Open AccessReview
Motion of Adsorbed Nano-Particles on Azobenzene Containing Polymer Films
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1663; doi:10.3390/molecules21121663 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
We demonstrate in situ recorded motion of nano-objects adsorbed on a photosensitive polymer film. The motion is induced by a mass transport of the underlying photoresponsive polymer material occurring during irradiation with interference pattern. The polymer film contains azobenzene molecules that undergo reversible
[...] Read more.
We demonstrate in situ recorded motion of nano-objects adsorbed on a photosensitive polymer film. The motion is induced by a mass transport of the underlying photoresponsive polymer material occurring during irradiation with interference pattern. The polymer film contains azobenzene molecules that undergo reversible photoisomerization reaction from trans- to cis-conformation. Through a multi-scale chain of physico-chemical processes, this finally results in the macro-deformations of the film due to the changing elastic properties of polymer. The topographical deformation of the polymer surface is sensitive to a local distribution of the electrical field vector that allows for the generation of dynamic changes in the surface topography during irradiation with different light interference patterns. Polymer film deformation together with the motion of the adsorbed nano-particles are recorded using a homemade set-up combining an optical part for the generation of interference patterns and an atomic force microscope for acquiring the surface deformation. The particles undergo either translational or rotational motion. The direction of particle motion is towards the topography minima and opposite to the mass transport within the polymer film. The ability to relocate particles by photo-induced dynamic topography fluctuation offers a way for a non-contact simultaneous manipulation of a large number of adsorbed particles just in air at ambient conditions. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Identification and Characterisation of the Antimicrobial Peptide, Phylloseptin-PT, from the Skin Secretion of Phyllomedusa tarsius, and Comparison of Activity with Designed, Cationicity-Enhanced Analogues and Diastereomers
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1667; doi:10.3390/molecules21121667 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Antimicrobial peptides belonging to the phylloseptin family are mainly found in phyllomedusine frogs. These peptides not only possess potent antimicrobial activity but exhibit low toxicity against eukaryotic cells. Therefore, they are considered as promising drug candidates for a number of diseases. In a
[...] Read more.
Antimicrobial peptides belonging to the phylloseptin family are mainly found in phyllomedusine frogs. These peptides not only possess potent antimicrobial activity but exhibit low toxicity against eukaryotic cells. Therefore, they are considered as promising drug candidates for a number of diseases. In a recent study, potent antimicrobial activity was correlated with the conserved structures and cationic amphiphilic characteristics of members of this peptide family. A phylloseptin peptide precursor was discovered here in the skin secretion of Phyllomedusa tarsius and the mature peptide was validated by MS/MS sequencing, and was subsequently named phylloseptin-PT. The chemically-synthesized and purified phylloseptin-PT displayed activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. Nevertheless, a range of cationicity-enhanced peptide analogues of phylloseptin-PT, which contained amino acid substitutions at specific sites, exhibited significant increases in antimicrobial activity compared to native phylloseptin-PT. In addition, alternative conformers which were designed and chemically-synthesized with d-lysine, showed potent antimicrobial activity and enhanced bioavailability. These data indicate that phylloseptins may represent potential candidates for next-generation antibiotics. Thus, rational design through modification of natural antimicrobial peptide templates could provide an accelerated path to overcoming obstacles en-route to their possible clinical applications. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Assessment of the Potential Energy Hypersurfaces in Thymine within Multiconfigurational Theory: CASSCF vs. CASPT2
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1666; doi:10.3390/molecules21121666 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The present study provides new insights into the topography of the potential energy hypersurfaces (PEHs) of the thymine nucleobase in order to rationalize its main ultrafast photochemical decay paths by employing two methodologies based on the complete active space self-consistent field (CASSCF) and
[...] Read more.
The present study provides new insights into the topography of the potential energy hypersurfaces (PEHs) of the thymine nucleobase in order to rationalize its main ultrafast photochemical decay paths by employing two methodologies based on the complete active space self-consistent field (CASSCF) and the complete active space second-order perturbation theory (CASPT2) methods: (i) CASSCF optimized structures and energies corrected with the CASPT2 method at the CASSCF geometries and (ii) CASPT2 optimized geometries and energies. A direct comparison between these strategies is drawn, yielding qualitatively similar results within a static framework. A number of analyses are performed to assess the accuracy of these different computational strategies under study based on a variety of numerical thresholds and optimization methods. Several basis sets and active spaces have also been calibrated to understand to what extent they can influence the resulting geometries and subsequent interpretation of the photochemical decay channels. The study shows small discrepancies between CASSCF and CASPT2 PEHs, displaying a shallow planar or twisted 1(ππ*) minimum, respectively, and thus featuring a qualitatively similar scenario for supporting the ultrafast bi-exponential deactivation registered in thymine upon UV-light exposure. A deeper knowledge of the PEHs at different levels of theory provides useful insight into its correct characterization and subsequent interpretation of the experimental observations. The discrepancies displayed by the different methods studied here are then discussed and framed within their potential consequences in on-the-fly non-adiabatic molecular dynamics simulations, where qualitatively diverse outcomes are expected. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Activity of Eribulin in a Primary Culture of Well-Differentiated/Dedifferentiated Adipocytic Sarcoma
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1662; doi:10.3390/molecules21121662 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Eribulin mesylate is a novel, non-taxane, synthetic microtubule inhibitor showing antitumor activity in a wide range of tumors including soft tissue sarcomas (STS). Eribulin has been recently approved for the treatment of metastatic liposarcoma (LPS) patients previously treated with anthracyclines. This work investigated
[...] Read more.
Eribulin mesylate is a novel, non-taxane, synthetic microtubule inhibitor showing antitumor activity in a wide range of tumors including soft tissue sarcomas (STS). Eribulin has been recently approved for the treatment of metastatic liposarcoma (LPS) patients previously treated with anthracyclines. This work investigated the mechanism of action of this innovative antitubulin agent in well-differentiated/dedifferentiated LPS (ALT/DDLPS) which represents one of the most common adipocytic sarcoma histotypes. A primary culture of ALT/DDLPS from a 54-year-old patient was established. The anticancer activity of eribulin on the patient-derived primary culture was assessed by MTT and tunel assays. Eribulin efficacy was compared to other drugs approved for the treatment of STS. Cell migration and morphology were examined after exposure to eribulin to better understand the drug mechanism of action. Finally, Western blot analysis of apoptosis and migration proteins was performed. The results showed that eribulin exerts its antiproliferative effect by the arrest of cell motility and induction of apoptosis. Our results highlighted the activity of eribulin in the treatment of ALT/DDLPS patients. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Clarification of the Antagonistic Effect of the Lipopeptides Produced by Bacillus amyloliquefaciens BPD1 against Pyricularia oryzae via In Situ MALDI-TOF IMS Analysis
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1670; doi:10.3390/molecules21121670 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This study tried to clarify the antagonistic effect of the lipopeptides secreted by Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain BPD1 (Ba-BPD1) against Pyricularia oryzae Cavara (PO). To determine the major antifungal lipopeptides effective against PO, single and dual cultures were carried out in solid-state media. The
[...] Read more.
This study tried to clarify the antagonistic effect of the lipopeptides secreted by Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain BPD1 (Ba-BPD1) against Pyricularia oryzae Cavara (PO). To determine the major antifungal lipopeptides effective against PO, single and dual cultures were carried out in solid-state media. The matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization–time of flight imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF IMS) was used to identify the most effective lipopeptide in situ. Meanwhile, the morphology of pathogen fungi treated with lipopeptides was observed via the SEM. Of the three lipopeptide families, surfactin, iturin, and fengycin, the last was identified as the most effective for inhibiting mycelium growth and conidial germination of PO. The conidia and hyphae of fengycin-treated PO were shown to become deformed and tumorous under exposure. This study provides insights into the antagonistic effect of Ba-BPD1 against fungal phytopathogens. Such insights are helpful in the development of reagents for biological control applications. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Xanthines Studied via Femtosecond Fluorescence Spectroscopy
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1668; doi:10.3390/molecules21121668 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Xanthines represent a wide class of compounds closely related to the DNA bases adenine and guanine. Ubiquitous in the human body, they are capable of replacing natural bases in double helices and give rise to four-stranded structures. Although the use of their fluorescence
[...] Read more.
Xanthines represent a wide class of compounds closely related to the DNA bases adenine and guanine. Ubiquitous in the human body, they are capable of replacing natural bases in double helices and give rise to four-stranded structures. Although the use of their fluorescence for analytical purposes was proposed, their fluorescence properties have not been properly characterized so far. The present paper reports the first fluorescence study of xanthine solutions relying on femtosecond spectroscopy. Initially, we focus on 3-methylxanthine, showing that this compound exhibits non-exponential fluorescence decays with no significant dependence on the emission wavelength. The fluorescence quantum yield (3 × 10−4) and average decay time (0.9 ps) are slightly larger than those found for the DNA bases. Subsequently, we compare the dynamical fluorescence properties of seven mono-, di- and tri-methylated derivatives. Both the fluorescence decays and fluorescence anisotropies vary only weakly with the site and the degree of methylation. These findings are in line with theoretical predictions suggesting the involvement of several conical intersections in the relaxation of the lowest singlet excited state. Full article
Figures

Open AccessReview
Phenols and Polyphenols as Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1649; doi:10.3390/molecules21121649 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Phenols are among the largest and most widely distributed groups of secondary metabolites within the plant kingdom. They are implicated in multiple and essential physiological functions. In humans they play an important role as microconstituents of the daily diet, their consumption being considered
[...] Read more.
Phenols are among the largest and most widely distributed groups of secondary metabolites within the plant kingdom. They are implicated in multiple and essential physiological functions. In humans they play an important role as microconstituents of the daily diet, their consumption being considered healthy. The physical and chemical properties of phenolic compounds make these molecules versatile ligands, capable of interacting with a wide range of targets, such as the Carbonic Anhydrases (CAs, EC 4.2.1.1). CAs reversibly catalyze the fundamental reaction of CO2 hydration to bicarbonate and protons in all living organisms, being actively involved in the regulation of a plethora of patho/physiological processes. This review will discuss the most recent advances in the search of naturally occurring phenols and their synthetic derivatives that inhibit the CAs and their mechanisms of action at molecular level. Plant extracts or mixtures are not considered in the present review. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Computational Study of Structure and Reactivity of N-Substitued-4-Piperidones Curcumin Analogues and Their Radical Anions
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1658; doi:10.3390/molecules21121658 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this work, a computational study of a series of N-substitued-4-piperidones curcumin analogues is presented. The molecular structure of the neutral molecules and their radical anions, as well as their reactivity, are investigated. N-substituents include methyl and benzyl groups, while substituents
[...] Read more.
In this work, a computational study of a series of N-substitued-4-piperidones curcumin analogues is presented. The molecular structure of the neutral molecules and their radical anions, as well as their reactivity, are investigated. N-substituents include methyl and benzyl groups, while substituents on the aromatic rings cover electron-donor and electron-acceptor groups. Substitutions at the nitrogen atom do not significantly affect the geometry and frontier molecular orbitals (FMO) energies of these molecules. On the other hand, substituents on the aromatic rings modify the distribution of FMO. In addition, they influence the capability of these molecules to attach an additional electron, which was studied through adiabatic (AEA) and vertical electron affinities (VEA), as well as vertical detachment energy (VDE). To study electrophilic properties of these structures, local reactivity indices, such as Fukui (f+) and Parr (P+) functions, were calculated, and show the influence of the aromatic rings substituents on the reactivity of α,β-unsaturated ketones towards nucleophilic attack. This study has potential implications for the design of curcumin analogues based on a 4-piperidone core with desired reactivity. Full article
Figures

Open AccessReview
Some Brief Notes on Theoretical and Experimental Investigations of Intramolecular Hydrogen Bonding
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1657; doi:10.3390/molecules21121657 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A review of selected literature data related to intramolecular hydrogen bonding in ortho-hydroxyaryl Schiff bases, ortho-hydroxyaryl ketones, ortho-hydroxyaryl amides, proton sponges and ortho-hydroxyaryl Mannich bases is presented. The paper reports on the application of experimental spectroscopic measurements (IR and
[...] Read more.
A review of selected literature data related to intramolecular hydrogen bonding in ortho-hydroxyaryl Schiff bases, ortho-hydroxyaryl ketones, ortho-hydroxyaryl amides, proton sponges and ortho-hydroxyaryl Mannich bases is presented. The paper reports on the application of experimental spectroscopic measurements (IR and NMR) and quantum-mechanical calculations for investigations of the proton transfer processes, the potential energy curves, tautomeric equilibrium, aromaticity etc. Finally, the equilibrium between the intra- and inter-molecular hydrogen bonds in amides is discussed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Docetaxel-Loaded Self-Assembly Stearic Acid-Modified Bletilla striata Polysaccharide Micelles and Their Anticancer Effect: Preparation, Characterization, Cellular Uptake and In Vitro Evaluation
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1641; doi:10.3390/molecules21121641 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Poorly soluble drugs have low bioavailability after oral administration, thereby hindering effective drug delivery. A novel drug-delivery system of docetaxel (DTX)-based stearic acid (SA)-modified Bletilla striata polysaccharides (BSPs) copolymers was successfully developed. Particle size, zeta potential, encapsulation efficiency (EE), and loading capacity (LC)
[...] Read more.
Poorly soluble drugs have low bioavailability after oral administration, thereby hindering effective drug delivery. A novel drug-delivery system of docetaxel (DTX)-based stearic acid (SA)-modified Bletilla striata polysaccharides (BSPs) copolymers was successfully developed. Particle size, zeta potential, encapsulation efficiency (EE), and loading capacity (LC) were determined. The DTX release percentage in vitro was determined using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The hemolysis and in vitro anticancer activity were studied. Cellular uptake and apoptotic rate were measured using flow cytometry assay. Particle size, zeta potential, EE and LC were 125.30 ± 1.89 nm, −26.92 ± 0.18 mV, 86.6% ± 0.17%, and 14.8% ± 0.13%, respectively. The anticancer activities of DTX-SA-BSPs copolymer micelles against HepG2, HeLa, SW480, and MCF-7 (83.7% ± 1.0%, 54.5% ± 4.2%, 48.5% ± 4.2%, and 59.8% ± 1.4%, respectively) were superior to that of docetaxel injection (39.2% ± 1.1%, 44.5% ± 5.3%, 38.5% ± 5.4%, and 49.8% ± 2.9%, respectively) at 0.5 μg/mL drug concentration. The DTX release percentage of DTX-SA-BSPs copolymer micelles and docetaxel injection were 66.93% ± 1.79% and 97.06% ± 1.56% in two days, respectively. Cellular uptake of DTX-FITC-SA-BSPs copolymer micelles in cells had a time-dependent relation. Apoptotic rate of DTX-SA-BSPs copolymer micelles and docetaxel injection were 73.48% and 69.64%, respectively. The SA-BSPs copolymer showed good hemocompatibility. Therefore, SA-BSPs copolymer can be used as a carrier for delivering hydrophobic drugs. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Antimicrobial and Anticancer Activity of Silver and Gold Nanoparticles Synthesised Using Sargassum incisifolium Aqueous Extracts
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1633; doi:10.3390/molecules21121633 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A detailed, methodical approach was used to synthesise silver and gold nanoparticles using two differently prepared aqueous extracts of the brown algae Sargassum incisifolium. The efficiency of the extracts in producing nanoparticles were compared to commercially available brown algal fucoidans, a major
[...] Read more.
A detailed, methodical approach was used to synthesise silver and gold nanoparticles using two differently prepared aqueous extracts of the brown algae Sargassum incisifolium. The efficiency of the extracts in producing nanoparticles were compared to commercially available brown algal fucoidans, a major constituent of brown algal aqueous extracts. The nanoparticles were characterised using TEM, XRD and UV/Vis spectroscopy and zeta potential measurements. The rate of nanoparticle formation was assessed using UV/Vis spectroscopy and related to the size, shape and morphology of the nanoparticles as revealed by TEM. The antioxidant, reducing power and total polyphenolic contents of the aqueous extracts and fucoidans were determined, revealing that the aqueous extracts with the highest contents produced smaller, spherical, more monodisperse nanoparticles at a faster rate. The nanoparticles were assessed against two gram-negative bacteria, two gram-positive bacteria and one yeast strain. In contrast to the literature, the silver nanoparticles produced using the aqueous extracts were particularly toxic to Gram-negative bacteria, while the gold nanoparticles lacked activity. The cytotoxic activity of the nanoparticles was also evaluated against cancerous (HT-29, MCF-7) and non-cancerous (MCF-12a) cell lines. The silver nanoparticles displayed selectivity, since the MCF-12a cell line was found to be resistant to the nanoparticles, while the cancerous HT-29 cell line was found to be sensitive (10% viability). The gold nanoparticles displayed negligible toxicity. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle
Janus Compounds, 5-Chloro-N4-methyl-N4-aryl-9H-pyrimido[4,5-b]indole-2,4-diamines, Cause Both Microtubule Depolymerizing and Stabilizing Effects
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1661; doi:10.3390/molecules21121661 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
While evaluating a large library of compounds designed to inhibit microtubule polymerization, we identified four compounds that have unique effects on microtubules. These compounds cause mixed effects reminiscent of both microtubule depolymerizers and stabilizers. Immunofluorescence evaluations showed that each compound initially caused microtubule
[...] Read more.
While evaluating a large library of compounds designed to inhibit microtubule polymerization, we identified four compounds that have unique effects on microtubules. These compounds cause mixed effects reminiscent of both microtubule depolymerizers and stabilizers. Immunofluorescence evaluations showed that each compound initially caused microtubule depolymerization and, surprisingly, with higher concentrations, microtubule bundles were also observed. There were subtle differences in the propensity to cause these competing effects among the compounds with a continuum of stabilizing and destabilizing effects. Tubulin polymerization experiments confirmed the differential effects and, while each of the compounds increased the initial rate of tubulin polymerization at high concentrations, total tubulin polymer was not enhanced at equilibrium, likely because of the dueling depolymerization effects. Modeling studies predict that the compounds bind to tubulin within the colchicine site and confirm that there are differences in their potential interactions that might underlie their distinct effects on microtubules. Due to their dual properties of microtubule stabilization and destabilization, we propose the name Janus for these compounds after the two-faced Roman god. The identification of synthetically tractable, small molecules that elicit microtubule stabilizing effects is a significant finding with the potential to identify new mechanisms of microtubule stabilization. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle
Bioactivities of a New Pyrrolidine Alkaloid from the Root Barks of Orixa japonica
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1665; doi:10.3390/molecules21121665 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A new pyrrolidine alkaloid named (Z)-3-(4-hydroxybenzylidene)-4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-1-methylpyrrolidin-2-one was isolated from the ethanol extract of the root barks of Orixa japonica. The structure of the new alkaloid was elucidated on the basis of NMR and MS analysis. The compound exhibited larvicidal activity against
[...] Read more.
A new pyrrolidine alkaloid named (Z)-3-(4-hydroxybenzylidene)-4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-1-methylpyrrolidin-2-one was isolated from the ethanol extract of the root barks of Orixa japonica. The structure of the new alkaloid was elucidated on the basis of NMR and MS analysis. The compound exhibited larvicidal activity against the fourth instar larvae of Aedes aegypti (LC50 = 232.09 μg/mL), Anopheles sinensis (LC50 = 49.91 μg/mL), and Culex pipiens pallens (LC50 = 161.10 μg/mL). The new alkaloid also possessed nematicidal activity against Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (LC50 = 391.50 μg/mL) and Meloidogynein congnita (LC50 = 134.51 μg/mL). The results indicate that the crude ethanol extract of O. japonica root barks and its isolated pyrrolidine alkaloid have potential for development into natural larvicides and nematicides. Full article
Figures

Open AccessReview
Carbon Nanodots as Peroxidase Nanozymes for Biosensing
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1653; doi:10.3390/molecules21121653 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
‘Nanozymes’, a term coined by Scrimin, Pasquato, and co-workers to describe nanomaterials with enzyme-like characteristics, represent an exciting and emerging research area in the field of artificial enzymes. Indubitably, the last decade has witnessed substantial advancements in the design of a variety of
[...] Read more.
‘Nanozymes’, a term coined by Scrimin, Pasquato, and co-workers to describe nanomaterials with enzyme-like characteristics, represent an exciting and emerging research area in the field of artificial enzymes. Indubitably, the last decade has witnessed substantial advancements in the design of a variety of functional nanoscale materials, including metal oxides and carbon-based nanomaterials, which mimic the structures and functions of naturally occurring enzymes. Among these, carbon nanodots (C-dots) or carbon quantum dots (CQDs) offer huge potential due to their unique properties as compared to natural enzymes and/or classical artificial enzymes. In this mini review, we discuss the peroxidase-like catalytic activities of C-dots and their applications in biosensing. The scope intends to cover not only the C-dots but also graphene quantum dots (GQDs), doped C-dots/GQDs, carbon nitride dots, and C-dots/GQDs nanocomposites. Nevertheless, this mini review is designed to be illustrative, not comprehensive. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Synthesis, Antiphospholipase A2, Antiprotease, Antibacterial Evaluation and Molecular Docking Analysis of Certain Novel Hydrazones
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1664; doi:10.3390/molecules21121664 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Some novel hydrazone derivatives 6ao were synthesized from the key intermediate 4-Chloro-N-(2-hydrazinocarbonyl-phenyl)-benzamide 5 and characterized using IR, 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, mass spectroscopy and elemental analysis. The inhibitory potential against two secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2), three
[...] Read more.
Some novel hydrazone derivatives 6ao were synthesized from the key intermediate 4-Chloro-N-(2-hydrazinocarbonyl-phenyl)-benzamide 5 and characterized using IR, 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, mass spectroscopy and elemental analysis. The inhibitory potential against two secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2), three protease enzymes and eleven bacterial strains were evaluated. The results revealed that all compounds showed preferential inhibition towards hGIIA isoform of sPLA2 rather than DrG-IB with compounds 6l and 6e being the most active. The tested compounds exhibited excellent antiprotease activity against proteinase K and protease from Bacillus sp. with compound 6l being the most active against both enzymes. Furthermore, the maximum zones of inhibition against bacterial growth were exhibited by compounds; 6a, 6m, and 6o against P. aeruginosa; 6a, 6b, 6d, 6f, 6l, 6m, 6n, and 6o against Serratia; 6k against S. mutans; and compounds 6a, 6d, 6e, 6m, and 6n against E. feacalis. The docking simulations of hydrazones 6ao with GIIA sPLA2, proteinase K and hydrazones 6ae with glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate transaminase were performed to obtain information regarding the mechanism of action. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Simple Precursor for Highly Functionalized Fused Imidazo[4,5-b]pyridines and Imidazo[4,5-b]-1,8-naphthyridine
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1646; doi:10.3390/molecules21121646 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
1-alkyl aryl-5-amino-4-(cyanoformimidoyl)imidazoles 4 were reacted with malononitrile and 2-amino-1,1,3-propenetricarbonitrile under mild experimental conditions, which led to 5-amino-3-(substituted benzyl)-6,7-dicyano-3H-imidazo[4,5-b]pyridines 5 and 6,8-diamino-3-(4-substituted benzyl)-3H-imidazo[4,5-b]-1,8-naphthyridine-7,9-dicarbonitrile 6, respectively, when the reaction was carried out in the absence of
[...] Read more.
1-alkyl aryl-5-amino-4-(cyanoformimidoyl)imidazoles 4 were reacted with malononitrile and 2-amino-1,1,3-propenetricarbonitrile under mild experimental conditions, which led to 5-amino-3-(substituted benzyl)-6,7-dicyano-3H-imidazo[4,5-b]pyridines 5 and 6,8-diamino-3-(4-substituted benzyl)-3H-imidazo[4,5-b]-1,8-naphthyridine-7,9-dicarbonitrile 6, respectively, when the reaction was carried out in the absence of a base, or to 5,7-diamino-3-(4-alkyl aryl)-3H-imidazo[4,5-b]pyridine-6-carbonitrile 8, and 6,8,9-triamino-3-(4-substitutedbenzyl)-3H-imidazo[4,5-b]-1,8-naphthyridine-7-carbonitrile 10 in the presence of 1,8-diazabicyclo(5.4.0)undec-7-ene (DBU). Both reactions evolved from an adduct formed by nucleophilic attack of the malononitrile anion or 2-amino-1,1,3-propenetricarbonitrile anion to the carbon of the cyanoformimidoyl substituent. In the case of the malononitrile anion, a 5-amino-1-alkyl aryl-4-(1-amino-2,2-dicyanovinyl)imidazole 7 was isolated when this reaction was carried out in the presence of DBU. The structure of compound 7 was confirmed by spectroscopic methods, and cyclized intramolecularly to 8 by heating in ethanol/triethyl amine. Full article
Figures

Scheme 1

Open AccessArticle
Pathway Analysis and Metabolites Identification by Metabolomics of Etiolation Substrate from Fresh-Cut Chinese Water Chestnut (Eleocharis tuberosa)
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1648; doi:10.3390/molecules21121648 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Fresh-cut Chinese water chestnuts (CWC) turn yellow after being peeled, reducing their shelf life and commercial value. Metabolomics, the systematic study of the full complement of small molecular metabolites, was useful for clarifying the mechanism of fresh-cut CWC etiolation and developing methods to
[...] Read more.
Fresh-cut Chinese water chestnuts (CWC) turn yellow after being peeled, reducing their shelf life and commercial value. Metabolomics, the systematic study of the full complement of small molecular metabolites, was useful for clarifying the mechanism of fresh-cut CWC etiolation and developing methods to inhibit yellowing. In this study, metabolic alterations associated with etiolation at different growth stages (0 day, 2 days, 3 days, 4 days, 5 days) from fresh-cut CWC were investigated using LC–MS and analyzed by pattern recognition methods (principal component analysis (PCA), partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA), and orthogonal projection to latent structures-discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA)). The metabolic pathways of the etiolation molecules were elucidated. The main metabolic pathway appears to be the conversion of phenylalanine to p-coumaroyl-CoA, followed by conversion to naringenin chalcone, to naringenin, and naringenin then following different pathways. Firstly, it can transform into apigenin and its derivatives; secondly, it can produce eriodictyol and its derivatives; and thirdly it can produce dihydrokaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin. The eriodictyol can be further transformed to luteolin, cyanidin, dihydroquercetin, dihydrotricetin, and others. This is the first reported use of metabolomics to study the metabolic pathways of the etiolation of fresh-cut CWC. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Alpha- and Beta-Cyclodextrin Inclusion Complexes with 5-Fluorouracil: Characterization and Cytotoxic Activity Evaluation
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1644; doi:10.3390/molecules21121644 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Cyclodextrins are natural macrocyclic oligosaccharides able to form inclusion complexes with a wide variety of guests, affecting their physicochemical and pharmaceutical properties. In order to obtain an improvement of the bioavailability and solubility of 5-fluorouracil, a pyrimidine analogue used as chemotherapeutic agent in
[...] Read more.
Cyclodextrins are natural macrocyclic oligosaccharides able to form inclusion complexes with a wide variety of guests, affecting their physicochemical and pharmaceutical properties. In order to obtain an improvement of the bioavailability and solubility of 5-fluorouracil, a pyrimidine analogue used as chemotherapeutic agent in the treatment of the colon, liver, and stomac cancers, the drug was complexed with alpha- and beta-cyclodextrin. The inclusion complexes were prepared in the solid state by kneading method and characterized by Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and X-ray powder diffractometry. In solution, the 1:1 stoichiometry for all the inclusion complexes was established by the Job plot method and the binding constants were determined at different pHs by UV-VIS titration. Furthermore, the cytotoxic activity of 5-fluorouracil and its complexation products were evaluated using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay on MCF-7 (breast cancer cell line), Hep G2 (hepatocyte carcinoma cell line), Caco-2 (colon adenocarcinoma cell line), and A-549 (alveolar basal epithelial carcinoma cell line). The results showed that both inclusion complexes increased the 5-fluorouracil capability of inhibiting cell growth. In particular, 5-fluorouracil complexed with beta-cyclodextrin had the highest cytotoxic activity on MCF-7; with alpha-cyclodextrin the highest cytotoxic activity was observed on A-549. The IC50 values were equal to 31 and 73 µM at 72 h, respectively. Our results underline the possibility of using these inclusion complexes in pharmaceutical formulations for improving 5-fluorouracil therapeutic efficacy. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Steric and Stereochemical Modulation in Pyridyl- and Quinolyl-Containing Ligands
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1647; doi:10.3390/molecules21121647 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Nitrogen-containing pyridine and quinoline are outstanding platforms on which excellent ionophores and sensors for metal ions can be built. Steric and stereochemical effects can be used to modulate the affinity and selectivity of such ligands toward different metal ions on the coordination chemistry
[...] Read more.
Nitrogen-containing pyridine and quinoline are outstanding platforms on which excellent ionophores and sensors for metal ions can be built. Steric and stereochemical effects can be used to modulate the affinity and selectivity of such ligands toward different metal ions on the coordination chemistry front. On the signal transduction front, such effects can also be used to modulate optical responses of these ligands in metal sensing systems. In this review, steric modulation of achiral ligands and stereochemical modulation in chiral ligands, especially ionophores and sensors for zinc, copper, silver, and mercury, are examined using published structural and spectral data. Although it might be more challenging to construct chiral ligands than achiral ones, isotropic and anisotropic absorption signals from a single chiroptical fluorescent sensor provide not only detection but also differentiation of multiple analytes with high selectivity. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessEditorial
Dr. Kenneth A. Jacobson: First Winner of the Tu Youyou Award, in Honor of the Co-Recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1656; doi:10.3390/molecules21121656 (registering DOI) -