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Special Issue "Bioactive Phytochemicals and Functional Food Ingredients in Fruits and Vegetables 2017"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Bioactives and Nutraceuticals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Maurizio Battino

Department of Odontostomatologic and Specialized Clinical Sciences, Sez-Biochimica, Faculty of Medicine, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Ranieri 65, 60100 Ancona, Italy
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Phone: +39 071 2204646
Fax: +39 071 2204398
Interests: nutrition; periodontal diseases/periodontitis; oxidative stress; nutrition; aging; mitochondrial function and diseases; berries (strawberry, blueberry, bilberry, cranberry, etc.); olive oil (dietary fats); honey, polyphenols; flavonoids; antioxidants, apoptosis
Natural Bioactive Compounds: The Way Shown by Professor Maurizio Battino and His Group in an Italian Cutting-Edge Laboratory http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/17/7/1038
Guest Editor
Dr. Francesca Giampieri

Department of Odontostomatologic and Specialized Clinical Sciences, Sez-Biochimica, Faculty of Medicine, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Ranieri 65, 60100 Ancona, Italy
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Interests: nutrition; health; bioactive compounds; polyphenols; antioxidants; free radicals; oxidative stress; aging; mitochodrial functionality; apoptosis; strawberry, honey

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

 The importance of diet on human health and well-being has been widely recognized. Dietary guidelines around the world recommend the increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, as good sources of dietary fiber, essential nutrients, and phytochemicals, to improve global health and reduce chronic disease risk. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is indeed associated with a lower incidence of several degenerative pathologies, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. In the last few years, numerous studies have demonstrated a wide range of biological properties and healthy benefits exerted by dietary phytochemicals, highlighting their beneficial role both in the prevention and in the treatment of several diseases. At the same time, functional foods have gained an enormous interest all around the world, as shown by the annual increase of their market of about 15%. Indeed, many now embrace the idea that functional foods play specific roles at different times throughout life and accept that certain foods may help to maintain a good health and prevent diseases.

The main aims of the Special Issue on "Bioactive Phytochemicals and Functional Food Ingredients in Fruits and Vegetables 2016" is to be an open forum where researchers may share their investigations and findings in this promising field and, thanks to the open access platform, increase their visibility and the chances to interact with industries and the production systems.

Prof. Maurizio Battino
Dr. Francesca Giampieri
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • nutrition
  • human health
  • dietary intake
  • bioactive compounds
  • dietary phytochemicals
  • natural antioxidants
  • nutrigenetics
  • nutrigenomics
  • inflammation
  • apoptosis
  • pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of natural bioactive compounds

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Anthocyanin-Rich Extract from Red Chinese Cabbage Alleviates Vascular Inflammation in Endothelial Cells and Apo E−/− Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(3), 816; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19030816
Received: 12 February 2018 / Revised: 2 March 2018 / Accepted: 8 March 2018 / Published: 12 March 2018
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Abstract
Anthocyanins, the most prevalent flavonoids in red/purple fruits and vegetables, are known to improve immune responses and reduce chronic disease risks. In this study, the anti-inflammatory activities of an anthocyanin-rich extract from red Chinese cabbage (ArCC) were shown based on its inhibitory effects
[...] Read more.
Anthocyanins, the most prevalent flavonoids in red/purple fruits and vegetables, are known to improve immune responses and reduce chronic disease risks. In this study, the anti-inflammatory activities of an anthocyanin-rich extract from red Chinese cabbage (ArCC) were shown based on its inhibitory effects in cultured endothelial cells and hyperlipidemic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. ArCC treatment suppressed monocyte adhesion to tumor necrosis factor-α-stimulated endothelial cells. This was validated by ArCC’s ability to downregulate the expression and transcription of endothelial adhesion molecules, determined by immunoblot and luciferase promoter assays, respectively. The regulation of adhesion molecules was accompanied by transcriptional inhibition of nuclear factor-κB, which restricted cytoplasmic localization as shown by immunocytochemistry. Administration of ArCC (150 or 300 mg/kg/day) inhibited aortic inflammation in hyperlipidemic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice, as shown by in vivo imaging. Immunohistochemistry and plasma analysis showed that the aortas from these mice exhibited markedly lower leukocyte infiltration, reduced plaque formation, and lower concentrations of blood inflammatory cytokines than those observed in the control mice. The results suggest that the consumption of anthocyanin-rich red Chinese cabbage is closely correlated with lowering the risk of vascular inflammatory diseases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Scandoside Exerts Anti-Inflammatory Effect Via Suppressing NF-κB and MAPK Signaling Pathways in LPS-Induced RAW 264.7 Macrophages
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020457
Received: 7 January 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 3 February 2018
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Abstract
The iridoids of Hedyotis diffusa Willd play an important role in the anti-inflammatory process, but the specific iridoid with anti-inflammatory effect and its mechanism has not be thoroughly studied. An iridoid compound named scandoside (SCA) was isolated from H. diffusa and its anti-inflammatory
[...] Read more.
The iridoids of Hedyotis diffusa Willd play an important role in the anti-inflammatory process, but the specific iridoid with anti-inflammatory effect and its mechanism has not be thoroughly studied. An iridoid compound named scandoside (SCA) was isolated from H. diffusa and its anti-inflammatory effect was investigated in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced RAW 264.7 macrophages. Its anti-inflammatory mechanism was confirmed by in intro experiments and molecular docking analyses. As results, SCA significantly decreased the productions of nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) and inhibited the levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), TNF-α and IL-6 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in LPS-induced RAW 264.7 macrophages. SCA treatment suppressed the phosphorylation of inhibitor of nuclear transcription factor kappa-B alpaha (IκB-α), p38, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). The docking data suggested that SCA had great binding abilities to COX-2, iNOS and IκB. Taken together, the results indicated that the anti-inflammatory effect of SCA is due to inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators via suppressing the nuclear transcription factor kappa-B (NF-κB) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways, which provided useful information for its application and development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle B Type and Complex A/B Type Epicatechin Trimers Isolated from Litchi pericarp Aqueous Extract Show High Antioxidant and Anticancer Activity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010301
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 13 January 2018 / Published: 19 January 2018
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Abstract
Litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) fruit is known for its rich source of phenolics. Litchi pericarp contains high levels of epicatechin that may form oligomers of various lengths. Except for several A or B type epicatechin dimers, other soluble oligomers have rarely been
[...] Read more.
Litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) fruit is known for its rich source of phenolics. Litchi pericarp contains high levels of epicatechin that may form oligomers of various lengths. Except for several A or B type epicatechin dimers, other soluble oligomers have rarely been identified in the pericarp. Here, bioassay-guided column fractionation was applied to isolate bioactive phenolics from aqueous pericarp extract. A fraction (S3) was obtained by two rounds of Sephadex LH-20 column chromatography, and showed higher antioxidant activity and inhibition on the proliferation of human lung cancer cells (A549) than Litchi anthocyanins. S3 was further separated to isolate fractions P1–P4, which all showed higher antioxidant activity than vitamin C. P3 showed 32.9% inhibition on A549 cells at 30 μg/mL, higher than other fractions and cis-Dichlorodiamineplatinum (DDP, 0.5 μg/mL), but not as high as the combination of the four fractions. Using HPLC-Q-TOF-MS/MS, one B-type and complex A/B type epicatechin trimers were identified in P3; another B-type and two A/B-type trimers were identified in P4. P1 and P2, containing epicatechin and proanthocyanidin B2, respectively, showed no cell inhibition at 30 μg/mL. It is the first time that the two B type trimers of epicatechins (Litchitannin B1 and B2), have been found in Litchi species. The identified proanthocyanidins were detected in the pericarp of the young fruit, and the levels of the compounds decreased as the fruit developed, correlating to the decreasing patterns of the expression of LcLAR and LcANR, two key genes in the catechin biosynthesis pathway. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Aeginetia indica Decoction Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus Life Cycle
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010208
Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 5 January 2018 / Published: 9 January 2018
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Abstract
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is still a global epidemic despite the introduction of several highly effective direct-acting antivirals that are tagged with sky-high prices. The present study aimed to identify an herbal decoction that ameliorates HCV infection. Among six herbal decoctions
[...] Read more.
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is still a global epidemic despite the introduction of several highly effective direct-acting antivirals that are tagged with sky-high prices. The present study aimed to identify an herbal decoction that ameliorates HCV infection. Among six herbal decoctions tested, the Aeginetia indica decoction had the most profound effect on the HCV reporter activity in infected Huh7.5.1 liver cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The Aeginetia indica decoction exerted multiple inhibitory effects on the HCV life cycle. Pretreatment of the cells with the Aeginetia indica decoction prior to HCV infection reduced the HCV RNA and non-structural protein 3 (NS3) protein levels in the infected cells. The Aeginetia indica decoction reduced HCV internal ribosome entry site-mediated protein translation activity. It also reduced the HCV RNA level in the infected cells in association with reduced NS5A phosphorylation at serine 235, a predominant phosphorylation event indispensable to HCV replication. Thus, the Aeginetia indica decoction inhibits HCV infection, translation, and replication. Mechanistically, the Aeginetia indica decoction probably reduced HCV replication via reducing NS5A phosphorylation at serine 235. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Skin Protective Effect of Epigallocatechin Gallate
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010173
Received: 26 December 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 6 January 2018
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Abstract
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a catechin and an abundant polyphenol in green tea. Although several papers have evaluated EGCG as a cosmetic constituent, the skin hydration effect of EGCG is poorly understood. We aimed to investigate the mechanism by which EGCG promotes skin
[...] Read more.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a catechin and an abundant polyphenol in green tea. Although several papers have evaluated EGCG as a cosmetic constituent, the skin hydration effect of EGCG is poorly understood. We aimed to investigate the mechanism by which EGCG promotes skin hydration by measuring hyaluronic acid synthase (HAS) and hyaluronidase (HYAL) gene expression and antioxidant and anti-pigmentation properties using cell proliferation assay, Western blotting analysis, luciferase assay, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay, and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis. RT-PCR showed that EGCG increased the expression of natural moisturizing factor-related genes filaggrin (FLG), transglutaminase-1, HAS-1, and HAS-2. Under UVB irradiation conditions, the expression level of HYAL was decreased in HaCaT cells. Furthermore, we confirmed the antioxidant activity of EGCG and also showed a preventive effect against radical-evoked apoptosis by downregulation of caspase-8 and -3 in HaCaT cells. EGCG reduced melanin secretion and production in melanoma cells. Together, these results suggest that EGCG might be used as a cosmetic ingredient with positive effects on skin hydration, moisture retention, and wrinkle formation, in addition to radical scavenging activity and reduction of melanin generation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Allyl Isothiocyanate Exhibits No Anticancer Activity in MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010145
Received: 14 November 2017 / Revised: 24 December 2017 / Accepted: 30 December 2017 / Published: 4 January 2018
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Abstract
It was reported recently that allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) could inhibit various types of cancer cell growth. In the present study, we further investigated whether AITC could inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells. Unexpectedly, we found that AITC did not inhibit, rather
[...] Read more.
It was reported recently that allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) could inhibit various types of cancer cell growth. In the present study, we further investigated whether AITC could inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells. Unexpectedly, we found that AITC did not inhibit, rather slightly promoted, the proliferation of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, although it did have inhibitory effect on MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Cytofluorimetric analysis revealed that AITC (10 µM) did not induce apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in MDA-MB-231 cells. In addition, AITC significantly (p < 0.05) increased the expression of BCL-2 and mTOR genes and Beclin-1 protein in MDA-MB-231 cells. No significant changes in expression of PRKAA1 and PER2 genes, Caspase-8, Caspase-9, PARP, p-mTOR, and NF-κB p65 proteins were observed in these AITC-treated cells. Importantly, AITC displayed cytotoxic effect on MCF-10A human breast epithelial cell line. These observations suggest that AITC may not have inhibitory activity in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. This in vitro study warrants more preclinical and clinical studies on the beneficial and harmful effects of AITC in healthy and cancer cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Botanical Origin and Chemical Composition on the Protective Effect against Oxidative Damage and the Capacity to Reduce In Vitro Bacterial Biofilms of Monofloral Honeys from the Andean Region of Ecuador
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010045
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 8 December 2017 / Accepted: 23 December 2017 / Published: 23 December 2017
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Abstract
Three types of monofloral honey from the Andean regions of Ecuador (Avocado, Eucalyptus, and Rapeseed honey) were analyzed to determine their floral origin, physicochemical parameters, chemical composition, antioxidant capacity, and their capacity to reduce in vitro bacterial biofilms. The chemical composition varied considerably
[...] Read more.
Three types of monofloral honey from the Andean regions of Ecuador (Avocado, Eucalyptus, and Rapeseed honey) were analyzed to determine their floral origin, physicochemical parameters, chemical composition, antioxidant capacity, and their capacity to reduce in vitro bacterial biofilms. The chemical composition varied considerably depending on floral origin. The highest values of bioactive compounds were found in Avocado honey, classified as dark amber in color, while the lowest values were found in Eucalyptus honey followed by Rapeseed honey, both classified as extra light amber. When compared to Eucalyptus and Rapeseed honey, Avocado honey showed a more effective superoxide scavenging activity, chelating metal ions capacity, and a higher ability to protect human erythrocyte membranes against lipid peroxidation. For antimicrobial activity, the hydrogen peroxide content and the capacity to inhibit the biofilm formation, and to remove preformed biofilm from Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae was determined. Avocado honey showed the highest values of hydrogen peroxide content, as well as the highest capacity to reduce in vitro bacterial biofilms. A correlation between color vs. phenolics content vs. superoxide scavenging activity vs. chelating metal ions capacity, and the capacity to protect human erythrocyte membranes against lipid peroxidation was found. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Nitric Oxide, Prostaglandin E2, and Cytokine Production of Mouse and Human Macrophages Are Suppressed by Pheophytin-b
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2637; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122637
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
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Abstract
Sepsis is an overwhelming systemic response to infection that frequently results in tissue damage, organ failure, and even death. Nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), and cytokine overproduction are thought to be associated with the immunostimulatory cascade in sepsis. In the present study,
[...] Read more.
Sepsis is an overwhelming systemic response to infection that frequently results in tissue damage, organ failure, and even death. Nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), and cytokine overproduction are thought to be associated with the immunostimulatory cascade in sepsis. In the present study, we analyzed the anti-inflammatory efficacy of the pheophytin-b on both RAW 264.7 murine macrophage and purified human CD14+ monocytes stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and elucidated the mechanisms by analyzing the cell signaling pathways known to be activated in sepsis. Pheophytin-b suppressed the overexpression of NO, PGE2, and cytokines in LPS-stimulated macrophages without inducing cytotoxicity. It also reduced NOS2 and COX-2 mRNA and protein levels. The inhibitory effects on NO, PGE2, and cytokine overproduction arose from the suppression of STAT-1 and PI3K/Akt pathways; no changes in NF-κB, MAPK, and AP-1 signaling were detected. Thus, pheophytin-b may represent a potential candidate to beneficially modulate the inflammatory response in sepsis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Coumestrol Epigenetically Suppresses Cancer Cell Proliferation: Coumestrol Is a Natural Haspin Kinase Inhibitor
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2228; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102228
Received: 19 October 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 21 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
Targeting epigenetic changes in gene expression in cancer cells may offer new strategies for the development of selective cancer therapies. In the present study, we investigated coumestrol, a natural compound exhibiting broad anti-cancer effects against skin melanoma, lung cancer and colon cancer cell
[...] Read more.
Targeting epigenetic changes in gene expression in cancer cells may offer new strategies for the development of selective cancer therapies. In the present study, we investigated coumestrol, a natural compound exhibiting broad anti-cancer effects against skin melanoma, lung cancer and colon cancer cell growth. Haspin kinase was identified as a direct target protein of coumestrol using kinase profiling analysis. Histone H3 is a direct substrate of haspin kinase. We observed haspin kinase overexpression as well as greater phosphorylation of histone H3 at threonine 3 (Thr-3) in the cancer cells compared to normal cells. Computer modeling using the Schrödinger Suite program identified the binding interface within the ATP binding site. These findings suggest that the anti-cancer effect of coumestrol is due to the direct targeting of haspin kinase. Coumestrol has considerable potential for further development as a novel anti-cancer agent. Full article
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Open AccessArticle DNA Protecting Activities of Nymphaea nouchali (Burm. f) Flower Extract Attenuate t-BHP-Induced Oxidative Stress Cell Death through Nrf2-Mediated Induction of Heme Oxygenase-1 Expression by Activating MAP-Kinases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2069; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102069
Received: 20 May 2017 / Revised: 27 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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Abstract
This study was performed to investigate the antioxidant activities of Nymphaea nouchali flower (NNF) extract and the underlying mechanism using RAW 264.7 cells. The presence of gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, caffeic acid, quercetin, and apigenin in the NNF was confirmed
[...] Read more.
This study was performed to investigate the antioxidant activities of Nymphaea nouchali flower (NNF) extract and the underlying mechanism using RAW 264.7 cells. The presence of gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, caffeic acid, quercetin, and apigenin in the NNF was confirmed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The extract had a very potent capacity to scavenge numerous free radicals. NNF extract was also able to prevent DNA damage and quench cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation induced by tert-Butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP) with no signs of toxicity. The NNF extract was able to augment the expression of both primary and phase II detoxifying enzyme, resulting in combat the oxidative stress. This is accomplished by phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP kinase) (p38 kinase and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)) followed by enhancing the nuclear translocation of the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). This attenuates cellular ROS generation and confers protection from cell death. Altogether, the results of current study revealed that Nymphaea nouchali flower could be a source of natural phytochemicals that could lead to the development of new therapeutic agents for preventing oxidative stress associated diseases and attenuating disease progression. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Anti-Photoaging Effect of Jeju Putgyul (Unripe Citrus) Extracts on Human Dermal Fibroblasts and Ultraviolet B-induced Hairless Mouse Skin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2052; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102052
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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Abstract
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation stimulates the expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and inflammatory cytokines. These signaling pathways participate in the degradation of the extracellular matrix and induce inflammatory responses that lead to photoaging. This study evaluated the antioxidant activity and the effect on MMPs
[...] Read more.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation stimulates the expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and inflammatory cytokines. These signaling pathways participate in the degradation of the extracellular matrix and induce inflammatory responses that lead to photoaging. This study evaluated the antioxidant activity and the effect on MMPs and procollagen of putgyul extract in vitro. The anti-photoaging activity of putgyul extracts was estimated in vivo using hairless mice (HR-1). The putgyul extracts reduced MMP-1 production and increased the content of procollagen type I carboxy-terminal peptide in human dermal fibroblasts. Ultravilot-B (UVB)-induced expression of inflammatory cytokines and MMPs was detected in mice, and putgyul extracts suppressed the expression. These results suggest that putgyul extract inhibits photoaging by inhibiting the expression of MMPs that degrade collagen and inhibiting cytokines that induce inflammatory responses. The mouse model also demonstrated that oral administration of putgyul extracts decreased wrinkle depth, epidermal thickness, collagen degradation, and trans-epidermal water loss, and increased β-glucosidase activity on UVB exposed skin. Putgyul extract protects against UVB-induced damage of skin and could be valuable in the prevention of photoaging. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Chemical Constituents from Hericium erinaceus Promote Neuronal Survival and Potentiate Neurite Outgrowth via the TrkA/Erk1/2 Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(8), 1659; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18081659
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 24 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 July 2017 / Published: 30 July 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (7746 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Hericium erinaceus is a culinary-medicinal mushroom used traditionally in Eastern Asia to improve memory. In this work, we investigated the neuroprotective and neuritogenic effects of the secondary metabolites isolated from the MeOH extract of cultured mycelium of H. erinaceus and the primary mechanisms
[...] Read more.
Hericium erinaceus is a culinary-medicinal mushroom used traditionally in Eastern Asia to improve memory. In this work, we investigated the neuroprotective and neuritogenic effects of the secondary metabolites isolated from the MeOH extract of cultured mycelium of H. erinaceus and the primary mechanisms involved. One new dihydropyridine compound (6) and one new natural product (2) together with five known compounds (1,35,7) were obtained and their structures were elucidated by spectroscopic analysis, including 2D NMR and HRMS. The cell-based screening for bioactivity showed that 4-chloro-3,5-dimethoxybenzoic methyl ester (1) and a cyathane diterpenoid, erincine A (3), not only potentiated NGF-induced neurite outgrowth but also protected neuronally-differentiated cells against deprivation of NGF in PC12 pheochromocytoma cells. Additionally, compound 3 induced neuritogenesis in primary rat cortex neurons. Furthermore, our results revealed that TrkA-mediated and Erk1/2-dependant pathways could be involved in 1 and 3-promoted NGF-induced neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Dose-Dependent Responses of I3C and DIM on T-Cell Activation in the Human T Lymphocyte Jurkat Cell Line
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1409; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18071409
Received: 25 May 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 1 July 2017
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Abstract
Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and its dimer diindolylmethane (DIM) are bioactive metabolites of a glucosinolate, glucobrassicin, found in cruciferous vegetables. Both I3C and DIM have been reported to possess pro-apoptotic, anti-proliferative and anti-carcinogenic properties via modulation of immune pathways. However, results from these studies remain
[...] Read more.
Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and its dimer diindolylmethane (DIM) are bioactive metabolites of a glucosinolate, glucobrassicin, found in cruciferous vegetables. Both I3C and DIM have been reported to possess pro-apoptotic, anti-proliferative and anti-carcinogenic properties via modulation of immune pathways. However, results from these studies remain inconclusive since they lack thorough evaluation of these bioactives’ physiological versus pharmacological effects. In the present study, we investigated I3C and DIM’s dose-dependent effects on cytokines production in human T lymphocytes Jurkat cell line (Clone E6-1). The results showed that I3C and DIM pretreatment, at higher concentrations of 50 and 10 μM, respectively, significantly increased PMA/ionomycin-induced interleukin-2 (IL-2), interleukin-8 (IL-8) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) production, measured by real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). As a plausible mechanism underlying such pronounced cytokine release, we found robust increase in downstream nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and nuclear factor of activated T-cells 1 (NFAT1) signaling with I3C pretreatment, whereas DIM pretreatment only significantly induced NF-κB activation, but not NFAT1. We hypothesize that I3C/DIM pretreatment primes the T cells to become hyperresponsive upon PMA/ionomycin stimulation which in turn differentially induces two major downstream Ca2+-dependent inflammatory pathways, NF-κB and NFAT1. Our data show novel insights into the mechanisms underlying induction of pro-inflammatory cytokine release by pharmacological concentrations of I3C and DIM, an effect negligible under physiological conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle 5-(3′,4′-Dihydroxyphenyl-γ-valerolactone), a Major Microbial Metabolite of Proanthocyanidin, Attenuates THP-1 Monocyte-Endothelial Adhesion
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1363; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18071363
Received: 27 April 2017 / Revised: 7 June 2017 / Accepted: 22 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
Several metabolomics of polymeric flavan-3-ols have reported that proanthocyanidins are extensively metabolized by gut microbiota. 5-(3′,4′-dihydroxyphenyl)-γ-valerolactone (DHPV) has been reported to be the major microbial metabolite of proanthocyanidins. We demonstrated that DHPV has stronger prevention effect on tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α-stimulated adhesion of
[...] Read more.
Several metabolomics of polymeric flavan-3-ols have reported that proanthocyanidins are extensively metabolized by gut microbiota. 5-(3′,4′-dihydroxyphenyl)-γ-valerolactone (DHPV) has been reported to be the major microbial metabolite of proanthocyanidins. We demonstrated that DHPV has stronger prevention effect on tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α-stimulated adhesion of THP-1 human monocytic cells to human umbilical vein endothelial cells compared to its potential precursors such as procyanidin A1, A2, B1 and B2, (+)catechin, (−)epicatechin and its microbial metabolites such as 3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)propionic acid and 2-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)acetic acid. Mechanism study showed that DHPV prevents THP-1 monocyte-endothelial cell adhesion by downregulating TNF-α-stimulated expressions of the two biomarkers of atherosclerosis such as vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and monocyte chemotactic protein-1, activation of nuclear factor kappa B transcription and phosphorylation of I kappa-B kinase and IκBα. We suggested that DHPV has higher potentiality in prevention of atherosclerosis among the proanthocyanidin metabolites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Light- and Dark-Germination on the Phenolic Biosynthesis, Phytochemical Profiles, and Antioxidant Activities in Sweet Corn (Zea mays L.) Sprouts
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1246; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18061246
Received: 23 April 2017 / Revised: 3 June 2017 / Accepted: 7 June 2017 / Published: 10 June 2017
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Abstract
Sweet corn is one of the most widely planted crops in China. Sprouting of grains is a new processes to increase the nutritional value of grain products. The present study explores the effects of light on the nutritional quality of sweet corn sprouts.
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Sweet corn is one of the most widely planted crops in China. Sprouting of grains is a new processes to increase the nutritional value of grain products. The present study explores the effects of light on the nutritional quality of sweet corn sprouts. Gene expression of phenolic biosynthesis, phytochemical profiles and antioxidant activity were studied. Two treatments (light and dark) were selected and the morphological structure of sweet corn sprouts, as well as their biochemical composition were investigated to determine the effects of light on the regulation of genes responsible for nutritional compounds. Transcription analyses for three key-encoding genes in the biosynthesis of the precursors of phenolic were studied. Results revealed a negative regulation in the expression of ZmPAL with total phenolic content (TPC) in the light group. TPC and total flavonoid content (TFC) increased during germination and this was correlated with an increase in antioxidant activity (r = 0.95 and 1.0). The findings illustrate that the nutritional value of sweet corn for the consumer can be improved through germination to the euphylla stage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Isorhynchophylline, a Potent Plant Alkaloid, Induces Apoptotic and Anti-Metastatic Effects in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells through the Modulation of Diverse Cell Signaling Cascades
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(5), 1095; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18051095
Received: 3 April 2017 / Revised: 16 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
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Abstract
Isorhynchophylline (Rhy) is an active pharmacological component of Uncaria rhynchophylla that has been reported previously to exert significant antihypertensive and neuroprotective effects. However, very little is known about its potential anti-cancer activities. This study was carried out to evaluate the anticancer effects of
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Isorhynchophylline (Rhy) is an active pharmacological component of Uncaria rhynchophylla that has been reported previously to exert significant antihypertensive and neuroprotective effects. However, very little is known about its potential anti-cancer activities. This study was carried out to evaluate the anticancer effects of Rhy against various human carcinoma cell lines. We found that Rhy exhibited substantial cytotoxic effect against human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells when compared with other human carcinoma cell lines including those of lung, pancreas, prostate, head and neck, breast, multiple myeloma, brain and renal cell carcinoma. Rhy induced apoptosis as characterized by accumulation of cells in sub G1 phase; positive Annexin V binding; activation of caspase-8, -9, and -3; and cleavage of PARP (poly-ADP ribose polymerase). This effect of Rhy correlated with the down-regulation of various proteins that mediated cell proliferation, cell survival, metastasis, and angiogenesis. Moreover, cell proliferation, migration, and constitutive CXCR4 (C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4), MMP-9 (Matrix metallopeptidase-9), and MMP-2 expression were inhibited upon Rhy treatment. We further investigated the effect of Rhy on the oncogenic cell signaling cascades through phospho-kinase array profiling assay. Rhy was found to abrogate phospho-p38, ERK, JNK, CREB, c-Jun, Akt, and STAT3 signals, but interestingly enhanced phospho-p53 signal. Overall, our results indicate, for the first time, that Rhy could exert anticancer and anti-metastatic effects through regulation of multiple signaling cascades in hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Thymoquinone Defeats Diabetes-Induced Testicular Damage in Rats Targeting Antioxidant, Inflammatory and Aromatase Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(5), 919; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18050919
Received: 9 March 2017 / Revised: 14 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
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Abstract
Antioxidants have valuable effects on the process of spermatogenesis, particularly with diabetes mellitus (DM). Therefore, the present study investigated the impact and the intracellular mechanisms by which thymoquinone (TQ) works against diabetes-induced testicular deteriorations in rats. Wistar male rats (n = 60)
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Antioxidants have valuable effects on the process of spermatogenesis, particularly with diabetes mellitus (DM). Therefore, the present study investigated the impact and the intracellular mechanisms by which thymoquinone (TQ) works against diabetes-induced testicular deteriorations in rats. Wistar male rats (n = 60) were randomly allocated into four groups; Control, Diabetic (streptozotocin (STZ)-treated rats where diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal injection of STZ, 65 mg/kg), Diabetic + TQ (diabetic rats treated with TQ (50 mg/kg) orally once daily), and TQ (non-diabetic rats treated with TQ) for 12 weeks. Results revealed that TQ significantly improved the sperm parameters with a reduction in nitric oxide (NO) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in testicular tissue. Also, it increased testicular reduced glutathione (GSH) levels and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. Interestingly, TQ induced downregulation of testicular inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) and significantly upregulated the aromatase protein expression levels in testicles in comparison with the diabetic rats. In conclusion, TQ treatment exerted a protective effect against reproductive dysfunction induced by diabetes not only through its powerful antioxidant and hypoglycemic effects but also through its downregulation of testicular iNOS and NF-κB along with upregulation of aromatase expression levels in diabetic rats. Full article
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Open AccessReview Could Aspirin and Diets High in Fiber Act Synergistically to Reduce the Risk of Colon Cancer in Humans?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010166
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 30 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 6 January 2018
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Abstract
Early inhibition of inflammation suppresses the carcinogenic process. Aspirin is the most commonly used non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and it irreversibly inhibits cyclooxygenase-1 and -2 (COX1, COX2). Multiple randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that aspirin offers substantial protection from colon cancer mortality. The
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Early inhibition of inflammation suppresses the carcinogenic process. Aspirin is the most commonly used non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and it irreversibly inhibits cyclooxygenase-1 and -2 (COX1, COX2). Multiple randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that aspirin offers substantial protection from colon cancer mortality. The lower aspirin doses causing only minimal gastrointestinal disturbance, ideal for long-term use, can achieve only partial and transitory inhibition of COX2. Aspirin’s principal metabolite, salicylic acid, is also found in fruits and vegetables that inhibit COX2. Other phytochemicals such as curcumin, resveratrol, and anthocyanins also inhibit COX2. Such dietary components are good candidates for combination with aspirin because they have little or no toxicity. However, obstacles to using phytochemicals for chemoprevention, including bioavailability and translational potential, must be resolved. The bell/U-shaped dose–response curves seen with vitamin D and resveratrol might apply to other phytochemicals, shedding doubt on ‘more is better’. Solutions include: (1) using special delivery systems (e.g., nanoparticles) to retain phytochemicals; (2) developing robust pharmacodynamic biomarkers to determine efficacy in humans; and (3) selecting pharmacokinetic doses relevant to humans when performing preclinical experiments. The combination of aspirin and phytochemicals is an attractive low-cost and low-toxicity approach to colon cancer prevention that warrants testing, particularly in high-risk individuals. Full article
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