containing 18 genes was predicted to be involved in the biosynthesis of EPS273. In order to confirm this prediction, two adjacent genes (eps273-H and eps273-I)encoding glycosyltransferases and one gene (eps273-O) encoding tyrosine protein kinase within the genetic locus were deleted and biosynthesis of EPS273 was checked in parallel. The molecular weight profile of EPS purified from the mutant Δeps273-HI was obviously different from that purified from wild-type P. stutzeri 273, while the corresponding EPS was hardly detected from the mutant Δeps273-O, which indicated the involvement of the proposed 18-gene cluster in the biosynthesis of EPS273. Moreover, the mutant Δeps273-HI had the biofilm formed earlier compared with the wild type, and the mutant Δeps273-O almost completely lost the ability of biofilm formation. Therefore, EPS273 might facilitate the biofilm formation for its producing strain P. stutzeri 273 while inhibiting the biofilm formation of P. aeruginosa PAO1. This study can contribute to better understanding of the biosynthesis of EPS273 and disclose the biological function of EPS273 for its producing strain P. stutzeri 273. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Discovery of DNA Topoisomerase I Inhibitors with Low-Cytotoxicity Based on Virtual Screening from Natural Products
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 217; doi:10.3390/md15070217 -
Abstract
Currently, DNA topoisomerase I (Topo I) inhibitors constitute a family of antitumor agents with demonstrated clinical effects on human malignancies. However, the clinical uses of these agents have been greatly limited due to their severe toxic effects. Therefore, it is urgent to find
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Currently, DNA topoisomerase I (Topo I) inhibitors constitute a family of antitumor agents with demonstrated clinical effects on human malignancies. However, the clinical uses of these agents have been greatly limited due to their severe toxic effects. Therefore, it is urgent to find and develop novel low toxic Topo I inhibitors. In recent years, during our ongoing research on natural antitumor products, a collection of low cytotoxic or non-cytotoxic compounds with various structures were identified from marine invertebrates, plants, and their symbiotic microorganisms. In the present study, new Topo I inhibitors were discovered from low cytotoxic and non-cytotoxic natural products by virtual screening with docking simulations in combination with bioassay test. In total, eight potent Topo I inhibitors were found from 138 low cytotoxic or non-cytotoxic compounds from coral-derived fungi and plants. All of these Topo I inhibitors demonstrated activities against Topo I-mediated relaxation of supercoiled DNA at the concentrations of 5–100 µM. Notably, the flavonoids showed higher Topo I inhibitory activities than other compounds. These newly discovered Topo I inhibitors exhibited structurally diverse and could be considered as a good starting point for the development of new antitumor lead compounds. Full article
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