Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Tuberculostatic Activity Evaluation of Novel Benzazoles with Alkyl, Cycloalkyl or Pyridine Moiety
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 985; doi:10.3390/molecules23040985 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Compounds possessing benzimidazole system exhibit significant antituberculous activity. In order to examine how structure modifications affect tuberculostatic activity, a series of benzazole derivatives were synthesized and screened for their antitubercular activity. The compounds 120 were obtained by the reaction between o
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Compounds possessing benzimidazole system exhibit significant antituberculous activity. In order to examine how structure modifications affect tuberculostatic activity, a series of benzazole derivatives were synthesized and screened for their antitubercular activity. The compounds 120 were obtained by the reaction between o-diamine, o-aminophenol, or o-aminothiophenol with carboxylic acids or thioamides. The newly synthesized compounds were characterized by IR, 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR spectra, and elemental analysis. Synthesized benzazoles were evaluated for their tuberculostatic activity toward Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains. Quantum chemical calculations were performed to study the molecular geometry and the electronic structure of benzimidazoles GK-151B, 4, 6, and benzoxazole 11, using the Gaussian 03W software (Gaussian, Inc., Wallingford, CT, USA). Three-dimensional structure of benzimidazoles 13, MC-9, and GK-151B was determined by ab initiocalculationusing Gamess-US software. The activity of the received benzimidazoles was moderate or good. All of the benzoxazoles and benzothiazoles demonstrated much lower activity. Benzoxazoles were less active by about 50 times, and benzothiazole by 100 times than the benzimidazole analogs. Quantum chemical calculations showed differences in the distribution of electrostatic potential in the benzazole system of benzimidazoles and benzoxazoles. Three-dimensional structure calculations revealed how the parity of the alkyl substituent at the C2 position impacts the activity. Benzimidazole system is essential for the antituberculosis activity that is associated with the presence of the imine nitrogen atom in N-1 position. Its replacement by an oxygen or sulfur atom results in a decrease of the activity. The parity of the alkyl substituent at the C-2 position also modifies the activity. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Quantitative Analysis of Four Catechins from Green Tea Extract in Human Plasma Using Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry for Pharmacokinetic Studies
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 984; doi:10.3390/molecules23040984 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Green tea is consumed as a beverage worldwide and has beneficial effects, such as a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. A quantitative analysis of the beneficial components in plasma is important for understanding the potential health benefits of green tea. Four
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Green tea is consumed as a beverage worldwide and has beneficial effects, such as a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. A quantitative analysis of the beneficial components in plasma is important for understanding the potential health benefits of green tea. Four catechins—epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG), epigallocatechin (EGC), and epicatechin (EC)—which account for the majority of the components of green tea, were analyzed by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). In this study, a validated method was optimized to obtain the blood concentrations after the one-time ingestion of 630 mg green tea extract with digoxin and then after the ingestion of 630 mg green tea repeatedly for 15 days. The calibration curve, including the LLOQ, was constructed over 1–500 ng/mL for EGCG, ECG, and EGC and 0.1–50 ng/mL for EC. The method for inter- and intra-validation was applied, acceptable for both accuracy and precision. We successfully developed an appropriate UPLC-MS/MS method for human plasma with good reproducibility and sensitivity. Thus, this method could be applied for future preclinical and clinical studies on EGCG, ECG, EGC, and EC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Plasma and Salivary Non-Urate Total Antioxidant Capacity Does Not Depend on Dietary Vitamin C, E, or β-Carotene Intake in Older Subjects
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 983; doi:10.3390/molecules23040983 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The native Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC) of plasma and saliva is generally determined by uric acid (UA). Several studies have assessed the impact of habitual dietary antioxidative vitamin intake on TAC, but it remains unknown whether it influences Non-Urate Total Antioxidant Capacity (Nu-TAC),
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The native Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC) of plasma and saliva is generally determined by uric acid (UA). Several studies have assessed the impact of habitual dietary antioxidative vitamin intake on TAC, but it remains unknown whether it influences Non-Urate Total Antioxidant Capacity (Nu-TAC), i.e., TAC after enzymatic UA elimination. The purpose of this study was to assess whether the intake of antioxidative vitamins C, E, and β-carotene, provided with usual daily food rations, affects plasma and salivary Nu-TAC. The study involved 56 older subjects (aged 66.9 ± 4.3 years), divided into two age- and sex-matched groups: group 1 (n = 28), with lower combined vitamin C, E, and β-carotene intake, and group 2 (n = 28), with higher intake. A 24 h dietary recall was obtained from each individual. Nu-TAC was assessed simultaneously with two methods in plasma (Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma—Nu-FRAP, 2.2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl—Nu-DPPH) and in saliva (Nu-FRAS and Nu-DPPHS test). No differences were found in the Nu-TAC parameters between the groups, either in plasma (Nu-FRAP, Nu-DPPH) or in saliva (Nu-FRAS, Nu-DPPHS) (p > 0.05). No plasma or salivary Nu-TAC indices correlated with dietary vitamin C, E, or β-carotene intake or with other nutrients. Habitual, not extra-supplemented dietary intake does not significantly affect plasma or salivary Nu-TAC. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Triamcinolone Acetonide-Loaded Nanostructured Lipid Carriers (NLCs) for Buccal Drug Delivery Using the Box-Behnken Design
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 982; doi:10.3390/molecules23040982 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The aim of this present work was to prepare triamcinolone acetonide (TA)-loaded nanostructured lipid carriers (TA-loaded NLCs) for buccal drug delivery systems using the Box-Behnken design. A hot homogenization method was used to prepare the TA-loaded NLCs. Spermaceti (X1), soybean oil
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The aim of this present work was to prepare triamcinolone acetonide (TA)-loaded nanostructured lipid carriers (TA-loaded NLCs) for buccal drug delivery systems using the Box-Behnken design. A hot homogenization method was used to prepare the TA-loaded NLCs. Spermaceti (X1), soybean oil (X2), and Tween 80 (X3) were used as solid lipid, liquid lipid, and stabilizer, respectively. The particle size of TA-loaded NLCs was lower than 200 nm and the zeta potential displayed the negative charge in all formulations. The percentage encapsulation efficiency (%EE) of the TA-loaded NLCs showed that it was higher than 80% for all formulations. Field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) confirmed that the size of TA-loaded NLCs was approximately 100 nm and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) confirmed that the TA could be incorporated in the NLC system. The Higuchi model gave the highest value of the R2, indicating that this model was a fit for the TA release profiles of TA-loaded NLCs. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) was used to observe the drug penetration within the porcine buccal mucosa and Nile red-loaded NLCs showed significantly higher penetration depth at 8 h than at 2 h. Therefore, TA-loaded NLCs could be an efficient carrier for drug delivery through the buccal mucosa. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis of a 1,2-Dithienylethene-Containing Donor-Acceptor Polymer via Palladium-Catalyzed Direct Arylation Polymerization (DArP)
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 981; doi:10.3390/molecules23040981 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This paper reports the synthesis of D-A polymers containing 1,2-dithienylethene (DTE) units via palladium-catalyzed direct arylation polymerization (DArP). The reaction of dibromoisoindigo (1-Br) and DTE (2-H), in the presence of Pd2(dba)3·CHCl
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This paper reports the synthesis of D-A polymers containing 1,2-dithienylethene (DTE) units via palladium-catalyzed direct arylation polymerization (DArP). The reaction of dibromoisoindigo (1-Br) and DTE (2-H), in the presence of Pd2(dba)3·CHCl3 (0.5 mol%), P(2-MeOC6H4)3 (L1) (2 mol%), pivalic acid (1 equiv) as catalyst precursors, and Cs2CO3 (3 equiv) as a base affords poly(1-alt-2) with a high molecular weight (Mn up to 44,900). Although, it has been known that monomers, with plural C–H bonds, tend to form insoluble materials via direct arylation at undesirable C–H positions; the reaction of 1-Br and 2-H cleanly proceeds without insolubilization. The resulting polymer has a well-controlled structure and exhibits good charge transfer characteristics in an organic field-effect transistor (OFET), compared to the polymer produced by Migita–Kosugi–Stille cross-coupling polymerization. The DArP product displays an ideal linear relationship in the current–voltage curve, whereas the Migita–Kosugi–Stille product shows a VG-dependent change in the charge mobility. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditorial
Biomedical Applications of Polylactide (PLA) and Its Copolymers
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 980; doi:10.3390/molecules23040980 (registering DOI) -
Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication
In(III)-TMSBr-Catalyzed Cascade Reaction of Diarylalkynes with Acrylates for the Synthesis of Aryldihydronaphthalene Derivatives
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 979; doi:10.3390/molecules23040979 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A combined Lewis acid system comprising of two or more Lewis acids occasionally exhibits augmented catalytic activity in organic transformations which are otherwise unrealizable by either of the components exclusively. On the other hand, the efficient construction of multiple new C-C bonds and
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A combined Lewis acid system comprising of two or more Lewis acids occasionally exhibits augmented catalytic activity in organic transformations which are otherwise unrealizable by either of the components exclusively. On the other hand, the efficient construction of multiple new C-C bonds and polycyclic structures in minimal steps remains a subject of great interest in both academia and industry. Herein we report an efficient method to assemble aryldihydronaphthalene derivatives via a cascade reaction of diarylalkynes with acrylates under the catalysis of a combined Lewis acid derived from In(III) salt and TMSBr. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Anti-Helicobacter, Antitubercular and Cytotoxic Activities of Scalaranes from the Red Sea Sponge Hyrtios erectus
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 978; doi:10.3390/molecules23040978 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The Red Sea specimen of the marine sponge Hyrtios erectus (order Dictyoceratida) was found to contain scalarane-type sesterterpenes. 12-O-deacetyl-12,19-di-epi-scalarin (14), a new scalarane sesterterpenoid, along with fourteen previously-reported scalarane-type sesterterpenes (113 and 15)
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The Red Sea specimen of the marine sponge Hyrtios erectus (order Dictyoceratida) was found to contain scalarane-type sesterterpenes. 12-O-deacetyl-12,19-di-epi-scalarin (14), a new scalarane sesterterpenoid, along with fourteen previously-reported scalarane-type sesterterpenes (113 and 15) have been isolated. The chemical structures of the isolated compounds were elucidated on the basis of detailed 1D and 2D NMR spectral data and mass spectroscopy, as well as by comparison with reported data. The anti-Helicobacter pylori, antitubercular and cytotoxic activities of all fifteen compounds were evaluated to reveal the potency of Compounds 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 10. Amongst these, Compounds 1, 3, 4, 6 and 10 displayed a promising bioactivity profile, possessing potent activities in the antitubercular and anti-H. pylori bioassay. Compounds 2 and 7 showed the most promising cytotoxic profile, while Compounds 1 and 10 showed a moderate cytotoxic profile against MCF-7, HCT-116 and HepG2 cell lines. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Inhibitor Discovery of Staphylococcus aureus Sortase B and the Mechanism Confirmation via Molecular Modeling
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 977; doi:10.3390/molecules23040977 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
SortaseB (SrtB) plays a critical role in Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) infections. According to the reports in the literature, SrtB can anchor the IsdC to the cell wall to capture iron from the host to achieve a successful invasion. On the
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SortaseB (SrtB) plays a critical role in Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) infections. According to the reports in the literature, SrtB can anchor the IsdC to the cell wall to capture iron from the host to achieve a successful invasion. On the other hand, SrtB could also affect the adhesion of S. aureus to host cells based on previous studies. Here, we report about a novel SrtB inhibitor, coptisine, a natural compound that does not exhibit antibacterial activity but can inhibit the SrtB activity in vitro. A cytotoxicity test indicated that coptisine protects human lung epithelial cells from S. aureus. In addition, coptisine can reduce the adhesion of S. aureus to human lung epithelial cells based on the result of plate colony counting assay. Molecular dynamics simulation revealed that coptisine can bind to the active pocket of SrtB, leading to its activity loss. Through the calculation of binding free energy between ligand and protein, site-directed mutagenesis and fluorescence spectroscopy quenching methods, it was confirmed that residues of Arg115, Asn116, and Ile182 played a vital role in the interaction of SrtB with coptisine. These data provide the theoretical basis for the therapy option to the infections caused by S. aureus.Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Convenient Synthesis of Thiohydantoins, Imidazole-2-thiones and Imidazo[2,1-b]thiazol-4-iums from Polymer-Supported α-Acylamino Ketones
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 976; doi:10.3390/molecules23040976 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The preparation of 5-methylene-thiohydantoins using solid-phase synthesis is reported in this paper. After sulfonylation of immobilized Ser (t-Bu)-OH with 4-nitrobenzenesulfonyl chloride followed by alkylation with various bromoketones, the 4-Nos group was removed and the resulting polymer-supported α-acylamino ketones reacted with Fmoc-isothiocyanate.
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The preparation of 5-methylene-thiohydantoins using solid-phase synthesis is reported in this paper. After sulfonylation of immobilized Ser (t-Bu)-OH with 4-nitrobenzenesulfonyl chloride followed by alkylation with various bromoketones, the 4-Nos group was removed and the resulting polymer-supported α-acylamino ketones reacted with Fmoc-isothiocyanate. Cleavage of the Fmoc protecting group was followed by the spontaneous cyclative cleavage releasing the 5-methylene-thiohydantoin derivatives from the polymer support. Reduction with triethylsilane (TES) yielded the corresponding 5-methyl-thiohydantoins. When Fmoc-isothiocyanate was replaced with alkyl isothiocyanates, the trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) mediated cleavage from the polymer support, which was followed by the cyclization reaction and the imidazo[2,1-b]thiazol-4-iums were obtained. Their conversion in deuterated dimethylsulfoxide led to imidazole-2-thiones. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Study on the Bactericidal Mechanism of Atmospheric-Pressure Low-Temperature Plasma against Escherichia coli and Its Application in Fresh-Cut Cucumbers
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 975; doi:10.3390/molecules23040975 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Atmospheric-pressure low-temperature plasma (APLTP) was used to study the bactericidal mechanism against Escherichia coli (E. coli) and its application in the sterilization of fresh-cut cucumbers. The morphological changes of E. coli cells subjected to APLTP were observed by scanning electron microscopy
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Atmospheric-pressure low-temperature plasma (APLTP) was used to study the bactericidal mechanism against Escherichia coli (E. coli) and its application in the sterilization of fresh-cut cucumbers. The morphological changes of E. coli cells subjected to APLTP were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Cell death was evaluated by fluorescence microscopy (FM). Cell membrane permeability was measured by conductivity changes, and the amount of soluble protein leakage in the bacterial supernatant was determined by measurement of protein concentration. Additionally, the effects of APLTP on the physicochemical and sensory quality of fresh-cut cucumber were studied by assessing the changes of moisture content, soluble solid content (SSC), pH value, color, relative conductivity, malondialdehyde (MDA) level, vitamin C (Vc) content, aroma composition and microstructure. The results showed that the E. coli cell morphology was changed due to the charged particles and active components produced by APLTP. The E. coli cell wall and cell membrane ruptured, cell content leaked out, cells lost the ability to reproduce and self-replicate, and the function of cell metabolism was directly affected and led to E. coli inactivation. In addition, there was no significant effect on physicochemical properties and sensory quality of fresh-cut cucumbers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Application of the Response Surface Methodology to Optimize the Fermentation Parameters for Enhanced Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Production by Thraustochytrium sp. ATCC 26185
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 974; doi:10.3390/molecules23040974 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the cumulative effect of fermentation parameters and enhance the production of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) by Thraustochytrium sp. ATCC 26185 using response surface methodology (RSM). Among the eight variables screened for effects of fermentation parameters on
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The aim of this study was to determine the cumulative effect of fermentation parameters and enhance the production of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) by Thraustochytrium sp. ATCC 26185 using response surface methodology (RSM). Among the eight variables screened for effects of fermentation parameters on DHA production by Plackett-Burman design (PBD), the initial pH, inoculum volume, and fermentation volume were found to be most significant. The Box-Behnken design was applied to derive a statistical model for optimizing these three fermentation parameters for DHA production. The optimal parameters for maximum DHA production were initial pH: 6.89, inoculum volume: 4.16%, and fermentation volume: 140.47 mL, respectively. The maximum yield of DHA production was 1.68 g/L, which was in agreement with predicted values. An increase in DHA production was achieved by optimizing the initial pH, fermentation, and inoculum volume parameters. This optimization strategy led to a significant increase in the amount of DHA produced, from 1.16 g/L to 1.68 g/L. Thraustochytrium sp. ATCC 26185 is a promising resource for microbial DHA production due to the high-level yield of DHA that it produces, and the capacity for large-scale fermentation of this organism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antioxidant and Cytoprotective Effects of Kukoamines A and B: Comparison and Positional Isomeric Effect
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 973; doi:10.3390/molecules23040973 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this study, two natural phenolic polyamines, kukoamine A and B, were comparatively investigated for their antioxidant and cytoprotective effects in Fenton-damaged bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (bmMSCs). When compared with kukoamine B, kukoamine A consistently demonstrated higher IC50 values in PTIO•-scavenging
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In this study, two natural phenolic polyamines, kukoamine A and B, were comparatively investigated for their antioxidant and cytoprotective effects in Fenton-damaged bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (bmMSCs). When compared with kukoamine B, kukoamine A consistently demonstrated higher IC50 values in PTIO•-scavenging (pH 7.4), Cu2+-reducing, DPPH•-scavenging, •O2-scavenging, and •OH-scavenging assays. However, in the PTIO•-scavenging assay, the IC50 values of each kukoamine varied with pH value. In the Fe2+-chelating assay, kukoamine B presented greater UV-Vis absorption and darker color than kukoamine A. In the HPLC–ESI–MS/MS analysis, kukoamine A with DPPH• produced radical-adduct-formation (RAF) peaks (m/z 922 and 713). The 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl (MTT) assay suggested that both kukoamines concentration-dependently increased the viabilities of Fenton-damaged bmMSCs at 56.5–188.4 μM. However, kukoamine A showed lower viability percentages than kukoamine B. In conclusion, the two isomers kukoamine A and B can protect bmMSCs from Fenton-induced damage, possibly through direct or indirect antioxidant pathways, including electron-transfer, proton-transfer, hydrogen atom transfer, RAF, and Fe2+-chelating. Since kukoamine B possesses higher potentials than kukoamine A in these pathways, kukoamine B is thus superior to kukoamine A in terms of cytoprotection. These differences can ultimately be attributed to positional isomeric effects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Chinese Herbal Medicines on the Quorum Sensing-Regulated Virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 972; doi:10.3390/molecules23040972 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The quorum sensing (QS) system has been used by many opportunistic pathogenic bacteria to coordinate their virulence determinants in relation to cell-population density. As antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise, interference with QS has been regarded as a novel way to control bacterial
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The quorum sensing (QS) system has been used by many opportunistic pathogenic bacteria to coordinate their virulence determinants in relation to cell-population density. As antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise, interference with QS has been regarded as a novel way to control bacterial infections. As such, many plant-based natural products have been widely explored for their therapeutic roles. These natural products may contain anti-QS compounds that could block QS signals generation or transmission to combat QS pathogens. In this study, we report the anti-QS activities of four different Chinese herbal plant extracts: Poria cum Radix pini, Angelica dahurica, Rhizoma cibotii and Schizonepeta tenuifolia, on Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. All the plants extracted using hexane, chloroform and methanol were tested and found to impair swarming motility and pyocyanin production in P.aeruginosa PAO1, particularly by Poria cum Radix pini. In addition, all the plant extracts also inhibited violacein production in C.violaceum CV026 up to 50% while bioluminescence activities were reduced in lux-based E. coli biosensors, pSB401 and pSB1075, up to about 57%. These anti-QS properties of the four medicinal plants are the first documentation that demonstrates a potential approach to attenuate pathogens’ virulence determinants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Manganese Chloride’s Effect on Biosynthetic Properties of In Vitro Cultures of Eschscholzia californica Cham.
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 971; doi:10.3390/molecules23040971 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The basal production of secondary metabolites in medicinal plants is limited. One of the effective approaches that encourages plants to produce a remarkable amount of precious compounds is an application of elicitors. Our work was focused on the elicitation of Eschscholzia californica Cham.
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The basal production of secondary metabolites in medicinal plants is limited. One of the effective approaches that encourages plants to produce a remarkable amount of precious compounds is an application of elicitors. Our work was focused on the elicitation of Eschscholzia californica Cham. suspension cultures using various concentrations of MnCl2 (5; 10; 15 mg/L) with the aim of evaluating its effect on sanguinarine, chelerythrine, and macarpine production and gene expression of enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of mentioned secondary metabolites (BBE, 4′-OMT, CYP80B1) or in defense processes (LOX). Suspension cultures were exposed to elicitor for 24, 48, and 72 h. The content of alkaloids in phytomass was determined on the basis of their fluorescence properties. The relative mRNA expression of selected genes was analyzed using the ΔΔCt value method. PCR products were evaluated by melting curve analysis to confirm the specific amplification. Our results demonstrated that Eschscholzia californica Cham. cell suspension cultures evince sensitivity to the presence of MnCl2 in growth media resulting in the increased production of benzophenanthridine alkaloids and gene expression of selected enzymes. Manganese chloride seems to be a potential elicitor supporting natural biosynthetic properties in plant cell cultures and can be applied for the sustained production of valuable secondary metabolites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Microbial Oxidation of the Fusidic Acid Side Chain by Cunninghamella echinulata
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 970; doi:10.3390/molecules23040970 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Biotransformation of fusidic acid (1) was accomplished using a battery of microorganisms including Cunninghamella echinulata NRRL 1382, which converted fusidic acid (1) into three new metabolites 24 and the known metabolite 5. These metabolites were identified
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Biotransformation of fusidic acid (1) was accomplished using a battery of microorganisms including Cunninghamella echinulata NRRL 1382, which converted fusidic acid (1) into three new metabolites 24 and the known metabolite 5. These metabolites were identified using 1D and 2D NMR and HRESI-FTMS data. Structural assignment of the compounds was supported via computation of 1H- and 13C-NMR chemical shifts. Compounds 2 and 3 were assigned as the 27-hydroxy and 26-hydroxy derivatives of fusidic acid, respectively. Subsequent oxidation of 3 afforded aldehyde 4 and the dicarboxylic acid 5. Compounds 2, 4 and 5 were screened for antimicrobial activity against different Gram positive and negative bacteria, Mycobacterium smegmatis, M. intercellulare and Candida albicans. The compounds showed lower activity compared to fusidic acid against the tested strains. Molecular docking studies were carried out to assist the structural assignments and predict the binding modes of the metabolites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Self-Assembly Behavior of Amphiphilic Janus Dendrimers in Water: A Combined Experimental and Coarse-Grained Molecular Dynamics Simulation Approach
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 969; doi:10.3390/molecules23040969 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Amphiphilic Janus dendrimers (JDs) are repetitively branched molecules with hydrophilic and hydrophobic components that self-assemble in water to form a variety of morphologies, including vesicles analogous to liposomes with potential pharmaceutical and medical application. To date, the self-assembly of JDs has not been
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Amphiphilic Janus dendrimers (JDs) are repetitively branched molecules with hydrophilic and hydrophobic components that self-assemble in water to form a variety of morphologies, including vesicles analogous to liposomes with potential pharmaceutical and medical application. To date, the self-assembly of JDs has not been fully investigated thus it is important to gain insight into its mechanism and dependence on JDs’ molecular structure. In this study, the aggregation behavior in water of a second-generation bis-MPA JD was evaluated using experimental and computational methods. Dispersions of JDs in water were carried out using the thin-film hydration and ethanol injection methods. Resulting assemblies were characterized by dynamic light scattering, confocal microscopy, and atomic force microscopy. Furthermore, a coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CG-MD) simulation was performed to study the mechanism of JDs aggregation. The obtaining of assemblies in water with no interdigitated bilayers was confirmed by the experimental characterization and CG-MD simulation. Assemblies with dendrimersome characteristics were obtained using the ethanol injection method. The results of this study establish a relationship between the molecular structure of the JD and the properties of its aggregates in water. Thus, our findings could be relevant for the design of novel JDs with tailored assemblies suitable for drug delivery systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation on Species Authenticity for Herbal Products of Celastrus Orbiculatus and Tripterygum Wilfordii from Markets Using ITS2 Barcoding
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 967; doi:10.3390/molecules23040967 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Herbal material is both a medicine and a commodity. Accurate identification of herbal materials is necessary to ensure the safety and effectiveness of medication. With this work, we initiated an identification method to investigate the species authenticity for herbal products of Celastrus orbiculatus
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Herbal material is both a medicine and a commodity. Accurate identification of herbal materials is necessary to ensure the safety and effectiveness of medication. With this work, we initiated an identification method to investigate the species authenticity for herbal products of Celastrus orbiculatus and Tripterygum wilfordii utilizing DNA barcoding technology. An ITS2 (internal transcribed spacer two) barcode database including 59 sequences was successfully established to estimate the reliability of species-level identification for Celastrus and Tripterygium. Our findings showed that ITS2 can effectively and clearly distinguish C. orbiculatus, T. wilfordii and its congeners. Then, we investigated the proportions and varieties of adulterant species in the herbal markets. The data from ITS2 region indicated that 13 (62%) of the 21 samples labeled as “Nan-she-teng” and eight (31%) of the 26 samples labeled as “Lei-gong-teng” were authentic; the remaining were adulterants. Of the 47 herbal products, approximately 55% of the product identity were not in accordance with the label. In summary, we support the efficacy of the ITS2 barcode for the traceability of C. orbiculatus and T. wilfordii, and the present study provides one method and reference for the identification of the herbal materials and adulterants in the medicinal markets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Co-Localization of Crotamine with Internal Membranes and Accentuated Accumulation in Tumor Cells
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 968; doi:10.3390/molecules23040968 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Crotamine is a highly cationic; cysteine rich, cross-linked, low molecular mass cell penetrating peptide (CPP) from the venom of the South American rattlesnake. Potential application of crotamine in biomedicine may require its large-scale purification. To overcome difficulties related with the purification of natural
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Crotamine is a highly cationic; cysteine rich, cross-linked, low molecular mass cell penetrating peptide (CPP) from the venom of the South American rattlesnake. Potential application of crotamine in biomedicine may require its large-scale purification. To overcome difficulties related with the purification of natural crotamine (nCrot) we aimed in the present study to synthesize and characterize a crotamine analog (sCrot) as well investigate its CPP activity. Mass spectrometry analysis demonstrates that sCrot and nCrot have equal molecular mass and biological function—the capacity to induce spastic paralysis in the hind limbs in mice. sCrot CPP activity was evaluated in a wide range of tumor and non-tumor cell tests performed at different time points. We demonstrate that sCrot-Cy3 showed distinct co-localization patterns with intracellular membranes inside the tumor and non-tumor cells. Time-lapse microscopy and quantification of sCrot-Cy3 fluorescence signalss in living tumor versus non-tumor cells revealed a significant statistical difference in the fluorescence intensity observed in tumor cells. These data suggest a possible use of sCrot as a molecular probe for tumor cells, as well as, for the selective delivery of anticancer molecules into these tumors. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Dentromers, a Family of Super Dendrimers with Specific Properties and Applications
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 966; doi:10.3390/molecules23040966 -
Abstract
Dentromers (from dentro, δεντρο: tree in Greek), and meros (μεροσ, in greek: part) are introduced as a family of dendrimers constructed according to successive divergent 1 → 3 branching. The smaller dentromers have 27 terminal branches. With alcohol termini they were originally
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Dentromers (from dentro, δεντρο: tree in Greek), and meros (μεροσ, in greek: part) are introduced as a family of dendrimers constructed according to successive divergent 1 → 3 branching. The smaller dentromers have 27 terminal branches. With alcohol termini they were originally named arborols by Newkome, who pioneered 1 → 3 constructions of dendrimers and dendrons. Giant dentromers have been constructed and decorated in particular with ferrocene and other redox active groups. The synthesis, specific properties, and applications are examined in this mini review article dedicated to Don Tomalia, with an emphasis on dense peripheral packing favoring the functions of encapsulation, redox sensing, and micellar template for catalysis in water and aqueous solvents. Full article
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