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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 (84 papers)

2017

Jump to: 2016, 2015, 2014

Open AccessArticle Neuraminidase Inhibitory Activity and Constituent Characterization of Fagopyrum dibotrys
Molecules 2017, 22(11), 1998; doi:10.3390/molecules22111998
Received: 21 October 2017 / Revised: 8 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 18 November 2017
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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
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Open AccessReview Critical Review on the Significance of Olive Phytochemicals in Plant Physiology and Human Health
Molecules 2017, 22(11), 1986; doi:10.3390/molecules22111986
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 9 November 2017 / Accepted: 10 November 2017 / Published: 16 November 2017
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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
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Open AccessReview The killer of Socrates: Coniine and Related Alkaloids in the Plant Kingdom
Molecules 2017, 22(11), 1962; doi:10.3390/molecules22111962
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 12 November 2017 / Published: 14 November 2017
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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
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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
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Open AccessReview Oleanolic Acid and Its Derivatives: Biological Activities and Therapeutic Potential in Chronic Diseases
Molecules 2017, 22(11), 1915; doi:10.3390/molecules22111915
Received: 9 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 13 November 2017
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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
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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; doi:10.3390/molecules22111855
Received: 19 September 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 2 November 2017
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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
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Open AccessReview Cyclodipeptides: An Overview of Their Biosynthesis and Biological Activity
Molecules 2017, 22(10), 1796; doi:10.3390/molecules22101796
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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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
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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
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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; doi:10.3390/molecules22101686
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 2 October 2017 / Accepted: 3 October 2017 / Published: 10 October 2017
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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
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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; doi:10.3390/molecules22101657
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 29 September 2017 / Published: 3 October 2017
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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
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Open AccessArticle A Network Pharmacology-Based Study on the Hepatoprotective Effect of Fructus Schisandrae
Molecules 2017, 22(10), 1617; doi:10.3390/molecules22101617
Received: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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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
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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; doi:10.3390/molecules22101621
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 25 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
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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
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Open AccessReview Diverse Phytochemicals and Bioactivities in the Ancient Fruit and Modern Functional Food Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
Molecules 2017, 22(10), 1606; doi:10.3390/molecules22101606
Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 21 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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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
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Open AccessArticle Aspalathin Reverts Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity through Increased Autophagy and Decreased Expression of p53/mTOR/p62 Signaling
Molecules 2017, 22(10), 1589; doi:10.3390/molecules22101589
Received: 24 August 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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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
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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; doi:10.3390/molecules22091566
Received: 17 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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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
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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; doi:10.3390/molecules22091554
Received: 11 August 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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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
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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; doi:10.3390/molecules22091543
Received: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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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
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Open AccessArticle Senna singueana: Antioxidant, Hepatoprotective, Antiapoptotic Properties and Phytochemical Profiling of a Methanol Bark Extract
Molecules 2017, 22(9), 1502; doi:10.3390/molecules22091502
Received: 21 August 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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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
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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
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Open AccessReview Ethnopharmacology and Therapeutic Value of Bridelia micrantha (Hochst.) Baill. in Tropical Africa: A Comprehensive Review
Molecules 2017, 22(9), 1493; doi:10.3390/molecules22091493
Received: 18 August 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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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
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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
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Open AccessReview Fructus Ligustri Lucidi in Osteoporosis: A Review of its Pharmacology, Phytochemistry, Pharmacokinetics and Safety
Molecules 2017, 22(9), 1469; doi:10.3390/molecules22091469
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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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,
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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
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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; doi:10.3390/molecules22081377
Received: 12 July 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 19 August 2017
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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
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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
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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; doi:10.3390/molecules22081363
Received: 6 July 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 17 August 2017
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle Phosphate-Linked Silibinin Dimers (PLSd): New Promising Modified Metabolites
Molecules 2017, 22(8), 1323; doi:10.3390/molecules22081323
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 25 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 11 August 2017
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle Five New Phenolic Compounds with Antioxidant Activities from the Medicinal Insect Blaps rynchopetera
Molecules 2017, 22(8), 1301; doi:10.3390/molecules22081301
Received: 9 July 2017 / Accepted: 31 July 2017 / Published: 4 August 2017
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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
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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
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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; doi:10.3390/molecules22081262
Received: 22 June 2017 / Revised: 25 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 July 2017 / Published: 27 July 2017
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle Anthocyanin Profiles in Flowers of Grape Hyacinth
Molecules 2017, 22(5), 688; doi:10.3390/molecules22050688
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 4 April 2017 / Accepted: 17 April 2017 / Published: 26 April 2017
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle Diversity Analysis and Bioresource Characterization of Halophilic Bacteria Isolated from a South African Saltpan
Molecules 2017, 22(4), 657; doi:10.3390/molecules22040657
Received: 22 March 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 20 April 2017
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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
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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
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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; doi:10.3390/molecules22040489
Received: 25 January 2017 / Revised: 5 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 23 March 2017
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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
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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
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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; doi:10.3390/molecules22020256
Received: 17 January 2016 / Revised: 2 February 2017 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle Toxicity of Plant Secondary Metabolites Modulating Detoxification Genes Expression for Natural Red Palm Weevil Pesticide Development
Molecules 2017, 22(1), 169; doi:10.3390/molecules22010169
Received: 27 December 2016 / Revised: 15 January 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
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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
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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
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2016

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Open AccessArticle Research on the Relationships between Endogenous Biomarkers and Exogenous Toxic Substances of Acute Toxicity in Radix Aconiti
Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1623; doi:10.3390/molecules21121623
Received: 13 October 2016 / Revised: 13 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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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,
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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
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Open AccessArticle Chemical Constituents from the Aerial Parts of Cyrtopodium paniculatum
Molecules 2016, 21(10), 1418; doi:10.3390/molecules21101418
Received: 17 September 2016 / Revised: 9 October 2016 / Accepted: 19 October 2016 / Published: 24 October 2016
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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,
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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
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Open AccessArticle Icariin Metabolism by Human Intestinal Microflora
Molecules 2016, 21(9), 1158; doi:10.3390/molecules21091158
Received: 4 August 2016 / Revised: 25 August 2016 / Accepted: 26 August 2016 / Published: 31 August 2016
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle In Vivo Metabolite Profiling of a Purified Ellagitannin Isolated from Polygonum capitatum in Rats
Molecules 2016, 21(9), 1110; doi:10.3390/molecules21091110
Received: 24 July 2016 / Revised: 17 August 2016 / Accepted: 19 August 2016 / Published: 24 August 2016
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle Beneficial Effects of Trillium govanianum Rhizomes in Pain and Inflammation
Molecules 2016, 21(8), 1095; doi:10.3390/molecules21081095
Received: 29 June 2016 / Revised: 5 August 2016 / Accepted: 12 August 2016 / Published: 20 August 2016
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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
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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
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Open AccessReview Structure-Bioactivity Relationships of Methylxanthines: Trying to Make Sense of All the Promises and the Drawbacks
Molecules 2016, 21(8), 974; doi:10.3390/molecules21080974
Received: 22 April 2016 / Revised: 2 July 2016 / Accepted: 19 July 2016 / Published: 27 July 2016
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle Intra-Population Variation of Secondary Metabolites in Cistus ladanifer L.
Molecules 2016, 21(7), 945; doi:10.3390/molecules21070945
Received: 15 June 2016 / Revised: 15 July 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 21 July 2016
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle Metabolomics Provides Quality Characterization of Commercial Gochujang (Fermented Pepper Paste)
Molecules 2016, 21(7), 921; doi:10.3390/molecules21070921
Received: 3 June 2016 / Revised: 8 July 2016 / Accepted: 8 July 2016 / Published: 15 July 2016
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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,
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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
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Open AccessReview New Perspectives on the Use of Phytochemicals as an Emergent Strategy to Control Bacterial Infections Including Biofilms
Molecules 2016, 21(7), 877; doi:10.3390/molecules21070877
Received: 31 May 2016 / Revised: 28 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 5 July 2016
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle Chemical Profile, Antioxidant and Antibacterial Activities of Achillea moschata Wulfen, an Endemic Species from the Alps
Molecules 2016, 21(7), 830; doi:10.3390/molecules21070830
Received: 10 May 2016 / Revised: 19 June 2016 / Accepted: 21 June 2016 / Published: 25 June 2016
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle Ultrahigh Pressure Processing Produces Alterations in the Metabolite Profiles of Panax ginseng
Molecules 2016, 21(6), 816; doi:10.3390/molecules21060816
Received: 25 May 2016 / Revised: 20 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
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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;
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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
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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; doi:10.3390/molecules21060802
Received: 26 May 2016 / Revised: 15 June 2016 / Accepted: 16 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle In Vitro Assessment of CYP-Mediated Drug Interactions for Kinsenoside, an Antihyperlipidemic Candidate
Molecules 2016, 21(6), 800; doi:10.3390/molecules21060800
Received: 7 April 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
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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
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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
Open AccessArticle Metabolomic Profiles of Aspergillus oryzae and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens During Rice Koji Fermentation
Molecules 2016, 21(6), 773; doi:10.3390/molecules21060773
Received: 26 May 2016 / Revised: 8 June 2016 / Accepted: 8 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
Cited by 4 | 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
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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
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Open AccessArticle Probing Steroidal Substrate Specificity of Cytochrome P450 BM3 Variants
Molecules 2016, 21(6), 760; doi:10.3390/molecules21060760
Received: 27 April 2016 / Revised: 4 June 2016 / Accepted: 6 June 2016 / Published: 11 June 2016
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle Polyphenols from Erythrina crista-galli: Structures, Molecular Docking and Phytoestrogenic Activity
Molecules 2016, 21(6), 726; doi:10.3390/molecules21060726
Received: 30 March 2016 / Revised: 21 May 2016 / Accepted: 27 May 2016 / Published: 3 June 2016
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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
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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
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Potential Amino Acid Biomarkers in Brain Tissue and the Effect of Galangin on Cerebral Ischemia
Molecules 2016, 21(4), 438; doi:10.3390/molecules21040438
Received: 15 January 2016 / Revised: 23 March 2016 / Accepted: 28 March 2016 / Published: 6 April 2016
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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
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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
Open AccessArticle Pharmacokinetics of Maleic Acid as a Food Adulterant Determined by Microdialysis in Rat Blood and Kidney Cortex
Molecules 2016, 21(3), 367; doi:10.3390/molecules21030367
Received: 28 January 2016 / Revised: 4 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 March 2016 / Published: 17 March 2016
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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
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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
Open AccessArticle Quantitative Variation of Flavonoids and Diterpenes in Leaves and Stems of Cistus ladanifer L. at Different Ages
Molecules 2016, 21(3), 275; doi:10.3390/molecules21030275
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 18 February 2016 / Accepted: 23 February 2016 / Published: 27 February 2016
Cited by 3 | 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
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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
Open AccessReview The Impact of Melatonin in Research
Molecules 2016, 21(2), 240; doi:10.3390/molecules21020240
Received: 10 January 2016 / Revised: 9 February 2016 / Accepted: 11 February 2016 / Published: 20 February 2016
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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
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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
Open AccessArticle Chemical Characterization and Trypanocidal, Leishmanicidal and Cytotoxicity Potential of Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae) Essential Oil
Molecules 2016, 21(2), 209; doi:10.3390/molecules21020209
Received: 20 December 2015 / Revised: 30 January 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 10 February 2016
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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
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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
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Evaluation of Total Antioxidant Capacities of Plant Polyphenols
Molecules 2016, 21(2), 208; doi:10.3390/molecules21020208
Received: 15 January 2016 / Revised: 30 January 2016 / Accepted: 1 February 2016 / Published: 9 February 2016
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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
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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
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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; doi:10.3390/molecules21020159
Received: 19 January 2016 / Accepted: 19 January 2016 / Published: 28 January 2016
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Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper: [...] Full article

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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; doi: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
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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
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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; doi:10.3390/molecules201018907
Received: 22 July 2015 / Revised: 26 August 2015 / Accepted: 9 October 2015 / Published: 16 October 2015
Cited by 7 | 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
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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
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; doi:10.3390/molecules201018031
Received: 26 August 2015 / Revised: 24 September 2015 / Accepted: 27 September 2015 / Published: 30 September 2015
Cited by 4 | 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
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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
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Open AccessReview Wheat Bran Phenolic Acids: Bioavailability and Stability in Whole Wheat-Based Foods
Molecules 2015, 20(9), 15666-15685; doi:10.3390/molecules200915666
Received: 29 July 2015 / Revised: 20 August 2015 / Accepted: 21 August 2015 / Published: 28 August 2015
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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
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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
Open AccessArticle Inhibition of Oral Streptococci Growth Induced by the Complementary Action of Berberine Chloride and Antibacterial Compounds
Molecules 2015, 20(8), 13705-13724; doi:10.3390/molecules200813705
Received: 24 May 2015 / Revised: 22 July 2015 / Accepted: 23 July 2015 / Published: 28 July 2015
Cited by 6 | 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
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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
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; doi:10.3390/molecules200813620
Received: 21 June 2015 / Revised: 9 July 2015 / Accepted: 16 July 2015 / Published: 27 July 2015
Cited by 14 | 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
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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
Open AccessReview Secondary Metabolites from Rubiaceae Species
Molecules 2015, 20(7), 13422-13495; doi:10.3390/molecules200713422
Received: 13 June 2015 / Revised: 11 July 2015 / Accepted: 13 July 2015 / Published: 22 July 2015
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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,
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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
Open AccessArticle Phytochemical Properties and Anti-Proliferative Activity of Olea europaea L. Leaf Extracts against Pancreatic Cancer Cells
Molecules 2015, 20(7), 12992-13004; doi:10.3390/molecules200712992
Received: 29 May 2015 / Revised: 13 July 2015 / Accepted: 14 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1008 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Olea europaea L. leaves are an agricultural waste product with a high concentration of phenolic compounds; especially oleuropein. Oleuropein has been shown to exhibit anti-proliferative activity against a number of cancer types. However, they have not been tested against pancreatic cancer, the
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Olea europaea L. leaves are an agricultural waste product with a high concentration of phenolic compounds; especially oleuropein. Oleuropein has been shown to exhibit anti-proliferative activity against a number of cancer types. However, they have not been tested against pancreatic cancer, the fifth leading cause of cancer related death in Western countries. Therefore, water, 50% ethanol and 50% methanol extracts of Corregiola and Frantoio variety Olea europaea L. leaves were investigated for their total phenolic compounds, total flavonoids and oleuropein content, antioxidant capacity and anti-proliferative activity against MiaPaCa-2 pancreatic cancer cells. The extracts only had slight differences in their phytochemical properties, and at 100 and 200 μg/mL, all decreased the viability of the pancreatic cancer cells relative to controls. At 50 μg/mL, the water extract from the Corregiola leaves exhibited the highest anti-proliferative activity with the effect possibly due to early eluting HPLC peaks. For this reason, olive leaf extracts warrant further investigation into their potential anti-pancreatic cancer benefits. Full article
Open AccessReview Tilting Plant Metabolism for Improved Metabolite Biosynthesis and Enhanced Human Benefit
Molecules 2015, 20(7), 12698-12731; doi:10.3390/molecules200712698
Received: 17 March 2015 / Revised: 29 April 2015 / Accepted: 12 May 2015 / Published: 13 July 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1559 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The immense chemical diversity of plant-derived secondary metabolites coupled with their vast array of biological functions has seen this group of compounds attract considerable research interest across a range of research disciplines. Medicinal and aromatic plants, in particular, have been exploited for this
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The immense chemical diversity of plant-derived secondary metabolites coupled with their vast array of biological functions has seen this group of compounds attract considerable research interest across a range of research disciplines. Medicinal and aromatic plants, in particular, have been exploited for this biogenic pool of phytochemicals for products such as pharmaceuticals, fragrances, dyes, and insecticides, among others. With consumers showing increasing interests in these products, innovative biotechnological techniques are being developed and employed to alter plant secondary metabolism in efforts to improve on the quality and quantity of specific metabolites of interest. This review provides an overview of the biosynthesis for phytochemical compounds with medicinal and other related properties and their associated biological activities. It also provides an insight into how their biosynthesis/biosynthetic pathways have been modified/altered to enhance production. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Phytochemical Profiling and Evaluation of Pharmacological Activities of Hypericum scabrum L.
Molecules 2015, 20(6), 11257-11271; doi:10.3390/molecules200611257
Received: 17 May 2015 / Revised: 12 June 2015 / Accepted: 16 June 2015 / Published: 18 June 2015
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Abstract
Phytochemical investigations of ethyl acetate-soluble part of the aerial part of Hypericum scabrum L. delivered eight pure phenolic compounds 18. The pure compounds were identified through physico-chemical, NMR (1D, 2D) and mass spectrometric studies as: 3-8′′-bisapigenin (1), quercetin
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Phytochemical investigations of ethyl acetate-soluble part of the aerial part of Hypericum scabrum L. delivered eight pure phenolic compounds 18. The pure compounds were identified through physico-chemical, NMR (1D, 2D) and mass spectrometric studies as: 3-8′′-bisapigenin (1), quercetin (2), quercetin-3-O-α-l-arabinofuranoside (3), quercetin-3-O-α-l-rhamnoside (4), quercetin-3-O-β-d-glucopyranoside (5), quercetin-3-O-β-d-galactopyranoside (6), (−)-epicatechin (7), (+)-catechin (8). Total polyphenolic compounds and total flavonoids contents were determined in the extract as 0.107 mg∙mg−1 and 0.023 mg∙mg−1 of the dried extract, respectively. Antioxidant activity using DPPH free radical scavenging assay delivered very strong activity for compounds 2 and 5, 6 and crude extract 10. Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP-1B) inhibition experiment of isolated compounds and crude extracts resulted in significant inhibition activity for samples 2, 7a, 8a, 11 and 12 with IC50 values ranging from 1.57 to 2.91 µM. Antimicrobial activity of the pure compounds and extracts produced average results against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans strains. From our literature survey, it appears that all pure compounds except 2 were isolated and reported for the first time in H. scabrum. Full article
Open AccessArticle Essential Oil from Berries of Lebanese Juniperus excelsa M. Bieb Displays Similar Antibacterial Activity to Chlorhexidine but Higher Cytocompatibility with Human Oral Primary Cells
Molecules 2015, 20(5), 9344-9357; doi:10.3390/molecules20059344
Received: 28 April 2015 / Revised: 11 May 2015 / Accepted: 12 May 2015 / Published: 21 May 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2345 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chlorhexidine (CHX), one of the most effective drugs administered for periodontal treatment, presents collateral effects including toxicity when used for prolonged periods; here, we have evaluated the bactericidal potency and the cytocompatibility of Juniperus excelsa M. Bieb essential oil (EO) in comparison with
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Chlorhexidine (CHX), one of the most effective drugs administered for periodontal treatment, presents collateral effects including toxicity when used for prolonged periods; here, we have evaluated the bactericidal potency and the cytocompatibility of Juniperus excelsa M. Bieb essential oil (EO) in comparison with 0.05% CHX. The EO was extracted from berries by hydrodistillation and components identified by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Bacterial inhibition halo analysis, quantitative cell viability 2,3-bis(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulphophenyl)-5-[(phenyl amino) carbonyl]-2H-tetrazolium hydroxide assay (XTT), and colony forming unit (CFU) count were evaluated against the two biofilm formers Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and Streptococcus mutans. Finally, cytocompatibility was assessed with human primary gingival fibroblasts (HGF) and mucosal keratinocytes (HK). The resulting EO was mainly composed of monoterpene hydrocarbons and oxygenated monoterpenes. An inhibition halo test demonstrated that both bacteria were sensitive to the EO; XTT analysis and CFU counts confirmed that 10-fold-diluted EO determined a statistically significant (p < 0.05) reduction in bacteria count and viability towards both biofilm and planktonic forms in a comparable manner to those obtained with CHX. Moreover, EO displayed higher cytocompatibility than CHX (p < 0.05). In conclusion, EO exhibited bactericidal activity similar to CHX, but a superior cytocompatibility, making it a promising antiseptic alternative to CHX. Full article
Open AccessArticle Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester and Ethanol Extract of Propolis Induce the Complementary Cytotoxic Effect on Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cell Lines
Molecules 2015, 20(5), 9242-9262; doi:10.3390/molecules20059242
Received: 20 April 2015 / Revised: 10 May 2015 / Accepted: 14 May 2015 / Published: 20 May 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1989 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chemotherapy of breast cancer could be improved by bioactive natural substances, which may potentially sensitize the carcinoma cells’ susceptibility to drugs. Numerous phytochemicals, including propolis, have been reported to interfere with the viability of carcinoma cells. We evaluated the in vitro cytotoxic activity
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Chemotherapy of breast cancer could be improved by bioactive natural substances, which may potentially sensitize the carcinoma cells’ susceptibility to drugs. Numerous phytochemicals, including propolis, have been reported to interfere with the viability of carcinoma cells. We evaluated the in vitro cytotoxic activity of ethanol extract of propolis (EEP) and its derivative caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) towards two triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell lines, MDA-MB-231 and Hs578T, by implementation of the MTT and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assays. The morphological changes of breast carcinoma cells were observed following exposure to EEP and CAPE. The IC50 of EEP was 48.35 µg∙mL−1 for MDA-MB-23 cells and 33.68 µg∙mL−1 for Hs578T cells, whereas the CAPE IC50 was 14.08 µM and 8.01 µM for the MDA-MB-231 and Hs578T cell line, respectively. Here, we report that propolis and CAPE inhibited the growth of the MDA-MB-231 and Hs578T lines in a dose-dependent and exposure time-dependent manner. EEP showed less cytotoxic activity against both types of TNBC cells. EEP and, particularly, CAPE may markedly affect the viability of breast cancer cells, suggesting the potential role of bioactive compounds in chemoprevention/chemotherapy by potentiating the action of standard anti-cancer drugs. Full article
Open AccessReview Phytomelatonin: Assisting Plants to Survive and Thrive
Molecules 2015, 20(4), 7396-7437; doi:10.3390/molecules20047396
Received: 25 February 2015 / Revised: 27 March 2015 / Accepted: 27 March 2015 / Published: 22 April 2015
Cited by 73 | PDF Full-text (2355 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review summarizes the advances that have been made in terms of the identified functions of melatonin in plants. Melatonin is an endogenously-produced molecule in all plant species that have been investigated. Its concentration in plant organs varies in different tissues, e.g., roots
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This review summarizes the advances that have been made in terms of the identified functions of melatonin in plants. Melatonin is an endogenously-produced molecule in all plant species that have been investigated. Its concentration in plant organs varies in different tissues, e.g., roots versus leaves, and with their developmental stage. As in animals, the pathway of melatonin synthesis in plants utilizes tryptophan as an essential precursor molecule. Melatonin synthesis is inducible in plants when they are exposed to abiotic stresses (extremes of temperature, toxins, increased soil salinity, drought, etc.) as well as to biotic stresses (fungal infection). Melatonin aids plants in terms of root growth, leaf morphology, chlorophyll preservation and fruit development. There is also evidence that exogenously-applied melatonin improves seed germination, plant growth and crop yield and its application to plant products post-harvest shows that melatonin advances fruit ripening and may improve food quality. Since melatonin was only discovered in plants two decades ago, there is still a great deal to learn about the functional significance of melatonin in plants. It is the hope of the authors that the current review will serve as a stimulus for scientists to join the endeavor of clarifying the function of this phylogenetically-ancient molecule in plants and particularly in reference to the mechanisms by which melatonin mediates its multiple actions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Phytochemical Compositions and Biological Activities of Essential Oil from Xanthium strumarium L.
Molecules 2015, 20(4), 7034-7047; doi:10.3390/molecules20047034
Received: 5 February 2015 / Revised: 13 April 2015 / Accepted: 14 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (741 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The chemical composition of the essential oil (EO) from fresh cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium L.) leaves was investigated by GC-MS. The antimicrobial activity of the EO was tested against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and fungi. Scolicidal activity was assayed against Echinococcus granulosus protoscolices.
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The chemical composition of the essential oil (EO) from fresh cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium L.) leaves was investigated by GC-MS. The antimicrobial activity of the EO was tested against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and fungi. Scolicidal activity was assayed against Echinococcus granulosus protoscolices. In total, 34 compounds were identified, accounting for 98.96% of the EO. The main compounds in the EO were cis-β-guaiene (34.2%), limonene (20.3%), borneol (11.6%), bornyl acetate (4.5%), β-cubebene (3.8%), sabinene (3.6%), phytol (3.1%), β-selinene (2.8%), camphene (2.2%), α-cubebene (2.4%), β-caryophyllene (1.9%), α-pinene (1.8%) and xanthinin (1.04%). The antibacterial and antifungal screening of the EO showed that all assayed concentrations significantly inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger (MIC = 0.5 ± 0.1, 1.3 ± 0.0, 4.8 ± 0.0, 20.5 ± 0.3, 55.2 ± 0.0 and 34.3 ± 0.0 µg/mL, respectively). The scolicidal assay indicated that the EO exhibited a significant activity against E. granulosus protoscolices. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the scolicidal activity of X. strumarium. Because of the emergence of antimicrobial drug resistance, the study of new effective natural chemotherapeutic agents, such as the X. strumarium EO, possibly with low side effects, represents a very promising approach in biomedical research. Full article
Open AccessReview Longevity Extension by Phytochemicals
Molecules 2015, 20(4), 6544-6572; doi:10.3390/molecules20046544
Received: 2 March 2015 / Revised: 7 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 13 April 2015
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (741 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Phytochemicals are structurally diverse secondary metabolites synthesized by plants and also by non-pathogenic endophytic microorganisms living within plants. Phytochemicals help plants to survive environmental stresses, protect plants from microbial infections and environmental pollutants, provide them with a defense from herbivorous organisms and attract
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Phytochemicals are structurally diverse secondary metabolites synthesized by plants and also by non-pathogenic endophytic microorganisms living within plants. Phytochemicals help plants to survive environmental stresses, protect plants from microbial infections and environmental pollutants, provide them with a defense from herbivorous organisms and attract natural predators of such organisms, as well as lure pollinators and other symbiotes of these plants. In addition, many phytochemicals can extend longevity in heterotrophic organisms across phyla via evolutionarily conserved mechanisms. In this review, we discuss such mechanisms. We outline how structurally diverse phytochemicals modulate a complex network of signaling pathways that orchestrate a distinct set of longevity-defining cellular processes. This review also reflects on how the release of phytochemicals by plants into a natural ecosystem may create selective forces that drive the evolution of longevity regulation mechanisms in heterotrophic organisms inhabiting this ecosystem. We outline the most important unanswered questions and directions for future research in this vibrant and rapidly evolving field. Full article
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Open AccessReview Thapsigargin—From Thapsia L. to Mipsagargin
Molecules 2015, 20(4), 6113-6127; doi:10.3390/molecules20046113
Received: 25 February 2015 / Revised: 26 March 2015 / Accepted: 30 March 2015 / Published: 8 April 2015
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Abstract
The sesquiterpene lactone thapsigargin is found in the plant Thapsia garganica L., and is one of the major constituents of the roots and fruits of this Mediterranean species. In 1978, the first pharmacological effects of thapsigargin were established and the full structure was
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The sesquiterpene lactone thapsigargin is found in the plant Thapsia garganica L., and is one of the major constituents of the roots and fruits of this Mediterranean species. In 1978, the first pharmacological effects of thapsigargin were established and the full structure was elucidated in 1985. Shortly after, the overall mechanism of the Sarco-endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) inhibition that leads to apoptosis was discovered. Thapsigargin has a potent antagonistic effect on the SERCA and is widely used to study Ca2+-signaling. The effect on SERCA has also been utilized in the treatment of solid tumors. A prodrug has been designed to target the blood vessels of cancer cells; the death of these blood vessels then leads to tumor necrosis. The first clinical trials of this drug were initiated in 2008, and the potent drug is expected to enter the market in the near future under the generic name Mipsagargin (G-202). This review will describe the discovery of the new drug, the on-going elucidation of the biosynthesis of thapsigargin in the plant and attempts to supply the global market with a novel potent anti-cancer drug. Full article
Open AccessArticle Comparison of Two Species of Notopterygium by GC-MS and HPLC
Molecules 2015, 20(3), 5062-5073; doi:10.3390/molecules20035062
Received: 19 January 2015 / Revised: 2 March 2015 / Accepted: 4 March 2015 / Published: 19 March 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1579 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Notopterygii Rhizoma et Radix (Qianghuo), including Notopterygium incisum Ting ex H. T. Chang (NI) and Notopterygium franchetii H. de Boiss (NF), is an important traditional Chinese medicine. Of these two plants, NI, is more commonly used and has a much higher price in
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Notopterygii Rhizoma et Radix (Qianghuo), including Notopterygium incisum Ting ex H. T. Chang (NI) and Notopterygium franchetii H. de Boiss (NF), is an important traditional Chinese medicine. Of these two plants, NI, is more commonly used and has a much higher price in the marketplace. To compare these two plants, a combination of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was carried out, thus obtaining an overall characterization for both volatile and none-volatile compounds. Combined with hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis, GC-MS was successfully applied to distinguish NF and NI. The chemical constitutes of volatile oil in NI and NF were firstly compared in detail, and 1R-alpha-pinene, beta-pinene and 4-isopropyl-1-methyl-1,4-cyclohexadiene had great contribution to the discrimination. Fingerprints of 14 batches of Qinghuo samples were also established based on HPLC, and an obvious difference was found between the two species. The chromatographic fingerprints were further analyzed by similarity analysis and HCA. The present study is the first reported evaluation of two origins of Notopterygii Rhizoma et Radix by GC-MS and HPLC, which will facilitate quality control and its clinical application. Full article
Open AccessArticle Anti-Ageing Effects of Sonchus oleraceus L. (pūhā) Leaf Extracts on H2O2-Induced Cell Senescence
Molecules 2015, 20(3), 4548-4564; doi:10.3390/molecules20034548
Received: 21 January 2015 / Revised: 3 March 2015 / Accepted: 3 March 2015 / Published: 12 March 2015
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Abstract
Antioxidants protect against damage from free radicals and are believed to slow the ageing process. Previously, we have reported the high antioxidant activity of 70% methanolic Sonchus oleraceus L. (Asteraceae) leaf extracts. We hypothesize that S. oleraceus extracts protect cells against H2
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Antioxidants protect against damage from free radicals and are believed to slow the ageing process. Previously, we have reported the high antioxidant activity of 70% methanolic Sonchus oleraceus L. (Asteraceae) leaf extracts. We hypothesize that S. oleraceus extracts protect cells against H2O2-induced senescence by mediating oxidative stress. Premature senescence of young WI-38 cells was induced by application of H2O2. Cells were treated with S. oleraceus extracts before or after H2O2 stress. The senescence- associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) activity was used to indicate cell senescence. S. oleraceus extracts showed higher cellular antioxidant activity than chlorogenic acid in WI-38 cells. S. oleraceus extracts suppressed H2O2 stress-induced premature senescence in a concentration-dependent manner. At 5 and 20 mg/mL, S. oleraceus extracts showed better or equivalent effects of reducing stress-induced premature senescence than the corresponding ascorbic acid treatments. These findings indicate the potential of S. oleraceus extracts to be formulated as an anti-ageing agent. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Urine and Serum Metabolite Profiling of Rats Fed a High-Fat Diet and the Anti-Obesity Effects of Caffeine Consumption
Molecules 2015, 20(2), 3107-3128; doi:10.3390/molecules20023107
Received: 31 December 2014 / Revised: 9 February 2015 / Accepted: 9 February 2015 / Published: 13 February 2015
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Abstract
In this study, we investigated the clinical changes induced by a high fat diet (HFD) and caffeine consumption in a rat model. The mean body weight of the HFD with caffeine (HFDC)-fed rat was decreased compared to that of the HFD-fed rat without
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In this study, we investigated the clinical changes induced by a high fat diet (HFD) and caffeine consumption in a rat model. The mean body weight of the HFD with caffeine (HFDC)-fed rat was decreased compared to that of the HFD-fed rat without caffeine. The levels of cholesterol, triglycerides (TGs), and free fatty acid, as well as the size of adipose tissue altered by HFD, were improved by caffeine consumption. To investigate the metabolites that affected the change of the clinical factors, the urine and serum of rats fed a normal diet (ND), HFD, and HFDC were analyzed using ultra performance liquid chromatography quadruple time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q-TOF-MS), gas chromatography (GC-TOF-MS), and linear trap quadruple mass spectrometry (LTQ-XL-MS) combined with multivariate analysis. A total of 68 and 52 metabolites were found to be different in urine and serum, respectively. After being fed caffeine, some glucuronide-conjugated compounds, lysoPCs, CEs, DGs, TGs, taurine, and hippuric acid were altered compared to the HFD group. In this study, caffeine might potentially inhibit HFD-induced obesity and we suggest possible biomarker candidates using MS-based metabolite profiling. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Promoting Effect of Foliage Sprayed Zinc Sulfate on Accumulation of Sugar and Phenolics in Berries of Vitis vinifera cv. Merlot Growing on Zinc Deficient Soil
Molecules 2015, 20(2), 2536-2554; doi:10.3390/molecules20022536
Received: 16 December 2014 / Accepted: 26 January 2015 / Published: 2 February 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (951 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The effect of foliage sprayed zinc sulfate on berry development of Vitis vinifera cv. Merlot growing on arid zone Zn-deficient soils was investigated over two consecutive seasons, 2013 and 2014. Initial zinc concentration in soil and vines, photosynthesis at three berry developmental stages,
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The effect of foliage sprayed zinc sulfate on berry development of Vitis vinifera cv. Merlot growing on arid zone Zn-deficient soils was investigated over two consecutive seasons, 2013 and 2014. Initial zinc concentration in soil and vines, photosynthesis at three berry developmental stages, berry weight, content of total soluble solids, titratable acidity, phenolics and expression of phenolics biosynthetic pathway genes throughout the stages were measured. Foliage sprayed zinc sulfate showed promoting effects on photosynthesis and berry development of vines and the promotion mainly occurred from veraison to maturation. Zn treatments enhanced the accumulation of total soluble solids, total phenols, flavonoids, flavanols, tannins and anthocyanins in berry skin, decreasing the concentration of titratable acidity. Furthermore, foliage sprayed zinc sulfate could significantly influence the expression of phenolics biosynthetic pathway genes throughout berry development, and the results of expression analysis supported the promotion of Zn treatments on phenolics accumulation. This research is the first comprehensive and detailed study about the effect of foliage sprayed Zn fertilizer on grape berry development, phenolics accumulation and gene expression in berry skin, providing a basis for improving the quality of grape and wine in Zn-deficient areas. Full article
Open AccessArticle Soy Isoflavones in Nutritionally Relevant Amounts Have Varied Nutrigenomic Effects on Adipose Tissue
Molecules 2015, 20(2), 2310-2322; doi:10.3390/molecules20022310
Received: 25 November 2014 / Revised: 11 December 2014 / Accepted: 22 January 2015 / Published: 30 January 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (909 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Soy consumption has been suggested to afford protection from cardiovascular disease (CVD). Indeed, accumulated albeit controversial evidence suggests that daily consumption of ≥25 g of soy protein with its associated phytochemicals intact can improve lipid profiles in hypercholesterolemic humans. However, the belief that
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Soy consumption has been suggested to afford protection from cardiovascular disease (CVD). Indeed, accumulated albeit controversial evidence suggests that daily consumption of ≥25 g of soy protein with its associated phytochemicals intact can improve lipid profiles in hypercholesterolemic humans. However, the belief that soy foods and supplements positively impact human health has become increasingly controversial among the general public because of the reported estrogenic activities of soy isoflavones. In this study, we investigated the nutrigenomic actions of soy isoflavones (in nutritionally-relevant amounts) with a specific focus on the adipose tissue, due to its pivotal role in cardiometabolism. Young C57BL/6 mice were maintained for eight weeks under two different diet regimes: (1) purified control diet; or (2) purified control diet supplemented with 0.45 g% soybean dry purified extract (a genistein/daidzein mix). Soy isoflavones increased plasma total cholesterol concentrations and decreased triglyceride ones. Circulating leptin levels was also increased by soy consumption. Differentially expressed genes in adipose tissue were classified according to their role(s) in cellular or metabolic pathways. Our data show that soy isoflavones, administered in nutritionally-relevant amounts, have diverse nutrigenomic effects on adipose tissue. Taking into account the moderate average exposure to such molecules, their impact on cardiovascular health needs to be further investigated to resolve the issue of whether soy consumption does indeed increase or decrease cardiovascular risk. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Content of Phenolic Compounds in Leaf Tissues of Aesculus glabra and Aesculus parviflora Walt.
Molecules 2015, 20(2), 2176-2189; doi:10.3390/molecules20022176
Received: 20 November 2014 / Revised: 15 December 2014 / Accepted: 29 December 2014 / Published: 28 January 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1351 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In plants, flavonoids play an important role in biological processes. They are involved in UV-scavenging, fertility and disease resistance. Therefore, in this study, we attempted to quantify and characterize phenolic compounds in Aesculus parviflora Walt. leaves and Aesculus glabra leaves partly suffering from
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In plants, flavonoids play an important role in biological processes. They are involved in UV-scavenging, fertility and disease resistance. Therefore, in this study, we attempted to quantify and characterize phenolic compounds in Aesculus parviflora Walt. leaves and Aesculus glabra leaves partly suffering from attack by a leaf mining insect (C. ohridella). A total of 28 phenolic compounds belonging to the hydroxycinnamic acid, flavan-3-ols and flavonol groups were identified and quantified in Aesculus parviflora and A. glabra leaf extracts. Significantly decreased concentrations of some phenolic compounds, especially of flavan-3-ols, were observed in infected leaves compared to the non-infected ones. Additionally, a higher content of polymeric procyanidins in leaves of Aesculus parviflora than in Aesculus glabra may explain their greater resistance to C. ohridella insects. Full article
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Open AccessReview Triterpenes as Potentially Cytotoxic Compounds
Molecules 2015, 20(1), 1610-1625; doi:10.3390/molecules20011610
Received: 30 October 2014 / Accepted: 13 January 2015 / Published: 19 January 2015
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (706 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Triterpenes are compounds of natural origin, which have numerously biological activities: anti-cancer properties, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. These substances can be isolated from plants, animals or fungi. Nowadays, when neoplasms are main cause of death, triterpenes can become an alternative method
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Triterpenes are compounds of natural origin, which have numerously biological activities: anti-cancer properties, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. These substances can be isolated from plants, animals or fungi. Nowadays, when neoplasms are main cause of death, triterpenes can become an alternative method for treating cancer because of their cytotoxic properties and chemopreventive activities. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Role of Selected Flavonols in Tumor Necrosis Factor-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand Receptor–1 (TRAIL-R1) Expression on Activated RAW 264.7 Macrophages
Molecules 2015, 20(1), 900-912; doi:10.3390/molecules20010900
Received: 24 November 2014 / Accepted: 5 January 2015 / Published: 8 January 2015
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Abstract
Tumor Necrosis Factor-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand Receptors (TRAIL-R) are an important factor of apoptosis in cancer cells. There are no data about the effect of flavonols on the receptor expression on a surface of macrophage like cells. In this study, the expression level of
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Tumor Necrosis Factor-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand Receptors (TRAIL-R) are an important factor of apoptosis in cancer cells. There are no data about the effect of flavonols on the receptor expression on a surface of macrophage like cells. In this study, the expression level of TRAIL-R1 on murine RAW264.7 macrophages in the presence of selected flavonols: galangin, kaempferol, kaempferide and quercetin, which differ from their phenyl ring substituents, were studied. The expression of TRAIL-R1 death receptors on non-stimulated and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages was determined using flow cytometry. The results suggested that compounds being tested can modulate TRAIL-R1 expression and can enhance TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. Full article
Open AccessArticle Pinelliae Rhizoma, a Toxic Chinese Herb, Can Significantly Inhibit CYP3A Activity in Rats
Molecules 2015, 20(1), 792-806; doi:10.3390/molecules20010792
Received: 24 November 2014 / Accepted: 31 December 2014 / Published: 7 January 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (929 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Raw Pinelliae Rhizoma (RPR) is a representative toxic herb that is widely used for eliminating phlegm or treating cough and vomiting. Given its irritant toxicity, its processed products, including Pinelliae Rhizoma Praeparatum (PRP) and Pinelliae Rhizoma Praeparatum cum Zingibere et Alumine (PRPZA), are
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Raw Pinelliae Rhizoma (RPR) is a representative toxic herb that is widely used for eliminating phlegm or treating cough and vomiting. Given its irritant toxicity, its processed products, including Pinelliae Rhizoma Praeparatum (PRP) and Pinelliae Rhizoma Praeparatum cum Zingibere et Alumine (PRPZA), are more commonly applied and administered concomitantly with other chemical drugs, such as cough medications. This study aimed to investigate the effects of RPR, PRP, and PRPZA on CYP3A activity. Testosterone (Tes) and buspirone (BP) were used as specific probe substrates ex vivo and in vivo, respectively. CYP3A activity was determined by the metabolite formation ratios from the substrates. Ex vivo results show that the metabolite formation ratios from Tes significantly decreased, indicating that RPR, PRP, and PRPZA could inhibit CYP3A activity in rats. CYP3A protein and mRNA levels were determined to explore the underlying mechanism. These levels showed marked and consistent down-regulation with CYP3A activity. A significant decrease in metabolite formation ratios from BP was also found in PRPZA group in vivo, implying that PRPZA could inhibit CYP3A activity. Conclusively, co-administration of PR with other CYP3A-metabolizing drugs may cause drug–drug interactions. Clinical use of PR-related formulae should be monitored carefully to avoid adverse interactions. Full article

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Open AccessArticle Stem Bark Extract and Fraction of Persea americana (Mill.) Exhibits Bactericidal Activities against Strains of Bacillus cereus Associated with Food Poisoning
Molecules 2015, 20(1), 416-429; doi:10.3390/molecules20010416
Received: 8 October 2014 / Accepted: 18 December 2014 / Published: 30 December 2014
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Abstract
The study investigates the in vitro antibacterial potentials of stem bark extracts of Persea americana on strains of Bacillus cereus implicated in food poisoning. The crude stem bark extracts and butanolic fraction at a concentration of 25 mg/mL and 10 mg/mL, respectively, exhibited
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The study investigates the in vitro antibacterial potentials of stem bark extracts of Persea americana on strains of Bacillus cereus implicated in food poisoning. The crude stem bark extracts and butanolic fraction at a concentration of 25 mg/mL and 10 mg/mL, respectively, exhibited antibacterial activities against test isolates. The zones of inhibition exhibited by the crude extract and the fraction ranged between 10 mm and 26 mm, while the minimum inhibitory concentration values ranged between 0.78 and 5.00 mg/mL. The minimum bactericidal concentrations ranged between 3.12 mg/mL–12.5 mg/mL and 1.25–10 mg/mL for the extract and the fraction, respectively. The butanolic fraction killed 91.49% of the test isolates at a concentration of 2× MIC after 60 min of contact time, while a 100% killing was achieved after the test bacterial cells were exposed to the butanolic fraction at a concentration of 3× MIC after 90 min contact time. Intracellular protein and potassium ion leaked out of the test bacterial cells when exposed to certain concentrations of the fraction; this is an indication of bacterial cell wall disruptions by the extract’s butanolic fraction and, thus, caused a biocidal effect on the cells, as evident in the killing rate test results. Full article
Open AccessArticle Ag+ as a More Effective Elicitor for Production of Tanshinones than Phenolic Acids in Salvia miltiorrhiza Hairy Roots
Molecules 2015, 20(1), 309-324; doi:10.3390/molecules20010309
Received: 3 October 2014 / Accepted: 5 December 2014 / Published: 24 December 2014
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Abstract
Phenolic acids and tanshinones are two groups of bioactive ingredients in Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge. As a heavy metal elicitor, it has been reported that Ag+ can induce accumulations of both phenolic acids and tanshinones in S. miltiorrhiza hairy roots. In this study,
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Phenolic acids and tanshinones are two groups of bioactive ingredients in Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge. As a heavy metal elicitor, it has been reported that Ag+ can induce accumulations of both phenolic acids and tanshinones in S. miltiorrhiza hairy roots. In this study, the effects of Ag+ treatment on accumulations of six phenolic acids and four tanshinones in S. miltiorrhiza hairy roots were investigated. To further elucidate the molecular mechanism, expressions of key genes involved in the biosynthesis of these ingredients were also detected. The results showed that although the total phenolic acids content was almost not affected by Ag+, accumulations of rosmarinic acid (RA), caffeic acid and ferulic acid were significantly increased, while accumulations of salvianolic acid B (LAB), danshensu (DSU) and cinnamic acid were decreased. We speculate that LAB probably derived from the branch pathway of DSU biosynthesis. Contents of four tanshinones were enhanced by Ag+ and their accumulations were more sensitive to Ag+ than phenolic acids. Genes in the upstream biosynthetic pathways of these ingredients responded to Ag+ earlier than those in the downstream biosynthetic pathways. Ag+ probably induced the whole pathways, upregulated gene expressions from the upstream pathways to the downstream pathways, and finally resulted in the enhancement of ingredient production. Compared with phenolic acids, tanshinone production was more sensitive to Ag+ treatments. This study will help us understand how secondary metabolism in S. miltiorrhiza responds to elicitors and provide a reference for the improvement of the production of targeted compounds in the near future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle In Silico Affinity Profiling of Neuroactive Polyphenols for Post-Traumatic Calpain Inactivation: A Molecular Docking and Atomistic Simulation Sensitivity Analysis
Molecules 2015, 20(1), 135-168; doi:10.3390/molecules20010135
Received: 11 October 2014 / Accepted: 16 December 2014 / Published: 23 December 2014
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Abstract
Calcium-activated nonlysosomal neutral proteases, calpains, are believed to be early mediators of neuronal damage associated with neuron death and axonal degeneration after traumatic neural injuries. In this study, a library of biologically active small molecular weight calpain inhibitors was used for model validation
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Calcium-activated nonlysosomal neutral proteases, calpains, are believed to be early mediators of neuronal damage associated with neuron death and axonal degeneration after traumatic neural injuries. In this study, a library of biologically active small molecular weight calpain inhibitors was used for model validation and inhibition site recognition. Subsequently, two natural neuroactive polyphenols, curcumin and quercetin, were tested for their sensitivity and activity towards calpain’s proteolytic sequence and compared with the known calpain inhibitors via detailed molecular mechanics (MM), molecular dynamics (MD), and docking simulations. The MM and MD energy profiles (SJA6017 < AK275 < AK295 < PD151746 < quercetin < leupeptin < PD150606 < curcumin < ALLN < ALLM < MDL-28170 < calpeptin) and the docking analysis (AK275 < AK295 < PD151746 < ALLN < PD150606 < curcumin < leupeptin < quercetin < calpeptin < SJA6017 < MDL-28170 < ALLM) demonstrated that polyphenols conferred comparable calpain inhibition profiling. The modeling paradigm used in this study provides the first detailed account of corroboration of enzyme inhibition efficacy of calpain inhibitors and the respective calpain–calpain inhibitor molecular complexes’ energetic landscape and in addition stimulates the polyphenol bioactive paradigm for post-SCI intervention with implications reaching to experimental in vitro, in cyto, and in vivo studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Chemical Composition, Antibacterial and Antioxidant Activities of Six Essentials Oils from the Alliaceae Family
Molecules 2014, 19(12), 20034-20053; doi:10.3390/molecules191220034
Received: 20 October 2014 / Revised: 19 November 2014 / Accepted: 20 November 2014 / Published: 1 December 2014
Cited by 30 | PDF Full-text (740 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Six essential oils (EOs) from the Alliaceae family, namely garlic (Allium sativum), onion (Allium cepa), leek (Allium porrum), Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum), shallot (Allium ascalonicum) and chive (Allium schoenoprasum) were characterized by GC
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Six essential oils (EOs) from the Alliaceae family, namely garlic (Allium sativum), onion (Allium cepa), leek (Allium porrum), Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum), shallot (Allium ascalonicum) and chive (Allium schoenoprasum) were characterized by GC and GC-MS and evaluated for their functional food properties. Antibacterial properties were tested on five food-borne pathogens: Two Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923), Listeria monocytogenes (ATCC 19115) and three Gram-negative Salmonella Typhimurium (ATCC 14028), Escherichia coli (ATCC 8739) and Campylobacter jejuni (ATCC 33291) bacteria. Antioxidant and radical-scavenging properties were tested by means of Folin-Ciocalteu and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assays. Garlic, Chinese chive and onion EOs had the highest antibacterial activity whereas shallot and leek EOs were the strongest antioxidants. Heating caused a decrease in the antioxidant activity of these Eos, as shown in the Total Polar Materials (TPM) test. Suggestions on relationships between chemical composition and biological activities are presented. Results show that the EOs could be of value in the food industry as alternatives to synthetic antioxidants. Full article
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Open AccessReview Recent Advances in the Chemical Composition of Propolis
Molecules 2014, 19(12), 19610-19632; doi:10.3390/molecules191219610
Received: 10 October 2014 / Revised: 13 November 2014 / Accepted: 20 November 2014 / Published: 26 November 2014
Cited by 67 | PDF Full-text (605 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Propolis is a honeybee product with broad clinical applications. Current literature describes that propolis is collected from plant resins. From a systematic database search, 241 compounds were identified in propolis for the first time between 2000 and 2012; and they belong to such
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Propolis is a honeybee product with broad clinical applications. Current literature describes that propolis is collected from plant resins. From a systematic database search, 241 compounds were identified in propolis for the first time between 2000 and 2012; and they belong to such diverse chemical classes as flavonoids, phenylpropanoids, terpenenes, stilbenes, lignans, coumarins, and their prenylated derivatives, showing a pattern consistent with around 300 previously reported compounds. The chemical characteristics of propolis are linked to the diversity of geographical location, plant sources and bee species. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Chemical and Antioxidant Properties of Wild and Cultivated Mushrooms of Ghana
Molecules 2014, 19(12), 19532-19548; doi:10.3390/molecules191219532
Received: 27 October 2014 / Revised: 12 November 2014 / Accepted: 21 November 2014 / Published: 26 November 2014
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Knowledge of the chemical composition of both wild and cultivated edible mushrooms in Ghana is limited. This study reports their nutritional value, composition in lipophilic and hydrophilic molecules, minerals and antioxidant properties. The samples were found to be nutritionally rich in carbohydrates, ranging
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Knowledge of the chemical composition of both wild and cultivated edible mushrooms in Ghana is limited. This study reports their nutritional value, composition in lipophilic and hydrophilic molecules, minerals and antioxidant properties. The samples were found to be nutritionally rich in carbohydrates, ranging from 64.14 ± 0.93 g in Pleurotus ostreatus strain EM-1 to 80.17 ± 0.34 g in Lentinus squarrosulus strain LSF. The highest level of proteins (28.40 ± 0.86 g) was recorded in the mentioned P. ostreatus strain. Low fat contents were registered in the samples, with Auricularia auricula recording the lowest value. High levels of potassium were also observed with the following decreasing order of elements: K > P ~ Na > Mg > Ca. High levels of antioxidants were also observed, thus making mushrooms suitable to be used as functional foods or nutraceutical sources. Furthermore, this study provides new information regarding chemical properties of mushrooms from Ghana, which is very important for the biodiversity characterization of this country. Full article
Open AccessArticle Method Development and Validation for Pharmacokinetic and Tissue Distributions of Ellagic Acid Using Ultrahigh Performance Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS)
Molecules 2014, 19(11), 18923-18935; doi:10.3390/molecules191118923
Received: 4 October 2014 / Revised: 11 November 2014 / Accepted: 11 November 2014 / Published: 18 November 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (477 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ellagic acid is a dietary polyphenol found in numerous fruits and vegetables, possessing several health benefits such as antioxidant, anticancer and anti-atherosclerotic biological properties. The purpose of this study was to explore the pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of ellagic acid in rats. A
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Ellagic acid is a dietary polyphenol found in numerous fruits and vegetables, possessing several health benefits such as antioxidant, anticancer and anti-atherosclerotic biological properties. The purpose of this study was to explore the pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of ellagic acid in rats. A simple, rapid, sensitive and specific liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry method to determine the ellagic acid in plasma and tissue samples was developed and validated. The separation was achieved using reversed-phase ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC), and the mass spectrometric detection was achieved using heated electrospray ionization (negative mode) and multiple ion monitoring (m/z 301/229). A sample cleanup with a solid phase extraction (SPE) step prior to the UPLC-MS/MS analysis was also developed. The SPE and UPLC-MS/MS method established here was successfully applied to reveal the pharmacokinetic profiles and tissue distribution of ellagic acid. After oral administration dosing at 50 mg/kg, plasma levels of ellagic acid peaked at about 0.5 h, with Cmax value of 93.6 ng/mL, and the results showed that the ellagic acid was poorly absorbed after oral administration. The pharmacokinetic profile of ellagic acid fitted to a two-compartment model with t1/2α 0.25 h and t1/2β 6.86 h, respectively. Following oral administration, ellagic acid was detected in all examined tissues including kidney, liver, heart, lung and brain et al., and the highest levels were found in kidney and liver. Full article
Open AccessArticle Profiling the Metabolism of Astragaloside IV by Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography Coupled with Quadrupole/Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry
Molecules 2014, 19(11), 18881-18896; doi:10.3390/molecules191118881
Received: 24 September 2014 / Revised: 5 November 2014 / Accepted: 5 November 2014 / Published: 17 November 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (427 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Astragaloside IV is a compound isolated from the Traditional Chinese Medicine Astragalus membranaceus, that has been reported to have bioactivities against cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. There is limited information on the metabolism of astragaloside IV, which impedes comprehension of its biological
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Astragaloside IV is a compound isolated from the Traditional Chinese Medicine Astragalus membranaceus, that has been reported to have bioactivities against cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. There is limited information on the metabolism of astragaloside IV, which impedes comprehension of its biological actions and pharmacology. In the present study, an ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q-TOF-MS/MS)-based approach was developed to profile the metabolites of astragaloside IV in rat plasma, bile, urine and feces samples. Twenty-two major metabolites were detected. The major components found in plasma, bile, urine and feces included the parent chemical and phases I and II metabolites. The major metabolic reactions of astragaloside IV were hydrolysis, glucuronidation, sulfation and dehydrogenation. These results will help to improve understanding the metabolism and reveal the biotransformation profiling of astragaloside IV in vivo. The metabolic information obtained from our study will guide studies into the pharmacological activity and clinical safety of astragaloside IV. Full article
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