Abstract: A sensitive and efficient liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method was developed for the simultaneous determination of gentiopicroside, geniposide, baicalin, and swertiamarin in rat plasma. To avoid the stress caused by restraint or anesthesia, a freely moving rat model was used to investigate the pharmacokinetics of herbal medicine after the administration of a traditional Chinese herbal prescription of Long-Dan-Xie-Gan-Tang (10 g/kg, p.o.). Analytes were separated by a C18 column with a gradient system of methanol–water containing 1 mM ammonium acetate with 0.1% formic acid. The linear ranges were 10–500 ng/mL for gentiopicroside, geniposide, and baicalin, and 5–250 ng/mL for swertiamarin in biological samples. The intra- and inter-day precision (relative standard deviation) ranged from 0.9% to 11.4% and 0.3% to 14.4%, respectively. The accuracy (relative error) was from −6.3% to 10.1% at all quality control levels. The analytical system provided adequate matrix effect and recovery with good precision and accuracy. The pharmacokinetic data demonstrated that the area under concentration-time curve (AUC) values of gentiopicroside, geniposide, baicalin, and swertiamarin were 1417 ± 83.8, 302 ± 25.8, 753 ± 86.2, and 2.5 ± 0.1 min µg/mL. The pharmacokinetic profiles provide constructive information for the dosage regimen of herbal medicine and also contribute to elucidate the absorption mechanism in herbal applications and pharmacological experiments.
Abstract: Start codon targeted polymorphism (SCoT) analysis was employed to distinguish 37 whipgrass (Hemarthria compressa L.) clones and assess the genetic diversity and population structure among these genotypes. The informativeness of markers was also estimated using various parameters. Using 25 highly reproducible primer sets, 368 discernible fragments were generated. Of these, 282 (77.21%) were polymorphic. The number of alleles per locus ranged from five to 21, and the genetic variation indices varied. The polymorphism information content (PIC) was 0.358, the Shannon diversity index (H) was 0.534, the marker index (MI) was 4.040, the resolving power (RP) was 6.108, and the genotype index (GI) was 0.782. Genetic similarity coefficients (GS) between the accessions ranged from 0.563 to 0.872, with a mean of 0.685. Their patterns observed in a dendrogram constructed using the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean analysis (UPGMA) based on GS largely confirmed the results of principal coordinate analysis (PCoA). PCoA was further confirmed by Bayesian model-based STRUCTURE analysis, which revealed no direct association between genetic relationship and geographical origins as validated by Mantel’s test (r = 0.2268, p = 0.9999). In addition, high-level genetic variation within geographical groups was significantly greater than that between groups, as determined by Shannon diversity analysis, analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) and Bayesian analysis. Overall, SCoT analysis is a simple, effective and reliable technique for characterizing and maintaining germplasm collections of whipgrass and related species.
Abstract: Although strong binding interactions between protein receptor and ligand do not require the participation of a large number of amino acids in either site, short peptide chains are generally poor at recreating the types of protein-protein interactions which take place during cell recognition and signalling process, probably because their flexible backbones prevent the side chains from forming sufficiently rigid and stable epitopes, which can take part in binding with the desired strength and specificity. In a recently-reported study, it was shown that a proto-epitope containing F, R and S amino acids has the ability to down-regulate TNF secretion by macrophages. This paper extends these findings, putting those amino acids into a short cyclic peptide scaffold, and determining the optimal configuration required to overcome the problems of conformational instability, and give rise to molecules which have potential as therapeutic agents in human disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Abstract: During the past few years, nanoparticles have been used for various applications including, but not limited to, protein immobilization, bioseparation, environmental treatment, biomedical and bioengineering usage, and food analysis. Among all types of nanoparticles, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, especially Fe3O4, have attracted a great deal of attention due to their unique magnetic properties and the ability of being easily chemical modified for improved biocompatibility, dispersibility. This review covers recent advances in the fabrication of functional materials based on Fe3O4 nanoparticles together with their possibilities and limitations for application in different fields.
Abstract: The potential of a larger number of sugar models to act as dihydrogen donors in transfer hydrogenation reactions has been quantified through the calculation of hydrogenation energies of the respective oxidized products. Comparison of the calculated energies to hydrogenation energies of nucleobases shows that many sugar fragment radicals can reduce pyrimidine bases such as uracil in a strongly exothermic fashion. The most potent reducing agent is the C3' ribosyl radical. The energetics of intramolecular transfer hydrogenation processes has also been calculated for a number of uridinyl radicals. The largest driving force for such a process is found for the uridin-C3'-yl radical, whose rearrangement to the C2'-oxidized derivative carrying a dihydrouracil is predicted to be exothermic by 61.1 kJ/mol in the gas phase.
Abstract: Some chalcones have been designed and synthesized using Claisen-Schmidt reactions as inhibitors of the ferredoxin and ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase interaction to pursue a new selective antimalaria agent. The synthesized compounds exhibited inhibition interactions between PfFd-PfFNR in the range of 10.94%–50%. The three strongest inhibition activities were shown by (E)-1-(4-aminophenyl)-3-(4-methoxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-one (50%), (E)-1-(4-aminophenyl)-3-(2,4-dimethoxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-one (38.16%), and (E)-1-(4-aminophenyl)-3-(2,3-dimethoxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-one (31.58%). From the docking experiments we established that the amino group of the methoxyamino chlacone derivatives plays an important role in the inhibition activity by electrostatic interaction through salt bridges and that it forms more stable and better affinity complexes with FNR than with Fd.