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

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 (30 July 2015)

Special Issue Editor

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
Website | E-Mail
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

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Epidemiological studies have already established a close association between a fruit/vegetable-rich diet and a significantly reduced incidence of chronic diseases (i.e., diabetes, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, cancers, etc.). Bioactive phytochemicals are therefore of increasing interest for their roles both in preventive strategies  (e.g., increased intake in the framework of healthy nutritional plans) and as adjuvants in the treatment of the above pathologies.

On the other hand, the functional food market is growing with an annual average rate of about 15%, involving huge economic interests worldwide, which have been forecast to reach at least $230 billion by next year.

The main aims of the Special Issue on "Bioactive phytochemicals and Functional Food Ingredients in Fruits and Vegetables" is to be an open forum where researchers may present 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. Dr. Maurizio Battino
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • human health
  • healthy nutrition
  • bioactive compounds
  • nutritional pharmacology
  • dietary antioxidants
  • natural antioxidants
  • pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of natural bioactive compounds
  • gene regulation
  • inflammation
  • signal pathways

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (31 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Angiotensin-I Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitory and Anti-Oxidant Activities of Sea Cucumber (Actinopyga lecanora) Hydrolysates
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(12), 28870-28885; doi:10.3390/ijms161226140
Received: 12 April 2015 / Revised: 23 August 2015 / Accepted: 1 September 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1711 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, food protein-derived hydrolysates have received considerable attention because of their numerous health benefits. Amongst the hydrolysates, those with anti-hypertensive and anti-oxidative activities are receiving special attention as both activities can play significant roles in preventing cardiovascular diseases. The present study
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In recent years, food protein-derived hydrolysates have received considerable attention because of their numerous health benefits. Amongst the hydrolysates, those with anti-hypertensive and anti-oxidative activities are receiving special attention as both activities can play significant roles in preventing cardiovascular diseases. The present study investigated the angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory and anti-oxidative activities of Actinopyga lecanora (A. lecanora) hydrolysates, which had been prepared by alcalase, papain, bromelain, flavourzyme, pepsin, and trypsin under their optimum conditions. The alcalase hydrolysate showed the highest ACE inhibitory activity (69.8%) after 8 h of hydrolysis while the highest anti-oxidative activities measured by 2,2-diphenyl 1-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging (DPPH) (56.00%) and ferrous ion-chelating (FIC) (59.00%) methods were exhibited after 24 h and 8 h of hydrolysis, respectively. The ACE-inhibitory and anti-oxidative activities displayed dose-dependent trends, and increased with increasing protein hydrolysate concentrations. Moreover, strong positive correlations between angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory and anti-oxidative activities were also observed. This study indicates that A. lecanora hydrolysate can be exploited as a source of functional food owing to its anti-oxidant as well as anti-hypertension functions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Chemical Profiles and Protective Effect of Hedyotis diffusa Willd in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Renal Inflammation Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(11), 27252-27269; doi:10.3390/ijms161126021
Received: 7 August 2015 / Revised: 19 October 2015 / Accepted: 5 November 2015 / Published: 13 November 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2310 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Protective effect of Hedyotis diffusa (H. diffusa) Willd against lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced renal inflammation was evaluated by the productions of cytokines and chemokine, and the bioactive constituents of H. diffusa were detected by the ultra-fast liquid chromatography -diode array detector-quadrupole-time of flight
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Protective effect of Hedyotis diffusa (H. diffusa) Willd against lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced renal inflammation was evaluated by the productions of cytokines and chemokine, and the bioactive constituents of H. diffusa were detected by the ultra-fast liquid chromatography -diode array detector-quadrupole-time of flight mass spectrometry (UFLC-DAD-Q-TOF-MS/MS) method. As the results showed, water extract of H. diffusa (equal to 5.0 g/kg body weight) obviously protected renal tissues, significantly suppressed the productions of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, as well as significantly promoted the production of IL-10 in serum and renal tissues. According the chemical profiles of H. diffusa, flavonoids, iridoid glycosides and anthraquinones were greatly detected in serum from H. diffusa extract treatment mice. Two main chemotypes, including eight flavonoids and four iridoid glycosides were found in renal tissues from H. diffusa extract treatment mice. The results demonstrated that water extract of H. diffusa had protective effect on renal inflammation, which possibly resulted from the bioactive constituents consisting of flavonoids, iridoids and anthraquinones. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sunflower Oil but Not Fish Oil Resembles Positive Effects of Virgin Olive Oil on Aged Pancreas after Life-Long Coenzyme Q Addition
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(10), 23425-23445; doi:10.3390/ijms161023425
Received: 28 July 2015 / Revised: 21 September 2015 / Accepted: 22 September 2015 / Published: 29 September 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2614 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An adequate pancreatic structure is necessary for optimal organ function. Structural changes are critical in the development of age-related pancreatic disorders. In this context, it has been reported that different pancreatic compartments from rats were affected according to the fat composition consumed. Since
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An adequate pancreatic structure is necessary for optimal organ function. Structural changes are critical in the development of age-related pancreatic disorders. In this context, it has been reported that different pancreatic compartments from rats were affected according to the fat composition consumed. Since there is a close relationship between mitochondria, oxidative stress and aging, an experimental approach has been developed to gain more insight into this process in the pancreas. A low dosage of coenzyme Q was administered life-long in rats in order to try to prevent pancreatic aging-related alterations associated to some dietary fat sources. According to that, three groups of rats were fed normocaloric diets containing Coenzyme Q (CoQ) for two years, where virgin olive, sunflower, or fish oil was included as unique fat source. Pancreatic samples for microscopy and blood samples were collected at the moment of euthanasia. The main finding is that CoQ supplementation gives different results according to fat used in diet. When sunflower oil was the main fat in the diet, CoQ supplementation seems to improve endocrine pancreas structure and in particular β-cell mass resembling positive effects of virgin olive oil. Conversely, CoQ intake does not seem to improve the structural alterations of exocrine compartment previously observed in fish oil fed rats. Therefore CoQ may improve pancreatic alterations associated to the chronic intake of some dietary fat sources. Full article
Open AccessArticle Poncirin Induces Apoptosis in AGS Human Gastric Cancer Cells through Extrinsic Apoptotic Pathway by up-Regulation of Fas Ligand
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(9), 22676-22691; doi:10.3390/ijms160922676
Received: 9 June 2015 / Revised: 10 September 2015 / Accepted: 11 September 2015 / Published: 18 September 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2262 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Poncirin, a natural bitter flavanone glycoside abundantly present in many species of citrus fruits, has various biological benefits such as anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities. The anti-cancer mechanism of Poncirin remains elusive to date. In this study, we investigated the anti-cancer effects
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Poncirin, a natural bitter flavanone glycoside abundantly present in many species of citrus fruits, has various biological benefits such as anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities. The anti-cancer mechanism of Poncirin remains elusive to date. In this study, we investigated the anti-cancer effects of Poncirin in AGS human gastric cancer cells (gastric adenocarcinoma). The results revealed that Poncirin could inhibit the proliferation of AGS cells in a dose-dependent manner. It was observed Poncirin induced accumulation of sub-G1 DNA content, apoptotic cell population, apoptotic bodies, chromatin condensation, and DNA fragmentation in a dose-dependent manner in AGS cells. The expression of Fas Ligand (FasL) protein was up-regulated dose dependently in Poncirin-treated AGS cells Moreover, Poncirin in AGS cells induced activation of Caspase-8 and -3, and subsequent cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). Inhibitor studies’ results confirm that the induction of caspase-dependent apoptotic cell death in Poncirin-treated AGS cells was led by the Fas death receptor. Interestingly, Poncirin did not show any effect on mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), pro-apoptotic proteins (Bax and Bak) and anti-apoptotic protein (Bcl-xL) in AGS-treated cells followed by no activation in the mitochondrial apoptotic protein caspase-9. This result suggests that the mitochondrial-mediated pathway is not involved in Poncirin-induced cell death in gastric cancer. These findings suggest that Poncirin has a potential anti-cancer effect via extrinsic pathway-mediated apoptosis, possibly making it a strong therapeutic agent for human gastric cancer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle In Silico Analysis and Experimental Validation of Active Compounds from Cichorium intybus L. Ameliorating Liver Injury
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(9), 22190-22204; doi:10.3390/ijms160922190
Received: 27 July 2015 / Revised: 25 August 2015 / Accepted: 26 August 2015 / Published: 14 September 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5454 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aimed at investigating the possible mechanisms of hepatic protective activity of Cichorium intybus L. (chicory) in acute liver injury. Pathological observation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) detection and measurements of biochemical indexes on mouse models proved hepatic protective effect of Cichorium intybus
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This study aimed at investigating the possible mechanisms of hepatic protective activity of Cichorium intybus L. (chicory) in acute liver injury. Pathological observation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) detection and measurements of biochemical indexes on mouse models proved hepatic protective effect of Cichorium intybus L. Identification of active compounds in Cichorium intybus L. was executed through several methods including ultra performance liquid chromatography/time of flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-TOF-MS). Similarity ensemble approach (SEA) docking, molecular modeling, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation were applied in this study to explore possible mechanisms of the hepato-protective potential of Cichorium intybus L. We then analyzed the chemical composition of Cichorium intybus L., and found their key targets. Furthermore, in vitro cytological examination and western blot were used for validating the efficacy of the selected compounds. In silico analysis and western blot together demonstrated that selected compound 10 in Cichorium intybus L. targeted Akt-1 in hepatocytes. Besides, compound 13 targeted both caspase-1 and Akt-1. These small compounds may ameliorate liver injury by acting on their targets, which are related to apoptosis or autophagy. The conclusions above may shed light on the complex molecular mechanisms of Cichorium intybus L. acting on hepatocytes and ameliorating liver injury. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Nutritive Evaluation of the Bambara Groundnut Ci12 Landrace [Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc. (Fabaceae)] Produced in Côte d’Ivoire
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(9), 21428-21441; doi:10.3390/ijms160921428
Received: 5 July 2015 / Revised: 4 August 2015 / Accepted: 10 August 2015 / Published: 7 September 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (688 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The nutritional evaluation of the Bambara groundnut Ci12 landrace (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.) seeds produced in Côte d’Ivoire shows a 19% content of protein, containing all the essential amino acids with tryptophan as the limiting amino acid, a total dietary fiber
[...] Read more.
The nutritional evaluation of the Bambara groundnut Ci12 landrace (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.) seeds produced in Côte d’Ivoire shows a 19% content of protein, containing all the essential amino acids with tryptophan as the limiting amino acid, a total dietary fiber level of 10%, with a low soluble fraction content, and a fat content of 1.4%, with a high proportion of total unsaturated fatty acids (61%) of which 36% were n-6 fatty acids. This legume contains phosphorus, as the major mineral, followed by magnesium and calcium, and trace elements (iron, copper and zinc). It is characterized by the same amount of α-tocopherol and antioxidant capacity as common legumes. The high concentration of essential amino acids, n-6 fatty acids and minerals, mainly Fe, in the Ci12 landrace of Bambara groundnut indicates that this local legume has the potentiality to improve the nutritional status in Côte d’Ivoire and it could be regarded as a nutrient dense food. Full article
Open AccessArticle Phytochemical Characterization of Veronica officinalis L., V. teucrium L. and V. orchidea Crantz from Romania and Their Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Properties
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(9), 21109-21127; doi:10.3390/ijms160921109
Received: 26 July 2015 / Revised: 9 August 2015 / Accepted: 10 August 2015 / Published: 3 September 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1737 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aerial parts of Veronica species are used in Romanian traditional medicine for the treatment of various conditions like kidney diseases, cough, and catarrh, and are known for their wound-healing properties. In the present study, the phenolic and sterolic content and the antioxidant and
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Aerial parts of Veronica species are used in Romanian traditional medicine for the treatment of various conditions like kidney diseases, cough, and catarrh, and are known for their wound-healing properties. In the present study, the phenolic and sterolic content and the antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of three Veronica species (Plantaginaceae), V. officinalis L., V. teucrium L. and V. orchidea Crantz, were studied. The identification and quantification of several phenolic compounds and phytosterols were performed using LC/MS techniques and the main components were p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, luteoline, hispidulin and β-sitosterol. More than that, hispidulin, eupatorin and eupatilin were detected for the first time in the Veronica genus. Nevertheless, representatives of the Veronica genus were never investigated in terms of their phytosterol content. The antioxidant potential investigated by Trolox equivelents antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and EPR spectroscopy revealed that V. officinalis and V. orchidea extracts presented similar antioxidant capacities, whilst the values registered for V. teucrium extract are lower. Regarding the antimicrobial activity of the investigated species, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria ivanovii were the most sensitive strains with MIC values between 3.9 and 15.62 mg/mL. The results obtained by this study may serve to promote better use of representatives from the genus Veronica as antioxidant and antimicrobial agents. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Nutritional Characterization and Phenolic Profiling of Moringa oleifera Leaves Grown in Chad, Sahrawi Refugee Camps, and Haiti
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 18923-18937; doi:10.3390/ijms160818923
Received: 22 April 2015 / Revised: 5 August 2015 / Accepted: 7 August 2015 / Published: 12 August 2015
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (872 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Moringa oleifera is a plant that grows in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Its leaves are rich of nutrients and bioactive compounds. However, several differences are reported in the literature. In this article we performed a nutritional characterization and a phenolic
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Moringa oleifera is a plant that grows in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Its leaves are rich of nutrients and bioactive compounds. However, several differences are reported in the literature. In this article we performed a nutritional characterization and a phenolic profiling of M. oleifera leaves grown in Chad, Sahrawi refugee camps, and Haiti. In addition, we investigated the presence of salicylic and ferulic acids, two phenolic acids with pharmacological activity, whose presence in M. oleifera leaves has been scarcely investigated so far. Several differences were observed among the samples. Nevertheless, the leaves were rich in protein, minerals, and β-carotene. Quercetin and kaempferol glycosides were the main phenolic compounds identified in the methanolic extracts. Finally, salicylic and ferulic acids were found in a concentration range of 0.14–0.33 and 6.61–9.69 mg/100 g, respectively. In conclusion, we observed some differences in terms of nutrients and phenolic compounds in M. oleifera leaves grown in different countries. Nevertheless, these leaves are a good and economical source of nutrients for tropical and sub-tropical countries. Furthermore, M. oleifera leaves are a source of flavonoids and phenolic acids, among which salicylic and ferulic acids, and therefore they could be used as nutraceutical and functional ingredients. Full article
Open AccessArticle Hesperidin, A Popular Antioxidant Inhibits Melanogenesis via Erk1/2 Mediated MITF Degradation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 18384-18395; doi:10.3390/ijms160818384
Received: 13 May 2015 / Revised: 9 July 2015 / Accepted: 29 July 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (2369 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Regulation of melanogenesis has been the focus of treatment for hyperpigmentary skin disorders. Although hesperidin is one of the most well-known, naturally occurring flavonoids with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect, its anti-melanogenic effect is not known. The present study aims to determine the anti-melanogenic
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Regulation of melanogenesis has been the focus of treatment for hyperpigmentary skin disorders. Although hesperidin is one of the most well-known, naturally occurring flavonoids with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect, its anti-melanogenic effect is not known. The present study aims to determine the anti-melanogenic effect of hespiridin as well as its underlying molecular mechanisms. Melanin contents were measured in normal human melanocytes and B16F10 melanoma cells. Protein and mRNA levels of tyrosinase, microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase related protein-1 (TRP-1) and TRP-2 were determined. Melanogenesis-regulating signals were examined. In results, hesperidin strongly inhibited melanin synthesis and tyrosinase activity. Hesperidin decreased tyrosinase, TRP-1, and TRP-2 protein expression but increased phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (p-Erk1/2) expression. Specific inhibitor of Erk1/2 or proteasome inhibitor reversed the inhibition of melanogenesis induced by hesperidin. Taken together, hesperidin, a popular antioxidant, stimulated Erk1/2 phosphorylation which subsequently degraded MITF which resulted in suppression of melanogenic enzymes and melanin synthesis. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Pilot Study of the Photoprotective Effects of Strawberry-Based Cosmetic Formulations on Human Dermal Fibroblasts
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 17870-17884; doi:10.3390/ijms160817870
Received: 15 June 2015 / Revised: 24 July 2015 / Accepted: 28 July 2015 / Published: 4 August 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1613 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Strawberry polyphenols have been extensively studied over the last two decades for their beneficial properties. Recently, their possible use in ameliorating skin conditions has also been proposed; however, their role in preventing UVA-induced damage in cosmetic formulation has not yet been investigated. Skin
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Strawberry polyphenols have been extensively studied over the last two decades for their beneficial properties. Recently, their possible use in ameliorating skin conditions has also been proposed; however, their role in preventing UVA-induced damage in cosmetic formulation has not yet been investigated. Skin is constantly exposed to several environmental stressors, such as UVA radiation, that induce oxidative stress, inflammation and cell death via the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In the present study, we assessed the potential photoprotective capacity of different strawberry-based formulations, enriched with nanoparticles of Coenzyme Q10 and with sun protection factor 10 (SPF10), in human dermal fibroblasts (HuDe) exposed to UVA radiation. We confirmed that strawberries are a very rich source of polyphenols, anthocyanins and vitamins, and possess high total antioxidant capacity. We also showed that strawberry extracts (25 μg/mL–1 mg/mL) exert a noticeable photoprotection in HuDe, increasing cell viability in a dose-dependent way, and that these effects are potentiated by the presence of CoQ10red (100 μg/mL). We have demonstrated for the first time that the topical use of strawberry extract may provide good photoprotection, even if more in-depth studies are strongly encouraged in order to evaluate the cellular and molecular effects of strawberry protection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fenarimol, a Pyrimidine-Type Fungicide, Inhibits Brassinosteroid Biosynthesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 17273-17288; doi:10.3390/ijms160817273
Received: 15 June 2015 / Revised: 9 July 2015 / Accepted: 23 July 2015 / Published: 29 July 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2060 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The plant steroid hormone brassinosteroids (BRs) are important signal mediators that regulate broad aspects of plant growth and development. With the discovery of brassinoazole (Brz), the first specific inhibitor of BR biosynthesis, several triazole-type BR biosynthesis inhibitors have been developed. In this article,
[...] Read more.
The plant steroid hormone brassinosteroids (BRs) are important signal mediators that regulate broad aspects of plant growth and development. With the discovery of brassinoazole (Brz), the first specific inhibitor of BR biosynthesis, several triazole-type BR biosynthesis inhibitors have been developed. In this article, we report that fenarimol (FM), a pyrimidine-type fungicide, exhibits potent inhibitory activity against BR biosynthesis. FM induces dwarfism and the open cotyledon phenotype of Arabidopsis seedlings in the dark. The IC50 value for FM to inhibit stem elongation of Arabidopsis seedlings grown in the dark was approximately 1.8 ± 0.2 μM. FM-induced dwarfism of Arabidopsis seedlings could be restored by brassinolide (BL) but not by gibberellin (GA). Assessment of the target site of FM in BR biosynthesis by feeding BR biosynthesis intermediates indicated that FM interferes with the side chain hydroxylation of BR biosynthesis from campestanol to teasterone. Determination of the binding affinity of FM to purified recombinant CYP90D1 indicated that FM induced a typical type II binding spectrum with a Kd value of approximately 0.79 μM. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis of the expression level of the BR responsive gene in Arabidopsis seedlings indicated that FM induces the BR deficiency in Arabidopsis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle 8-p-Hdroxybenzoyl Tovarol Induces Paraptosis Like Cell Death and Protective Autophagy in Human Cervical Cancer HeLa Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 14979-14996; doi:10.3390/ijms160714979
Received: 20 May 2015 / Revised: 16 June 2015 / Accepted: 23 June 2015 / Published: 2 July 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (4390 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
8-p-Hdroxybenzoyl tovarol (TAW) is a germacrane-type sesquiterpenoid that can be isolated from the roots of Ferula dissecta (Ledeb.) Ledeb. In this study, the growth inhibitory effects induced by TAW were screened on some types of tumor cells, and the mechanism was
[...] Read more.
8-p-Hdroxybenzoyl tovarol (TAW) is a germacrane-type sesquiterpenoid that can be isolated from the roots of Ferula dissecta (Ledeb.) Ledeb. In this study, the growth inhibitory effects induced by TAW were screened on some types of tumor cells, and the mechanism was investigated on TAW-induced growth inhibition, including paraptosis and autophagy in human cervical cancer HeLa cells. TAW-induced paraptosis involved extensive cytoplasmic vacuolization in the absence of caspase activation. Additionally, TAW evoked cell paraptotic death mediated by endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and unfolded protein response (UPR). Autophagy induced by TAW was found to antagonize paraptosis in HeLa cells. This effect was enhanced by rapamycin and suppressed by the autophagy inhibitor, 3-methyladenine (3MA). Loss of beclin 1 (an autophagic regulator) function led to promote ER stress. Taken together, these results suggest that TAW induces paraptosis like cell death and protective autophagy in HeLa cells, which would provide a new clue for exploiting TAW as a promising agent for the treatment of cervical cancer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Eriodictyol Protects Endothelial Cells against Oxidative Stress-Induced Cell Death through Modulating ERK/Nrf2/ARE-Dependent Heme Oxygenase-1 Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 14526-14539; doi:10.3390/ijms160714526
Received: 8 April 2015 / Revised: 12 June 2015 / Accepted: 16 June 2015 / Published: 26 June 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1670 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases is complex and may involve oxidative stress-related pathways. Eriodictyol is a flavonoid present in citrus fruits that demonstrates anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, neurotrophic, and antioxidant effects in a range of pathophysiological conditions including vascular diseases. Because oxidative stress plays a
[...] Read more.
The pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases is complex and may involve oxidative stress-related pathways. Eriodictyol is a flavonoid present in citrus fruits that demonstrates anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, neurotrophic, and antioxidant effects in a range of pathophysiological conditions including vascular diseases. Because oxidative stress plays a key role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, the present study was designed to verify whether eriodictyol has therapeutic potential. Upregulation of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), a phase II detoxifying enzyme, in endothelial cells is considered to be helpful in cardiovascular disease. In this study, human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) treated with eriodictyol showed the upregulation of HO-1 through extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK)/nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)/antioxidant response element (ARE) signaling pathways. Further, eriodictyol treatment provided protection against hydrogen peroxide-provoked cell death. This protective effect was eliminated by treatment with a specific inhibitor of HO-1 and RNA interference-mediated knockdown of HO-1 expression. These data demonstrate that eriodictyol induces ERK/Nrf2/ARE-mediated HO-1 upregulation in human endothelial cells, which is directly associated with its vascular protection against oxidative stress-related endothelial injury, and propose that targeting the upregulation of HO-1 is a promising approach for therapeutic intervention in cardiovascular disease. Full article
Open AccessArticle Bioactive Phytochemicals from Wild Arbutus unedo L. Berries from Different Locations in Portugal: Quantification of Lipophilic Components
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(6), 14194-14209; doi:10.3390/ijms160614194
Received: 24 April 2015 / Revised: 10 June 2015 / Accepted: 11 June 2015 / Published: 23 June 2015
PDF Full-text (883 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The lipophilic composition of wild Arbutus unedo L. berries, collected from six locations in Penacova (center of Portugal), as well as some general chemical parameters, namely total soluble solids, pH, titratable acidity, total phenolic content and antioxidant activity was studied in detail to
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The lipophilic composition of wild Arbutus unedo L. berries, collected from six locations in Penacova (center of Portugal), as well as some general chemical parameters, namely total soluble solids, pH, titratable acidity, total phenolic content and antioxidant activity was studied in detail to better understand its potential as a source of bioactive compounds. The chemical composition of the lipophilic extracts, focused on the fatty acids, triterpenoids, sterols, long chain aliphatic alcohols and tocopherols, was investigated by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) analysis of the dichloromethane extracts. The lipophilic extractives of the ripe A. unedo berries ranged from 0.72% to 1.66% (w/w of dry weight), and consisted mainly of triterpenoids, fatty acids and sterols. Minor amounts of long chain aliphatic alcohols and tocopherols were also identified. Forty-one compounds were identified and among these, ursolic acid, lupeol, α-amyrin, linoleic and α-linolenic acids, and β-sitosterol were highlighted as the major components. To the best of our knowledge the current research study provides the most detailed phytochemical repository for the lipophilic composition of A. unedo, and offers valuable information for future valuation and exploitation of these berries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Assessment of Phenolic Content and in Vitro Antioxidant Capacity in the Pulp and Peel of Mango Cultivars
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(6), 13507-13527; doi:10.3390/ijms160613507
Received: 8 May 2015 / Revised: 21 May 2015 / Accepted: 1 June 2015 / Published: 12 June 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1390 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mango (Mangifera indica L.), also called “the king of fruits”, is one of the most popular fruits in tropical regions. Pulp and peel samples of mango cultivars were analyzed to estimate total phenolic, total flavonoid and total anthocyanin contents. Phenolic acids, hydrophilic
[...] Read more.
Mango (Mangifera indica L.), also called “the king of fruits”, is one of the most popular fruits in tropical regions. Pulp and peel samples of mango cultivars were analyzed to estimate total phenolic, total flavonoid and total anthocyanin contents. Phenolic acids, hydrophilic peroxyl radical scavenging capacity (hydro-PSC) and oxygen radical scavenging capacity (ORAC) in vitro were also determined. Total phenolics and flavonoid contents were found maximum in the peel of Xiao Tainang and Da Tainang cultivars, respectively, whereas Xiao Tainang also exhibited significant antioxidant capacity. Noteworthy, concentrations of gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, ferulic acid, chlorogenic acid and caffeic acids at 79.15, 64.33, 33.75, 27.19 and 13.62 mg/100 g fresh weight (FW) were quantified for Da Tainang, Xiao Tainang and of Jidan cultivars, respectively. Comparatively, a higher level of phenolics and significant antioxidant capacity in mango peel indicated that it might be useful as a functional food and value-added ingredient to promote human health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Phytochemical Characterization of Chinese Bayberry (Myrica rubra Sieb. et Zucc.) of 17 Cultivars and Their Antioxidant Properties
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(6), 12467-12481; doi:10.3390/ijms160612467
Received: 17 April 2015 / Revised: 26 May 2015 / Accepted: 26 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (729 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to fully understand the variations of fruit quality-related phytochemical composition in Chinese bayberry (Myrica rubra Sieb. et Zucc.), mature fruit of 17 cultivars from Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces was used for the investigation of fruit quality attributes, including fruit color,
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In order to fully understand the variations of fruit quality-related phytochemical composition in Chinese bayberry (Myrica rubra Sieb. et Zucc.), mature fruit of 17 cultivars from Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces was used for the investigation of fruit quality attributes, including fruit color, soluble sugars, organic acids, total phenolics, flavonoids, antioxidant capacity, etc. Sucrose was the main soluble sugar, while citric acid was the main organic acid in bayberry fruit. The content of total phenolics and total flavonoids were positively correlated with 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) antioxidant activity and 2,2ʹ-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline- 6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) radical scavenging activity. Five anthocyanidins, i.e., delphinidin–hexoside (Dp–Hex), cyanidin-3–O-galactoside (C-3–Gal), cyanidin-3–O-glucoside (C-3–Glu), pelargonidin-3–O-glucoside (Pg-3–Glu) and peonidin-3-O-glucoside (Pn-3–Glu), and seven flavonols compounds, i.e., myricetin-3-O-rhamnoside (M-3–Rha), myricetin deoxyhexoside–gallate (M-DH–G), quercetin-3-O-galactoside (Q-3–Gal), quercetin-3– O-glucoside (Q-3–Glu), quercetin-3–O-rhamnoside (Q-3–Rha), kaempferol-3–O-galactoside (K-3–Gal) and kaempferol-3–O-glucoside (K-3–Glu), were identified and characterized among the cultivars. The significant differences in phytochemical compositions among cultivars reflect the diversity in bayberry germplasm, and cultivars of good flavor and/or rich in various health-promoting phytochemicals are good candidates for future genetic breeding of bayberry fruit of high quality. In conclusion, our results may provide important information for further breeding or industrial utilization of different bayberry resources. Full article
Open AccessArticle Selected Tea and Tea Pomace Extracts Inhibit Intestinal α-Glucosidase Activity in Vitro and Postprandial Hyperglycemia in Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8811-8825; doi:10.3390/ijms16048811
Received: 8 March 2015 / Revised: 8 April 2015 / Accepted: 10 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (881 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a metabolic disorder characterized by postprandial hyperglycemia, which is an early defect of T2DM and thus a primary target for anti-diabetic drugs. A therapeutic approach is to inhibit intestinal α-glucosidase, the key enzyme for dietary carbohydrate digestion,
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Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a metabolic disorder characterized by postprandial hyperglycemia, which is an early defect of T2DM and thus a primary target for anti-diabetic drugs. A therapeutic approach is to inhibit intestinal α-glucosidase, the key enzyme for dietary carbohydrate digestion, resulting in delayed rate of glucose absorption. Although tea extracts have been reported to have anti-diabetic effects, the potential bioactivity of tea pomace, the main bio waste of tea beverage processing, is largely unknown. We evaluated the anti-diabetic effects of three selected tea water extracts (TWE) and tea pomace extracts (TPE) by determining the relative potency of extracts on rat intestinal α-glucosidase activity in vitro as well as hypoglycemic effects in vivo. Green, oolong, and black tea bags were extracted in hot water and the remaining tea pomace were dried and further extracted in 70% ethanol. The extracts were determined for intestinal rat α-glucosidases activity, radical scavenging activity, and total phenolic content. The postprandial glucose-lowering effects of TWE and TPE of green and black tea were assessed in male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats and compared to acarbose, a known pharmacological α-glucosidase inhibitor. The IC50 values of all three tea extracts against mammalian α-glucosidase were lower or similar in TPE groups than those of TWE groups. TWE and TPE of green tea exhibited the highest inhibitory effects against α-glucosidase activity with the IC50 of 2.04 ± 0.31 and 1.95 ± 0.37 mg/mL respectively. Among the specific enzymes tested, the IC50 values for TWE (0.16 ± 0.01 mg/mL) and TPE (0.13 ± 0.01 mg/mL) of green tea against sucrase activity were the lowest compared to those on maltase and glucoamylase activities. In the animal study, the blood glucose level at 30 min after oral intake (0.5 g/kg body wt) of TPE and TWE of both green and black tea was significantly reduced compared to the control in sucrose-loaded SD rats. The TPE of all three teas had significantly higher phenolic content than those of the TWE groups, which correlated strongly with the DPPH radical scavenging activity. This is the first report of tea pomace extract significantly inhibits intestinal α-glucosidase, resulting in delayed glucose absorption and thereby suppressed postprandial hyperglycemia. Our data suggest that tea pomace-derived bioactives may have great potential for further development as nutraceutical products and the reuse of otherwise biowaste as valuable bioresources for the industry. Full article
Open AccessArticle Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Emodin via Attenuation of NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8102-8109; doi:10.3390/ijms16048102
Received: 7 February 2015 / Revised: 31 March 2015 / Accepted: 1 April 2015 / Published: 10 April 2015
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (952 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Emodin, an active constituent of oriental herbs, is widely used to treat allergy, inflammation, and other symptoms. This study provides the scientific basis for the anti-inflammasome effects of emodin on both in vitro and in vivo experimental models. Bone marrow-derived macrophages were used
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Emodin, an active constituent of oriental herbs, is widely used to treat allergy, inflammation, and other symptoms. This study provides the scientific basis for the anti-inflammasome effects of emodin on both in vitro and in vivo experimental models. Bone marrow-derived macrophages were used to study the effects of emodin on inflammasome activation by using inflammasome inducers such as ATP, nigericin, and silica crystals. The lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced endotoxin shock model was employed to study the effect of emodin on in vivo efficacy. Emodin treatment attenuated interleukin (IL)-1β secretion via the inhibition of NOD-like receptor family, pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome activation induced by ATP, nigericin, and silica crystals. Further, emodin ameliorated the severity of NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated symptoms in LPS-induced endotoxin mouse models. This study is the first to reveal mechanism-based evidence, especially with respect to regulation of inflammasome activation, substantiating traditional claims of emodin in the treatment of inflammation-related disorders. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Identification and Pharmacokinetics of Multiple Potential Bioactive Constituents after Oral Administration of Radix Astragali on Cyclophosphamide-Induced Immunosuppression in Balb/c Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(3), 5047-5071; doi:10.3390/ijms16035047
Received: 26 December 2014 / Revised: 15 February 2015 / Accepted: 17 February 2015 / Published: 5 March 2015
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (911 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Radix Astragali (RA) is one of the commonly-used traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) with an immunomodulatory effect confirmed in the clinic. In order to better understand the material basis for the therapeutic effects, this study was to investigate the absorbed components and their pharmacokinetic
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Radix Astragali (RA) is one of the commonly-used traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) with an immunomodulatory effect confirmed in the clinic. In order to better understand the material basis for the therapeutic effects, this study was to investigate the absorbed components and their pharmacokinetic profile after oral administration of RA on cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppression in Balb/c mice. As a result, 51 compounds in RA extract and 31 prototype compounds with nine metabolites were detected in mice plasma by the ultra-fast liquid chromatography (UFLC)-DAD-Q-TOF-MS/MS method. The pharmacokinetic parameters of five main constituents, including calycosin-7-O-glucoside, ononin, calycosin, formononetin and astragaloside IV, were obtained using HPLC-MS/MS. These results offered useful information for research on the pharmacological mechanism of RA and for its further development. Full article
Open AccessArticle Myricanol Induces Apoptotic Cell Death and Anti-Tumor Activity in Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma in Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(2), 2717-2731; doi:10.3390/ijms16022717
Received: 25 November 2014 / Accepted: 21 January 2015 / Published: 26 January 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (12919 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study explored the inhibiting effect and mechanism of myricanol on lung adenocarcinoma A549 xenografts in nude mice. Forty nude mice with subcutaneous A549 xenografts were randomly divided into five groups: high-dose myricanol (40 mg/kg body weight) group; middle-dose myricanol (20 mg/kg body
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This study explored the inhibiting effect and mechanism of myricanol on lung adenocarcinoma A549 xenografts in nude mice. Forty nude mice with subcutaneous A549 xenografts were randomly divided into five groups: high-dose myricanol (40 mg/kg body weight) group; middle-dose myricanol (20 mg/kg body weight) group; low-dose myricanol (10 mg/kg body weight) group; polyethylene glycol 400 vehicle group (1 mL/kg); and tumor model group. Nude mice were sacrificed after 14 days of treatment and the tumor inhibition rate (TIR, %) was then calculated. The relative mRNA expression levels of Bax, Bcl-2, VEGF, HIF-1α, and survivin in the tumor tissues were determined by real-time PCR. TUNEL assay was applied to determine cellular apoptosis, while IHC test was performed to detect the protein expression levels of Bax, Bcl-2, VEGF, HIF-1α, and survivin. The TIR of the three myricanol-treated groups ranged from 14.9% to 38.5%. The IHC results showed that the protein expression of Bcl-2, VEGF, HIF-1α, and survivin were consistently downregulated, whereas that of Bax was upregulated after myricanol treatment. Myricanol also significantly upregulated the mRNA expression of Bax and downregulated that of Bcl-2, VEGF, HIF-1α, and survivin in a dose-dependent manner (p < 0.05 to 0.001). These results are consistent with those of IHC. The TUNEL assay results indicated that apoptotic-positive cells significantly increased in the myricanol-treated tumor tissues compared with the cells of the vehicle control group (p < 0.01 to 0.001). These data suggest that myricanol could significantly decelerate tumor growth in vivo by inducing apoptosis. Full article
Open AccessArticle Antiproliferative and Antioxidant Properties of Anthocyanin Rich Extracts from Blueberry and Blackcurrant Juice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(2), 2352-2365; doi:10.3390/ijms16022352
Received: 17 November 2014 / Revised: 27 November 2014 / Accepted: 11 December 2014 / Published: 22 January 2015
Cited by 31 | PDF Full-text (2728 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study was aimed at evaluating the antiproliferative potential of anthocyanin-rich fractions (ARFs) obtained from two commercially available juices (blueberry and blackcurrant juices) on three tumor cell lines; B16F10 (murine melanoma), A2780 (ovarian cancer) and HeLa (cervical cancer). Individual anthocyanin determination, identification
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The present study was aimed at evaluating the antiproliferative potential of anthocyanin-rich fractions (ARFs) obtained from two commercially available juices (blueberry and blackcurrant juices) on three tumor cell lines; B16F10 (murine melanoma), A2780 (ovarian cancer) and HeLa (cervical cancer). Individual anthocyanin determination, identification and quantification were done using HPLC-MS. Antioxidant activity of the juices was determined through different mechanism methods such as DPPH and ORAC. For biological testing, the juices were purified through C18 cartridges in order to obtain fractions rich in anthocyanins. The major anthocyanins identified were glycosylated cyanidin derivatives. The antiproliferative activity of the fractions was tested using the MTT assay. The antiproliferative potential of ARF was found to be associated with those bioactive molecules, anthocyanins due to their antioxidant potential. The results obtained indicated that both blueberry and blackcurrants are rich sources of antioxidants including anthocyanins and therefore these fruits are highly recommended for daily consumption to prevent numerous degenerative diseases. Full article
Open AccessArticle Nutritional Composition and Antioxidant Capacity in Edible Flowers: Characterisation of Phenolic Compounds by HPLC-DAD-ESI/MSn
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(1), 805-822; doi:10.3390/ijms16010805
Received: 10 October 2014 / Accepted: 19 December 2014 / Published: 31 December 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1090 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Edible flowers are commonly used in human nutrition and their consumption has increased in recent years. The aim of this study was to ascertain the nutritional composition and the content and profile of phenolic compounds of three edible flowers, monks cress (Tropaeolum
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Edible flowers are commonly used in human nutrition and their consumption has increased in recent years. The aim of this study was to ascertain the nutritional composition and the content and profile of phenolic compounds of three edible flowers, monks cress (Tropaeolum majus), marigold (Tagetes erecta) and paracress (Spilanthes oleracea), and to determine the relationship between the presence of phenolic compounds and the antioxidant capacity. Proximate composition, total dietary fibre (TDF) and minerals were analysed according to official methods: total phenolic compounds (TPC) were determined with Folin-Ciocalteu’s reagent, whereas antioxidant capacity was evaluated using Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (TEAC) and Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) assays. In addition, phenolic compounds were characterised by HPLC-DAD-MSn. In relation to the nutritional value, the edible flowers had a composition similar to that of other plant foods, with a high water and TDF content, low protein content and very low proportion of total fat—showing significant differences among samples. The levels of TPC compounds and the antioxidant capacity were significantly higher in T. erecta, followed by S. oleracea and T. majus. Thirty-nine different phenolic compounds were tentatively identified, with flavonols being the major compounds detected in all samples, followed by anthocyanins and hydroxycynnamic acid derivatives. In T. erecta small proportions of gallotannin and ellagic acid were also identified. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Elucidating Pharmacological Mechanisms of Natural Medicines by Biclustering Analysis of the Gene Expression Profile: A Case Study on Curcumin and Si-Wu-Tang
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(1), 510-520; doi:10.3390/ijms16010510
Received: 14 October 2014 / Accepted: 19 December 2014 / Published: 29 December 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (930 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Natural medicines have attracted wide attention in recent years. It is of great significance to clarify the pharmacological mechanisms of natural medicines. In prior studies, we established a method for elucidating pharmacological mechanisms of natural products contained in connectivity map (cMap), in terms
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Natural medicines have attracted wide attention in recent years. It is of great significance to clarify the pharmacological mechanisms of natural medicines. In prior studies, we established a method for elucidating pharmacological mechanisms of natural products contained in connectivity map (cMap), in terms of module profiles of gene expression in chemical treatments. In this study, we explore whether this methodology is applicable to dissecting the pharmacological mechanisms of natural medicines beyond the agents contained in cMap. First, the gene expression profiles of curcumin (a typical isolated natural medicine) and Si-Wu-Tang (a classic traditional Chinese medicine formula) treatments were merged with those of cMap-derived 1309 agents, respectively. Then, a biclustering analysis was performed using FABIA method to identify gene modules. The biological functions of gene modules provide preliminary insights into pharmacological mechanisms of both natural medicines. The module profile can be characterized by a binary vector, which allowed us to compare the expression profiles of natural medicines with those of cMap-derived agents. Accordingly, we predicted a series of pharmacological effects for curcumin and Si-Wu-Tang by the indications of cMap-covered drugs. Most predictions were supported by experimental observations, suggesting the potential use of this method in natural medicine dissection. Full article
Open AccessArticle Pheophytin a Inhibits Inflammation via Suppression of LPS-Induced Nitric Oxide Synthase-2, Prostaglandin E2, and Interleukin-1β of Macrophages
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(12), 22819-22834; doi:10.3390/ijms151222819
Received: 13 October 2014 / Revised: 26 November 2014 / Accepted: 27 November 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2314 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Inflammation is a serious health issue worldwide that induces many diseases such as sepsis. There has been a vast search for potentially effective drugs to decrease mortality from sepsis. Pheophytin a is a chlorophyll-related compound derived from green tea. We found that pre-treatment
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Inflammation is a serious health issue worldwide that induces many diseases such as sepsis. There has been a vast search for potentially effective drugs to decrease mortality from sepsis. Pheophytin a is a chlorophyll-related compound derived from green tea. We found that pre-treatment with pheophytin a suppressed lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), and interleukin-1β in RAW 264.7 macrophages. NO synthase-2 (NOS2) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression levels were repressed by pre-treatment with pheophytin a at both the transcriptional and translational levels. Pheophytin a inhibited NOS2 promoter activity, but not its mRNA stability, through extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2). This suppression was reversed by ERK1/2 inhibitor (U0126). Pheophytin a reduced signal transducers and activators of transcription 1 (STAT-1) activation, without an obvious influence on activator protein-1 (AP-1) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB). These results suggest that pheophytin a functions by down-regulating the transcriptional levels of inflammatory mediators and blocking the ERK and STAT-1 pathways. Full article

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Open AccessReview Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity in Different Types of Berries
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(10), 24673-24706; doi:10.3390/ijms161024673
Received: 30 July 2015 / Revised: 12 September 2015 / Accepted: 23 September 2015 / Published: 16 October 2015
Cited by 59 | PDF Full-text (771 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Berries, especially members of several families, such as Rosaceae (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry), and Ericaceae (blueberry, cranberry), belong to the best dietary sources of bioactive compounds (BAC). They have delicious taste and flavor, have economic importance, and because of the antioxidant properties of BAC,
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Berries, especially members of several families, such as Rosaceae (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry), and Ericaceae (blueberry, cranberry), belong to the best dietary sources of bioactive compounds (BAC). They have delicious taste and flavor, have economic importance, and because of the antioxidant properties of BAC, they are of great interest also for nutritionists and food technologists due to the opportunity to use BAC as functional foods ingredients. The bioactive compounds in berries contain mainly phenolic compounds (phenolic acids, flavonoids, such as anthocyanins and flavonols, and tannins) and ascorbic acid. These compounds, either individually or combined, are responsible for various health benefits of berries, such as prevention of inflammation disorders, cardiovascular diseases, or protective effects to lower the risk of various cancers. In this review bioactive compounds of commonly consumed berries are described, as well as the factors influencing their antioxidant capacity and their health benefits. Full article
Open AccessReview Bioactive Compounds Found in Brazilian Cerrado Fruits
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(10), 23760-23783; doi:10.3390/ijms161023760
Received: 3 August 2015 / Revised: 21 September 2015 / Accepted: 21 September 2015 / Published: 9 October 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Functional foods include any natural product that presents health-promoting effects, thereby reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Cerrado fruits are considered a source of bioactive substances, mainly phenolic compounds, making them important functional foods. Despite this, the losses of natural vegetation in the
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Functional foods include any natural product that presents health-promoting effects, thereby reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Cerrado fruits are considered a source of bioactive substances, mainly phenolic compounds, making them important functional foods. Despite this, the losses of natural vegetation in the Cerrado are progressive. Hence, the knowledge propagation about the importance of the species found in Cerrado could contribute to the preservation of this biome. This review provides information about Cerrado fruits and highlights the structures and pharmacologic potential of functional compounds found in these fruits. Compounds detected in Caryocar brasiliense Camb. (pequi), Dipteryx alata Vog. (baru), Eugenia dysenterica DC. (cagaita), Eugenia uniflora L. (pitanga), Genipa americana L. (jenipapo), Hancornia speciosa Gomes (mangaba), Mauritia flexuosa L.f. (buriti), Myrciaria cauliflora (DC) Berg (jabuticaba), Psidium guajava L. (goiaba), Psidium spp. (araçá), Solanum lycocarpum St. Hill (lobeira), Spondias mombin L. (cajá), Annona crassiflora Mart. (araticum), among others are reported here. Full article
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Open AccessReview Allanblackia Oil: Phytochemistry and Use as a Functional Food
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(9), 22333-22349; doi:10.3390/ijms160922333
Received: 27 July 2015 / Revised: 20 August 2015 / Accepted: 21 August 2015 / Published: 15 September 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1310 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The consumption and commercial exploitation of Allanblackia (Clusiaceae) seed oils is of current interest. The favorable physicochemical characteristics of Allanblackia oil (solid at room temperature; high stearic acid content) lend food products that contain it (i.e., vegetable-based dairy products, ice cream,
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The consumption and commercial exploitation of Allanblackia (Clusiaceae) seed oils is of current interest. The favorable physicochemical characteristics of Allanblackia oil (solid at room temperature; high stearic acid content) lend food products that contain it (i.e., vegetable-based dairy products, ice cream, spreads) health advantages over others that contain higher levels of lauric, myristic, and/or palmitic acids, which can increase blood cholesterol levels. Such considerations are important for individuals prone to cardiovascular disease or with hypercholesterolemia. Domestication projects of several Allanblackia species in tropical Africa are underway, but wildcrafting of fruits to meet the seed demand still occurs. Proper species authentication is important, since only authenticated oil can be deemed safe for human consumption. The chemical constituency of Allanblackia seed oils, and potential roles of these phytochemicals in preventive strategies (e.g., as part of a healthy diet) and as pharmacological agents used to treat chronic disease were examined in this review. The primary and secondary metabolite constituency of the seed oils of nearly all Allanblackia species is still poorly known. The presence, identity, and quantity of potentially bioactive secondary metabolites in the seed oils, and pharmacological testing of isolated compounds were identified as important directions for future research. Full article
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Open AccessReview Anthocyanin Absorption and Metabolism by Human Intestinal Caco-2 Cells—A Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(9), 21555-21574; doi:10.3390/ijms160921555
Received: 30 July 2015 / Revised: 18 August 2015 / Accepted: 26 August 2015 / Published: 8 September 2015
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (1026 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Anthocyanins from different plant sources have been shown to possess health beneficial effects against a number of chronic diseases. To obtain any influence in a specific tissue or organ, these bioactive compounds must be bioavailable, i.e., effectively absorbed from the gut into
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Anthocyanins from different plant sources have been shown to possess health beneficial effects against a number of chronic diseases. To obtain any influence in a specific tissue or organ, these bioactive compounds must be bioavailable, i.e., effectively absorbed from the gut into the circulation and transferred to the appropriate location within the body while still maintaining their bioactivity. One of the key factors affecting the bioavailability of anthocyanins is their transport through the gut epithelium. The Caco-2 cell line, a human intestinal epithelial cell model derived from a colon carcinoma, has been proven to be a good alternative to animal studies for predicting intestinal absorption of anthocyanins. Studies investigating anthocyanin absorption by Caco-2 cells report very low absorption of these compounds. However, the bioavailability of anthocyanins may be underestimated since the metabolites formed in the course of digestion could be responsible for the health benefits associated with anthocyanins. In this review, we critically discuss recent findings reported on the anthocyanin absorption and metabolism by human intestinal Caco-2 cells. Full article
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Open AccessReview Bioactive Compounds of Blueberries: Post-Harvest Factors Influencing the Nutritional Value of Products
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 18642-18663; doi:10.3390/ijms160818642
Received: 22 June 2015 / Revised: 27 July 2015 / Accepted: 28 July 2015 / Published: 10 August 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Blueberries, besides having commonly-recognized taste properties, are also a valuable source of health-promoting bioactive compounds. For several decades, blueberries have gained in popularity all over the world, and recent years have seen not only an increase in fresh consumption, but also in the
[...] Read more.
Blueberries, besides having commonly-recognized taste properties, are also a valuable source of health-promoting bioactive compounds. For several decades, blueberries have gained in popularity all over the world, and recent years have seen not only an increase in fresh consumption, but also in the importance of blueberries for the processing industry. Blueberry processing mostly consists of freezing and juicing. Recently, more attention has been drawn to dewatering and drying, which are promising areas for developing novel blueberry products. Processing affects each biologically-active compound in a different way, and it is still unknown what changes those compounds undergo at the molecular level after the application of different processing technologies. This work presents the most recent state of knowledge about the pre-treatment and processing methods applied to blueberries and their influence on the content of biologically-active compounds. The presentation of methods is preceded by a brief overview of the characteristics of the blueberry species, a description of the chemical composition of the fruit and a short note about the main growing areas, production volumes and the management of fruit crops. Full article
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Open AccessReview Annona muricata (Annonaceae): A Review of Its Traditional Uses, Isolated Acetogenins and Biological Activities
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 15625-15658; doi:10.3390/ijms160715625
Received: 30 April 2015 / Revised: 21 May 2015 / Accepted: 29 May 2015 / Published: 10 July 2015
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (1233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Annona muricata is a member of the Annonaceae family and is a fruit tree with a long history of traditional use. A. muricata, also known as soursop, graviola and guanabana, is an evergreen plant that is mostly distributed in tropical and subtropical
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Annona muricata is a member of the Annonaceae family and is a fruit tree with a long history of traditional use. A. muricata, also known as soursop, graviola and guanabana, is an evergreen plant that is mostly distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. The fruits of A. muricata are extensively used to prepare syrups, candies, beverages, ice creams and shakes. A wide array of ethnomedicinal activities is contributed to different parts of A. muricata, and indigenous communities in Africa and South America extensively use this plant in their folk medicine. Numerous investigations have substantiated these activities, including anticancer, anticonvulsant, anti-arthritic, antiparasitic, antimalarial, hepatoprotective and antidiabetic activities. Phytochemical studies reveal that annonaceous acetogenins are the major constituents of A. muricata. More than 100 annonaceous acetogenins have been isolated from leaves, barks, seeds, roots and fruits of A. muricata. In view of the immense studies on A. muricata, this review strives to unite available information regarding its phytochemistry, traditional uses and biological activities. Full article
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Open AccessReview Cultivation, Genetic, Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of Moringa oleifera Leaves: An Overview
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(6), 12791-12835; doi:10.3390/ijms160612791
Received: 21 April 2015 / Revised: 18 May 2015 / Accepted: 20 May 2015 / Published: 5 June 2015
Cited by 33 | PDF Full-text (1750 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Moringa oleifera is an interesting plant for its use in bioactive compounds. In this manuscript, we review studies concerning the cultivation and production of moringa along with genetic diversity among different accessions and populations. Different methods of propagation, establishment and cultivation are discussed.
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Moringa oleifera is an interesting plant for its use in bioactive compounds. In this manuscript, we review studies concerning the cultivation and production of moringa along with genetic diversity among different accessions and populations. Different methods of propagation, establishment and cultivation are discussed. Moringa oleifera shows diversity in many characters and extensive morphological variability, which may provide a resource for its improvement. Great genetic variability is present in the natural and cultivated accessions, but no collection of cultivated and wild accessions currently exists. A germplasm bank encompassing the genetic variability present in Moringa is needed to perform breeding programmes and develop elite varieties adapted to local conditions. Alimentary and medicinal uses of moringa are reviewed, alongside the production of biodiesel. Finally, being that the leaves are the most used part of the plant, their contents in terms of bioactive compounds and their pharmacological properties are discussed. Many studies conducted on cell lines and animals seem concordant in their support for these properties. However, there are still too few studies on humans to recommend Moringa leaves as medication in the prevention or treatment of diseases. Therefore, further studies on humans are recommended. Full article
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