E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Topical Collection "Phytochemicals: Biosynthesis, Metabolism and Biological Activities"

A topical collection in Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This collection belongs to the section "Metabolites".

Editor

Collection Editor
Prof. Dr. Marcello Iriti

Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Milan State University, Via G. Celoria 2, Milan 20133, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: bioactive phytochemicals; plant secondary metabolism; medicinal and food plants; environmental pollution; environmental stresses; nutraceuticals; functional foods; ethnobotany; complementary and alternative medicine

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

In their environment, plants have to cope with a plethora of stressful conditions such as pathogenic microorganisms, phytophagy, competitor plants, environmental pollutants and adverse climatic changes which have exerted a selective pressure on plant species and populations. In addition, coevolution, based on plant-microbe, plant-herbivore and plant-environment interactions, has represented a further force that has shaped evolving plants. Therefore, these sessile organisms have evolved a complex machinery in order to counteract harmful conditions, based on a number of sequential barriers which include both preformed and inducible chemical defenses. In evolutionary and ecological terms, chemical diversity has determined the successful of plants in their environment: these organisms synthesize secondary metabolites, i.e., phytochemicals, not only to defend themselves from their enemies, but also to secure the reproductive process, with pigments coloring flowers and volatile compounds attracting pollinators.

Efficacy of phytochemicals as defense metabolites mostly depends on their multiple molecular targets, both in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, including receptors, ion channels, enzymes, structural macromolecules and nucleic acids. Consequently, secondary metabolites interfere with a number of cell processes such as cell cycle, mitosis, signaling pathways, protein synthesis and folding, programmed cell death, energy metabolism and so on. Not least because of this unique nature of phytochemicals, and because plant tissues contain hundreds of natural compounds, there exists a lower risk of developing phytochemical-resistant pathogens or insects compared with conventional agrochemicals or pharmaceuticals.

We invite investigators to submit both original research and review articles that explore all the aspects of plant secondary metabolism, with emphasis on functional roles of phytochemicals in plant organisms. We are also interested in contributions focusing on biological and pharmacological activities of secondary metabolites such as biocide, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities, as well as on their roles in human nutrition as health-promoting agents.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to: stress metabolism; chemical ecology; plant stress physiology; plant defense mechanisms; xenobiotic metabolism; global climate changes; environmental pollution; medicinal and food plants; functional foods; nutraceuticals; essential oils

Prof. Dr. Marcello Iriti
Collection Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts for the topical collection can be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on this website. The topical collection considers regular research articles, short communications and review articles. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page.

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).

Keywords

  • bioactive phytochemicals

  • natural products

  • botanicals

  • phytoalexins

  • secondary metabolites

  • melatonin

Published Papers (107 papers)

2018

Jump to: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014

Open AccessArticle Novel Neuroprotective Lead Compound Ligustrazine Derivative Mass Spectrometry Fragmentation Rule and Metabolites in Rats by LC/LTQ-Orbitrap MS
Molecules 2018, 23(5), 1154; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23051154
Received: 15 April 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
PDF Full-text (3988 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The neuroprotective evaluation of ligustrazine derivatives has become a research focus all over the world. A novel ligustrazine derivative, (3,5,6-Trimethylpyrazin-2-yl)methyl(E)-3-(4-((3,5,6-trimethylpyrazin-2-l)methoxy)phenyl)acrylate (T-CA), has shown protective effects against CoCl2-induced neurotoxicity in a differentiated PC12 cell model and middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model
[...] Read more.
The neuroprotective evaluation of ligustrazine derivatives has become a research focus all over the world. A novel ligustrazine derivative, (3,5,6-Trimethylpyrazin-2-yl)methyl(E)-3-(4-((3,5,6-trimethylpyrazin-2-l)methoxy)phenyl)acrylate (T-CA), has shown protective effects against CoCl2-induced neurotoxicity in a differentiated PC12 cell model and middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model in our previous studies. However, nearly none of the parent drugs existed after rapid metabolism due to uncertain reasons. Thus, the fragmentation regularities of mass spectra, and metabolites, of T-CA in rats were examined using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionizationion trap mass spectrometry (LC/LTQ-Orbitrap MS) in this research. The main fragment ion, mass spectrum characteristics, and the structural information were elucidated. When compared with a blank sample, we identified five kinds of T-CA metabolites, including three phase I metabolites and two phase II metabolites. The results showed that the metabolic pathways of T-CA in rats via oral administration were hydrolysis (ether bond rupture, ester bond rupture), oxidation, reduction, glucose aldehyde acidification, etc. In addition, three main metabolites were synthesized and their structures were identified by superconducting high-resolution NMR and high-resolution mass spectroscopy (HR-MS). The neuroprotective activity of these metabolites was validated in a PC12 cell model. One of the metabolites (M2) showed significant activity (EC50 = 9.67 μM), which was comparable to the prototype drug T-CA (EC50 = 7.97 μM). The current study provides important information for ligustrazine derivatives, pertaining to the biological conversion process in vivo. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Bioactivity-Guided Isolation of Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Metabolites from the Mushroom Tapinella atrotomentosa
Molecules 2018, 23(5), 1082; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23051082
Received: 10 April 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 27 April 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
PDF Full-text (444 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Bioassay-guided fractionation of the chloroform extract of Tapinella atrotomentosa led to the isolation of four secondary metabolites 14. Two of the compounds are lactones—osmundalactone (1) and 5-hydroxy-hex-2-en-4-olide (2)—while 3 and 4 were identified as terphenyl quinones,
[...] Read more.
Bioassay-guided fractionation of the chloroform extract of Tapinella atrotomentosa led to the isolation of four secondary metabolites 14. Two of the compounds are lactones—osmundalactone (1) and 5-hydroxy-hex-2-en-4-olide (2)—while 3 and 4 were identified as terphenyl quinones, spiromentins C and B, respectively. The structures of the compounds were established on the basis of NMR and MS spectroscopic analysis. The isolated fungal metabolites were evaluated for their antibacterial activities against several Gram-positive and negative bacteria. In addition, their synergistic effect with cefuroxime against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was also evaluated. Compounds 13 proved to possess significant antibacterial activity against multiresistant Acinetobacter baumannii and extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli. The investigation of the antioxidant effect of the isolated compounds in DPPH and ORAC assays revealed that spiromentins C (3) and B (4) have remarkable antioxidant activity. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle The Chemical Composition and Metabolic Effects of Attalea phalerata Nut Oil in Hyperlipidemic Rats Induced by a High-Fructose Diet
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 960; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23040960
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
PDF Full-text (490 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The fatty acids found in nuts are important regulators of the metabolism. These acids are frequently associated with a reduction of serum cholesterol and body fat and a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In this context, the aim of this study was
[...] Read more.
The fatty acids found in nuts are important regulators of the metabolism. These acids are frequently associated with a reduction of serum cholesterol and body fat and a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In this context, the aim of this study was to identify and quantify the nut oil fatty acids from Attalea phalerata and investigate their metabolic effects in rats with hyperlipidemia induced by a diet rich in fructose. Oleic and lauric acids were the major compounds found in the A. phalerata nut oil (APNO). Hyperlipidemic rats treated with APNO showed a reduction in the total serum cholesterol similar to those treated with simvastatin, an increased body temperature by 1 °C, and a reduction in the body weight gain and mesenteric depot of white adipose tissue compared to the hyperlipidemic controls rats. There was an increase in the relative liver weight of rats treated with APNO, without, however, any change in the serum markers of hepatic toxicity. In addition, there was an increase in the moisture and lipid content of the feces of the rats treated with APNO compared to the controls. Together, these results suggest that APNO has potential use in health foods and nutritional supplements to control hypercholesterolemia and obesity. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Stryphnodendron Species Known as “Barbatimão”: A Comprehensive Report
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 910; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23040910
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 15 April 2018
PDF Full-text (924 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Stryphnodendron spp., popularly known as “barbatimão”, is the native Brazilian tree most often employed to treat wounds and infections. The aim of the present study was to highlight the importance of S. adstringens, as well as other Stryphnodendron species recognized as “barbatimão”, to
[...] Read more.
Stryphnodendron spp., popularly known as “barbatimão”, is the native Brazilian tree most often employed to treat wounds and infections. The aim of the present study was to highlight the importance of S. adstringens, as well as other Stryphnodendron species recognized as “barbatimão”, to human health, depicting the relevance of ethnopharmacological knowledge to scientific evidence for uses, related chemical compounds, development of pharmaceutical formulations, and the establishment of toxicity parameters. For this purpose, the literature databases PubMed, Scielo, Lilacs, CAPES Thesis and Google Scholar were searched until 2017. It was observed that stem bark was the primary part of the plant used, mainly as a decoction, for wound healing and treatment of infectious and inflammatory disorders. Confirmed biological activities, including wound healing, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial activities, were related to the presence of compounds from tannin class, mostly proanthocyanidins. Toxicity parameters for stem bark were inconclusive, but toxicity was observed to a significant extent when seeds were ingested by cattle or other animals. Due to these important and confirmed biological activities, government policy encourages the phytotherapic use of S. adstringens, and some formulations with stem bark extracts were developed and patented. Furthermore, antiprotozoal, hypoglycemic and antiviral activities were identified as promising. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle UFLC-Q-TOF-MS/MS-Based Screening and Identification of Flavonoids and Derived Metabolites in Human Urine after Oral Administration of Exocarpium Citri Grandis Extract
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 895; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23040895
Received: 2 April 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 12 April 2018
PDF Full-text (1808 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Exocarpium Citri grandis (ECG) is an important Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for the treatment of cough and phlegm, and the flavonoids contained were considered the main effective components. To date, the systematic chemical profiling of these flavonoids and derived in vivo metabolites in
[...] Read more.
Exocarpium Citri grandis (ECG) is an important Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for the treatment of cough and phlegm, and the flavonoids contained were considered the main effective components. To date, the systematic chemical profiling of these flavonoids and derived in vivo metabolites in human have not been well investigated. ECG was extracted using boiling water and then provided to volunteers for oral administration. Following the ingestion, urine samples were collected from volunteers over 48 h. The extract and urine samples were analyzed using ultra-fast liquid chromatography/quadrupole-time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (UFLC-Q-TOF-MS/MS) system to screen and identify flavonoids and derived in vivo metabolites. A total of 18 flavonoids were identified in the ECG extract, and 20 metabolites, mainly glucuronide and sulfate conjugates, were screened in urine samples collected post consumption. The overall excretion of naringenin metabolites corresponded to 5.45% of intake and occurred mainly within 4–12 h after the ingestion. Meanwhile, another 29 phenolic catabolites were detected in urine. Obtained data revealed that flavonoids were abundant in the ECG extract, and these components underwent extensive phase II metabolism in humans. These results provided valuable information for further study of the pharmacology and mechanism of action of ECG. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Extracellular Phytase Production by the Wine Yeast S. cerevisiae (Finarome Strain) during Submerged Fermentation
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 848; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23040848
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 5 April 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 8 April 2018
PDF Full-text (9466 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the key steps in the production of phytases of microbial origin is selection of culture parameters, followed by isolation of the enzyme and evaluation of its catalytic activity. It was found that conditions for S. cerevisiae yeast culture, strain Finarome, giving
[...] Read more.
One of the key steps in the production of phytases of microbial origin is selection of culture parameters, followed by isolation of the enzyme and evaluation of its catalytic activity. It was found that conditions for S. cerevisiae yeast culture, strain Finarome, giving the reduction in phytic acid concentration of more than 98% within 24 h of incubation were as follows: pH 5.5, 32 °C, continuous stirring at 80 rpm, the use of mannose as a carbon source and aspartic acid as a source of nitrogen. The highest catalytic activity of the isolated phytase was observed at 37 °C, pH 4.0 and using phytate as substrate at concentration of 5.0 mM. The presence of ethanol in the medium at a concentration of 12% v/v reduces the catalytic activity to above 60%. Properties of phytase derived from S. cerevisiae yeast culture, strain Finarome, indicate the possibility of its application in the form of a cell’s free crude protein isolate for the hydrolysis of phytic acid to improve the efficiency of alcoholic fermentation processes. Our results also suggest a possibility to use the strain under study to obtain a fusant derived with specialized distillery strains, capable of carrying out a highly efficient fermentation process combined with the utilization of phytates. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Variable Levels of Tolerance to Water Stress (Drought) and Associated Biochemical Markers in Tunisian Barley Landraces
Molecules 2018, 23(3), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23030613
Received: 15 February 2018 / Revised: 5 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 8 March 2018
PDF Full-text (1548 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to its high tolerance to abiotic stress, barley (Hordeum vulgare) is cultivated in many arid areas of the world. In the present study, we evaluate the tolerance to water stress (drought) in nine accessions of “Ardhaoui” barley landraces from different
[...] Read more.
Due to its high tolerance to abiotic stress, barley (Hordeum vulgare) is cultivated in many arid areas of the world. In the present study, we evaluate the tolerance to water stress (drought) in nine accessions of “Ardhaoui” barley landraces from different regions of Tunisia. The genetic diversity of the accessions is evaluated with six SSR markers. Seedlings from the nine accessions are subjected to water stress by completely stopping irrigation for three weeks. A high genetic diversity is detected among the nine accessions, with no relationships between genetic distance and geographical or ecogeographical zone. The analysis of growth parameters and biochemical markers in the water stress-treated plants in comparison to their respective controls indicated great variability among the studied accessions. Accession 2, from El May Island, displayed high tolerance to drought. Increased amounts of proline in water-stressed plants could not be correlated with a better response to drought, as the most tolerant accessions contained lower levels of this osmolyte. A good correlation was established between the reduction of growth and degradation of chlorophylls and increased levels of malondialdehyde and total phenolics. These biochemical markers may be useful for identifying drought tolerant materials in barley. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Quantitative 1H-NMR Spectroscopy for Profiling Primary Metabolites in Mulberry Leaves
Molecules 2018, 23(3), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23030554
Received: 11 January 2018 / Revised: 4 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 2 March 2018
PDF Full-text (2325 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The primary metabolites in aqueous extract of mulberry (Morus alba L.) leaves were characterized by using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectroscopy. With the convenience of resonance assignment, GABA together with the other 10 primary metabolites was simultaneously identified and
[...] Read more.
The primary metabolites in aqueous extract of mulberry (Morus alba L.) leaves were characterized by using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectroscopy. With the convenience of resonance assignment, GABA together with the other 10 primary metabolites was simultaneously identified and quantified in one 1H-NMR spectrum. In this study, external calibration curves for metabolites were employed to calculate the concentrations of interests. The proposed quantitative approach was demonstrated with good linearity (r2 ranged in the interval of 0.9965–0.9999), precision, repeatability, stability (RSD values in the ranges of 0.35–4.89%, 0.77–7.13% and 0.28–2.33%, respectively) and accuracy (recovery rates from 89.2% to 118.5%). The established 1H-NMR method was then successfully applied to quantify 11 primary metabolites in mulberry leaves from different geographical regions within a rapid analysis time and a simple sample preparation procedure. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Bivariate Correlation Analysis of the Chemometric Profiles of Chinese Wild Salvia miltiorrhiza Based on UPLC-Qqq-MS and Antioxidant Activities
Molecules 2018, 23(3), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23030538
Received: 26 January 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
PDF Full-text (1455 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
To better understand the mechanisms underlying the pharmacological actions of Salvia miltiorrhiza, correlation between the chemical profiles and in vitro antioxidant activities in 50 batches of wild S. miltiorrhiza samples was analyzed. Our ultra-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry analysis detected twelve phenolic
[...] Read more.
To better understand the mechanisms underlying the pharmacological actions of Salvia miltiorrhiza, correlation between the chemical profiles and in vitro antioxidant activities in 50 batches of wild S. miltiorrhiza samples was analyzed. Our ultra-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry analysis detected twelve phenolic acids and five tanshinones and obtained various chemical profiles from different origins. In a principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis, the tanshinones cryptotanshinone, tanshinone IIA and dihydrotanshinone I exhibited higher weights in PC1, whereas the phenolic acids danshensu, salvianolic acids A and B and lithospermic acid were highly loaded in PC2. All components could be optimized as markers of different locations and might be suitable for S. miltiorrhiza quality analyses. Additionally, the DPPH and ABTS assays used to comprehensively evaluate antioxidant activities indicated large variations, with mean DPPH and ABTS scavenging potencies of 32.24 and 23.39 μg/mL, respectively, among S. miltiorrhiza extract solutions. Notably, samples that exceeded the mean IC50 values had higher phenolic acid contents. A correlation analysis indicated a strong correlation between the antioxidant activities and phenolic acid contents. Caffeic acid, danshensu, rosmarinic acid, lithospermic acid and salvianolic acid B were major contributors to antioxidant activity. In conclusion, phenolic compounds were the predominant antioxidant components in the investigated plant species. These plants may be sources of potent natural antioxidants and beneficial chemopreventive agents. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessReview Sulphated Flavonoids: Biosynthesis, Structures, and Biological Activities
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020480
Received: 13 January 2018 / Revised: 7 February 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (760 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The great diversity of enzymatic reactions in plant secondary metabolism allows the continuous discovery of new natural compounds and derivatives. Flavonoids, for example, can be found as aglycone or as several sorts of glycosylated, acetylated, methylated, and sulphated derivatives. This review focuses on
[...] Read more.
The great diversity of enzymatic reactions in plant secondary metabolism allows the continuous discovery of new natural compounds and derivatives. Flavonoids, for example, can be found as aglycone or as several sorts of glycosylated, acetylated, methylated, and sulphated derivatives. This review focuses on sulphated flavonoids, an uncommon group of flavonoid derivatives found in some plant families. This work presents a compilation of sulphated flavonoids and their natural sources reported in the literature. Biosynthetic aspects and biological activities have also been reviewed, showing that these particular kinds of natural compounds play an interesting role in plant metabolism, as well as being potential candidates for the development of new drugs. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Dynamic Changes in Phenolics and Antioxidant Capacity during Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) Kernel Ripening and Its Phenolics Profiles
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020435
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 11 February 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2018 / Published: 16 February 2018
PDF Full-text (1779 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) kernels have a high phenolics content and a high antioxidant capacity compared to other nuts—traits that have attracted great interest of late. Changes in the total phenolic content (TPC), condensed tannins (CT), total flavonoid content (TFC), five individual
[...] Read more.
Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) kernels have a high phenolics content and a high antioxidant capacity compared to other nuts—traits that have attracted great interest of late. Changes in the total phenolic content (TPC), condensed tannins (CT), total flavonoid content (TFC), five individual phenolics, and antioxidant capacity of five pecan cultivars were investigated during the process of kernel ripening. Ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadruple time-of-flight mass (UPLC-Q/TOF-MS) was also used to analyze the phenolics profiles in mixed pecan kernels. TPC, CT, TFC, individual phenolics, and antioxidant capacity were changed in similar patterns, with values highest at the water or milk stages, lowest at milk or dough stages, and slightly varied at kernel stages. Forty phenolics were tentatively identified in pecan kernels, of which two were first reported in the genus Carya, six were first reported in Carya illinoinensis, and one was first reported in its kernel. The findings on these new phenolic compounds provide proof of the high antioxidant capacity of pecan kernels. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Xylosylated Detoxification of the Rice Flavonoid Phytoalexin Sakuranetin by the Rice Sheath Blight Fungus Rhizoctonia solani
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020276
Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
PDF Full-text (1361 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Sakuranetin (1) is a rice flavanone-type phytoalexin. We have already reported that the metabolites from the detoxification of 1 by Pyricularia oryzae are naringenin (2) and sternbin. In this study, we investigated whether the rice sheath blight fungus Rhizoctonia
[...] Read more.
Sakuranetin (1) is a rice flavanone-type phytoalexin. We have already reported that the metabolites from the detoxification of 1 by Pyricularia oryzae are naringenin (2) and sternbin. In this study, we investigated whether the rice sheath blight fungus Rhizoctonia solani, another major rice pathogen, can detoxify 1. The extract of R. solani suspension culture containing 1 was analyzed by LC-MS to identify the metabolites of 1. Three putative metabolites of 1 were detected in the extract from the R. solani suspension culture 12 h after the addition of 1, and they were identified as 2, sakuranetin-4′-O-β-d-xylopyranoside (3), and naringenin-7-O-β-d-xylopyranoside (4) by NMR, LC-MS/MS, and GC-MS analyses. The accumulation of 2, 3, and 4 reached their maximum levels 9–12 h after the addition of 1, whereas the content of 1 decreased to almost zero within 9 h. The antifungal activities of 3 and 4 against R. solani were negligible, and 2 showed weaker antifungal activity than 1. We concluded that 2, 3, and 4 are metabolites from the detoxification of 1 by R. solani. Xylosylation is a rare and efficient detoxification method for phytoalexins. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle High-Resolution Lipidomics of the Early Life Stages of the Red Seaweed Porphyra dioica
Molecules 2018, 23(1), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23010187
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 5 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 January 2018 / Published: 17 January 2018
PDF Full-text (1916 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Porphyra dioica is a commercial seaweed consumed all over the world, mostly in the shape of nori sheets used for “sushi” preparation. It is a well-known part of the Asian diet with health benefits, which have been associated, among others, to the high
[...] Read more.
Porphyra dioica is a commercial seaweed consumed all over the world, mostly in the shape of nori sheets used for “sushi” preparation. It is a well-known part of the Asian diet with health benefits, which have been associated, among others, to the high levels of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids in this red alga. However, other highly valued lipids of Porphyra are polar lipids that remain largely undescribed and can have both nutritional value and bioactivity, thus could contribute to the valorization of this seaweed. In this context, the present work aims to identify the lipidome of two life cycle stages of the Atlantic species Porphyra dioica: the early life stage conchocelis produced in an indoor-nursery, and young blades produced outdoors using an integrated multitrophic aquaculture (IMTA) framework. Both the blades (gametophyte) and conchocelis (sporophyte) are commercialized in the food and cosmetics sectors. Liquid chromatography coupled to Q–Exactive high resolution-mass spectrometry (MS) platform was used to gain insight into the lipidome of these species. Our results allowed the identification of 110 and 100 lipid molecular species in the lipidome of the blade and conchocelis, respectively. These lipid molecular species were distributed as follows (blade/conchocelis): 14/15 glycolipids (GLs), 93/79 phospholipids (PLs), and 3/6 betaine lipids. Both life stages displayed a similar profile of GLs and comprised 20:4(n-6) and 20:5(n-3) fatty acids that contribute to n-3 and n-6 fatty acid pool recorded and rank among the molecular species with higher potential bioactivity. PLs’ profile was different between the two life stages surveyed, mainly due to the number and relative abundance of molecular species. This finding suggests that differences between both life stages were more likely related with shifts in the lipids of extraplastidial membranes rather than in plastidial membranes. PLs contained n-6 and n-3 precursors and in both life stages of Porphyra dioica the n-6/n-3 ratio recorded was less than 2, highlighting the potential benefits of using these life stages in human diet to prevent chronic diseases. Atherogenic and thrombogenic indexes of blades (0.85 and 0.49, respectively) and conchocelis (0.34 and 0.30, respectively) are much lower than those reported for other Rhodophyta, which highlights their potential application as food or as functional ingredients. Overall, MS-based platforms represent a powerful tool to characterize lipid metabolism and target lipids along different life stages of algal species displaying complex life cycles (such as Porphyra dioica), contributing to their biotechnological application. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Rapid Screening and Identification of Daidzein Metabolites in Rats Based on UHPLC-LTQ-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry Coupled with Data-Mining Technologies
Molecules 2018, 23(1), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23010151
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 5 January 2018 / Published: 12 January 2018
PDF Full-text (10264 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Daidzein, the main bioactive soy isoflavone in Nature, has been found to possess many biological functions. It has been investigated in particular as a phytoestrogen owing to the similarity of its structure with that of the human hormone estrogen. Due to the lack
[...] Read more.
Daidzein, the main bioactive soy isoflavone in Nature, has been found to possess many biological functions. It has been investigated in particular as a phytoestrogen owing to the similarity of its structure with that of the human hormone estrogen. Due to the lack of comprehensive studies on daidzein metabolism, further research is still required to clarify its in vivo metabolic fate and intermediate processes. In this study, an efficient strategy was established using UHPLC-LTQ-Orbitrap mass spectrometry to profile the metabolism of daidzein in rats. Meanwhile, multiple data-mining methods including high-resolution extracted ion chromatogram (HREIC), multiple mass defect filtering (MMDF), neutral loss fragment (NLF), and diagnostic product ion (DPI) were utilized to investigate daidzein metabolites from the HR-ESI-MS1 to ESI-MSn stage in both positive and negative ion modes. Consequently, 59 metabolites, including prototype compounds, were positively or tentatively elucidated based on reference standards, accurate mass measurements, mass fragmentation behaviors, chromatographic retention times, and corresponding calculated ClogP values. As a result, dehydration, hydrogenation, methylation, dimethylation, glucuronidation, glucosylation, sulfonation, ring-cleavage, and their composite reactions were ascertained to interpret its in vivo biotransformation. Overall, our results not only revealed the potential pharmacodynamics forms of daidzein, but also aid in establishing a practical strategy for rapid screening and identifying metabolites of natural compounds. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Chemical Composition and Evaluation of the Biological Properties of the Essential Oil of the Dietary Phytochemical Lippia citriodora
Molecules 2018, 23(1), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23010123
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 7 January 2018 / Published: 12 January 2018
PDF Full-text (1249 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The aim of the study was to characterize the chemical composition and biological properties of the essential oil from the plant Lippia citriodora grown in Greece. The essential oil volatiles were analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry GC-MS indicating citral as the major component.
[...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to characterize the chemical composition and biological properties of the essential oil from the plant Lippia citriodora grown in Greece. The essential oil volatiles were analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry GC-MS indicating citral as the major component. Τhe antimicrobial properties were assayed using the disk diffusion method and the minimum inhibitory and non-inhibitory concentration values were determined. Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Aspergillus niger were sensitive to Lippia citriodora oil, but not Escherichia coli, Salmonella Enteritidis, Salmonella typhimurium, and Pseudomonas fragi. Adversely, all microbes tested were sensitive to citral. 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) assays were used to assess direct antioxidant activity, which proved to be weak for both agents, while comet assay was utilized to study the cytoprotective effects against H2O2-induced oxidative damage in Jurkat cells. Interestingly, the oil showed a more profound cytoprotective effect compared to citral. The antiproliferative activity was evaluated in a panel of cancer cell lines using the sulforhodamine B (SRB) and 2,3-bis(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-S-(phenylamino) carbonyl-2-tetrazolium hydroxide (XTT) assays and both agents demonstrated potent antiproliferative activity with citral being more cytotoxic than the oil. Taken together, the essential oil of Lippia citriodora and its major component, citral, exert diverse biological properties worthy of further investigation. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effects of Agitation, Aeration and Temperature on Production of a Novel Glycoprotein GP-1 by Streptomyces kanasenisi ZX01 and Scale-Up Based on Volumetric Oxygen Transfer Coefficient
Molecules 2018, 23(1), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23010125
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 January 2018 / Published: 11 January 2018
PDF Full-text (1365 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The effects of temperature, agitation and aeration on glycoprotein GP-1 production by Streptomyces kanasenisi ZX01 in bench-scale fermentors were systematically investigated. The maximum final GP-1 production was achieved at an agitation speed of 200 rpm, aeration rate of 2.0 vvm and temperature of
[...] Read more.
The effects of temperature, agitation and aeration on glycoprotein GP-1 production by Streptomyces kanasenisi ZX01 in bench-scale fermentors were systematically investigated. The maximum final GP-1 production was achieved at an agitation speed of 200 rpm, aeration rate of 2.0 vvm and temperature of 30 °C. By using a dynamic gassing out method, the effects of agitation and aeration on volumetric oxygen transfer coefficient (kLa) were also studied. The values of volumetric oxygen transfer coefficient in the logarithmic phase increased with increase of agitation speed (from 14.53 to 32.82 h−1) and aeration rate (from 13.21 to 22.43 h−1). In addition, a successful scale-up from bench-scale to pilot-scale was performed based on volumetric oxygen transfer coefficient, resulting in final GP-1 production of 3.92, 4.03, 3.82 and 4.20 mg/L in 5 L, 15 L, 70 L and 500 L fermentors, respectively. These results indicated that constant volumetric oxygen transfer coefficient was appropriate for the scale-up of batch fermentation of glycoprotein GP-1 by Streptomyces kanasenisi ZX01, and this scale-up strategy successfully achieved 100-fold scale-up from bench-scale to pilot-scale fermentor. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Contribution of Secondary Metabolites to the Gastroprotective Effect of Aqueous Extract of Ximenia americana L. (Olacaceae) Stem Bark in Rats
Molecules 2018, 23(1), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23010112
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 27 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 9 January 2018
PDF Full-text (3565 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ximenia americana L. (Olacaceae) is used in ethnomedicine as cicatrizant and for the treatment of gastric disorders. This study identified the chemical constituents of the aqueous extract of X. americana (XaAE) and evaluated its antiulcerogenic activity. After lyophilization, XaAE was analyzed by liquid
[...] Read more.
Ximenia americana L. (Olacaceae) is used in ethnomedicine as cicatrizant and for the treatment of gastric disorders. This study identified the chemical constituents of the aqueous extract of X. americana (XaAE) and evaluated its antiulcerogenic activity. After lyophilization, XaAE was analyzed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and its antiulcerogenic effect was evaluated in acute gastric lesions induced by ethanol, acidified ethanol, and indomethacin. Antisecretory action, mucus production and the participation of sulfhydryl groups (–SH) and nitric oxide (NO) were also investigated. The chromatographic analysis identified procyanidins B and C and catechin/epicatechin as major compounds. Oral administration of XaAE (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg) inhibited the gastric lesions induced by ethanol (76.1%, 77.5% and 100%, respectively), acidified ethanol (44.9%, 80.6% and 94.9%, respectively) and indomethacin (56.4%, 52.7% and 64.9%, respectively). XaAE reduced gastric contents and acidity (51.4% and 67.7%, respectively) but did not alter the production of gastric mucus. The reduction of the -SH and NO groups promoted by N-ethylmaleimide (NEM) and Nω-nitro-l-arginine-methyl-ester (L-NAME) respectively, reduced the gastroprotective effect of XaAE. In conclusion, XaAE has gastroprotective activity mediated in part by -SH, NO and antisecretory activity. This antiulcer action was initially correlated to its major constituents, procyanidins B and C and catechin/epicatechin. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessTechnical Note SistematX, an Online Web-Based Cheminformatics Tool for Data Management of Secondary Metabolites
Molecules 2018, 23(1), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23010103
Received: 18 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 28 December 2017 / Published: 3 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2203 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The traditional work of a natural products researcher consists in large part of time-consuming experimental work, collecting biota to prepare and analyze extracts and to identify innovative metabolites. However, along this long scientific path, much information is lost or restricted to a specific
[...] Read more.
The traditional work of a natural products researcher consists in large part of time-consuming experimental work, collecting biota to prepare and analyze extracts and to identify innovative metabolites. However, along this long scientific path, much information is lost or restricted to a specific niche. The large amounts of data already produced and the science of metabolomics reveal new questions: Are these compounds known or new? How fast can this information be obtained? To answer these and other relevant questions, an appropriate procedure to correctly store information on the data retrieved from the discovered metabolites is necessary. The SistematX (http://sistematx.ufpb.br) interface is implemented considering the following aspects: (a) the ability to search by structure, SMILES (Simplified Molecular-Input Line-Entry System) code, compound name and species; (b) the ability to save chemical structures found by searching; (c) compound data results include important characteristics for natural products chemistry; and (d) the user can find specific information for taxonomic rank (from family to species) of the plant from which the compound was isolated, the searched-for molecule, and the bibliographic reference and Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates. The SistematX homepage allows the user to log into the data management area using a login name and password and gain access to administration pages. In this article, we introduced a modern and innovative web interface for the management of a secondary metabolite database. With its multiplatform design, it is able to be properly consulted via the internet and managed from any accredited computer. The interface provided by SistematX contains a wealth of useful information for the scientific community about natural products, highlighting the locations of species from which compounds are isolated. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

2017

Jump to: 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014

Open AccessReview Biochemical Properties and Neuroprotective Effects of Compounds in Various Species of Berries
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (232 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Several species of berries, such as blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium) and lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.), have attracted much scientific attention in recent years, especially due to their reported antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Berries, as with other types of plants, have developed
[...] Read more.
Several species of berries, such as blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium) and lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.), have attracted much scientific attention in recent years, especially due to their reported antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Berries, as with other types of plants, have developed metabolic mechanisms to survive various environmental stresses, some of which involve reactive oxygen species. In addition, the fruits and leaves of berries have high amounts of polyphenols, such as flavonoids, which act as potent antioxidants. These compounds could potentially be beneficial for brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders. There are now several studies documenting the beneficial effects of various berries in cell models of neurotoxicity as well as in vivo models of neurodegenerative disease. In the current review, we discuss the metabolic strategies that plants and animals have developed in order to combat reactive oxygen species. We then discuss issues of bioavailability of various compounds in mammals and provide a synopsis of studies demonstrating the neuroprotective ability of berries and polyphenols. We also summarize findings from our own research group. For example, we have detected various polyphenols in samples of blueberries and lingonberries and have found that the leaves have a much higher antioxidant capacity than the fruits. Extracts from these species have also demonstrated neuroprotective effects in cellular models of toxicity and inflammation, which are being further pursued in animal models. Full article
Open AccessCommunication Antifungal Activity of Ramulus cinnamomi Explored by 1H-NMR Based Metabolomics Approach
Molecules 2017, 22(12), 2237; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22122237
Received: 27 November 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 15 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3882 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based approach to metabolomics combined bioassay was used to elucidate the antifungal activity of cinnamaldehyde (the main active compound of Ramulus cinnamomi) isolated from Ramulus cinnamomi (RC). Orthogonal signal correction partial least-squares discriminant analysis (OSC-PLS-DA) of
[...] Read more.
A 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based approach to metabolomics combined bioassay was used to elucidate the antifungal activity of cinnamaldehyde (the main active compound of Ramulus cinnamomi) isolated from Ramulus cinnamomi (RC). Orthogonal signal correction partial least-squares discriminant analysis (OSC-PLS-DA) of NMR data was constructed to analyze all the P. italicum data acquired from the control and treatment groups at 4, 8, and 12 h. Metabolic profiles disclosed metabolic changes that were related to the antifungal effects of cinnamaldehyde against P. italicum including oxidative stress, disorder of energy metabolism, amino acids, and nucleic acids metabolism in treatment group. This integrated metabolomics approach provided an effective way to detect the antifungal effects of cinnamaldehyde against P. italicum dynamically. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperReview Bioactive Steroids and Saponins of the Genus Trillium
Molecules 2017, 22(12), 2156; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22122156
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (8461 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The species of the genus Trillium (Melanthiaceae alt. Trilliaceae) include perennial herbs with characteristic rhizomes mainly distributed in Asia and North America. Steroids and saponins are the main classes of phytochemicals present in these plants. This review summarizes and discusses the current knowledge
[...] Read more.
The species of the genus Trillium (Melanthiaceae alt. Trilliaceae) include perennial herbs with characteristic rhizomes mainly distributed in Asia and North America. Steroids and saponins are the main classes of phytochemicals present in these plants. This review summarizes and discusses the current knowledge on their chemistry, as well as the in vitro and in vivo studies carried out on the extracts, fractions and isolated pure compounds from the different species belonging to this genus, focusing on core biological properties, i.e., cytotoxic, antifungal and anti-inflammatory activities. Full article
Open AccessArticle De Novo RNA Sequencing and Expression Analysis of Aconitum carmichaelii to Analyze Key Genes Involved in the Biosynthesis of Diterpene Alkaloids
Molecules 2017, 22(12), 2155; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22122155
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Aconitum carmichaelii is an important medicinal herb used widely in China, Japan, India, Korea, and other Asian countries. While extensive research on the characterization of metabolic extracts of A. carmichaelii has shown accumulation of numerous bioactive metabolites including aconitine and aconitine-type diterpene alkaloids,
[...] Read more.
Aconitum carmichaelii is an important medicinal herb used widely in China, Japan, India, Korea, and other Asian countries. While extensive research on the characterization of metabolic extracts of A. carmichaelii has shown accumulation of numerous bioactive metabolites including aconitine and aconitine-type diterpene alkaloids, its biosynthetic pathway remains largely unknown. Biosynthesis of these secondary metabolites is tightly controlled and mostly occurs in a tissue-specific manner; therefore, transcriptome analysis across multiple tissues is an attractive method to identify the molecular components involved for further functional characterization. In order to understand the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, Illumina-based deep transcriptome profiling and analysis was performed for four tissues (flower, bud, leaf, and root) of A. carmichaelii, resulting in 5.5 Gbps clean RNA-seq reads assembled into 128,183 unigenes. Unigenes annotated as possible rate-determining steps of an aconitine-type biosynthetic pathway were highly expressed in the root, in accordance with previous reports describing the root as the accumulation site for these metabolites. We also identified 21 unigenes annotated as cytochrome P450s and highly expressed in roots, which represent candidate unigenes involved in the diversification of secondary metabolites. Comparative transcriptome analysis of A. carmichaelii with A. heterophyllum identified 20,232 orthogroups, representing 30,633 unigenes of A. carmichaelii, gene ontology enrichment analysis of which revealed essential biological process together with a secondary metabolic process to be highly enriched. Unigenes identified in this study are strong candidates for aconitine-type diterpene alkaloid biosynthesis, and will serve as useful resources for further validation studies. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Phenolic Content and Antioxidant Activity in Raw and Denatured Aqueous Extracts from Sprouts and Wheatgrass of Einkorn and Emmer Obtained under Salinity
Molecules 2017, 22(12), 2132; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22122132
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1474 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Total phenolic content (TPC), reducing power (RP), superoxide radical scavenging (RS), and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) production inhibition were measured in raw and denatured aqueous extracts from sprouts and wheatgrass of einkorn and emmer obtained at increasing salinity. Grains were incubated and
[...] Read more.
Total phenolic content (TPC), reducing power (RP), superoxide radical scavenging (RS), and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) production inhibition were measured in raw and denatured aqueous extracts from sprouts and wheatgrass of einkorn and emmer obtained at increasing salinity. Grains were incubated and kept at 0, 25, 50, and 100 mM NaCl until either sprout or wheatgrass stage. Additionally, a recovery treatment was included, in which sprouts obtained at 100 mM NaCl were then transferred at 0 mM NaCl until wheatgrass stage. All parameters (TPC, RP, RS, and TBARS production inhibition) increased with sprouting and were highest in wheatgrass. Salinity increased all parameters, but the effect varied with NaCl concentration, genotype, developmental stage, and plant material processing (raw or denatured). Overall, given the delay and limitation of growth at high NaCl concentration, the best compromise appears to be the application of a moderate salinity (25 to 50 mM NaCl). In denatured extracts, TPC, RP, and RS slightly decreased, and TBARS was not affected, which means that antioxidant activity was mainly related to compounds other than enzymes and peptides, and thus it can be assumed to remain after digestion. Thus, supplementing the human diet with einkorn or emmer sprouts and wheatgrass can actually benefit health. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Neuraminidase Inhibitory Activity and Constituent Characterization of Fagopyrum dibotrys
Molecules 2017, 22(11), 1998; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22111998
Received: 21 October 2017 / Revised: 8 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 18 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2684 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This study aimed to identify a new biological activity of the widely distributed species Fagopyrum dibotrys. Four F. dibotrys extracts (ethyl acetate (EA), petroleum ether (P), ethanol (E), and water (W)) were explored for their anti-neuraminidase (NA) activity. A total of 32
[...] Read more.
This study aimed to identify a new biological activity of the widely distributed species Fagopyrum dibotrys. Four F. dibotrys extracts (ethyl acetate (EA), petroleum ether (P), ethanol (E), and water (W)) were explored for their anti-neuraminidase (NA) activity. A total of 32 compounds were identified using UHPLC-Q-Exactive Orbitrap HRMS in the EA extract, which had the best NA inhibitory effects. We used the docking data for supporting compounds’ anti-neuraminidase activity. Among them, five compounds including one flavonoid, three organic acids, and one glucoside were discovered for the first time in F. dibotrys. Docking studies and NA activity assay revealed the remarkable NA inhibitory activity of eight components in EA extract, especially rutin, hesperidin, procyanidin B2, and quercitrin. Therefore, F. dibotrys could be used to develop anti-influenza drugs. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Critical Review on the Significance of Olive Phytochemicals in Plant Physiology and Human Health
Molecules 2017, 22(11), 1986; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22111986
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 9 November 2017 / Accepted: 10 November 2017 / Published: 16 November 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5807 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Olive oil displays remarkable organoleptic and nutritional features, which turn it into a foodstuff appreciated by consumers, and a basic component of the Mediterranean diet. Indeed, the noticed benefits of including olive oil in the diet have been assigned to the presence of
[...] Read more.
Olive oil displays remarkable organoleptic and nutritional features, which turn it into a foodstuff appreciated by consumers, and a basic component of the Mediterranean diet. Indeed, the noticed benefits of including olive oil in the diet have been assigned to the presence of diverse bioactive compounds with different molecular structures. These compounds confer a wide range of biological properties to this food matrix, including the prevention of distinct human diseases as well as the modulation of their severity. The most relevant bioactive compounds present in olive oil correspond to benzoic and cinnamic acids, phenolic alcohols and secoiridoids, and also flavonoids. Over the last decades, several studies, devoted to gaining a further insight into the relative contribution of the separate groups and individual compounds for their biological activities, have been conducted, providing relevant information on structure–activity relationships. Therefore, this paper critically reviews the health benefits evidenced by distinct phenolic compounds found in olive oils, thus contributing to clarify the relationship between their chemical structures and biological functions, further supporting their interest as essential ingredients of wholesome foods. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview The killer of Socrates: Coniine and Related Alkaloids in the Plant Kingdom
Molecules 2017, 22(11), 1962; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22111962
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 12 November 2017 / Published: 14 November 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2870 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Coniine, a polyketide-derived alkaloid, is poisonous to humans and animals. It is a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist, which leads to inhibition of the nervous system, eventually causing death by suffocation in mammals. Coniine’s most famous victim is Socrates who was sentenced to death
[...] Read more.
Coniine, a polyketide-derived alkaloid, is poisonous to humans and animals. It is a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist, which leads to inhibition of the nervous system, eventually causing death by suffocation in mammals. Coniine’s most famous victim is Socrates who was sentenced to death by poison chalice containing poison hemlock in 399 BC. In chemistry, coniine holds two historical records: It is the first alkaloid the chemical structure of which was established (in 1881), and that was chemically synthesized (in 1886). In plants, coniine and twelve closely related alkaloids are known from poison hemlock (Conium maculatum L.), and several Sarracenia and Aloe species. Recent work confirmed its biosynthetic polyketide origin. Biosynthesis commences by carbon backbone formation from butyryl-CoA and two malonyl-CoA building blocks catalyzed by polyketide synthase. A transamination reaction incorporates nitrogen from l-alanine and non-enzymatic cyclization leads to γ-coniceine, the first hemlock alkaloid in the pathway. Ultimately, reduction of γ-coniceine to coniine is facilitated by NADPH-dependent γ-coniceine reductase. Although coniine is notorious for its toxicity, there is no consensus on its ecological roles, especially in the carnivorous pitcher plants where it occurs. Lately there has been renewed interest in coniine’s medical uses particularly for pain relief without an addictive side effect. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Oleanolic Acid and Its Derivatives: Biological Activities and Therapeutic Potential in Chronic Diseases
Molecules 2017, 22(11), 1915; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22111915
Received: 9 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 13 November 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (951 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The increasing demand for natural products as an alternative therapy for chronic diseases has encouraged research into the pharmacological importance of bioactive compounds from plants. Recently, there has been a surge of interest in the therapeutic potential of oleanolic acid (OA) in the
[...] Read more.
The increasing demand for natural products as an alternative therapy for chronic diseases has encouraged research into the pharmacological importance of bioactive compounds from plants. Recently, there has been a surge of interest in the therapeutic potential of oleanolic acid (OA) in the prevention and management of chronic diseases. Oleanolic acid is a pentacyclic triterpenoid widely found in plants, including fruits and vegetables with different techniques and chromatography platforms being employed in its extraction and isolation. Several studies have demonstrated the potential therapeutic effects of OA on different diseases and their symptoms. Furthermore, oleanolic acid also serves as a framework for the development of novel semi-synthetic triterpenoids that could prove vital in finding therapeutic modalities for various ailments. There are recent advances in the design and synthesis of chemical derivatives of OA to enhance its solubility, bioavailability and potency. Some of these derivatives have also been therapeutic candidates in a number of clinical trials. This review consolidates and expands on recent reports on the biological effects of oleanolic acid from different plant sources and its synthetic derivatives as well as their mechanisms of action in in vitro and in vivo study models. This review suggests that oleanolic acid and its derivatives are important candidates in the search for alternative therapy in the treatment and management of chronic diseases. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle 1H-NMR-Based Metabonomics of the Protective Effect of Coptis chinensis and Berberine on Cinnabar-Induced Hepatotoxicity and Nephrotoxicity in Rats
Molecules 2017, 22(11), 1855; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22111855
Received: 19 September 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 2 November 2017
PDF Full-text (6182 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Coptis chinensis Franch has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for treating infectious and inflammatory diseases for over two thousand years. Berberine (BN), an isoquinoline alkaloid, is the main component of Coptis chinensis. The pharmacological basis for its therapeutic effects, which
[...] Read more.
Coptis chinensis Franch has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for treating infectious and inflammatory diseases for over two thousand years. Berberine (BN), an isoquinoline alkaloid, is the main component of Coptis chinensis. The pharmacological basis for its therapeutic effects, which include hepatoprotective effects on liver injuries, has been studied intensively, yet the therapy of liver injuries and underlying mechanism remain unclear. We investigated the detoxification mechanism of Coptis chinensis and berberine using metabolomics of urine and serum in the present study. After the treatment with Coptis chinensis and berberine, compared with the cinnabar group, Coptis chinensis and berberine can regulate the concentration of the endogenous metabolites. PLS-DA score plots demonstrated that the urine and serum metabolic profiles in rats of the Coptis chinensis and berberine groups were similar those of the control group, yet remarkably apart from the cinnabar group. The mechanism may be related to the endogenous metabolites including energy metabolism, amino acid metabolism and metabolism of intestinal flora in rats. Meanwhile, liver and kidney histopathology examinations and serum clinical chemistry analysis verified the experimental results of metabonomics. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Cyclodipeptides: An Overview of Their Biosynthesis and Biological Activity
Molecules 2017, 22(10), 1796; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22101796
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1239 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cyclodipeptides (CDP) represent a diverse family of small, highly stable, cyclic peptides that are produced as secondary functional metabolites or side products of protein metabolism by bacteria, fungi, and animals. They are widespread in nature, and exhibit a broad variety of biological and
[...] Read more.
Cyclodipeptides (CDP) represent a diverse family of small, highly stable, cyclic peptides that are produced as secondary functional metabolites or side products of protein metabolism by bacteria, fungi, and animals. They are widespread in nature, and exhibit a broad variety of biological and pharmacological activities. CDP synthases (CDPSs) and non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) catalyze the biosynthesis of the CDP core structure, which is further modified by tailoring enzymes often associated with CDP biosynthetic gene clusters. In this review, we provide a comprehensive summary of CDP biosynthetic pathways and modifying enzymes. We also discuss the biological properties of some known CDPs and their possible applications in metabolic engineering. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Identification of Metabolites of the Cardioprotective Alkaloid Dehydrocorydaline in Rat Plasma and Bile by Liquid Chromatography Coupled with Triple Quadrupole Linear Ion Trap Mass Spectrometry
Molecules 2017, 22(10), 1686; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22101686
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 2 October 2017 / Accepted: 3 October 2017 / Published: 10 October 2017
PDF Full-text (4409 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Dehydrocorydaline (DHC), a quaternary alkaloid from Corydalis yanhusuo, has been demonstrated to be the active constituent in the treatment of coronary heart disease. In this study, a high-performance liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization–triple quadrupole linear ion trap mass spectrometry (HPLC–ESI–QTRAP MS) technique was used
[...] Read more.
Dehydrocorydaline (DHC), a quaternary alkaloid from Corydalis yanhusuo, has been demonstrated to be the active constituent in the treatment of coronary heart disease. In this study, a high-performance liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization–triple quadrupole linear ion trap mass spectrometry (HPLC–ESI–QTRAP MS) technique was used to identify DHC metabolites in plasma and bile after oral administration of DHC to rats. A total of 18 metabolites (M1 to M18) were identified and characterized by LC–MS/MS in the positive ion mode. These 18 metabolites were all present in rat bile, while only 9 were detected in plasma. O-demethylation, hydroxylation, di-hydroxylation, glucuronidation of O-demethyl DHC, sulfation of O-demethyl DHC and di-hydroxylation of dehydro-DHC were the major metabolic pathways of DHC. This is the first time that these metabolites of DHC have been identified in rat plasma and bile, which provides useful information for further analysis of the biotransformation of DHC and other quaternary protoberberine-type alkaloids. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Inositol Hexaphosphate Inhibits Proliferation and Induces Apoptosis of Colon Cancer Cells by Suppressing the AKT/mTOR Signaling Pathway
Molecules 2017, 22(10), 1657; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22101657
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 29 September 2017 / Published: 3 October 2017
PDF Full-text (4420 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Abstract: AKT, a serine/threonine protein kinase and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) plays a critical role in the proliferation and resistance to apoptosis that are essential to the development and progression of colon cancer. Therefore, AKT/mTOR signaling pathway has been recognized as
[...] Read more.
Abstract: AKT, a serine/threonine protein kinase and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) plays a critical role in the proliferation and resistance to apoptosis that are essential to the development and progression of colon cancer. Therefore, AKT/mTOR signaling pathway has been recognized as an attractive target for anticancer therapy. Inositol hexaphosphate (InsP6), a natural occurring phytochemical, has been shown to have both preventive and therapeutic effects against various cancers, however, its exact molecular mechanisms of action are not fully understood. The aim of the in vitro study was to investigate the anticancer activity of InsP6 on colon cancer with the focus on inhibiting the AKT1 kinase and p70S6K1 as mTOR effector, in relation to proliferation and apoptosis of cells. The colon cancer Caco-2 cells were cultured using standard techniques and exposed to InsP6 at different concentrations (1 mM, 2.5 mM and 5 mM). Cellular proliferative activity was monitored by 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation into cellular DNA. Flow cytometric analysis was performed for cell cycle progression and apoptosis studies. Real-time RT-qPCR was used to validate mRNA levels of CDNK1A, CDNK1B, CASP3, CASP9, AKT1 and S6K1 genes. The concentration of p21 protein as well as the activities of caspase 3, AKT1 and p70S6K1 were determined by the ELISA method. The results revealed that IP6 inhibited proliferation and stimulated apoptosis of colon cancer cells. This effect was mediated by an increase in the expression of genes encoding p21, p27, caspase 3, caspase 9 as well a decrease in transcription of AKT1 and S6K1. InsP6 suppressed phosphorylation of AKT1 and p70S6K1, downstream effector of mTOR. Based on these studies it may be concluded that InsP6 can reduce proliferation and induce apoptosis through inhibition of the AKT/mTOR pathway and mTOR effector followed by modulation of the expression and activity of several key components of these pathways in colon cancer cells. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Network Pharmacology-Based Study on the Hepatoprotective Effect of Fructus Schisandrae
Molecules 2017, 22(10), 1617; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22101617
Received: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (814 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Fructus schisandrae (Wuweizi in Chinese), a common traditional Chinese herbal medicine, has been used for centuries to treat chronic liver disease. The therapeutic efficacy of Wuweizi has also been validated in clinical practice. In this study, molecular docking and network analysis were carried
[...] Read more.
Fructus schisandrae (Wuweizi in Chinese), a common traditional Chinese herbal medicine, has been used for centuries to treat chronic liver disease. The therapeutic efficacy of Wuweizi has also been validated in clinical practice. In this study, molecular docking and network analysis were carried out to explore the hepatoprotective mechanism of Wuweizi as an effective therapeutic approach to treat liver disease. Multiple active compounds of Wuweizi were docked with 44 protein targets related with viral hepatitis, fatty liver, liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. A compound–target network was constructed through network pharmacology analysis, predicting the relationships of active ingredients to the targets. Our results demonstrated that schisantherin, schisandrin B, schisandrol B, kadsurin, Wuweizisu C, Gomisin A, Gomisin G, and angeloylgomisin may target with 21 intracellular proteins associated with liver diseases, especially with fatty liver disease. The CYP2E1, PPARα, and AMPK genes and their related pathway may play a pivotal role in the hepatoprotective effects of Wuweizi. The network pharmacology strategy used provides a forceful tool for searching the action mechanism of traditional herbal medicines and novel bioactive ingredients. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview A Phytochemical-Sensing Strategy Based on Mass Spectrometry Imaging and Metabolic Profiling for Understanding the Functionality of the Medicinal Herb Green Tea
Molecules 2017, 22(10), 1621; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22101621
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 25 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
PDF Full-text (3559 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Low-molecular-weight phytochemicals have health benefits and reduce the risk of diseases, but the mechanisms underlying their activities have remained elusive because of the lack of a methodology that can easily visualize the exact behavior of such small molecules. Recently, we developed an in
[...] Read more.
Low-molecular-weight phytochemicals have health benefits and reduce the risk of diseases, but the mechanisms underlying their activities have remained elusive because of the lack of a methodology that can easily visualize the exact behavior of such small molecules. Recently, we developed an in situ label-free imaging technique, called mass spectrometry imaging, for visualizing spatially-resolved biotransformations based on simultaneous mapping of the major bioactive green tea polyphenol and its phase II metabolites. In addition, we established a mass spectrometry-based metabolic profiling technique capable of evaluating the bioactivities of diverse green tea extracts, which contain multiple phytochemicals, by focusing on their compositional balances. This methodology allowed us to simultaneously evaluate the relative contributions of the multiple compounds present in a multicomponent system to its bioactivity. This review highlights small molecule-sensing techniques for visualizing the complex behaviors of herbal components and linking such information to an enhanced understanding of the functionalities of multicomponent medicinal herbs. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Diverse Phytochemicals and Bioactivities in the Ancient Fruit and Modern Functional Food Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
Molecules 2017, 22(10), 1606; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22101606
Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 21 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (504 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Having served as a symbolic fruit since ancient times, pomegranate (Punica granatum) has also gained considerable recognition as a functional food in the modern era. A large body of literature has linked pomegranate polyphenols, particularly anthocyanins (ATs) and hydrolyzable tannins (HTs),
[...] Read more.
Having served as a symbolic fruit since ancient times, pomegranate (Punica granatum) has also gained considerable recognition as a functional food in the modern era. A large body of literature has linked pomegranate polyphenols, particularly anthocyanins (ATs) and hydrolyzable tannins (HTs), to the health-promoting activities of pomegranate juice and fruit extracts. However, it remains unclear as to how, and to what extent, the numerous phytochemicals in pomegranate may interact and exert cooperative activities in humans. In this review, we examine the structural and analytical information of the diverse phytochemicals that have been identified in different pomegranate tissues, to establish a knowledge base for characterization of metabolite profiles, discovery of novel phytochemicals, and investigation of phytochemical interactions in pomegranate. We also assess recent findings on the function and molecular mechanism of ATs as well as urolithins, the intestinal microbial derivatives of pomegranate HTs, on human nutrition and health. A better understanding of the structural diversity of pomegranate phytochemicals as well as their bioconversions and bioactivities in humans will facilitate the interrogation of their synergistic/antagonistic interactions and accelerate their applications in dietary-based cancer chemoprevention and treatment in the future. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Aspalathin Reverts Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity through Increased Autophagy and Decreased Expression of p53/mTOR/p62 Signaling
Molecules 2017, 22(10), 1589; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22101589
Received: 24 August 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3117 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Doxorubicin (Dox) is an effective chemotherapeutic agent used in the treatment of various cancers. Its clinical use is often limited due to its potentially fatal cardiotoxic side effect. Increasing evidence indicates that tumour protein p53 (p53), adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), nucleoporin p62
[...] Read more.
Doxorubicin (Dox) is an effective chemotherapeutic agent used in the treatment of various cancers. Its clinical use is often limited due to its potentially fatal cardiotoxic side effect. Increasing evidence indicates that tumour protein p53 (p53), adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), nucleoporin p62 (p62), and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) are critical mediators of Dox-induced apoptosis, and subsequent dysregulation of autophagy. Aspalathin, a polyphenolic dihydrochalcone C-glucoside has been shown to activate AMPK while decreasing the expression of p53. However, the role that aspalathin could play in the inhibition of Dox-induced cardiotoxicity through increased autophagy flux remained unexplored. H9c2 cardiomyocytes and Caov-3 ovarian cancer cells were cultured in Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle’s medium and treated with or without Dox for five days. Thereafter, cells exposed to 0.2 µM Dox were co-treated with either 20 µM Dexrazozane (Dexra) or 0.2 µM aspalathin (ASP) daily for 5 days. Results obtained showed that ASP mediates its cytoprotective effect in a p53-dependent manner, by increasing the Bcl-2/Bax ratio and decreasing apoptosis. The latter effect was diminished through ASP-induced activation of autophagy-related genes (Atgs) with an associated decrease in p62 through induction of AMPK and Fox01. Furthermore, we showed that ASP was able to potentiate this effect without decreasing the anti-cancer efficacy of Dox, as could be observed in Caov-3 ovarian cancer cells. Taken together, the data presented in this study provides a credible mechanism by which ASP co-treatment could protect the myocardium from Dox-induced cardiotoxicity. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Oxidative Activities of Phenolic Compounds from Alnus sibirica Stems Fermented by Lactobacillus plantarum subsp. argentoratensis
Molecules 2017, 22(9), 1566; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22091566
Received: 17 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
PDF Full-text (1053 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fermentation of Alnus sibirica (AS) stems using Lactobacillus plantarum subsp. argentoratensis was conducted and three compounds isolated from the Alnus species were identified for the first time, 7-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-1-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-heptan-3-one, 1-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-7-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-heptan-3-one and 4-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-butan-2-one, along with 14 known compounds. The anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory abilities of AS
[...] Read more.
Fermentation of Alnus sibirica (AS) stems using Lactobacillus plantarum subsp. argentoratensis was conducted and three compounds isolated from the Alnus species were identified for the first time, 7-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-1-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-heptan-3-one, 1-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-7-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-heptan-3-one and 4-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-butan-2-one, along with 14 known compounds. The anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory abilities of AS and fermented AS (FAS) as well as the isolated phenolic compounds from FAS were investigated. FAS showed stronger anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities than non-fermented AS. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Comparison of Two Components of Propolis: Caffeic Acid (CA) and Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester (CAPE) Induce Apoptosis and Cell Cycle Arrest of Breast Cancer Cells MDA-MB-231
Molecules 2017, 22(9), 1554; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22091554
Received: 11 August 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2432 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Studies show that caffeic acid (CA) and caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) are compounds with potent chemopreventive effects. Breast cancer is a common form of aggressive cancer among women worldwide. This study shows a comparison of CA and CAPE activity on triple-negative human
[...] Read more.
Studies show that caffeic acid (CA) and caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) are compounds with potent chemopreventive effects. Breast cancer is a common form of aggressive cancer among women worldwide. This study shows a comparison of CA and CAPE activity on triple-negative human caucasian breast adenocarcinoma line cells (MDA-MB-231). MDA-MB-231 cells were treated by CA and CAPE with doses of from 10 to 100 µM, for periods of 24 h and 48 h. Cytotoxicity MTT tests, apoptosis by Annexin V, and cell cycle with Dead Cell Assays were performed. Cytotoxic activity was greater for CAPE compared to CA (both incubation times, same dosage). IC50 values for CAPE were 27.84 µM (24 h) and 15.83 µM (48 h) and for CA > 10,000 µM (24 h) and > 1000 µM (48 h). Polyphenols induced apoptosis, while CAPE (dose dependently), induced a higher apoptotic effect. CAPE also induced cell cycle arrest in S phase (time and dose dependently), CA did it only for 50 and 100 µM. A dose dependent decline was seen for the G0/G1 phase (CAPE, 48 h), as well as elimination of phase G2/M by 100 µM of CAPE (only mild effect for CA). Comparing CA and CAPE activity on MDA-MB-231, CAPE clearly showed better activity for the same dosages and experiment times. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle An NMR-Based Metabolomic Approach to Unravel the Preventive Effect of Water-Soluble Extract from Dendrobium officinale Kimura & Migo on Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetes in Mice
Molecules 2017, 22(9), 1543; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22091543
Received: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
PDF Full-text (2719 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dendrobium officinale Kimura & Migo (D. officinale) is a precious herbal medicine. In this study, we investigated metabolic mechanism underlying the effect of D. officinale water extract (DOWE) on diabetes prevention in mice after streptozotocin (STZ) exposure using NMR-based metabolomics. Interestingly,
[...] Read more.
Dendrobium officinale Kimura & Migo (D. officinale) is a precious herbal medicine. In this study, we investigated metabolic mechanism underlying the effect of D. officinale water extract (DOWE) on diabetes prevention in mice after streptozotocin (STZ) exposure using NMR-based metabolomics. Interestingly, we found a decrease in blood glucose and an increase in liver glycogen in mice pretreated with DOWE after STZ exposure. The DOWE pretreatment significantly increased citrate and glutamine in the serum as well as creatine, alanine, leucine, isoleucine, valine, glutamine, glutathione and taurine in the liver of STZ-treated mice. Furthermore, serum glucose was significantly negatively correlated with citrate, pyruvate, alanine, isoleucine, histidine and glutamine in the serum as well as alanine and taurine in the liver. These findings suggest that the effect of DOWE on diabetes prevention may be linked to increases in liver glycogen and taurine as well as the up-regulation of energy and amino acid metabolism. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Senna singueana: Antioxidant, Hepatoprotective, Antiapoptotic Properties and Phytochemical Profiling of a Methanol Bark Extract
Molecules 2017, 22(9), 1502; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22091502
Received: 21 August 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (7797 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Natural products are considered as an important source for the discovery of new drugs to treat aging-related degenerative diseases and liver injury. The present study profiled the chemical constituents of a methanol extract from Senna singueana bark using HPLC-PDA-ESI-MS/MS and 36 secondary metabolites
[...] Read more.
Natural products are considered as an important source for the discovery of new drugs to treat aging-related degenerative diseases and liver injury. The present study profiled the chemical constituents of a methanol extract from Senna singueana bark using HPLC-PDA-ESI-MS/MS and 36 secondary metabolites were identified. Proanthocyanidins dominated the extract. Monomers, dimers, trimers of (epi)catechin, (epi)gallocatechin, (epi)guibourtinidol, (ent)cassiaflavan, and (epi)afzelechin represented the major constituents. The extract demonstrated notable antioxidant activities in vitro: In DPPH (EC50 of 20.8 µg/mL), FRAP (18.16 mM FeSO4/mg extract) assays, and total phenolic content amounted 474 mg gallic acid equivalent (GAE)/g extract determined with the Folin-Ciocalteu method. Also, in an in vivo model, the extract increased the survival rate of Caenorhabditis elegans worms pretreated with the pro-oxidant juglone from 43 to 64%, decreased intracellular ROS inside the wild-type nematodes by 47.90%, and induced nuclear translocation of the transcription factor DAF-16 in the transgenic strain TJ356. Additionally, the extract showed a remarkable hepatoprotective activity against d-galactosamine (d-GalN) induced hepatic injury in rats. It significantly reduced elevated AST (aspartate aminotransferase), and total bilirubin. Moreover, the extract induced a strong cytoplasmic Bcl-2 expression indicating suppression of apoptosis. In conclusion, the bark extract of S. sengueana represents an interesting candidate for further research in antioxidants and liver protection. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Ethnopharmacology and Therapeutic Value of Bridelia micrantha (Hochst.) Baill. in Tropical Africa: A Comprehensive Review
Molecules 2017, 22(9), 1493; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22091493
Received: 18 August 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
PDF Full-text (800 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bridelia micrantha is traditionally used in tropical Africa to treat a wide range of human and animal diseases. The aim of this study was to summarise the research that has been done on the ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry and pharmacological properties of B. micrantha
[...] Read more.
Bridelia micrantha is traditionally used in tropical Africa to treat a wide range of human and animal diseases. The aim of this study was to summarise the research that has been done on the ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry and pharmacological properties of B. micrantha so as to understand its importance and potential value in primary healthcare systems. The literature search for information on ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities of B. micrantha was undertaken using databases such as Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar, Science Direct, BioMed Central (BMC), PubMed and Springerlink. Other relevant literature sources included books, book chapters, websites, theses, conference papers and other scientific publications. This study showed that B. micrantha is used as herbal medicine in just over half (57.3%) of the countries in tropical Africa where it is indigenous. A total of 54 ethnomedicinal uses of B. micrantha have been recorded with a high degree of consensus on burns, wounds, conjunctivitis, painful eyes, constipation, gastric ulcers, cough, headache, rheumatism, painful joints, dysentery, ethnoveterinary medicine, malaria, sexually transmitted infections, stomach ache, tape worms and diarrhoea. Different plant parts, aqueous and organic extracts exhibited anthelmintic, antimicrobial, anticonvulsant and sedative, antidiabetic, antidiarrhoeal, antinociceptive, antioxidant, antiplasmodial, antischistosomal, hepatoprotective, insecticidal and β-lactamase inhibitory activities. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Fructus Ligustri Lucidi in Osteoporosis: A Review of its Pharmacology, Phytochemistry, Pharmacokinetics and Safety
Molecules 2017, 22(9), 1469; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22091469
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Fructus Ligustri Lucidi (FLL) has now attracted increasing attention as an alternative medicine in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. This study aimed to provide a general review of traditional interpretation of the actions of FLL in osteoporosis, main phytochemical constituents,
[...] Read more.
Background: Fructus Ligustri Lucidi (FLL) has now attracted increasing attention as an alternative medicine in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. This study aimed to provide a general review of traditional interpretation of the actions of FLL in osteoporosis, main phytochemical constituents, pharmacokinetics, pharmacology in bone improving effect, and safety. Materials and Methods: Several databases, including PubMed, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, National Science and Technology Library, China Science and Technology Journal Database, and Web of Science were consulted to locate publications pertaining to FLL. The initial inquiry was conducted for the presence of the following keywords combinations in the abstracts: Fructus Ligustri Lucidi, osteoporosis, phytochemistry, pharmacokinetics, pharmacology, osteoblasts, osteoclasts, salidroside. About 150 research papers and reviews were consulted. Results: FLL is assumed to exhibit anti-osteoporotic effects by improving liver and kidney deficiencies and reducing lower back soreness in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The data from animal and cell experiments demonstrate that FLL is able to improve bone metabolism and bone quality in ovariectomized, growing, aged and diabetic rats through the regulation of PTH/FGF-23/1,25-(OH)2D3/CaSR, Nox4/ROS/NF-κB, and OPG/RANKL/cathepsin K signaling pathways. More than 100 individual compounds have been isolated from this plant. Oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, salidroside, and nuzhenide have been reported to exhibit the anti-osteoporosis effect. The pharmacokinetics data reveals that salidroside is one of the active constituents, and that tyrosol is hard to detect under physiological conditions. Acute and subacute toxicity studies show that FLL is well tolerated and presents no safety concerns. Conclusions: FLL provides a new option for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, which attracts rising interests in identifying potential anti-osteoporotic compounds and fractions from this plant. Further scientific evidences are expected from well-designed clinical trials on its bone protective effects and safety. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Germination under Moderate Salinity Increases Phenolic Content and Antioxidant Activity in Rapeseed (Brassica napus var oleifera Del.) Sprouts
Molecules 2017, 22(8), 1377; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22081377
Received: 12 July 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 19 August 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2510 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of sprouts in the human diet is becoming more and more widespread because they are tasty and high in bioactive compounds and antioxidants, with related health benefits. In this work, we sprouted rapeseed under increasing salinity to investigate the effect on
[...] Read more.
The use of sprouts in the human diet is becoming more and more widespread because they are tasty and high in bioactive compounds and antioxidants, with related health benefits. In this work, we sprouted rapeseed under increasing salinity to investigate the effect on free and bound total phenolics (TP), non-flavonoids (NF), tannins (TAN), phenolic acids (PAs), and antioxidant activity. Seeds were incubated at 0, 25, 50, 100, 200 mM NaCl until early or late sprout stage, i.e., before or after cotyledon expansion, respectively. Sprouting and increasing salinity slightly decreased the bound fractions of TP, NF, TAN, PAs, while it increased markedly the free ones and their antioxidant activity. Further increases were observed in late sprouts. Moderate salinity (25–50 mM NaCl) caused the highest relative increase in phenolic concentration while it slightly affected sprout growth. On the contrary, at higher NaCl concentrations, sprouts grew slowly (100 mM NaCl) or even died before reaching the late sprout stage (200 mM). Overall, moderate salinity was the best compromise to increase phenolic content of rapeseed sprouts. The technique may be evaluated for transfer to other species as a cheap and feasible way to increase the nutritional value of sprouts. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Spirulina maxima Extract Prevents Neurotoxicity via Promoting Activation of BDNF/CREB Signaling Pathways in Neuronal Cells and Mice
Molecules 2017, 22(8), 1363; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22081363
Received: 6 July 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 17 August 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1897 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Spirulina maxima is a microalgae which contains flavonoids and other polyphenols. Although Spirulina maxima 70% ethanol extract (SM70EE) has diverse beneficial effects, its effects on neurotoxicity have not been fully understood. In this study, we investigated the neuroprotective effects of SM70EE against trimethyltin
[...] Read more.
Spirulina maxima is a microalgae which contains flavonoids and other polyphenols. Although Spirulina maxima 70% ethanol extract (SM70EE) has diverse beneficial effects, its effects on neurotoxicity have not been fully understood. In this study, we investigated the neuroprotective effects of SM70EE against trimethyltin (TMT)-induced neurotoxicity in HT-22 cells. SM70EE inhibited the cleavage of poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP). Besides, ROS production was decreased by down-regulating oxidative stress-associated enzymes. SM70EE increased the factors of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/cyclic AMPresponsive elementbinding protein (CREB) signalling pathways. Additionally, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) was suppressed by SM70EE. Furthermore, we investigated whether SM70EE prevents cognitive deficits against scopolamine-induced neurotoxicity in mice by applying behavioral tests. SM70EE increased step-through latency time and decreased the escape latency time. Therefore, our data suggest that SM70EE may prevent TMT neurotoxicity through promoting activation of BDNF/CREB neuroprotective signaling pathways in neuronal cells. In vivo study, SM70EE would prevent cognitive deficits against scopolamine-induced neurotoxicity in mice. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Phosphate-Linked Silibinin Dimers (PLSd): New Promising Modified Metabolites
Molecules 2017, 22(8), 1323; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22081323
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 25 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 11 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3469 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
By exploiting the regioselective protection of the hydroxyl groups of silibinin along with the well-known phosphoramidite chemistry, we have developed an efficient strategy for the synthesis of new silibinin-modified species, which we have named Phosphate-Linked Silibinin Dimers (PLSd), in which the monomer units
[...] Read more.
By exploiting the regioselective protection of the hydroxyl groups of silibinin along with the well-known phosphoramidite chemistry, we have developed an efficient strategy for the synthesis of new silibinin-modified species, which we have named Phosphate-Linked Silibinin Dimers (PLSd), in which the monomer units are linked by phosphodiester bonds. The antioxidant abilities of the new PLSd were estimated on HepG2 cells using DPPH free radical scavenging and xanthine/xanthine oxidase assays. The new phosphate-metabolites showed a higher anti-oxidant activity than the silibinin, as well as very low toxicity. The ability to scavenge reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as singlet oxygen () and hydroxyl radical () reveals that the two dimers are able to scavenge about two times more effectively than silibinin. Finally, solubility studies have shown that the PLSd present good water solubility (more than 20 mg·L−1) under circumneutral pH values, whereas the silibinin was found to be very poorly soluble (less than 0.4 mg·L−1) and not stable under alkaline conditions. Together, the above promising results warrant further investigation of the future potential of the PLSd as anti-oxidant metabolites within the large synthetic polyphenols field. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Five New Phenolic Compounds with Antioxidant Activities from the Medicinal Insect Blaps rynchopetera
Molecules 2017, 22(8), 1301; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22081301
Received: 9 July 2017 / Accepted: 31 July 2017 / Published: 4 August 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2111 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Five new phenolic compounds rynchopeterines A–E (15), in addition to thirteen known phenolics, were isolated from Blaps rynchopetera Fairmaire, a kind of medicinal insect utilized by the Yi Nationality in Yunnan Province of China. Their structures were established on
[...] Read more.
Five new phenolic compounds rynchopeterines A–E (15), in addition to thirteen known phenolics, were isolated from Blaps rynchopetera Fairmaire, a kind of medicinal insect utilized by the Yi Nationality in Yunnan Province of China. Their structures were established on the basis of extensive spectroscopic analyses (1D and 2D NMR, HR-MS, IR) along with calculated electronic circular dichroism method. Rynchopeterines A–E (14) exhibited significant antioxidant activities with IC50 values of 7.67–12.3 μg/mL measured by the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay. Besides, rynchopeterines B (2) and C (3) showed mild cytotoxicity against tumor cell Caco-2 and A549. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Nutritional Quality of Chinese Kale (Brassica alboglabra Bailey) Using UHPLC-Quadrupole-Orbitrap MS/MS-Based Metabolomics
Molecules 2017, 22(8), 1262; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22081262
Received: 22 June 2017 / Revised: 25 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 July 2017 / Published: 27 July 2017
PDF Full-text (3844 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Chinese kale (Brassica alboglabra Bailey) is a widely consumed vegetable which is rich in antioxidants and anticarcinogenic compounds. Herein, we used an untargeted ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC)-Quadrupole-Orbitrap MS/MS-based metabolomics strategy to study the nutrient profiles of Chinese kale. Seven Chinese kale cultivars
[...] Read more.
Chinese kale (Brassica alboglabra Bailey) is a widely consumed vegetable which is rich in antioxidants and anticarcinogenic compounds. Herein, we used an untargeted ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC)-Quadrupole-Orbitrap MS/MS-based metabolomics strategy to study the nutrient profiles of Chinese kale. Seven Chinese kale cultivars and three different edible parts were evaluated, and amino acids, sugars, organic acids, glucosinolates and phenolic compounds were analysed simultaneously. We found that two cultivars, a purple-stem cultivar W1 and a yellow-flower cultivar Y1, had more health-promoting compounds than others. The multivariate statistical analysis results showed that gluconapin was the most important contributor for discriminating both cultivars and edible parts. The purple-stem cultivar W1 had higher levels of some phenolic acids and flavonoids than the green stem cultivars. Compared to stems and leaves, the inflorescences contained more amino acids, glucosinolates and most of the phenolic acids. Meanwhile, the stems had the least amounts of phenolic compounds among the organs tested. Metabolomics is a powerful approach for the comprehensive understanding of vegetable nutritional quality. The results provide the basis for future metabolomics-guided breeding and nutritional quality improvement. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Anthocyanin Profiles in Flowers of Grape Hyacinth
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22050688
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 4 April 2017 / Accepted: 17 April 2017 / Published: 26 April 2017
PDF Full-text (1997 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Grape hyacinth (Muscari spp.) is a popular ornamental bulbous perennial famous for its blue flowers. To understand the chemical basis of the rich blue colors in this plant, anthocyanin profiles of six blue flowering grape hyacinths as well as one pink and
[...] Read more.
Grape hyacinth (Muscari spp.) is a popular ornamental bulbous perennial famous for its blue flowers. To understand the chemical basis of the rich blue colors in this plant, anthocyanin profiles of six blue flowering grape hyacinths as well as one pink and one white cultivar were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Along with two known compounds, eight putative anthocyanins were identified in the tepals of grape hyacinth for the first time. The accumulation and distribution of anthocyanins in the plant showed significant cultivar and flower development specificity. Violet-blue flowers mainly contained simple delphinidin-type anthocyanins bearing one or two methyl-groups but no acyl groups, whereas white and pink flowers synthesised more complex pelargonidin/cyanidin-derivatives with acyl-moieties but no methyl-groups. The results partially reveal why solid blue, orange or red flowers are rare in this plant in nature. In addition, pelargonidin-type anthocyanins were found for the first time in the genus, bringing more opportunities in terms of breeding of flower color in grape hyacinth. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Diversity Analysis and Bioresource Characterization of Halophilic Bacteria Isolated from a South African Saltpan
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040657
Received: 22 March 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 20 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3885 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Though intensive research has been channeled towards the biotechnological applications of halophiles and other extremophilic microbes, these studies have not been, by any means, exhaustive. Saline environments still offer a vast diversity of microbes with potential to produce an array of natural products
[...] Read more.
Though intensive research has been channeled towards the biotechnological applications of halophiles and other extremophilic microbes, these studies have not been, by any means, exhaustive. Saline environments still offer a vast diversity of microbes with potential to produce an array of natural products which can only be unlocked by concerted research efforts. In this study, a combination of culture and molecular approaches were employed to characterize halophilic bacteria from saltpan water samples and profile their potential biotechnological applications. Physicochemical analysis of the water samples showed that pH was alkaline (pH 8.8), with a salinity of 12.8%. 16S rRNA gene targeted amplicon analysis produced 10 bacterial phyla constituting of Bacteroidetes (30.57%), Proteobacteria (15.27%), Actinobacteria (9.05%), Planctomycetes (5.52%) and Cyanobacteria (3.18%). Eighteen strains were identified using sequencing analysis of the culturable bacterial strains. From these, the strains SP7 and SP9 were positive for cellulase production while the strains SP4, SP8 and SP22 were positive for lipase production. Quantitative enzyme assays showed moderate extracellular cellulase activity (1.95 U/mL) and lipase activity (3.71 U/mL) by the isolate SP9 and SP4 respectively. Further, of the six isolates, the isolate SP9 exhibited exploitable potential in the bioremediation of hydrocarbon pollution as demonstrated by its fairly high activity against benzanthracene (70% DCPIP reduction). Elucidation of the isolates secondary metabolites showed the production of the molecules 2,3-butanediol, hexahydro-3-(2-methylpropyl)pyrrole[1,2a]pyrazine-1,4-dione, aziridine, dimethylamine and ethyl acetate (GC-MS) and oxypurinol and 5-hydroxydecanoic acid (LC-MS), particularly by the isolate Salinivibrio sp. SP9. Overall, the study showed that the isolated halophiles can produce secondary metabolites with potential industrial and pharmaceutical application. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Metabolic Profile of Skimmianine in Rats Determined by Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography Coupled with Quadrupole Time-of-Flight Tandem Mass Spectrometry
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040489
Received: 25 January 2017 / Revised: 5 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 23 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (6186 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Skimmianine is a furoquinoline alkaloid present mainly in the Rutaceae family. It has been reported to have analgesic, antispastic, sedative, anti-inflammatory, and other pharmacologic activities. Despite its critical pharmacological function, its metabolite profiling is still unclear. In this study, the in vivo metabolite
[...] Read more.
Skimmianine is a furoquinoline alkaloid present mainly in the Rutaceae family. It has been reported to have analgesic, antispastic, sedative, anti-inflammatory, and other pharmacologic activities. Despite its critical pharmacological function, its metabolite profiling is still unclear. In this study, the in vivo metabolite profiling of skimmianine in rats was investigated using ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC/Q-TOF-MS). The metabolites were predicted using MetabolitePilotTM software. These predicted metabolites were further analyzed by MS2 spectra, and compared with the detailed fragmentation pathway of the skimmianine standard and literature data. A total of 16 metabolites were identified for the first time in rat plasma, urine, and feces samples after oral administration of skimmianine. Skimmianine underwent extensive Phase I and Phase II metabolism in rats. The Phase I biotransformations of skimmianine consist of epoxidation of olefin on its furan ring (M1) followed by the hydrolysis of the epoxide ring (M4), hydroxylation (M2, M3), O-demethylation (M5-M7), didemethylation (M14–M16). The Phase II biotransformations include glucuronide conjugation (M8–M10) and sulfate conjugation (M11–M13). The epoxidation of 2,3-olefinic bond followed by the hydrolysis of the epoxide ring and O-demethylation were the major metabolic pathways of skimmianine. The results provide key information for understanding the biotransformation processes of skimmianine and the related furoquinoline alkaloids. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Oral Administration of the Japanese Traditional Medicine Keishibukuryogan-ka-yokuinin Decreases Reactive Oxygen Metabolites in Rat Plasma: Identification of Chemical Constituents Contributing to Antioxidant Activity
Molecules 2017, 22(2), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22020256
Received: 17 January 2016 / Revised: 2 February 2017 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1108 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Insufficient detoxification and/or overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) induce cellular and tissue damage, and generated reactive oxygen metabolites become exacerbating factors of dermatitis. Keishibukuryogan-ka-yokuinin (KBGY) is a traditional Japanese medicine prescribed to treat dermatitis such as acne vulgaris. Our aim was to
[...] Read more.
Insufficient detoxification and/or overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) induce cellular and tissue damage, and generated reactive oxygen metabolites become exacerbating factors of dermatitis. Keishibukuryogan-ka-yokuinin (KBGY) is a traditional Japanese medicine prescribed to treat dermatitis such as acne vulgaris. Our aim was to verify the antioxidant properties of KBGY, and identify its active constituents by blood pharmacokinetic techniques. Chemical constituents were quantified in extracts of KBGY, crude components, and the plasma of rats treated with a single oral administration of KBGY. Twenty-three KBGY compounds were detected in plasma, including gallic acid, prunasin, paeoniflorin, and azelaic acid, which have been reported to be effective for inflammation. KBGY decreased level of the diacron-reactive oxygen metabolites (d-ROMs) in plasma. ROS-scavenging and lipid hydroperoxide (LPO) generation assays revealed that gallic acid, 3-O-methylgallic acid, (+)-catechin, and lariciresinol possess strong antioxidant activities. Gallic acid was active at a similar concentration to the maximum plasma concentration, therefore, our findings indicate that gallic acid is an important active constituent contributing to the antioxidant effects of KBGY. KBGY and its active constituents may improve redox imbalances induced by oxidative stress as an optional treatment for skin diseases. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Toxicity of Plant Secondary Metabolites Modulating Detoxification Genes Expression for Natural Red Palm Weevil Pesticide Development
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22010169
Received: 27 December 2016 / Revised: 15 January 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1602 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aimed to explore the larvicidal and growth-inhibiting activities, and underlying detoxification mechanism of red palm weevil against phenylpropanoids, an important class of plant secondary metabolites. Toxicity of α-asarone, eugenol, isoeugenol, methyl eugenol, methyl isoeugenol, coumarin, coumarin 6, coniferyl aldehyde, diniconazole, ethyl
[...] Read more.
This study aimed to explore the larvicidal and growth-inhibiting activities, and underlying detoxification mechanism of red palm weevil against phenylpropanoids, an important class of plant secondary metabolites. Toxicity of α-asarone, eugenol, isoeugenol, methyl eugenol, methyl isoeugenol, coumarin, coumarin 6, coniferyl aldehyde, diniconazole, ethyl cinnamate, and rosmarinic acid was evaluated by incorporation into the artificial diet. All of the phenylpropanoids exhibited dose- and time-dependent insecticidal activity. Among all the tested phenylpropanoids, coumarin exhibited the highest toxicity by revealing the least LD50 value (0.672 g/L). In addition, the most toxic compound (coumarin) observed in the current study, deteriorated the growth resulting tremendous reduction (78.39%) in efficacy of conversion of digested food (ECD), and (ECI) efficacy of conversion of ingested food (70.04%) of tenth-instar red palm weevil larvae. The energy-deficient red palm weevil larvae through their intrinsic abilities showed enhanced response to their digestibility resulting 27.78% increase in approximate digestibility (AD) compared to control larvae. The detoxification response of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus larvae determined by the quantitative expression of cytochrome P450, esterases, and glutathione S-transferase revealed enhanced expression among moderately toxic and ineffective compounds. These genes especially cytochrome P450 and GST detoxify the target compounds by enhancing their solubility that leads rapid excretion and degradation resulting low toxicity towards red palm weevil larvae. On the other hand, the most toxic (coumarin) silenced the genes involved in the red palm weevil detoxification mechanism. Based on the toxicity, growth retarding, and masking detoxification activities, coumarin could be a useful future natural red palm weevil-controlling agent. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

2016

Jump to: 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014

Open AccessArticle Research on the Relationships between Endogenous Biomarkers and Exogenous Toxic Substances of Acute Toxicity in Radix Aconiti
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1623; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21121623
Received: 13 October 2016 / Revised: 13 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1534 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Radix Aconiti, a classic traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been widely used throughout China for disease treatment due to its various pharmacological activities, such as anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic, and analgesic effects. However, improper use of Radix Aconiti often generated severe acute toxicity. Currently,
[...] Read more.
Radix Aconiti, a classic traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been widely used throughout China for disease treatment due to its various pharmacological activities, such as anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic, and analgesic effects. However, improper use of Radix Aconiti often generated severe acute toxicity. Currently, research on the toxic substances of Radix Aconiti is not rare. In our previous study, acute toxic biomarkers of Radix Aconiti have been found. However, few studies were available to find the relationships between these endogenous biomarkers and exogenous toxic substances. Therefore, in this study, toxic substances of Radix Aconiti have been found using UPLC-Q-TOF-MS technology. Then, we used biochemical indicators as a bridge to find the relationships between biomarkers and toxic substances of Radix Aconiti through Pearson correlation analysis and canonical correlation analysis (CCA). Finally, the CCA results showed that LysoPC(22:5) is related to 14-acetyl-talatisamine, mesaconitine, talatisamine and deoxyaconitine in varying degrees; l-acetylcarnitine is negatively correlated with deoxyaconitine and demethyl-14-acetylkaracoline; shikimic acid has a good correlation with karacoline, demethyl-14-acetylkaracoline and deoxyaconitine; and valine is correlated with talatisamine and deoxyaconitine. Research on these relationships provides an innovative way to interpret the toxic mechanism of traditional Chinese medicine, and plays a positive role in the overall study of TCM toxicity. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Chemical Constituents from the Aerial Parts of Cyrtopodium paniculatum
Molecules 2016, 21(10), 1418; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21101418
Received: 17 September 2016 / Revised: 9 October 2016 / Accepted: 19 October 2016 / Published: 24 October 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1189 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
We report the first phytochemical study of the neotropical orchid Cyrtopodium paniculatum. Eight new compounds, including one phenanthrene 1, one 9,10-dihydro-phenanthrene 2, one hydroxybenzylphenanthrene 3, two biphenanthrenes 45, and three 9,10 dihydrophenanthrofurans 68,
[...] Read more.
We report the first phytochemical study of the neotropical orchid Cyrtopodium paniculatum. Eight new compounds, including one phenanthrene 1, one 9,10-dihydro-phenanthrene 2, one hydroxybenzylphenanthrene 3, two biphenanthrenes 45, and three 9,10 dihydrophenanthrofurans 68, together with 28 known phenolic compounds, mostly stilbenoids, were isolated from the CH2Cl2 extract of its leaves and pseudobulbs. The structures of the new compounds were established on the basis of extensive spectroscopic methods. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Icariin Metabolism by Human Intestinal Microflora
Molecules 2016, 21(9), 1158; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21091158
Received: 4 August 2016 / Revised: 25 August 2016 / Accepted: 26 August 2016 / Published: 31 August 2016
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (2238 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Icariin is a major bioactive compound of Epimedii Herba, a traditional oriental medicine exhibiting anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-osteoporosis activities. Recently, the estrogenic activities of icariin drew significant attention, but the published scientific data seemed not to be so consistent. To provide fundamental information
[...] Read more.
Icariin is a major bioactive compound of Epimedii Herba, a traditional oriental medicine exhibiting anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-osteoporosis activities. Recently, the estrogenic activities of icariin drew significant attention, but the published scientific data seemed not to be so consistent. To provide fundamental information for the study of the icaritin metabolism, the biotransformation of icariin by the human intestinal bacteria is reported for the first time. Together with human intestinal microflora, the three bacteria Streptococcus sp. MRG-ICA-B, Enterococcus sp. MRG-ICA-E, and Blautia sp. MRG-PMF-1 isolated from human intestine were reacted with icariin under anaerobic conditions. The metabolites including icariside II, icaritin, and desmethylicaritin, but not icariside I, were produced. The MRG-ICA-B and E strains hydrolyzed only the glucose moiety of icariin, and icariside II was the only metabolite. However, the MRG-PMF-1 strain metabolized icariin further to desmethylicaritin via icariside II and icaritin. From the results, along with the icariin metabolism by human microflora, it was evident that most icariin is quickly transformed to icariside II before absorption in the human intestine. We propose the pharmacokinetics of icariin should focus on metabolites such as icariside II, icaritin and desmethylicaritin to explain the discrepancy between the in vitro bioassay and pharmacological effects. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle In Vivo Metabolite Profiling of a Purified Ellagitannin Isolated from Polygonum capitatum in Rats
Molecules 2016, 21(9), 1110; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21091110
Received: 24 July 2016 / Revised: 17 August 2016 / Accepted: 19 August 2016 / Published: 24 August 2016
PDF Full-text (1382 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ellagitannin is a common compound in food and herbs, but there are few detailed studies on the metabolism of purified ellagitannins. FR429 is a purified ellagitannin with antitumor potential, which is from Polygonum capitatum Buch.-Ham.ex D. Don. The present study was designed to
[...] Read more.
Ellagitannin is a common compound in food and herbs, but there are few detailed studies on the metabolism of purified ellagitannins. FR429 is a purified ellagitannin with antitumor potential, which is from Polygonum capitatum Buch.-Ham.ex D. Don. The present study was designed to investigate the metabolic profiles of FR429 in rats in vivo. Using liquid chromatography coupled to ion trap time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC/MSn-IT-TOF), total eight metabolites were found in rat bile and urine after intravenous administration of FR429, but could not be detected in plasma. These metabolites were ellagic acid, mono-methylated FR429, ellagic acid methyl ether glucuronide, ellagic acid methyl ether diglucuronide, ellagic acid dimethyl ether glucuronide, and ellagic acid dimethyl ether diglucuronide. It was concluded that methylation and subsequent glucuronidation were the major metabolic pathways of FR429 in rats in vivo. This is the first report on the in vivo metabolism of the purified ellagitannin in rats. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Beneficial Effects of Trillium govanianum Rhizomes in Pain and Inflammation
Molecules 2016, 21(8), 1095; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21081095
Received: 29 June 2016 / Revised: 5 August 2016 / Accepted: 12 August 2016 / Published: 20 August 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1506 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Trillium govanianum rhizome is used as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory remedy in traditional medicine in northern Pakistan. In an attempt to establish its medicinal value, the present research evaluated the analgesic and anti-inflammatory potential of T. govanianum. The in vivo anti-inflammatory activity
[...] Read more.
Trillium govanianum rhizome is used as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory remedy in traditional medicine in northern Pakistan. In an attempt to establish its medicinal value, the present research evaluated the analgesic and anti-inflammatory potential of T. govanianum. The in vivo anti-inflammatory activity of extract and fractions was investigated in the carrageenan induced paw edema assay. The in vitro suppression of oxidative burst of extract, fractions and isolated compounds was assessed through luminol-enhanced chemiluminescence assay. The in vivo analgesic activity was assayed in chemical and thermal induced nociceptive pain models. The crude methanol extract and its solvent fractions showed anti-inflammatory and analgesic responses, exhibited by significant amelioration of paw edema and relieve of the tonic visceral chemical and acute phasic thermal nociception. In the oxidative burst assay, based on IC50, the crude methanol extract and n-butanol soluble fraction produced a significant inhibition, followed by chloroform and hexane soluble fractions as compared to ibuprofen. Similarly, the isolated compounds pennogenin and borassoside E exhibited significant level of oxidative burst suppressive activity. The in vivo anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities as well as the in vitro inhibition of oxidative burst validated the traditional use of T. govanianum rhizomes as a phytotherapeutic remedy for both inflammatory conditions and pain. The observed activities might be attributed to the presence of steroids and steroid-based compounds. Therefore, the rhizomes of this plant species could serve as potential novel source of compounds effective for alleviating pain and inflammation. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Structure-Bioactivity Relationships of Methylxanthines: Trying to Make Sense of All the Promises and the Drawbacks
Molecules 2016, 21(8), 974; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21080974
Received: 22 April 2016 / Revised: 2 July 2016 / Accepted: 19 July 2016 / Published: 27 July 2016
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1033 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Methylxanthines are a group of phytochemicals derived from the purine base xanthine and obtained from plant secondary metabolism. They are unobtrusively included in daily diet in common products as coffee, tea, energetic drinks, or chocolate. Caffeine is by far the most studied methylxanthine
[...] Read more.
Methylxanthines are a group of phytochemicals derived from the purine base xanthine and obtained from plant secondary metabolism. They are unobtrusively included in daily diet in common products as coffee, tea, energetic drinks, or chocolate. Caffeine is by far the most studied methylxanthine either in animal or epidemiologic studies. Theophylline and theobromine are other relevant methylxanthines also commonly available in the aforementioned sources. There are many disseminated myths about methylxanthines but there is increased scientific knowledge to discuss all the controversy and promise shown by these intriguing phytochemicals. In fact, many beneficial physiologic outcomes have been suggested for methylxanthines in areas as important and diverse as neurodegenerative and respiratory diseases, diabetes or cancer. However, there have always been toxicity concerns with methylxanthine (over)consumption and pharmacologic applications. Herein, we explore the structure-bioactivity relationships to bring light those enumerated effects. The potential shown by methylxanthines in such a wide range of conditions should substantiate many other scientific endeavors that may highlight their adequacy as adjuvant therapy agents and may contribute to the advent of functional foods. Newly designed targeted molecules based on methylxanthine structure may originate more specific and effective outcomes. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Intra-Population Variation of Secondary Metabolites in Cistus ladanifer L.
Molecules 2016, 21(7), 945; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21070945
Received: 15 June 2016 / Revised: 15 July 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 21 July 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (7321 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In previous studies, secondary metabolites in the leaf exudate of Cistus ladanifer, specifically aglycone flavonoids and diterpenes, were demonstrated to play an ecophysiological role. They protect against ultraviolet radiation, have antiherbivore activity, and are allelopathic agents. Their synthesis in the plant was
[...] Read more.
In previous studies, secondary metabolites in the leaf exudate of Cistus ladanifer, specifically aglycone flavonoids and diterpenes, were demonstrated to play an ecophysiological role. They protect against ultraviolet radiation, have antiherbivore activity, and are allelopathic agents. Their synthesis in the plant was also found to vary quantitatively and qualitatively in response to various environmental factors. In view of these findings, the present work was designed to clarify whether within a single population there are differences among individuals subject to the same environmental conditions. To this end, we analyzed the leaves of 100 individuals of C. ladanifer. The results showed the existence of intrapopulational variation, since, although all the individuals had the same composition of secondary chemistry, the amounts were different. The individuals of a given population of C. ladanifer differ from each other even when growing under similar conditions. According to the ammount of flavonoids and diterpenes observed in each individual, it was possible to distinguish four different groups of individuals. Most individuals, evenly distributed within the population, had low concentrations of the studied compounds, whilst other individuals synthesized greater amounts and were randomly distributed among the former. Given the functions of flavonoids and diterpenes in this species, the quantified intra-population variation may involve greater plasticity for the species in the face of environmental changes. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Metabolomics Provides Quality Characterization of Commercial Gochujang (Fermented Pepper Paste)
Molecules 2016, 21(7), 921; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21070921
Received: 3 June 2016 / Revised: 8 July 2016 / Accepted: 8 July 2016 / Published: 15 July 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (8885 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
To identify the major factors contributing to the quality of commercial gochujang (fermented red pepper paste), metabolites were profiled by mass spectrometry. In principal component analysis, cereal type (wheat, brown rice, and white rice) and species of hot pepper (Capsicum annuum,
[...] Read more.
To identify the major factors contributing to the quality of commercial gochujang (fermented red pepper paste), metabolites were profiled by mass spectrometry. In principal component analysis, cereal type (wheat, brown rice, and white rice) and species of hot pepper (Capsicum annuum, C. annuum cv. Chung-yang, and C. frutescens) affected clustering patterns. Relative amino acid and citric acid levels were significantly higher in wheat gochujang than in rice gochujang. Sucrose, linoleic acid, oleic acid, and lysophospholipid levels were high in brown-rice gochujang, whereas glucose, maltose, and γ-aminobutyric acid levels were high in white-rice gochujang. The relative capsaicinoid and luteolin derivative contents in gochujang were affected by the hot pepper species used. Gochujang containing C. annuum cv. Chung-yang and C. frutescens showed high capsaicinoid levels. The luteolin derivative level was high in gochujang containing C. frutescens. These metabolite variations in commercial gochujang may be related to different physicochemical phenotypes and antioxidant activity. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview New Perspectives on the Use of Phytochemicals as an Emergent Strategy to Control Bacterial Infections Including Biofilms
Molecules 2016, 21(7), 877; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21070877
Received: 31 May 2016 / Revised: 28 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 5 July 2016
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (2245 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The majority of current infectious diseases are almost untreatable by conventional antibiotic therapy given the advent of multidrug-resistant bacteria. The degree of severity and the persistence of infections are worsened when microorganisms form biofilms. Therefore, efforts are being applied to develop new drugs
[...] Read more.
The majority of current infectious diseases are almost untreatable by conventional antibiotic therapy given the advent of multidrug-resistant bacteria. The degree of severity and the persistence of infections are worsened when microorganisms form biofilms. Therefore, efforts are being applied to develop new drugs not as vulnerable as the current ones to bacterial resistance mechanisms, and also able to target bacteria in biofilms. Natural products, especially those obtained from plants, have proven to be outstanding compounds with unique properties, making them perfect candidates for these much-needed therapeutics. This review presents the current knowledge on the potentialities of plant products as antibiotic adjuvants to restore the therapeutic activity of drugs. Further, the difficulties associated with the use of the existing antibiotics in the treatment of biofilm-related infections are described. To counteract the biofilm resistance problems, innovative strategies are suggested based on literature data. Among the proposed strategies, the use of phytochemicals to inhibit or eradicate biofilms is highlighted. An overview on the use of phytochemicals to interfere with bacterial quorum sensing (QS) signaling pathways and underlying phenotypes is provided. The use of phytochemicals as chelating agents and efflux pump inhibitors is also reviewed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Chemical Profile, Antioxidant and Antibacterial Activities of Achillea moschata Wulfen, an Endemic Species from the Alps
Molecules 2016, 21(7), 830; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21070830
Received: 10 May 2016 / Revised: 19 June 2016 / Accepted: 21 June 2016 / Published: 25 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (471 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aerial parts of Achillea moschata Wulfen (Asteraceae) growing wild in the Italian Rhaetian Alps were investigated to describe, for the first time, their phenolic content, as well as to characterize the essential oil. Inspection of the metabolic profile combining HPLC-DAD and ESI-MS/MS data
[...] Read more.
Aerial parts of Achillea moschata Wulfen (Asteraceae) growing wild in the Italian Rhaetian Alps were investigated to describe, for the first time, their phenolic content, as well as to characterize the essential oil. Inspection of the metabolic profile combining HPLC-DAD and ESI-MS/MS data showed that the methanol extract contained glycosylated flavonoids with luteolin and apigenin as the main aglycones. Among them, the major compound was 7-O-glucosyl apigenin. Caffeoyl derivates were other phenolics identified. The essential oil obtained by steam distillation and investigated by GC/FID and GC/MS showed camphor, 1,8-cineole, and bornylacetate as the main constituents. The antioxidant capacity of three different extracts with increasing polarity and of the essential oil was evaluated by employing ABTS·+ and DPPH· radical scavenging assays. The methanolic extract was the only significantly effective sample against both synthetic radicals. All samples were also tested against Gram-positive (Bacillus cereus, Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa) bacterial species using the disk diffusion assay. The non-polar extracts (dichloromethane and petroleum ether) and the essential oil possessed a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity expressed according to inhibition zone diameter (8–24 mm). Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Ultrahigh Pressure Processing Produces Alterations in the Metabolite Profiles of Panax ginseng
Molecules 2016, 21(6), 816; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21060816
Received: 25 May 2016 / Revised: 20 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
PDF Full-text (2630 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Ultrahigh pressure (UHP) treatments are non-thermal processing methods that have customarily been employed to enhance the quality and productivity of plant consumables. We aimed to evaluate the effects of UHP treatments on ginseng samples (white ginseng: WG; UHP-treated WG: UWG; red ginseng: RG;
[...] Read more.
Ultrahigh pressure (UHP) treatments are non-thermal processing methods that have customarily been employed to enhance the quality and productivity of plant consumables. We aimed to evaluate the effects of UHP treatments on ginseng samples (white ginseng: WG; UHP-treated WG: UWG; red ginseng: RG; UHP-treated RG: URG; ginseng berries: GB; and UHP-treated GB: UGB) using metabolite profiling based on ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography-linear trap quadrupole-ion trap-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-LTQ-IT-MS/MS) and gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF-MS). Multivariate data analyses revealed a clear demarcation among the GB and UGB samples, and the phenotypic evaluations correlated the highest antioxidant activities and the total phenolic and flavonoid compositions with the UGB samples. Overall, eight amino acids, seven organic acids, seven sugars and sugar derivatives, two fatty acids, three notoginsenosides, three malonylginsenosides, and three ginsenosides, were identified as significantly discriminant metabolites between the GB and UGB samples, with relatively higher proportions in the latter. Ideally, these metabolites can be used as quality biomarkers for the assessment of ginseng products and our results indicate that UHP treatment likely led to an elevation in the proportions of total extractable metabolites in ginseng samples. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Antileishmanial Activity and Structure-Activity Relationship of Triazolic Compounds Derived from the Neolignans Grandisin, Veraguensin, and Machilin G
Molecules 2016, 21(6), 802; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21060802
Received: 26 May 2016 / Revised: 15 June 2016 / Accepted: 16 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1954 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sixteen 1,4-diaryl-1,2,3-triazole compounds 419 derived from the tetrahydrofuran neolignans veraguensin 1, grandisin 2, and machilin G 3 were tested against Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis intracellular amastigotes. Triazole compounds 419 were synthetized via Click Chemistry strategy by
[...] Read more.
Sixteen 1,4-diaryl-1,2,3-triazole compounds 419 derived from the tetrahydrofuran neolignans veraguensin 1, grandisin 2, and machilin G 3 were tested against Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis intracellular amastigotes. Triazole compounds 419 were synthetized via Click Chemistry strategy by 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition between terminal acetylenes and aryl azides containing methoxy and methylenedioxy groups as substituents. Our results suggest that most derivatives were active against intracellular amastigotes, with IC50 values ranging from 4.4 to 32.7 µM. The index of molecular hydrophobicity (ClogP) ranged from 2.8 to 3.4, reflecting a lipophilicity/hydrosolubility rate suitable for transport across membranes, which may have resulted in the potent antileishmanial activity observed. Regarding structure-activity relationship (SAR), compounds 14 and 19, containing a trimethoxy group, were the most active (IC50 values of 5.6 and 4.4 µM, respectively), with low cytotoxicity on mammalian cells (SI = 14.1 and 10.6). These compounds induced nitric oxide production by the host macrophage cells, which could be suggested as the mechanism involved in the intracellular killing of parasites. These results would be useful for the planning of new derivatives with higher antileishmanial activities. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle In Vitro Assessment of CYP-Mediated Drug Interactions for Kinsenoside, an Antihyperlipidemic Candidate
Molecules 2016, 21(6), 800; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21060800
Received: 7 April 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1477 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Kinsenoside, the herb-derived medicine isolated from the plant Anoect chilus, has diverse pharmacological actions, and it is considered to be a promising antihyperlipidemic drug candidate. This study evaluates the effects of kinsenoside on CYP enzyme-mediated drug metabolism in order to predict the
[...] Read more.
Kinsenoside, the herb-derived medicine isolated from the plant Anoect chilus, has diverse pharmacological actions, and it is considered to be a promising antihyperlipidemic drug candidate. This study evaluates the effects of kinsenoside on CYP enzyme-mediated drug metabolism in order to predict the potential for kinsenoside-drug interactions. Kinsenoside was tested at different concentrations of 0.1, 0.3, 1, 3, 10, 30, and 100 µM in human liver microsomes. The c Cktail probe assay based on liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was conducted to measure the CYP inhibitory effect of kinsenoside. Subsequently, the metabolism profiles of amlodipine and lovastatin in human liver microsomes were analyzed following co-incubation with kinsenoside. The concentration levels of the parent drug and the major metabolites were compared with the kinsenoside-cotreated samples. The effect of kinsenoside was negligible on the enzyme activity of all the CYP isozymes tested even though CYP2A6 was slightly inhibited at higher concentrations. The drug-drug interaction assay also showed that the concomitant use of kinsenoside has a non-significant effect on the concentration of lovastatin or amlodipine, and their major metabolites. So, it was concluded that there is almost no risk of drug interaction between kinsenoside and CYP drug substrates via CYP inhibition. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Metabolomic Profiles of Aspergillus oryzae and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens During Rice Koji Fermentation
Molecules 2016, 21(6), 773; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21060773
Received: 26 May 2016 / Revised: 8 June 2016 / Accepted: 8 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (5210 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Rice koji, used early in the manufacturing process for many fermented foods, produces diverse metabolites and enzymes during fermentation. Using gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF-MS), ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography linear trap quadrupole ion trap tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-LTQ-IT-MS/MS), and multivariate analysis we
[...] Read more.
Rice koji, used early in the manufacturing process for many fermented foods, produces diverse metabolites and enzymes during fermentation. Using gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF-MS), ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography linear trap quadrupole ion trap tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-LTQ-IT-MS/MS), and multivariate analysis we generated the metabolite profiles of rice koji produced by fermentation with Aspergillus oryzae (RK_AO) or Bacillus amyloliquefaciens (RK_BA) for different durations. Two principal components of the metabolomic data distinguished the rice koji samples according to their fermenter species and fermentation time. Several enzymes secreted by the fermenter species, including α-amylase, protease, and β-glucosidase, were assayed to identify differences in expression levels. This approach revealed that carbohydrate metabolism, serine-derived amino acids, and fatty acids were associated with rice koji fermentation by A. oryzae, whereas aromatic and branched chain amino acids, flavonoids, and lysophospholipids were more typical in rice koji fermentation by B. amyloliquefaciens. Antioxidant activity was significantly higher for RK_BA than for RK_AO, as were the abundances of flavonoids, including tricin, tricin glycosides, apigenin glycosides, and chrysoeriol glycosides. In summary, we have used MS-based metabolomics and enzyme activity assays to evaluate the effects of using different microbial species and fermentation times on the nutritional profile of rice koji. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Probing Steroidal Substrate Specificity of Cytochrome P450 BM3 Variants
Molecules 2016, 21(6), 760; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21060760
Received: 27 April 2016 / Revised: 4 June 2016 / Accepted: 6 June 2016 / Published: 11 June 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2822 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
M01A82W, M11A82W and M01A82WS72I are three cytochrome P450 BM3 (CYP102A1) variants. They can catalyze the hydroxylation of testosterone (TES) and norethisterone at different positions, thereby making them promising biocatalysts for steroid hydroxylation. With the aim of obtaining more hydroxylated steroid precursors it is
[...] Read more.
M01A82W, M11A82W and M01A82WS72I are three cytochrome P450 BM3 (CYP102A1) variants. They can catalyze the hydroxylation of testosterone (TES) and norethisterone at different positions, thereby making them promising biocatalysts for steroid hydroxylation. With the aim of obtaining more hydroxylated steroid precursors it is necessary to probe the steroidal substrate diversity of these BM3 variants. Here, three purified BM3 variants were first incubated with eight steroids, including testosterone (TES), methyltestosterone (MT), cholesterol, β-sitosterol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), diosgenin, pregnenolone and ergosterol. The results indicated that the two 3-keto-Δ4-steroids TES and MT can be hydroxylated at various positions by the three BM3 mutants, respectively. On the contrary, the three enzymes displayed no any activity toward the remaining six 3-hydroxy-Δ5-steroids. This result indicates that the BM3 mutants prefer 3-keto-Δ4-steroids as hydroxylation substrates. To further verify this notion, five other substrates, including two 3-hydroxy-Δ5-steroids and three 3-keto-Δ4-steroids, were carefully selected to incubate with the three BM3 variants. The results indicated the three 3-keto-Δ4-steroids can be metabolized to form hydroxysteroids by the three BM3 variants. On the other hand, the two 3-hydroxy-Δ5-steroids cannot be hydroxylated at any position by the BM3 mutants. These results further support the above conclusion, therefore demonstrating the 3-keto-Δ4–steroid substrate preference of BM3 mutants, and laying a foundation for microbial production of more hydroxylated steroid intermediates using BM3 variants. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Polyphenols from Erythrina crista-galli: Structures, Molecular Docking and Phytoestrogenic Activity
Molecules 2016, 21(6), 726; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21060726
Received: 30 March 2016 / Revised: 21 May 2016 / Accepted: 27 May 2016 / Published: 3 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (18383 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objectives: The current study aimed at exploring the secondary metabolites content of Erythrina crista-galli aqueous methanol extract and assessing its phytoestrogenic and cytoprotective activities. Methods: Isolation of the compounds was carried out using conventional chromatographic techniques. The structures of the isolated compounds were
[...] Read more.
Objectives: The current study aimed at exploring the secondary metabolites content of Erythrina crista-galli aqueous methanol extract and assessing its phytoestrogenic and cytoprotective activities. Methods: Isolation of the compounds was carried out using conventional chromatographic techniques. The structures of the isolated compounds were elucidated based on the UV, NMR spectral data along with their mass-spectrometric analyses. The phytoestrogenic activity was evaluated in-silico and in vitro using the Arabidopsis thaliana pER8: GUS reporter assay and the proliferation-enhancing activity of MCF-7 cells. Key findings: Phytochemical investigation of E. crista-galli aqueous methanol extract resulted in the isolation and identification of five flavonoids. The plant extract and its fractions showed significant estrogenic activities compared to controls. Conclusion: Five flavonoids were identified from E. crista-galli aqueous methanol extract. To the best of our knowledge, among these flavonoids, apigenin-7-O-rhamnosyl-6-C-glucoside was isolated for the first time from nature. Moreover, luteolin-6-C-glucoside was isolated for the first time from this plant. The plant revealed promising phytoestrogenic activities. This gives rationale to some of its pharmacological properties and suggests additional phytoestrogenic effects, which have not been reported yet. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Analysis of Potential Amino Acid Biomarkers in Brain Tissue and the Effect of Galangin on Cerebral Ischemia
Molecules 2016, 21(4), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21040438
Received: 15 January 2016 / Revised: 23 March 2016 / Accepted: 28 March 2016 / Published: 6 April 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3952 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Galangin, a potent scavenger of free radicals, has been used as an herbal medicine for various ailments for centuries in Asia. With complex pathophysiology, ischemic stroke is one of the most frequent causes of death and disability worldwide. We have reported that galangin
[...] Read more.
Galangin, a potent scavenger of free radicals, has been used as an herbal medicine for various ailments for centuries in Asia. With complex pathophysiology, ischemic stroke is one of the most frequent causes of death and disability worldwide. We have reported that galangin provides direct protection against ischemic injury as a potential neuroprotective agent and has potential therapeutic effects on the changes of serum amino acids in ischemic stroke; however, the mechanism of the changes of amino acids in the ischemic brain tissue has not yet been clarified. In this paper, we explored brain tissue amino acid biomarkers in the acute phase of cerebral ischemia and the effect of galangin on those potential biomarkers. Finally, we identified that glutamic acid, alanine and aspartic acid showed significant changes (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01) in galangin-treated groups compared with vehicle-treated rats and the four enzymes associated with these three AAs’ metabolic pathways; GLUD1, SLC16A10, SLC1A1 and GPT were identified by multiplex interactions with the three amino acids. By metabolite-protein network analysis and molecular docking, six of 28 proteins were identified and might become potential galangin biomarkers for acute ischemic stroke. The data in our study provides thoughts for exploring the mechanism of disease, discovering new targets for drug candidates and elucidating the related regulatory signal network. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Pharmacokinetics of Maleic Acid as a Food Adulterant Determined by Microdialysis in Rat Blood and Kidney Cortex
Molecules 2016, 21(3), 367; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21030367
Received: 28 January 2016 / Revised: 4 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 March 2016 / Published: 17 March 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (458 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Maleic acid has been shown to be used as a food adulterant in the production of modified starch by the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration. Due to the potential toxicity of maleic acid to the kidneys, this study aimed to develop an analytical
[...] Read more.
Maleic acid has been shown to be used as a food adulterant in the production of modified starch by the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration. Due to the potential toxicity of maleic acid to the kidneys, this study aimed to develop an analytical method to investigate the pharmacokinetics of maleic acid in rat blood and kidney cortex. Multiple microdialysis probes were simultaneously inserted into the jugular vein and the kidney cortex for sampling after maleic acid administration (10 or 30 mg/kg, i.v., respectively). The pharmacokinetic results demonstrated that maleic acid produced a linear pharmacokinetic phenomenon within the doses of 10 and 30 mg/kg. The area under concentration versus time curve (AUC) of the maleic acid in kidney cortex was 5-fold higher than that in the blood after maleic acid administration (10 and 30 mg/kg, i.v., respectively), indicating that greater accumulation of maleic acid occurred in the rat kidney. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Quantitative Variation of Flavonoids and Diterpenes in Leaves and Stems of Cistus ladanifer L. at Different Ages
Molecules 2016, 21(3), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21030275
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 18 February 2016 / Accepted: 23 February 2016 / Published: 27 February 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (994 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The compounds derived from secondary metabolism in plants perform a variety of ecological functions, providing the plant with resistance to biotic and abiotic factors. The basal levels of these metabolites for each organ, tissue or cell type depend on the development stage of
[...] Read more.
The compounds derived from secondary metabolism in plants perform a variety of ecological functions, providing the plant with resistance to biotic and abiotic factors. The basal levels of these metabolites for each organ, tissue or cell type depend on the development stage of the plant and they may be modified as a response to biotic and/or abiotic stress. As a consequence, the resistance state of a plant may vary in space and time. The secondary metabolites of Cistus ladanifer have been quantified in leaves and stems throughout autumn, winter, spring and summer, and at different ages of the plant. This study shows that there are significant differences between young leaves, mature leaves and stems, and between individuals of different ages. Young leaves show significantly greater synthesis of flavonoids and diterpenes than mature leaves and stems, with a clear seasonal variation, and the differences between leaves at different growth stages and stems is maintained during the quantified seasons. With respect to age, specimens under one year of age secreted significantly lower amounts of compounds. The variation in the composition of secondary metabolites between different parts of the plant, the season and the variations in age may determine the interactions of Cistus ladanifer with the biotic and abiotic factors to which it is exposed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview The Impact of Melatonin in Research
Molecules 2016, 21(2), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21020240
Received: 10 January 2016 / Revised: 9 February 2016 / Accepted: 11 February 2016 / Published: 20 February 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1242 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Citation indexes represent helpful tools for evaluating the impact of articles on research. The aim of this study was to obtain the top-100 ranking of the most cited papers on melatonin, a relevant neurohormone mainly involved in phase-adjusting the biological clock and with
[...] Read more.
Citation indexes represent helpful tools for evaluating the impact of articles on research. The aim of this study was to obtain the top-100 ranking of the most cited papers on melatonin, a relevant neurohormone mainly involved in phase-adjusting the biological clock and with certain sleep-promoting capability. An article search was carried out on the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Web of Science platform. Numbers of citations, names of authors, journals and their 2014-impact factor, year of publication, and experimental designs of studies were recorded. The ranking of the 100-most cited articles on melatonin research (up to February 2016) revealed a citation range from 1623 to 310. Narrative reviews/expert opinions were the most frequently cited articles, while the main research topics were oxidative stress, sleep physiology, reproduction, circadian rhythms and melatonin receptors. This study represents the first detailed analysis of the 100 top-cited articles published in the field of melatonin research, showing its impact and relevance in the biomedical field. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Chemical Characterization and Trypanocidal, Leishmanicidal and Cytotoxicity Potential of Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae) Essential Oil
Molecules 2016, 21(2), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21020209
Received: 20 December 2015 / Revised: 30 January 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 10 February 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (214 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Drug resistance in the treatment of neglected parasitic diseases, such as leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis, has led to the search and development of alternative drugs from plant origins. In this context, the essential oil extracted by hydro-distillation from Lantana camara leaves was tested against
[...] Read more.
Drug resistance in the treatment of neglected parasitic diseases, such as leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis, has led to the search and development of alternative drugs from plant origins. In this context, the essential oil extracted by hydro-distillation from Lantana camara leaves was tested against Leishmania braziliensis and Trypanosoma cruzi. The results demonstrated that L. camara essential oil inhibited T. cruzi and L. braziliensis with IC50 of 201.94 μg/mL and 72.31 μg/mL, respectively. L. camara essential oil was found to be toxic to NCTC929 fibroblasts at 500 μg/mL (IC50 = 301.42 μg/mL). The composition of L. camara essential oil analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC/MS) revealed large amounts of (E)-caryophyllene (23.75%), biciclogermacrene (15.80%), germacrene D (11.73%), terpinolene (6.1%), and sabinene (5.92%), which might be, at least in part, responsible for its activity. Taken together, our results suggest that L. camara essential oil may be an important source of therapeutic agents for the development of alternative drugs against parasitic diseases. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Comparative Evaluation of Total Antioxidant Capacities of Plant Polyphenols
Molecules 2016, 21(2), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21020208
Received: 15 January 2016 / Revised: 30 January 2016 / Accepted: 1 February 2016 / Published: 9 February 2016
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (1422 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Thirty-seven samples of naturally occurring phenolic compounds were evaluated using three common in vitro assays for total antioxidant activity (TAC) testing: the Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (TEAC), the Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Potential (FRAP) and the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging assay, in addition to
[...] Read more.
Thirty-seven samples of naturally occurring phenolic compounds were evaluated using three common in vitro assays for total antioxidant activity (TAC) testing: the Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (TEAC), the Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Potential (FRAP) and the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging assay, in addition to the Folin-Ciocalteu reagent reactivity (FCR). We found that antioxidant hierarchies depended on the choice of assay and applied ANOVA analyses to explore underlying structure-TAC dependencies. In addition to statistically confirming the empirically established connection between flavonoid ring-B catechol and high TEAC or FRAP, new correlations were also found. In flavonoids, (i) hydroxyl groups on ring-B had a positive effect on all four TAC assays; (ii) the presence of a 3-hydroxyl group on ring-C increased TEAC and FRAP, but had no effect on DPPH or FCR; (iii) Phenolic acids lacking a 3-hydroxyl group had significantly lower FRAP or DPPH than compounds having this structure, while TEAC or FCR were not affected. Results demonstrated that any TAC-based ranking of phenolic rich samples would very much depend on the choice of assay, and argue for use of more than one technique. As an illustration, we compared results of the above four assays using either grapevine leaf extracts or synthetic mixtures of compounds prepared according to major polyphenols identified in the leaves. Full article
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessCorrection Correction: Rzepecka-Stojko, A., et al. Polyphenols from Bee Pollen: Structure, Absorption, Metabolism and Biological Activity. Molecules 2015, 20, 21732–21749
Molecules 2016, 21(2), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21020159
Received: 19 January 2016 / Accepted: 19 January 2016 / Published: 28 January 2016
PDF Full-text (143 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper: [...] Full article

2015

Jump to: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014

Open AccessArticle Effect of Three Training Systems on Grapes in a Wet Region of China: Yield, Incidence of Disease and Anthocyanin Compositions of Vitis vinifera cv. Cabernet Sauvignon
Molecules 2015, 20(10), 18967-18987; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules201018967
Received: 22 August 2015 / Revised: 9 October 2015 / Accepted: 12 October 2015 / Published: 19 October 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1510 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Grapevine training systems determine the suitability for grape varieties in a specific growing region. We evaluated the influence of three training systems, Single Guyot (SG), Spur-pruned Vertical Shoot-Positioned (VSP), and Four-Arm Kniffin (4AK), on the performance of grapes and vines of Vitis vinifera
[...] Read more.
Grapevine training systems determine the suitability for grape varieties in a specific growing region. We evaluated the influence of three training systems, Single Guyot (SG), Spur-pruned Vertical Shoot-Positioned (VSP), and Four-Arm Kniffin (4AK), on the performance of grapes and vines of Vitis vinifera L. cv. Cabernet Sauvignon in the 2012 and 2013 growing seasons in a wet region of central China. 4AK was the most productive system in comparison to SG and VSP. SG and VSP had lower disease infections of leaves and berries, especially in the mid- and final stage of berry ripening. Three training systems had no impact on berry maturity. PLS-DA (Partial Least Squares-Discriminant) analysis showed that the relatively dry vintage could well discriminate three training systems, but the wet vintage was not. A wet vintage of 2013 had more accumulation of 3′5′-substituted and acylated anthocyanins, including malvidin-3-O-(6-O-acetyl)-glucoside, malvidin-3-O-glucoside, and petunidin-3-O-(cis-6-O-coumaryl)-glucoside, etc. With regard to the effect of training systems, 4AK grapes had the lowest concentrations of total anthocyanins and individual anthocyanins, SG and VSP differed according to the different vintages, and showed highest concentration of total individual anthocyanins in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Generally, VSP benefited the most, contributing to significantly highest levels of total individual anthocyanins, and major anthocyanin, including malvidin-3-O-glucoside and malvidin-3-O-(6-O-acetyl)-glucoside, and the grapes obtained from VSP presented significantly highest proportion of 3′5′-substituted anthocyanins. With regard to the ratios of 3′5′/3′-substituted, methoxylated/non-methoxylated and acylated/non-acylated anthocyanins, the significantly higher levels were also shown in VSP system. In summary, VSP was the best training system for Cabernet Sauvignon to accumulate relatively stable individual anthocyanins in this wet region of China and potentially in other rainy regions. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Phytochemicals from Ruta graveolens Activate TAS2R Bitter Taste Receptors and TRP Channels Involved in Gustation and Nociception
Molecules 2015, 20(10), 18907-18922; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules201018907
Received: 22 July 2015 / Revised: 26 August 2015 / Accepted: 9 October 2015 / Published: 16 October 2015
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1262 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Ruta graveolens (rue) is a spontaneous plant in the Mediterranean area with a strong aroma and a very intense bitter taste, used in gastronomy and in folk medicine. From the leaves, stems and fruits of rue, we isolated rutin, rutamarin, three furanocoumarins, two
[...] Read more.
Ruta graveolens (rue) is a spontaneous plant in the Mediterranean area with a strong aroma and a very intense bitter taste, used in gastronomy and in folk medicine. From the leaves, stems and fruits of rue, we isolated rutin, rutamarin, three furanocoumarins, two quinolinic alkaloids, a dicoumarin and two long chain ketones. Bitter taste and chemesthetic properties have been evaluated by in vitro assays with twenty receptors of the TAS2R family and four TRP ion channels involved in gustation and nociception. Among the alkaloids, skimmianine was active as a specific agonist of T2R14, whereas kokusaginin did not activate any of the tested receptors. The furanocoumarins activates TAS2R10, 14, and 49 with different degrees of selectivity, as well as the TRPA1 somatosensory ion channel. Rutamarin is an agonist of TRPM5 and TRPV1 and a strong antagonist of TRPM8 ion channels. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Plasma Pharmacokinetics of Polyphenols in a Traditional Japanese Medicine, Jumihaidokuto, Which Suppresses Propionibacterium acnes-Induced Dermatitis in Rats
Molecules 2015, 20(10), 18031-18046; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules201018031
Received: 26 August 2015 / Revised: 24 September 2015 / Accepted: 27 September 2015 / Published: 30 September 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2480 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Most orally administered polyphenols are metabolized, with very little absorbed as aglycones and/or unchanged forms. Metabolic and pharmacokinetic studies are therefore necessary to understand the pharmacological mechanisms of polyphenols. Jumihaidokuto (JHT), a traditional Japanese medicine, has been used for treatment of skin diseases
[...] Read more.
Most orally administered polyphenols are metabolized, with very little absorbed as aglycones and/or unchanged forms. Metabolic and pharmacokinetic studies are therefore necessary to understand the pharmacological mechanisms of polyphenols. Jumihaidokuto (JHT), a traditional Japanese medicine, has been used for treatment of skin diseases including inflammatory acne. Because JHT contains various types of bioactive polyphenols, our aim was to clarify the metabolism and pharmacokinetics of the polyphenols in JHT and identify active metabolites contributing to its antidermatitis effects. Orally administered JHT inhibited the increase in ear thickness in rats induced by intradermal injection of Propionibacterium acnes. Quantification by LC-MS/MS indicated that JHT contains various types of flavonoids and is also rich in hydrolysable tannins, such as 1,2,3,4,6-penta-O-galloyl glucose. Pharmacokinetic and antioxidant analyses showed that some flavonoid conjugates, such as genistein 7-O-glucuronide and liquiritigenin 7-O-glucuronide, appeared in rat plasma and had an activity to inhibit hydrogen peroxide-dependent oxidation. Furthermore, 4-O-methylgallic acid, a metabolite of Gallic acid, appeared in rat plasma and inhibited the nitric oxide reaction. JHT has numerous polyphenols; it inhibited dermatitis probably via the antioxidant effect of its metabolites. Our study is beneficial for understanding in vivo actions of orally administered polyphenol drugs. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Wheat Bran Phenolic Acids: Bioavailability and Stability in Whole Wheat-Based Foods
Molecules 2015, 20(9), 15666-15685; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules200915666
Received: 29 July 2015 / Revised: 20 August 2015 / Accepted: 21 August 2015 / Published: 28 August 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (982 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Wheat bran is generally considered a byproduct of the flour milling industry, but it is a great source of fibers, minerals, and antioxidants that are important for human health. Phenolic acids are a specific class of wheat bran components that may act as
[...] Read more.
Wheat bran is generally considered a byproduct of the flour milling industry, but it is a great source of fibers, minerals, and antioxidants that are important for human health. Phenolic acids are a specific class of wheat bran components that may act as antioxidants to prevent heart disease and to lower the incidence of colon cancer. Moreover, phenolic acids have anti-inflammatory properties that are potentially significant for the promotion of gastrointestinal health. Evidence on the beneficial effects of phenolic acids as well as of other wheat bran components is encouraging the use of wheat bran as an ingredient of functional foods. After an overview of the chemistry, function, and bioavailability of wheat phenolic acids, the discussion will focus on how technologies can allow the formulation of new, functional whole wheat products with enhanced health-promoting value and safety without renouncing the good-tasting standards that are required by consumers. Finally, this review summarizes the latest studies about the stability of phenolic acids in wheat foods fortified by the addition of wheat bran, pearled fractions, or wheat bran extracts. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Inhibition of Oral Streptococci Growth Induced by the Complementary Action of Berberine Chloride and Antibacterial Compounds
Molecules 2015, 20(8), 13705-13724; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules200813705
Received: 24 May 2015 / Revised: 22 July 2015 / Accepted: 23 July 2015 / Published: 28 July 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (846 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Synergistic interactions between natural bioactive compounds from medicinal plants and antibiotics may exhibit therapeutic benefits, acting against oral cariogenic and opportunistic pathogens. The aim of the presented work was to assess the antibacterial activity of berberine chloride (BECl) in light of the effect
[...] Read more.
Synergistic interactions between natural bioactive compounds from medicinal plants and antibiotics may exhibit therapeutic benefits, acting against oral cariogenic and opportunistic pathogens. The aim of the presented work was to assess the antibacterial activity of berberine chloride (BECl) in light of the effect exerted by common antibiotics on selected reference strains of oral streptococci (OST), and to evaluate the magnitude of interactions. Three representative oral microorganisms were investigated: Streptococcus mutans ATCC 25175 (SM), S. sanguinis ATCC 10556 (SS), S. oralis ATCC 9811 (SO) and microdilution tests, along with disc diffusion assays were applied. Here, we report that growth (viability) of all oral streptococci was reduced by exposure to BECl and was dependent primarily on exposure/ incubation time. A minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of BECl against OST ranged from 512 µg/mL (SS) to 1024 µg/mL (SM, SO). The most noticeable antibacterial effects were observed for S. sanguinis (MIC 512 µg/mL) and the most significant synergistic action was found for the combinations BECl-penicillin, BECl-clindamycin and BECl-erythromycin. The S. oralis reflects the highest MBC value as assessed by the AlamarBlue assay (2058 µg/mL). The synergy between berberine and common antibiotics demonstrates its potential use as a novel antibacterial tool for opportunistic infections and also provides a rational basis for the use of berberine as an oral hygiene measure. Full article
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle Metabolic Analysis of Various Date Palm Fruit (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Cultivars from Saudi Arabia to Assess Their Nutritional Quality
Molecules 2015, 20(8), 13620-13641; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules200813620
Received: 21 June 2015 / Revised: 9 July 2015 / Accepted: 16 July 2015 / Published: 27 July 2015
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (1721 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Date palm is an important crop, especially in the hot-arid regions of the world. Date palm fruits have high nutritional and therapeutic value and possess significant antibacterial and antifungal properties. In this study, we performed bioactivity analyses and metabolic profiling of date fruits
[...] Read more.
Date palm is an important crop, especially in the hot-arid regions of the world. Date palm fruits have high nutritional and therapeutic value and possess significant antibacterial and antifungal properties. In this study, we performed bioactivity analyses and metabolic profiling of date fruits of 12 cultivars from Saudi Arabia to assess their nutritional value. Our results showed that the date extracts from different cultivars have different free radical scavenging and anti-lipid peroxidation activities. Moreover, the cultivars showed significant differences in their chemical composition, e.g., the phenolic content (10.4–22.1 mg/100 g DW), amino acids (37–108 μmol·g−1 FW) and minerals (237–969 mg/100 g DW). Principal component analysis (PCA) showed a clear separation of the cultivars into four different groups. The first group consisted of the Sokary, Nabtit Ali cultivars, the second group of Khlas Al Kharj, Khla Al Qassim, Mabroom, Khlas Al Ahsa, the third group of Khals Elshiokh, Nabot Saif, Khodry, and the fourth group consisted of Ajwa Al Madinah, Saffawy, Rashodia, cultivars. Hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) revealed clustering of date cultivars into two groups. The first cluster consisted of the Sokary, Rashodia and Nabtit Ali cultivars, and the second cluster contained all the other tested cultivars. These results indicate that date fruits have high nutritive value, and different cultivars have different chemical composition. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Secondary Metabolites from Rubiaceae Species
Molecules 2015, 20(7), 13422-13495; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules200713422
Received: 13 June 2015 / Revised: 11 July 2015 / Accepted: 13 July 2015 / Published: 22 July 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1216 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study describes some characteristics of the Rubiaceae family pertaining to the occurrence and distribution of secondary metabolites in the main genera of this family. It reports the review of phytochemical studies addressing all species of Rubiaceae, published between 1990 and 2014. Iridoids,
[...] Read more.
This study describes some characteristics of the Rubiaceae family pertaining to the occurrence and distribution of secondary metabolites in the main genera of this family. It reports the review of phytochemical studies addressing all species of Rubiaceae, published between 1990 and 2014. Iridoids, anthraquinones, triterpenes, indole alkaloids as well as other varying alkaloid subclasses, have shown to be the most common. These compounds have been mostly isolated from the genera Uncaria, Psychotria, Hedyotis, Ophiorrhiza and Morinda. The occurrence and distribution of iridoids, alkaloids and anthraquinones point out their chemotaxonomic correlation among tribes and subfamilies. From an evolutionary point of view, Rubioideae is the most ancient subfamily, followed by Ixoroideae and finally Cinchonoideae. The chemical biosynthetic pathway, which is not so specific in Rubioideae, can explain this and large amounts of both iridoids and indole alkaloids are produced. In Ixoroideae, the most active biosysthetic pathway is the one that produces iridoids; while in Cinchonoideae, it produces indole alkaloids together with other alkaloids. The chemical biosynthetic pathway now supports this botanical conclusion. Full article
Figures

Figure 1