Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Chitosan Cross-linking on the Properties of Alginate Microparticles with Metformin Hydrochloride—In Vitro and In Vivo Evaluation
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 182; doi:10.3390/molecules22010182 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Sodium alginate is a polymer with unique ability to gel with different cross-linking agents in result of ionic and electrostatic interactions. Chitosan cross-linked alginate provides improvement of swelling and mucoadhesive properties and might be used to design sustained release dosage forms. Therefore, the
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Sodium alginate is a polymer with unique ability to gel with different cross-linking agents in result of ionic and electrostatic interactions. Chitosan cross-linked alginate provides improvement of swelling and mucoadhesive properties and might be used to design sustained release dosage forms. Therefore, the aim of this research was to develop and evaluate possibility of preparing chitosan cross-linked alginate microparticles containing metformin hydrochloride by the spray-drying method. In addition, influence of cross-linking agent on the properties of microparticles was evaluated. Formulation of microparticles prepared by the spray drying of 2% alginate solution cross-linked by 0.1% chitosan was characterized by good mucoadhesive properties, high drug loading and prolonged metformin hydrochloride release. It was shown that designed microparticles reduced rat glucose blood level, delayed absorption of metformin hydrochloride and provided stable plasma drug concentration. Additionally, histopathological studies of pancreas, liver and kidneys indicated that all prepared microparticles improved degenerative changes in organs of diabetic rats. Moreover, no toxicity effect and no changes in rats behavior after oral administration of chitosan cross-linked alginate microparticles were noted. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Method for LC-MS/MS Profiling of Coumarins in Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides (Lam.) B. Zepernich and Timler Extracts and Essential Oils
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 174; doi:10.3390/molecules22010174 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The metabolites from the coumarin class, present in tissues of plants belonging mainly to the Rutaceae and Apiaceae families, included compounds with high chemical diversity such as simple coumarins and furocoumarins. These health-promoting components are recognized for their valuable biological activities in herbal
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The metabolites from the coumarin class, present in tissues of plants belonging mainly to the Rutaceae and Apiaceae families, included compounds with high chemical diversity such as simple coumarins and furocoumarins. These health-promoting components are recognized for their valuable biological activities in herbal preparations but also for their phototoxic effects. In this work, a targeted liquid chromatography (LC) coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (MS2) was developed for the screening of 39 reference standards of coumarins and furocoumarins in essential oils and plant extracts. Chromatographic separation was accomplished on reversed phase column using water/acetonitrile as the mobile phase and detection was performed on a hybrid QqQ/linear ion trap spectrometer fitted with an atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) source operating in positive ion mode. This analytical approach was applied to investigate the coumarin compositions of fruit essential oils and methanolic extracts obtained from separated parts (fruit, leaf, stem, trunk, and root) of Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides. Ten coumarins and six furanocoumarins were reported in this species and data analyses were used to assess the suitability of these compounds to the metabolomics-based differentiation of plant organs. The quantification criteria of the metabolites in extract samples included linearity, limit of quantification, limit of detection, and matrix effect were validated. As reported for other species of the Rutaceae family, the concentration of coumarins was drastically higher in Z. zanthoxyloides fruits than in other plant organs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Characterization of Waterborne Fluoropolymers Prepared by the One-Step Semi-Continuous Emulsion Polymerization of Chlorotrifluoroethylene, Vinyl Acetate, Butyl Acrylate, Veova 10 and Acrylic Acid
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 184; doi:10.3390/molecules22010184 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Waterborne fluoropolymer emulsions were synthesized using the one-step semi-continuous seed emulsion polymerization of chlorotrifluoroethylene (CTFE), vinyl acetate (VAc), n-butyl acrylate (BA), Veova 10, and acrylic acid (AA). The main physical parameters of the polymer emulsions were tested and analyzed. Characteristics of the
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Waterborne fluoropolymer emulsions were synthesized using the one-step semi-continuous seed emulsion polymerization of chlorotrifluoroethylene (CTFE), vinyl acetate (VAc), n-butyl acrylate (BA), Veova 10, and acrylic acid (AA). The main physical parameters of the polymer emulsions were tested and analyzed. Characteristics of the polymer films such as thermal stability, glass transition temperature, film-forming properties, and IR spectrum were studied. Meanwhile, the weatherability of fluoride coatings formulated by the waterborne fluoropolymer and other coatings were evaluated by the quick ultraviolet (QUV) accelerated weathering test, and the results showed that the fluoropolymer with more than 12% fluoride content possessed outstanding weather resistance. Moreover, scale-up and industrial-scale experiments of waterborne fluoropolymer emulsions were also performed and investigated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Highly Efficient Enzymatic Preparation of Daidzein in Deep Eutectic Solvents
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 186; doi:10.3390/molecules22010186 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Daidzein, which is scarce in nature, has gained significant attention due to its superior biological activity and bioavailability compared with daidzin. So far, it has been widely used in the medicine and health care products industries. The enzymatic approach for the preparation of
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Daidzein, which is scarce in nature, has gained significant attention due to its superior biological activity and bioavailability compared with daidzin. So far, it has been widely used in the medicine and health care products industries. The enzymatic approach for the preparation of daidzein has prevailed, benefitted by its high efficiency and eco-friendly nature. Our present research aimed at providing a preparation method of daidzein by enzymatic hydrolysis of daidzin in a new “green” reaction medium-deep eutectic solvents (DESs). Herein, the DESs were screened via evaluating enzyme activity, enzyme stability and the substrate solubility, and the DES (ChCl/EG 2:1, 30 vol %) was believed to be the most appropriate co-solvent to improve the bioconversion efficiency. Based on the yield of daidzein, response surface methodology (RSM) was employed to model and optimize the reaction parameters. Under these optimum process conditions, the maximum yield of 97.53% was achieved and the purity of daidzein crude product reached more than 70%, which is more efficient than conversions in DESs-free buffer. Importantly, it has been shown that DESs medium could be reused for six batches of the process with a final conversion of above 50%. The results indicated that this procedure could be considered a mild, environmentally friendly, highly efficient approach to the economical production of daidzein, with a simple operation process and without any harmful reagents being involved. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Alkylglycerol Derivatives, a New Class of Skin Penetration Modulators
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 185; doi:10.3390/molecules22010185 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The absorption modulating activity of two alkylglycerol derivatives (batyl and chimyl alcohol) on skin barrier properties was evaluated. Biophysical tests such as transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and attenuated total reflectance–Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy, as well as in vitro skin permeation studies, were
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The absorption modulating activity of two alkylglycerol derivatives (batyl and chimyl alcohol) on skin barrier properties was evaluated. Biophysical tests such as transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and attenuated total reflectance–Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy, as well as in vitro skin permeation studies, were performed in order to determine the effect of these compounds as chemical absorption modulators. Four drugs were used as models: three NSAIDS (diclofenac, naproxen, and piroxicam) and glycyrrhizic acid. The results showed that treatment of the skin with alkylglycerols caused (i) a reduction on the amount of drug permeated; (ii) a reduction in TEWL; and (iii) changes in the ATR-FTIR peaks of stratum corneum lipids, indicative of a more ordered structure. All of these findings confirm that alkyl glycerols have an absorption retarding effect on the drugs tested. Such effects are expected to give rise to important applications in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors, in cases where it is desirable for the drug to remain in the superficial layers of the skin to achieve a local effect. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Phloretin Exerts Anti-Tuberculosis Activity and Suppresses Lung Inflammation
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 183; doi:10.3390/molecules22010183 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
An increase in the prevalence of the drug-resistant Mycobacteria tuberculosis necessitates developing new types of anti-tuberculosis drugs. Here, we found that phloretin, a naturally-occurring flavonoid, has anti-mycobacterial effects on H37Rv, multi-drug-, and extensively drug-resistant clinical isolates, with minimum inhibitory concentrations of 182 and
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An increase in the prevalence of the drug-resistant Mycobacteria tuberculosis necessitates developing new types of anti-tuberculosis drugs. Here, we found that phloretin, a naturally-occurring flavonoid, has anti-mycobacterial effects on H37Rv, multi-drug-, and extensively drug-resistant clinical isolates, with minimum inhibitory concentrations of 182 and 364 μM, respectively. Since Mycobacteria cause lung inflammation that contributes to tuberculosis pathogenesis, anti-inflammatory effects of phloretin in interferon-γ-stimulated MRC-5 human lung fibroblasts and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated dendritic cells were investigated. The release of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-12, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α was inhibited by phloretin. The mRNA levels of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12, TNF-α, and matrix metalloproteinase-1, as well as p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation, were suppressed. A mouse in vivo study of LPS-stimulated lung inflammation showed that phloretin effectively suppressed the levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 in lung tissue with low cytotoxicity. Phloretin was found to bind M. tuberculosis β-ketoacyl acyl carrier protein synthase III (mtKASIII) with high affinity (7.221 × 107 M−1); a binding model showed hydrogen bonding of A-ring 2′-hydroxy and B-ring 4-hydroxy groups of phloretin with Asn261 and Cys122 of mtKASIII, implying that mtKASIII can be a potential target protein. Therefore, phloretin can be a useful dietary natural product with anti-tuberculosis benefits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
New Pesticidal Diterpenoids from Vellozia gigantea (Velloziaceae), an Endemic Neotropical Plant Living in the Endangered Brazilian Biome Rupestrian Grasslands
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 175; doi:10.3390/molecules22010175 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Vellozia gigantea is a rare, ancient, and endemic neotropical plant present in the Brazilian Rupestrian grasslands. The dichloromethane extract of V. gigantea adventitious roots was phytotoxic against Lactuca sativa, Agrostis stolonifera, and Lemna paucicostata, and showed larvicidal activity against Aedes
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Vellozia gigantea is a rare, ancient, and endemic neotropical plant present in the Brazilian Rupestrian grasslands. The dichloromethane extract of V. gigantea adventitious roots was phytotoxic against Lactuca sativa, Agrostis stolonifera, and Lemna paucicostata, and showed larvicidal activity against Aedes aegypti. Phytotoxicity bioassay-directed fractionation of the extract revealed one new isopimaradiene, 8(9),15-isopimaradien-1,3,7,11-tetraone, and three new cleistanthane diterpenoids, 7-oxo-8,11,13-cleistanthatrien-3-ol, 3,20-epoxy-7-oxo-8,11,13-cleistanthatrien-3-ol, and 20-nor-3,7-dioxo-1,8,11,13-cleistanthatetraen-10-ol. These new structures are proposed based on interpretation of 1H, 13C, COSY, NOESY, HSQC, and HMBC NMR data. 8(9),15-isopimaradien-1,3,7,11-tetraone was especially phytotoxic with an IC50 value (30 μM) comparable to those of commercial herbicides clomazone, EPTC, and naptalam. In addition, 7-oxo-8,11,13-cleistanthatrien-3-ol provided 100% mortality at a concentration of 125 ppm against one-day-old Ae. aegypti larvae. Our results show that ancient and unique plants, like the endangered narrowly endemic neotropical species V. gigantea present in the Rupestrian grasslands, should also be protected because they can be sources of new bioactive compounds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Protective Effect of Strawberry Extract against Inflammatory Stress Induced in Human Dermal Fibroblasts
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 164; doi:10.3390/molecules22010164 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A protracted pro-inflammatory state is a major contributing factor in the development, progression and complication of the most common chronic pathologies. Fruit and vegetables represent the main sources of dietary antioxidants and their consumption can be considered an efficient tool to counteract inflammatory
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A protracted pro-inflammatory state is a major contributing factor in the development, progression and complication of the most common chronic pathologies. Fruit and vegetables represent the main sources of dietary antioxidants and their consumption can be considered an efficient tool to counteract inflammatory states. In this context an evaluation of the protective effects of strawberry extracts on inflammatory stress induced by E. coli LPS on human dermal fibroblast cells was performed in terms of viability assays, ROS and nitrite production and biomarkers of oxidative damage of the main biological macromolecules. The results demonstrated that strawberry extracts exerted an anti-inflammatory effect on LPS-treated cells, through an increase in cell viability, and the reduction of ROS and nitrite levels, and lipid, protein and DNA damage. This work showed for the first time the potential health benefits of strawberry extract against inflammatory and oxidative stress in LPS-treated human dermal fibroblast cells. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Detection of Reactive Oxygen and Nitrogen Species by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) Technique
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 181; doi:10.3390/molecules22010181 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
During the last decade there has been growing interest in physical-chemical oxidation processes and the behavior of free radicals in living systems. Radicals are known as intermediate species in a variety of biochemical reactions. Numerous techniques, assays and biomarkers have been used to
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During the last decade there has been growing interest in physical-chemical oxidation processes and the behavior of free radicals in living systems. Radicals are known as intermediate species in a variety of biochemical reactions. Numerous techniques, assays and biomarkers have been used to measure reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS), and to examine oxidative stress. However, many of these assays are not entirely satisfactory or are used inappropriately. The purpose of this chapter is to review current EPR (Electron Paramagnetic Resonance) spectroscopy methods for measuring ROS, RNS, and their secondary products, and to discuss the strengths and limitations of specific methodological approaches. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A New Human Cancer Cell Proliferation Inhibition Sesquiterpene, Dryofraterpene A, from Medicinal Plant Dryopteris fragrans (L.) Schott
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 180; doi:10.3390/molecules22010180 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The global burden of cancer continues to increase largely with the aging and growth of the world population. The purpose of the present work was to find new anticancer molecules from a natural source. We utilized chromatographic methods to isolate compounds from medicinal
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The global burden of cancer continues to increase largely with the aging and growth of the world population. The purpose of the present work was to find new anticancer molecules from a natural source. We utilized chromatographic methods to isolate compounds from medicinal plant Dryopteris fragrans (L.) Schott. The structure of the new compounds was determined by spectroscopic and spectrometric data (1D NMR, 2D NMR, and EMI-MS). Their anti-proliferation effects against five human cancer cell lines including A549, MCF7, HepG2, HeLa, and PC-3 were evaluated by CCK-8 andlactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay. A new sesquiterpene, (7S, 10S)-2,3-dihydroxy-calamenene-15-carboxylic acid methyl ester (1), and two known compounds (2 and 3) were isolated. The new sesquiterpene was named dryofraterpene A and significantly inhibited cancer cell proliferation without any obvious necrosis below a 10 μM concentration. In conclusion, a novel anticancer sesquiterpene together with two known compounds was isolated, which might be a promising lead compound for the treatment of cancer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Nano-Structural Investigation on Cellulose Highly Dissolved in Ionic Liquid: A Small Angle X-ray Scattering Study
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 178; doi:10.3390/molecules22010178 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
We investigated nano-structural changes of cellulose dissolved in 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate—an ionic liquid (IL)—using a small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) technique over the entire concentration range (0–100 mol %). Fibril structures of cellulose disappeared at 40 mol % of cellulose, which is a significantly
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We investigated nano-structural changes of cellulose dissolved in 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate—an ionic liquid (IL)—using a small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) technique over the entire concentration range (0–100 mol %). Fibril structures of cellulose disappeared at 40 mol % of cellulose, which is a significantly higher concentration than the maximum concentration of dissolution (24–28 mol %) previously determined in this IL. This behavior is explained by the presence of the anion bridging, whereby an anion prefers to interact with multiple OH groups of different cellulose molecules at high concentrations, discovered in our recent work. Furthermore, we observed the emergence of two aggregated nano-structures in the concentration range of 30–80 mol %. The diameter of one structure was 12–20 nm, dependent on concentration, which is ascribed to cellulose chain entanglement. In contrast, the other with 4.1 nm diameter exhibited concentration independence and is reminiscent of a cellulose microfibril, reflecting the occurrence of nanofibrillation. These results contribute to an understanding of the dissolution mechanism of cellulose in ILs. Finally, we unexpectedly proposed a novel cellulose/IL composite: the cellulose/IL mixtures of 30–50 mol % that possess liquid crystallinity are sufficiently hard to be moldable. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hyperforin Exhibits Antigenotoxic Activity on Human and Bacterial Cells
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 167; doi:10.3390/molecules22010167 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Hyperforin (HF), a substance that accumulates in the leaves and flowers of Hypericum perforatum L. (St. John’s wort), consists of a phloroglucinol skeleton with lipophilic isoprene chains. HF exhibits several medicinal properties and is mainly used as an antidepressant. So far, the antigenotoxicity
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Hyperforin (HF), a substance that accumulates in the leaves and flowers of Hypericum perforatum L. (St. John’s wort), consists of a phloroglucinol skeleton with lipophilic isoprene chains. HF exhibits several medicinal properties and is mainly used as an antidepressant. So far, the antigenotoxicity of HF has not been investigated at the level of primary genetic damage, gene mutations, and chromosome aberrations, simultaneously. The present work is designed to investigate the potential antigenotoxic effects of HF using three different experimental test systems. The antigenotoxic effect of HF leading to the decrease of primary/transient promutagenic genetic changes was detected by the alkaline comet assay on human lymphocytes. The HF antimutagenic effect leading to the reduction of gene mutations was assessed using the Ames test on the standard Salmonella typhimurium (TA97, TA98, and TA100) bacterial strains, and the anticlastogenic effect of HF leading to the reduction of chromosome aberrations was evaluated by the in vitro mammalian chromosome aberration test on the human tumor cell line HepG2 and the non-carcinogenic cell line VH10. Our findings provided evidence that HF showed antigenotoxic effects towards oxidative mutagen zeocin in the comet assay and diagnostic mutagen (4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide) in the Ames test. Moreover, HF exhibited an anticlastogenic effect towards benzo(a)pyrene and cisplatin in the chromosome aberration test. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Toxicity of Plant Secondary Metabolites Modulating Detoxification Genes Expression for Natural Red Palm Weevil Pesticide Development
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 169; doi:10.3390/molecules22010169 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This study aimed to explore the larvicidal and growth-inhibiting activities, and underlying detoxification mechanism of red palm weevil against phenylpropanoids, an important class of plant secondary metabolites. Toxicity of α-asarone, eugenol, isoeugenol, methyl eugenol, methyl isoeugenol, coumarin, coumarin 6, coniferyl aldehyde, diniconazole, ethyl
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This study aimed to explore the larvicidal and growth-inhibiting activities, and underlying detoxification mechanism of red palm weevil against phenylpropanoids, an important class of plant secondary metabolites. Toxicity of α-asarone, eugenol, isoeugenol, methyl eugenol, methyl isoeugenol, coumarin, coumarin 6, coniferyl aldehyde, diniconazole, ethyl cinnamate, and rosmarinic acid was evaluated by incorporation into the artificial diet. All of the phenylpropanoids exhibited dose- and time-dependent insecticidal activity. Among all the tested phenylpropanoids, coumarin exhibited the highest toxicity by revealing the least LD50 value (0.672 g/L). In addition, the most toxic compound (coumarin) observed in the current study, deteriorated the growth resulting tremendous reduction (78.39%) in efficacy of conversion of digested food (ECD), and (ECI) efficacy of conversion of ingested food (70.04%) of tenth-instar red palm weevil larvae. The energy-deficient red palm weevil larvae through their intrinsic abilities showed enhanced response to their digestibility resulting 27.78% increase in approximate digestibility (AD) compared to control larvae. The detoxification response of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus larvae determined by the quantitative expression of cytochrome P450, esterases, and glutathione S-transferase revealed enhanced expression among moderately toxic and ineffective compounds. These genes especially cytochrome P450 and GST detoxify the target compounds by enhancing their solubility that leads rapid excretion and degradation resulting low toxicity towards red palm weevil larvae. On the other hand, the most toxic (coumarin) silenced the genes involved in the red palm weevil detoxification mechanism. Based on the toxicity, growth retarding, and masking detoxification activities, coumarin could be a useful future natural red palm weevil-controlling agent. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Anticancer Activity of New 1-Thia-4-azaspiro[4.5]decane, Their Derived Thiazolopyrimidine and 1,3,4-Thiadiazole Thioglycosides
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 170; doi:10.3390/molecules22010170 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
New 1-thia-azaspiro[4.5]decane derivatives, their derived thiazolopyrimidine and 1,3,4-thiadiazole compounds were synthesized. The thioglycoside derivatives of the synthesized (1,3,4-thiadiazolyl)thiaazaspiro[4.5]decane and thiazolopyrimidinethione compounds were synthesized by glycosylation reactions using acetylated glycosyl bromides. The anticancer activity of synthesized compounds was studied against the cell culture of
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New 1-thia-azaspiro[4.5]decane derivatives, their derived thiazolopyrimidine and 1,3,4-thiadiazole compounds were synthesized. The thioglycoside derivatives of the synthesized (1,3,4-thiadiazolyl)thiaazaspiro[4.5]decane and thiazolopyrimidinethione compounds were synthesized by glycosylation reactions using acetylated glycosyl bromides. The anticancer activity of synthesized compounds was studied against the cell culture of HepG-2 (human liver hepatocellular carcinoma), PC-3 (human prostate adenocarcinoma) and HCT116 (human colorectal carcinoma) cell lines and a number of compounds showed moderate to high inhibition activities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Design, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of a New Series of Biphenyl/Bibenzyl Derivatives Functioning as Dual Inhibitors of Acetylcholinesterase and Butyrylcholinesterase
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 172; doi:10.3390/molecules22010172 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia in adults, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the brain characterized by loss of memory and steady deterioration of cognition. Here, a series of symmetrical molecules containing biphenyl/bibenzyl scaffolds (1236)
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia in adults, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the brain characterized by loss of memory and steady deterioration of cognition. Here, a series of symmetrical molecules containing biphenyl/bibenzyl scaffolds (1236) were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for their ability to inhibit both acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE). A biological evaluation showed that most of these biphenyl derivatives were potent AChE and BuChE inhibitors. Among them, compound 15 displayed the greatest ability to inhibit BuChE (IC50 = 0.74 µM) and was also a good AChE inhibitor (IC50 = 1.18 µM). Compound 19 was not only a potent AChE inhibitor (IC50 = 0.096 µM), but also a mild BuChE inhibitor (IC50 =1.25 µM). Overall, these results suggested that compound 19 may be a promising agent in the treatment of AD. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Adsorption Properties of Nano-MnO2–Biochar Composites for Copper in Aqueous Solution
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 173; doi:10.3390/molecules22010173 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
There is a continuing need to develop effective materials for the environmental remediation of copper-contaminated sites. Nano-MnO2–biochar composites (NMBCs) were successfully synthesized through the reduction of potassium permanganate by ethanol in a biochar suspension. The physicochemical properties and morphology of NMBCs
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There is a continuing need to develop effective materials for the environmental remediation of copper-contaminated sites. Nano-MnO2–biochar composites (NMBCs) were successfully synthesized through the reduction of potassium permanganate by ethanol in a biochar suspension. The physicochemical properties and morphology of NMBCs were examined, and the Cu(II) adsorption properties of this material were determined using various adsorption isotherms and kinetic models. The adsorption capacity of NMBCs for Cu(II), which was enhanced by increasing the pH from 3 to 6, was much larger than that of biochar or nano-MnO2. The maximum adsorption capacity of NMBCs for Cu(II) was 142.02 mg/g, which was considerably greater than the maximum adsorption capacities of biochar (26.88 mg/g) and nano-MnO2 (93.91 mg/g). The sorption process for Cu(II) on NMBCs fitted very well to a pseudo-second-order model (R2 > 0.99). Moreover, this process was endothermic, spontaneous, and hardly influenced by ionic strength. The mechanism of Cu(II) adsorption on NMBCs mainly involves the formation of complexes between Cu(II) and O-containing groups (e.g., COO–Cu and Mn–O–Cu). Thus, NMBCs may serve as effective adsorbents for various environmental applications, such as wastewater treatment or the remediation of copper-contaminated soils. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Review of Mid-Infrared and Near-Infrared Imaging: Principles, Concepts and Applications in Plant Tissue Analysis
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 168; doi:10.3390/molecules22010168 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Plant cells, tissues and organs are composed of various biomolecules arranged as structurally diverse units, which represent heterogeneity at microscopic levels. Molecular knowledge about those constituents with their localization in such complexity is very crucial for both basic and applied plant sciences. In
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Plant cells, tissues and organs are composed of various biomolecules arranged as structurally diverse units, which represent heterogeneity at microscopic levels. Molecular knowledge about those constituents with their localization in such complexity is very crucial for both basic and applied plant sciences. In this context, infrared imaging techniques have advantages over conventional methods to investigate heterogeneous plant structures in providing quantitative and qualitative analyses with spatial distribution of the components. Thus, particularly, with the use of proper analytical approaches and sampling methods, these technologies offer significant information for the studies on plant classification, physiology, ecology, genetics, pathology and other related disciplines. This review aims to present a general perspective about near-infrared and mid-infrared imaging/microspectroscopy in plant research. It is addressed to compare potentialities of these methodologies with their advantages and limitations. With regard to the organization of the document, the first section will introduce the respective underlying principles followed by instrumentation, sampling techniques, sample preparations, measurement, and an overview of spectral pre-processing and multivariate analysis. The last section will review selected applications in the literature. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Characterization of Collagen Peptides in Elaphuri Davidiani Cornu Aqueous Extract with Proliferative Activity on Osteoblasts Using Nano-Liquid Chromatography in Tandem with Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 166; doi:10.3390/molecules22010166 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
First documented in Shennong Bencao Jing (about 200 B.C.–200 A.D.), Elaphuri Davidiani Cornu (EDC) has been recorded for its effects in strengthening bones and balancing other aspects of overall health for approximately 2000 years. In the present study, our aim was to investigate
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First documented in Shennong Bencao Jing (about 200 B.C.–200 A.D.), Elaphuri Davidiani Cornu (EDC) has been recorded for its effects in strengthening bones and balancing other aspects of overall health for approximately 2000 years. In the present study, our aim was to investigate which are the components of the active EDC fraction by a peptidomic strategy. We explored the extent to which EDC increases the proliferation of osteoblasts by measuring the elevations in osteonectin and type I collagen mRNA levels and characterized it using nano-flow liquid chromatography in tandem with orbitrap mass spectrometry. In total, 272 peptide sequences from collagens were determined. “Hot regions” in parent proteins determined by peptide heat maps which indicated that amino acid sequences in the regions might undergo proteolysis easily and generate peptides. Among the identified peptides, 90.2% were hydrophilic, and the molecular weight of 97.1% of identified peptides was lower than 2000 Da. According to these results, EDC collagen-derived peptides were easily analyzed and identified. Moreover, this methodology is feasible to characterize the active peptides matrices originated from collagen hydrolysates or some other animal horn- derived TCMs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro DNA-Binding, Anti-Oxidant and Anticancer Activity of Indole-2-Carboxylic Acid Dinuclear Copper(II) Complexes
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 171; doi:10.3390/molecules22010171 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Indole-2-carboxylic acid copper complex (ICA-Cu) was successfully prepared and characterized through elemental analysis, IR, UV-Vis, 1H-NMR, TG analysis, and molar conductance, and its molecular formula was [Cu2(C9H6O2N)4(H2O)2]·2H2
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Indole-2-carboxylic acid copper complex (ICA-Cu) was successfully prepared and characterized through elemental analysis, IR, UV-Vis, 1H-NMR, TG analysis, and molar conductance, and its molecular formula was [Cu2(C9H6O2N)4(H2O)2]·2H2O. The binding ability of ICA-Cu to calf thymus DNA (CT-DNA) was examined by fluorescence spectrometry and the viscosity method. The results indicated that, upon the addition of increasing amounts of CT-DNA, the excitation and emission intensity of ICA-Cu decreased obviously and the excitation spectra shifted towards a long wavelength. ICA-Cu could displace ethidium bromide (EB) from the EB-DNA system, making the fluorescence intensity of the EB-DNA system decrease sharply; the quenching constant KSV value was 3.99 × 104 M−1. The emission intensity of the ICA-Cu-DNA system was nearly constant, along with the addition of Na+ in a series of concentrations. The fluorescence of the complex could be protected after the complex interacted with DNA. A viscosity measurement further supported the result that the ICA-Cu complex may interact with DNA in an intercalative binding mode. The antioxidant activities of ICA-Cu were evaluated by a 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay, a hydroxyl radical (OH) scavenging assay, and a 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid (ABTS) assay. The ICA-Cu exhibited the highest inhibitory effects on the ABTS radical (94% inhibition at 60 µM), followed by OH and DPPH radicals (the degrees of inhibition being 71% and 56%, respectively). The in vitro cytotoxicity activity of ICA-Cu against two human breast cancer cell lines, MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7, was investigated by 3-[4,5-dimethyltiazol2-yl]-2.5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and cellular morphological analysis. The results showed that, upon increasing the concentration of ICA-Cu, an increase was observed in growth-inhibitory activity and the inhibition percentage were greater than 90% at 20 µM in both cell lines. Also, cellular morphological changes in the two cell lines agreed with the cytotoxicity results. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Phenolic Compounds from the Leaves of Castanopsis fargesii
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 162; doi:10.3390/molecules22010162 -
Abstract
In the course of a phytochemical and chemotaxonomical investigation of Castanopsis species (Fagaceae), three new phenolic compounds, (3R,1′S)-[1′-(6″-O-galloyl-β-d-gluco-pyranosyl)oxyethyl]-3-hydroxy-dihydrofuran-2(3H)-one (1), (2R,3S)-2-[2′-(galloyl)oxyethyl]-dihydroxybutanoic acid (2), and (3S
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In the course of a phytochemical and chemotaxonomical investigation of Castanopsis species (Fagaceae), three new phenolic compounds, (3R,1′S)-[1′-(6″-O-galloyl-β-d-gluco-pyranosyl)oxyethyl]-3-hydroxy-dihydrofuran-2(3H)-one (1), (2R,3S)-2-[2′-(galloyl)oxyethyl]-dihydroxybutanoic acid (2), and (3S,4S)-3-hydroxymethyl-3,4-dihydro-5,6,7-trihydroxy-4-(4′-hydroxy-3′-methoxyphenyl)-1H-[2]-benzopyran-1-one (3) were isolated from the fresh leaves of Castanopsis fargesii. In addition, a known phenolic glycoside, gentisic acid 5-O-α-l-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→2)-β-d-glucopyranoside (4) was also isolated and identified. Their structures were elucidated by means of spectroscopic methods including one- and two-dimensional NMR techniques. Full article
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