Abstract: Previous findings have demonstrated that β-sitosterol (BSS), an active component of Cistanches Herba, protected against oxidant injury in H9c2 cardiomyocytes and in rat hearts by enhancing mitochondrial glutathione redox cycling, possibly through the intermediacy of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production. We therefore hypothesized that BSS pretreatment can also confer tissue protection against oxidant injury in other vital organs such as liver and kidney of rats. In this study, the effects of BSS pretreatment on rat models of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) hepatotoxicity and gentamicin nephrotoxicity were investigated. The findings showed that BSS pretreatment protected against CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity, but not gentamicin nephrotoxicity in rats. The hepatoprotection afforded by BSS was associated with the improvement in mitochondrial glutathione redox status, presumably through the glutathione reductase-mediated enhancement in mitochondrial glutathione redox cycling. The hepatoprotection afforded by BSS was also accompanied by the improved mitochondrial functional ability in rat livers. The inability of BSS to protect against gentamicin nephrotoxicity was likely due to the relatively low bioavailability of BSS in rat kidneys. BSS may serve as potential mitohormetic agent for the prevention of oxidative stress-induced injury in livers.
Abstract: In the current study, changes in secondary metabolite synthesis and the pharmaceutical quality of sabah snake grass leaves and buds were considered in relation to plant age (1 month, 6 months, and 1 year old). The activity of the enzyme chalcone synthase (CHS, EC 126.96.36.199) was measured, as it is a key enzyme for flavonoid production. Significant differences in total flavonoid (TF) production were observed between the three plant growth periods and the different plant parts. The highest contents of TF (6.32 mg/g dry weight [DW]) and total phenolic (TP) (18.21 mg/g DW) were recorded in 6-month-old buds. Among the flavonoids isolated in this study the most important ones based on concentration were from high to low as follows: catechin > quercetin > kaempferol > luteolin. Production of phenolic acids increased from 1 to 6 months, but after 6 months up to 1 year of age, they decreased significantly. The highest contents of caffeic acid (0.307 mg/g DW) and gallic acid (5.96 mg/g DW) were recorded in 1-year and 6-month-old buds, respectively. The lowest and highest activity of CHS was recorded in 1-month and 6-month-old buds with values of 3.6 and 9.5 nkat/mg protein, respectively. These results indicate that the increment in flavonoids and phenolic acids in 6-month-old buds can be attributed to an increase in CHS activity. The highest 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) activity was observed in the extract of 1-year-old buds followed by 6-month-old buds, with 50% of free radical scavenging (IC50) values of 64.6 and 73.5 µg/mL, respectively. Interestingly, a ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay showed a higher activity in 6-month-old buds (488 μM of Fe(II)/g) than in 1-year-old buds (453 μM of Fe(II)/g), in contrast to the DPPH result. Significant correlations (p < 0.05) were observed between CHS enzyme activity and FRAP activity, TF, catechin, and kaempferol content. Extracts of 6-month-old bud exhibited a significant in vitro anticancer activity against HeLa cancer cells with IC50 value of 56.8 µg/mL. These results indicate that early harvesting of snake grass (6-month-old) may yield increased concentrations of secondary metabolites, which are potent antioxidant compounds.
Abstract: Five new taraxerene-type triterpenes, 2-nor-D-friedoolean-14-en-28-ol (1), 2-nor-d-friedoolean-14-en-3α,28-diol (2), 6α-hydroxy-2-nor-D-friedoolean-14-en-3,21-dione (3), 6α,11α,29-trihydroxy-D-friedoolean-14-en-3,16,21-trione (4), and 6α,23,29-trihydroxy-D-friedoolean-14-en-3,16,21-trione (5), were isolated from the MeOH extract of the branch barks of Davidia involucrata, together with five known compounds. Their structures were elucidated by means of various spectroscopic analyses. Five of the identified compounds showed moderate cytotoxicities against the cell proliferation of SGC-7901, MCF-7, and BEL-7404.
Abstract: New N-p-chloro-, N-p-bromo-, and N-p-nitrophenylazobenzylchitosan derivatives, as well as the corresponding azophenyl and azophenyl-p-sulfonic acids, were synthesized by coupling N-benzylvchitosan with aryl diazonium salts. The synthesized molecules were analyzed by UV-Vis, FT-IR, 1H-NMR and 15N-NMR spectroscopy. The capacity of copper chelation by these materials was studied by AAS. Chitosan and the derivatives were subjected to hydrolysis and the products were analyzed by ESI(+)-MS and GC-MS, confirming the formation of N-benzyl chitosan. Furthermore, the MS results indicate that a nucleophilic aromatic substitution (SnAr) reaction occurs under hydrolysis conditions, yielding chloroaniline from N-p-bromo-, and N-p-nitrophenylazo-benzylchitosan as well as bromoaniline from N-p-chloro-, and N-p-nitrophenylazobenzyl-chitosan.
Abstract: The objective of this study was todetermine whether resveratrol or a defined, reconstituted grape powder can attenuate the formation of new blood vessels in a mouse model of choroidal neovascularization (CNV). To accomplish this objective, C57BL/6J mice were randomized into control or treatment groups which received either resveratrol or grape powder by daily oral gavage, resveratrol or grape powder delivered ad libitum through the drinking water, or resveratrol by slow release via implanted osmotic pumps. A laser was used to rupture Bruch’s membrane to induce CNV which was then detected in sclerochoroidal eyecups stained with antibodies against intercellular adhesion molecule-2. CNV area was measured using fluorescence microscopy and Image J software. Ad libitum delivery of both resveratrol and grape powder was shown to significantly reduce the extent of CNV by 68% and 57%, respectively. Parallel experimentsconducted in vitro demonstrated that resveratrol activates p53 and inactivates Akt/protein kinase B in choroidal endothelial cells, contributing to its anti-proliferative and anti-migratory properties. In addition resveratrol was shown to inhibit the formation of endothelial cell networks, augmenting its overall anti-angiogenic effects. The non-toxic nature of resveratrol makes it an especially attractive candidate for the prevention and/or treatment of CNV.
Abstract: Polymer-peptide conjugates are a promising class of compounds, where polymers can be used to overcome some of the limitations associated with peptides intended for therapeutic and/or diagnostic applications. Linear polymers such as poly(ethylene glycol) can be conjugated through terminal moieties and have therefore limited loading capacities. In this research, functionalised linear poly(ethylene glycol)s are utilised for peptide conjugation, to increase their potential loading capacities. These poly(ethylene glycol) derivatives are conjugated to peptide sequences containing representative side-chain functionalised amino acids, using different conjugation chemistries, including copper-catalysed azide-alkyne cycloaddition, amide coupling and thiol-ene reactions. Conjugation of a sequence containing the RGD motif to poly(allyl glycidyl ether) by the thiol-ene reaction, provided a conjugate which could be used in platelet adhesion studies.