Molecules2014, 19(9), 14528-14541; doi:10.3390/molecules190914528 (registering DOI) - published 12 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Plant bioactives -gingerol (GING), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and asiaticoside (AS) and vitamin E, such as tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF), have been reported to possess anticancer activity. In this study, we investigated the apoptotic properties of these bioactive compounds alone or in combination on glioma cancer cells. TRF, GING, EGCG and AS were tested for cytotoxicity on glioma cell lines 1321N1 (Grade II), SW1783 (Grade III) and LN18 (Grade IV) in culture by the (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxy-phenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt) (MTS) assay. With the exception of AS, combinations of two compounds were tested, and the interactions of each combination were evaluated by the combination index (CI) using an isobologram. Different grades of glioma cancer cells showed different cytotoxic responses to the compounds, where in 1321N1 and LN18 cells, the combination of EGCG + GING exhibited a synergistic effect with CI = 0.77 and CI = 0.55, respectively. In contrast, all combinations tested (TRF + GING, TRF + EGCG and EGCG + GING) were found to be antagonistic on SW1783 with CI values of 1.29, 1.39 and 1.39, respectively. Combined EGCG + GING induced apoptosis in both 1321N1 and LN18 cells, as evidenced by Annexin-V FITC/PI staining and increased active caspase-3. Our current data suggests that the combination of EGCG + GING synergistically induced apoptosis and inhibits the proliferation 1321N1 and LN18 cells, but not SW1783 cells, which may be due to their different genetic profiles.
Molecules2014, 19(9), 14496-14527; doi:10.3390/molecules190914496 (registering DOI) - published 12 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases are characterized by an enhanced state of oxidative stress, which may result from the overproduction of reactive species and/or a decrease in antioxidant defenses. The search for new chemical entities with antioxidant profile is still thus an emerging field on ongoing interest. Due to the lack of reviews concerning the antioxidant activity of lichen-derived natural compounds, we performed a review of the antioxidant potential and mechanisms of action of natural compounds isolated from lichens. The search terms “lichens”, “antioxidants” and “antioxidant response elements” were used to retrieve articles in LILACS, PubMed and Web of Science published until February 2014. From a total of 319 articles surveyed, 32 met the established inclusion and exclusion criteria. It was observed that the most common isolated compound studied was usnic acid, cited in 14 out of the 32 articles. The most often described antioxidant assays for the study of in vitro antioxidant activity were mainly DPPH, LPO and SOD. The most suggested mechanisms of action were scavenging of reactive species, enzymatic activation and inhibition of iNOS. Thus, compounds isolated from lichens are possible candidates for the management of oxidative stress, and may be useful in the treatment of chronic diseases.
Molecules2014, 19(9), 14484-14495; doi:10.3390/molecules190914484 (registering DOI) - published 12 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The structural chemistry of proanthocyanidin molecules has been investigated in temperate zone plants, but few studies have been done with plants of the Amazonian lowland tropical wet forests where herbivore pressure is more extensive and diverse. Using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, we report unique properties of the proanthocyanidin structural chemistry in two neotropical Cecropia species, C. polystachya, a myrmecophyte with mutualistic ants, and C. sciadophylla, a non-myrmecophyte lacking mutualistic ants. Our preliminary data suggests the presence of reportedly uncommon propelargonidin subunits in a majority of proanthocyanidin oligomers. The presence of 3-O-gallate proanthocyanidin monomers was also detected in the mass spectra of both species. Unlike other studies that have examined species growing at higher latitudes, oligomers composed of procyanidin, propelargonidin, and their 3-O-gallates were present in both Cecropia species while the presence of oligomers containing prodelphinidin units were absent or at lower levels. These distinctive features may suggest that proanthocyanidins in some tropical plant species may be an untapped source of proanthocyanidin structural complexity that warrants further investigation. Several differences between spectra of the two Cecropia species could also point to the presence of anti-herbivore defense tradeoffs between chemical defense quality and biotic defense between the two species.
Molecules2014, 19(9), 14461-14483; doi:10.3390/molecules190914461 (registering DOI) - published 12 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The use of chemical ligation within the realm of peptide chemistry has opened various opportunities to expand the applications of peptides/proteins in biological sciences. Expansion and refinement of ligation chemistry has made it possible for the entry of peptides into the world of viable oral therapeutic drugs through peptide backbone cyclization. This progression has been a journey of chemical exploration and transition, leading to the dominance of native chemical ligation in the present advances of peptide/protein applications. Here we illustrate and explore the historical and current nature of peptide ligation, providing a clear indication to the possibilities and use of these novel methods to take peptides outside their typically defined boundaries.
Molecules2014, 19(9), 14446-14460; doi:10.3390/molecules190914446 (registering DOI) - published 12 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Intramolecular hydrogen bond (HB) formation was analyzed in the model compounds N-(2-benzoylphenyl)acetamide, N-(2-benzoylphenyl)oxalamate and N1,N2-bis(2-benzoylphenyl)oxalamide. The formation of three-center hydrogen bonds in oxalyl derivatives was demonstrated in the solid state by the X-ray diffraction analysis of the geometric parameters associated with the molecular structures. The solvent effect on the chemical shift of H6 [δH6(DMSO-d6)–δH6(CDCl3)] and Δδ(ΝΗ)/ΔT measurements, in DMSO-d6 as solvent, have been used to establish the energetics associated with intramolecular hydrogen bonding. Two center intramolecular HB is not allowed in N-(2-benzoylphenyl)acetamide either in the solid state or in DMSO-d6 solution because of the unfavorable steric effects of the o-benzoyl group. The estimated ΔHº and ΔSº values for the hydrogen bonding disruption by DMSO-d6 of 28.3(0.1) kJ·mol−1 and 69.1(0.4) J·mol−1·K−1 for oxalamide, are in agreement with intramolecular three-center hydrogen bonding in solution. In the solid, the benzoyl group contributes to develop 1-D and 2-D crystal networks, through C–H∙∙∙A (A = O, π) and dipolar C=O∙∙∙A (A = CO, π) interactions, in oxalyl derivatives. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example where three-center hydrogen bond is claimed to overcome steric constraints.
Molecules2014, 19(9), 14417-14445; doi:10.3390/molecules190914417 (registering DOI) - published 12 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Large arrays of homogeneous microwells each defining a femtoliter volume are a versatile platform for monitoring the substrate turnover of many individual enzyme molecules in parallel. The high degree of parallelization enables the analysis of a statistically representative enzyme population. Enclosing individual enzyme molecules in microwells does not require any surface immobilization step and enables the kinetic investigation of enzymes free in solution. This review describes various microwell array formats and explores their applications for the detection and investigation of single enzyme molecules. The development of new fabrication techniques and sensitive detection methods drives the field of single molecule enzymology. Here, we introduce recent progress in single enzyme molecule analysis in microwell arrays and discuss the challenges and opportunities.