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Molecules, Volume 24, Issue 7 (April-1 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Chagas disease and leishmaniasis are protozoan diseases that, among others, are considered [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle In Silico Investigation of the Anti-Tumor Mechanisms of Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1445; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071445
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 6 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
The EGCG, an important component of polyphenol in green tea, is well known due to its numerous health benefits. We employed the reverse docking method for the identification of the putative targets of EGCG in the anti-tumor target protein database and these targets [...] Read more.
The EGCG, an important component of polyphenol in green tea, is well known due to its numerous health benefits. We employed the reverse docking method for the identification of the putative targets of EGCG in the anti-tumor target protein database and these targets were further uploaded to public databases in order to understand the underlying pharmacological mechanisms and search for novel EGCG-associated targets. Similarly, the pharmacological linkage between tumor-related proteins and EGCG was manually constructed in order to provide greater insight into the molecular mechanisms through a systematic integration with applicable bioinformatics. The results indicated that the anti-tumor mechanisms of EGCG may involve 12 signaling transduction pathways and 33 vital target proteins. Moreover, we also discovered four novel putative target proteins of EGCG, including IKBKB, KRAS, WEE1 and NTRK1, which are significantly related to tumorigenesis. In conclusion, this work may provide a useful perspective that will improve our understanding of the pharmacological mechanism of EGCG and identify novel potential therapeutic targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue EGCG, Green Tea and Polyphenols)
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Open AccessArticle MoleGear: A Java-Based Platform for Evolutionary De Novo Molecular Design
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1444; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071444
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
A Java-based platform, MoleGear, is developed for de novo molecular design based on the chemistry development kit (CDK) and other Java packages. MoleGear uses evolutionary algorithm (EA) to explore chemical space, and a suite of fragment-based operators of growing, crossover, and mutation for [...] Read more.
A Java-based platform, MoleGear, is developed for de novo molecular design based on the chemistry development kit (CDK) and other Java packages. MoleGear uses evolutionary algorithm (EA) to explore chemical space, and a suite of fragment-based operators of growing, crossover, and mutation for assembling novel molecules that can be scored by prediction of binding free energy or a weighted-sum multi-objective fitness function. The EA can be conducted in parallel over multiple nodes to support large-scale molecular optimizations. Some complementary utilities such as fragment library design, chemical space analysis, and graphical user interface are also integrated into MoleGear. The candidate molecules as inhibitors for the human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) protease were designed by MoleGear, which validates the potential capability for de novo molecular design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Receptor-Dependent QSAR Methods)
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Open AccessArticle Energy Transfer as A Driving Force in Nucleic Acid–Protein Interactions
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1443; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071443
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Many nucleic acid–protein structures have been resolved, though quantitative structure-activity relationship remains unclear in many cases. Thrombin complexes with G-quadruplex aptamers are striking examples of a lack of any correlation between affinity, interface organization, and other common parameters. Here, we tested the hypothesis [...] Read more.
Many nucleic acid–protein structures have been resolved, though quantitative structure-activity relationship remains unclear in many cases. Thrombin complexes with G-quadruplex aptamers are striking examples of a lack of any correlation between affinity, interface organization, and other common parameters. Here, we tested the hypothesis that affinity of the aptamer–protein complex is determined with the capacity of the interface to dissipate energy of binding. Description and detailed analysis of 63 nucleic acid–protein structures discriminated peculiarities of high-affinity nucleic acid–protein complexes. The size of the amino acid sidechain in the interface was demonstrated to be the most significant parameter that correlates with affinity of aptamers. This observation could be explained in terms of need of efficient energy transfer from interacting residues. Application of energy dissipation theory provided an illustrative tool for estimation of efficiency of aptamer–protein complexes. These results are of great importance for a design of efficient aptamers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aptamers: Successes, Limitations and Future Directions)
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Open AccessArticle Natural Ingredients-Based Gummy Bear Composition Designed According to Texture Analysis and Sensory Evaluation In Vivo
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1442; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071442
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
The increased interest in functional materials of natural origin has resulted in a higher market demand for preservative-free, “clean label”, or natural ingredients-based products. The gummy bear food supplements are more acceptable to consumers and have fewer limitations compared to other dosage forms. [...] Read more.
The increased interest in functional materials of natural origin has resulted in a higher market demand for preservative-free, “clean label”, or natural ingredients-based products. The gummy bear food supplements are more acceptable to consumers and have fewer limitations compared to other dosage forms. The aim of our study was to produce natural ingredients-based gummy bear composition, and evaluate the influence of the selected ingredients on the product’s textural properties, its acceptance in vivo, and the gummy bear’s quality. The optimal base composition was determined using a surface response design: gelatin 4.3 g and agave syrup 6.3 g. The investigated sweeteners did not affect the textural properties (p > 0.05). However, further studies demonstrated that a 100% increase of agave results in up to 27% higher flexibility (p < 0.05). The addition of calcium and cholecalciferol reduced firmness by 59.59 ± 1.45% (p < 0.05). On the other hand, acai berry extract had no significant effect. The presence of calcium resulted in a decreased smell and taste; however, the data indicated that experimental texture analysis is a more accurate technique than in vivo evaluation. The acai berry extract did not improve all of the tested sensory properties. We can conclude that the suggested gummy bear base can be supplemented with various active ingredients and commercialized, though further studies are needed to investigate the other natural sources to mask the unpleasant taste of active ingredients and avoid water loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle Antioxidative and Potentially Anti-inflammatory Activity of Phenolics from Lovage Leaves Levisticum officinale Koch Elicited with Jasmonic Acid and Yeast Extract
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1441; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071441
Received: 12 March 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
The effect of elicitation with jasmonic acids (JA) and yeast extract (YE) on the production of phenolic compounds as well as the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of phenolic extracts of lovage was evaluated. The analysis of phenolic compounds carried out with the UPLC-MS [...] Read more.
The effect of elicitation with jasmonic acids (JA) and yeast extract (YE) on the production of phenolic compounds as well as the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of phenolic extracts of lovage was evaluated. The analysis of phenolic compounds carried out with the UPLC-MS technique indicated that rutin was the dominant flavonoid, while 5-caffeoylquinic acid was the main component in the phenolic acid fraction in the lovage leaves. The application of 10 µM JA increased the content of most of the identified phenolic compounds. The highest antioxidant activities estimated as free radical scavenging activity against ABTS (2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) and reducing power were determined for the sample elicited with 10 µM JA, while this value determined as iron chelating ability was the highest for the 0.1% YE-elicited lovage. The 0.1% and 1% YE elicitation also caused significant elevation of the lipoxygenase (LOX) inhibition ability, while all the concentrations of the tested elicitors significantly improved the ability to inhibit cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) (best results were detected for the 10 µM JA and 0.1% YE2 sample). Thus, 0.1% yeast extract and 10 µM jasmonic acid proved to be most effective in elevation of the biological activity of lovage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Activities of Plant Secondary Metabolites)
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Analysis of Carbohydrates, Nucleosides and Amino Acids in Different Parts of Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim. by (Ultra) High-Performance Liquid Chromatography Coupled with Tandem Mass Spectrometry and Evaporative Light Scattering Detector Methods
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1440; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071440
Received: 19 March 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim. is one of the original plants for traditional Chinese medicines Trichosanthis Fructus, Trichosanthis Semen, Trichosanthis Pericarpium and Trichosanthis Radix. Amino acids, nucleosides and carbohydrates are usually considered to have nutritional value and health-care efficacy. In this study, methods involving high-performance [...] Read more.
Trichosanthes kirilowii Maxim. is one of the original plants for traditional Chinese medicines Trichosanthis Fructus, Trichosanthis Semen, Trichosanthis Pericarpium and Trichosanthis Radix. Amino acids, nucleosides and carbohydrates are usually considered to have nutritional value and health-care efficacy. In this study, methods involving high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with evaporative light scattering detector (HPLC-ELSD), UV-visible spectrophotometry and ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) were established for quantifying carbohydrates (fructose, glucose, stachyose, raffinose and polysaccharide), fourteen nucleosides and twenty one amino acids. Moreover, sixty-three samples from nine different parts, including pericarp, seed, fruit pulp, stem, leaf, main root, main root bark, lateral root and lateral root bark of T. kirilowii from different cultivated varieties were examined. The established methods were validated with good linearity, precision, repeatability, stability, and recovery. The results showed that the average content of total amino acids in roots (15.39 mg/g) and root barks (16.38 mg/g) were relatively higher than for others. Contents of nucleosides in all parts of T. kirilowii were below 1.5 mg/g. For carbohydrates, fruit pulp has a higher content than others for glucose (22.91%), fructose (20.63%) and polysaccharides (27.29%). By using partial least-squared discriminate analysis (PLS-DA), Variable importance in the projection (VIP) plots and analysis of variance (ANOVA) analysis, the characteristic components of the different organs (fruit, stems and leaves, roots) were found. This analysis suggested there were potential medicinal and nutritive health care values in various parts of the T. kirilowii, which provided valuable information for the development and utilization of T. kirilowii. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Tissue-Specific Metabolite Profiling on the Different Parts of Bolting and Unbolting Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn (Qianhu) by Laser Microdissection Combined with UPLC-Q/TOF–MS and HPLC–DAD
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1439; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071439
Received: 12 March 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Background: Qianhu is a traditional Chinese medicine. It is thought that Qianhu roots will harden after bolting and not be suitable for medicinal purposes. Bolting Qianhu and unbolting Qianhu are referred to as “Xiong Qianhu” and “Ci Qianhu,” respectively. In this study, the [...] Read more.
Background: Qianhu is a traditional Chinese medicine. It is thought that Qianhu roots will harden after bolting and not be suitable for medicinal purposes. Bolting Qianhu and unbolting Qianhu are referred to as “Xiong Qianhu” and “Ci Qianhu,” respectively. In this study, the properties, microscopic and chemical characteristics of Ci Qianhu and Xiong Qianhu roots were compared using fluorescence microscopy, laser microdissection coupled with ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry, and high-performance liquid chromatography with diode-array detection. Results: Microscopy results showed that the area of secondary xylem in the root increased after bolting, with the cork and secretory canals showing strong fluorescence intensity. A total of 34 peaks, mostly pyranocoumarins, were identified in the tissues of Ci Qianhu and Xiong Qianhu. The secretory canals contained the highest variability of coumarins, whereas the secondary xylem contained the least coumarins. Moreover, seven coumarins, especially the pyran- coumarin, decreased after bolting. Generally, both before and after bolting, coumarin level was the highest in the bark, followed by the middle part, and the lowest in the inner part. Conclusion: Thus, it was indicated that the area of secondary xylem increased after bolting, however the coumarin variant and content decreased in the secondary xylem of Qianhu. The result shows that the quality of Qianhu decreases after bolting, which supports the viewpoint that Xiong Qianhu is not suitable for medicinal use. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Size-Dependent Biological Effects of Quercetin Nanocrystals
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1438; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071438
Received: 25 February 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Quercetin (QE) is an attractive natural compound for cancer prevention due to its beneficial anti-oxidative and anti-proliferative effects. However, QE is poorly soluble in water and slightly soluble in oil, which results in its low oral bioavailability and limits its application in the [...] Read more.
Quercetin (QE) is an attractive natural compound for cancer prevention due to its beneficial anti-oxidative and anti-proliferative effects. However, QE is poorly soluble in water and slightly soluble in oil, which results in its low oral bioavailability and limits its application in the clinic. The aim of this study was to prepare QE nanocrystals (QE-NCs) with improved solubility and high drug loading, furthermore, the size-dependent anti-cancer effects of QE-NCs were studied. We prepared QE-NCs with three different particle sizes by wet milling, then, cell proliferation, migration and invasion were studied in A549 cells. The QE-NCs had antitumor effects in a dose- and size-dependent manner. Compared with the large particles, the small particles had a strong inhibitory impact on cell biological effects (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01). Moreover, Western blot assay indicated that QE-NCs may inhibit the migration and invasion of A549 cells by inhibiting the STAT3 signaling pathway, and the particle size may have an effect on this process. In this study, it was proven that NCs could dramatically enhance the anticancer efficacy of QE at the cellular level. In addition, particle size had a considerable influence on the dissolution behavior and antitumor effects of NCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle 1,4-Naphthoquinone Analogues: Potent Antibacterial Agents and Mode of Action Evaluation
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1437; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071437
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
1,4-Naphthoquinones have antibacterial activity and are a promising new class of compound that can be used to treat bacterial infections. The goal was to improve effective antibacterial agents; therefore, we synthesized a new class of naphthoquinone hybrids, which contain phenylamino-phenylthio moieties as significant [...] Read more.
1,4-Naphthoquinones have antibacterial activity and are a promising new class of compound that can be used to treat bacterial infections. The goal was to improve effective antibacterial agents; therefore, we synthesized a new class of naphthoquinone hybrids, which contain phenylamino-phenylthio moieties as significant counterparts. Compound 4 was modified as a substituted aryl amide moiety, which enhanced the antibacterial activity of earlier compounds 3 and 4. In this study, five bacterial strains Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes), Escherichia coli (E. coli), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae) were used to evaluate the antibacterial potency of synthesized naphthoquinones using the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) method. Most of the studied naphthoquinones demonstrated major antibacterial activity with a MIC of 15.6 µg/mL–500 µg/mL. Selected compounds (5a, 5f and 5x) were studied for the mode of action, using intracellular ROS generation, determination of apoptosis by the Annexin V-FITC/PI assay, a bactericidal kinetic study and in silico molecular modelling. Additionally, the redox potentials of the specified compounds were confirmed by cyclic voltammetry (CV). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medicinal Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle Profile of Bioactive Compounds in the Morphological Parts of Wild Fallopia japonica (Houtt) and Fallopia sachalinensis (F. Schmidt) and Their Antioxidative Activity
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1436; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071436
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 9 April 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the content of triterpenoids and polyphenols, and antioxidative activity in leaves, stalks, and roots of plants from the species Fallopia as well as to present the main relationship between them. Polyphenolic compounds and triterpenoids were [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine the content of triterpenoids and polyphenols, and antioxidative activity in leaves, stalks, and roots of plants from the species Fallopia as well as to present the main relationship between them. Polyphenolic compounds and triterpenoids were identified with liquid chromatography-photodiode detector-mass spectrometry/quadrupole time of flight (LC-MS-Q/TOF; qualitatively) and quantified with an ultra-performance liquid chromatography-photodiode detector (UPLC-PDA (quantitatively), and their antioxidative activity was determined with radical scavenging capacity (ABTS) and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assays. Generally, the wild Fallopia japonica Houtt. species had 1.2 times higher content of bioactive compounds and antioxidative activity than Fallopia sachalinensis. Contents of polyphenolic compounds determined in leaves, stalks, and roots were on average 17.81, 10.60, and 9.02 g/100 g of dry weight (DW), whereas the average contents of triterpenoids reached 0.78, 0.70, and 0.50 g/100 g DW, respectively. The leaves were a better source of polymeric procyanidins, phenolic acids, flavones, and flavonols, as well as oleanolic and ursolic acids than the other morphological parts of the tested plants. However, the roots were an excellent source of flavan-3-ols (monomeric and oligomer) and stilbenes, such as resveratrol, and their derivatives. The results obtained showed significant differences between plants of the wild Fallopia species and their morphological parts, and enabled selecting the most valuable morphological part of the tested plants to be used for food enrichment and nutraceuticals production. Therefore, the leaves seem to be the best as potential food additives for health, due to the above-average content of polyphenolic compounds and triterpenoids. In turn, roots, with their high contents of stilbenes and polyphenolic compounds, represent a good material for the medical, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries. The principal component analysis of the plants of wild Fallopia species and their morphological parts confirmed significant differences in their chemical composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polyphenols and Health)
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Open AccessArticle Dereplication of Components Coupled with HPLC-qTOF-MS in the Active Fraction of Humulus japonicus and It’s Protective Effects against Parkinson’s Disease Mouse Model
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1435; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071435
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Humulus japonicus is an annual plant belonging to the Cannabacea family, and it has been traditionally used to treat pulmonary tuberculosis, dysentery, chronic colitis, and hypertension. We investigated the active components against Parkinson’s disease from H. japonicus fraction (HJF) using high performance liquid [...] Read more.
Humulus japonicus is an annual plant belonging to the Cannabacea family, and it has been traditionally used to treat pulmonary tuberculosis, dysentery, chronic colitis, and hypertension. We investigated the active components against Parkinson’s disease from H. japonicus fraction (HJF) using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with quadruple-time-of-flight mass spectroscopy (qTOF-MS) and NMR. Fourteen compounds were isolated from HJF, including one new compound, using HPLC-qTOF-MS and NMR. The major compounds of HJF were luteolin-7-O-glucoside and apigenin-7-O-glucoside, and there was approximately 12.57- and 9.68-folds increase in the contents of these flavonoids compared to those of the 70% EtOH extract. Apigenin and luteolin exhibited the strongest inhibitory effects on monoamine oxidase (MAO) B enzyme activity. In animal studies, limb-use behavior was significantly reduced by unilateral 6-OHDA lesion and ipsilateral rotations. These results indicated that oral administration of 300 mg/kg HJF resulted in the improvement of motor asymmetry and motor impairment in unilateral 6-OHDA-lesioned mice. HJF, including active components leads to an improvement of motor behavior in a Parkinson’s disease mouse model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
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Open AccessCommunication NNB-Type Tridentate Boryl Ligands Enabling a Highly Active Iridium Catalyst for C–H Borylation
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1434; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071434
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 5 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Boryl ligands play a very important role in catalysis because of their very high electron-donating property. In this paper, NNB-type boryl anions were designed as tridentate ligands to promote aryl C–H borylation. In combination with [IrCl(COD)]2, they generate a highly active [...] Read more.
Boryl ligands play a very important role in catalysis because of their very high electron-donating property. In this paper, NNB-type boryl anions were designed as tridentate ligands to promote aryl C–H borylation. In combination with [IrCl(COD)]2, they generate a highly active catalyst for a broad range of (hetero)arene substrates, including highly electron-rich and/or sterically hindered ones. This work provides a new NNB-type tridentate boryl ligand to support homogeneous organometallic catalysis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle High-Yield Di-Rhamnolipid Production by Pseudomonas aeruginosa YM4 and its Potential Application in MEOR
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1433; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071433
Received: 11 March 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Rhamnolipids are a mixture of the homologs species due to variations in the rhamnose units and β-hydroxy fatty acid moieties, mainly including Rha-C10-C10, Rha-Rha-C10-C10, and Rha-C10. In this study, strain P. aeruginosa YM4 [...] Read more.
Rhamnolipids are a mixture of the homologs species due to variations in the rhamnose units and β-hydroxy fatty acid moieties, mainly including Rha-C10-C10, Rha-Rha-C10-C10, and Rha-C10. In this study, strain P. aeruginosa YM4 was selected for its capacity to efficiently produce di-rhamnolipid (Rha-Rha-C10-C10) as the predominant component with soybean oil and glycerol as carbon source, accounting for 64.8% and 85.7% of total products, respectively. The critical micelle concentration (CMC) of rhamnolipid products varies with the content of di-rhamnolipid, whereby lower CMC values corresponding to higher di-rhamnolipid contents. The rhamnolipids containing 85.7% di-rhamnolipid had the lowest CMC value of 50 mg/L. Accordingly the viscosity-reducing efficiency and oil-washing efficiency of rhamnolipids increased with higher di-rhamnolipid component. At a concentration of 500 mg/L, the rhamnolipids containing 85.7% di-rhamnolipid worked best and showed 82.5% oil-washing efficiency, which offered great promise for applications in enhanced oil recovery. The results showed the variation of structure and composition of rhamnolipids had a significant effect on their application. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Modulation of Endocannabinoid-Binding Receptors in Human Neuroblastoma Cells by Tunicamycin
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1432; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071432
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 9 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Endocannabinoid (eCB)-binding receptors can be modulated by several ligands and membrane environment, yet the effect of glycosylation remains to be assessed. In this study, we used human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells to interrogate whether expression, cellular localization, and activity of eCB-binding receptors may depend [...] Read more.
Endocannabinoid (eCB)-binding receptors can be modulated by several ligands and membrane environment, yet the effect of glycosylation remains to be assessed. In this study, we used human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells to interrogate whether expression, cellular localization, and activity of eCB-binding receptors may depend on N-linked glycosylation. Following treatment with tunicamycin (a specific inhibitor of N-linked glycosylation) at the non-cytotoxic dose of 1 µg/mL, mRNA, protein levels and localization of eCB-binding receptors, as well as N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) residues, were evaluated in SH-SY5Y cells by means of quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), and confocal microscopy, respectively. In addition, the activity of type-1 and type-2 cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) was assessed by means of rapid binding assays. Significant changes in gene and protein expression were found upon tunicamycin treatment for CB1 and CB2, as well as for GPR55 receptors, but not for transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1). Deglycosylation experiments with N-glycosidase-F and immunoblot of cell membranes derived from SH-SY5Y cells confirmed the presence of one glycosylated form in CB1 (70 kDa), that was reduced by tunicamycin. Morphological studies demonstrated the co-localization of CB1 with GlcNAc residues, and showed that tunicamycin reduced CB1 membrane expression with a marked nuclear localization, as confirmed by immunoblotting. Cleavage of the carbohydrate side chain did not modify CB receptor binding affinity. Overall, these results support N-linked glycosylation as an unprecedented post-translational modification that may modulate eCB-binding receptors’ expression and localization, in particular for CB1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Topics in (Endo)Cannabinoid Signalling)
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Open AccessArticle Biological Activities of Euphorbia peplus Leaves Ethanolic Extract and the Extract Fabricated Gold Nanoparticles (AuNPs)
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1431; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071431
Received: 16 March 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Euphorbia peplus leaves extract (EpExt) and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) phytofabricated with extract (EpExt-AuNPs) were investigated for biological activities. EpExt and EpExt-AuNPs were screened for: (i) anticancer activity against Hela and HepG2 cell lines; (ii) antimicrobial activity; (iii) hemolytic activity; (iv) cytotoxic or stimulatory [...] Read more.
Euphorbia peplus leaves extract (EpExt) and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) phytofabricated with extract (EpExt-AuNPs) were investigated for biological activities. EpExt and EpExt-AuNPs were screened for: (i) anticancer activity against Hela and HepG2 cell lines; (ii) antimicrobial activity; (iii) hemolytic activity; (iv) cytotoxic or stimulatory effects; and (v) insecticidal activity. AuNPs (size 50 nm) were synthesized. (i) EpExt had a stimulatory effect (51.04%) on Hela cells and an inhibitory effect (−12.83%) on HepG2 cells while EpExt-AuNPs showed inhibitory effects (−54.25% and −59.64% on Hela and HepG2 cells respectively). (ii) Antimicrobial activity of EpExt-AuNPs was significantly higher (ranged from 11.67 mm to 14.33 mm) than that of EpExt (ranged from 5.33 mm to 6.33 mm). (iii) Both EpExt and EpExt-AuNPs displayed 100% hemolysis. (iv) A dose-dependent inhibitory effect of EpExt was observed (ranged from −48.5% to −92.1%), which was greater than that of EpExt-AuNPs (ranged from −32.1% to −69.1%) (v) EpExt-AuNPs was more lethal against mosquito larvae with lethal concentration (LC50) value (202.692 ppm) compared to EpExt (1430.590 ppm). In conclusion, EpExt-AuNPs were inhibitory against HepG2 and Hela cells, while EpExt inhibited HepG2 but stimulated Hela cells. EpExt-AuNPs had antimicrobial effects. EpExt showed dose-dependent inhibitory effects on splenic cells. EpExt-AuNPs were lethal against mosquito larvae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogenic Nanomaterials: Versatility and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Potential Pharmacokinetic Drug–Drug Interaction Between Harmine, a Cholinesterase Inhibitor, and Memantine, a Non-Competitive N-Methyl-d-Aspartate Receptor Antagonist
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1430; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071430
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 9 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Harmine (HAR) is a beta-carboline alkaloid widely distributed in nature. It exhibits psychopharmacological effects of improving learning and memory. However, excessive dose of HAR can cause central tremor toxicity, which may be related to the glutamate system. Memantine (MEM) is a non-competitive N [...] Read more.
Harmine (HAR) is a beta-carboline alkaloid widely distributed in nature. It exhibits psychopharmacological effects of improving learning and memory. However, excessive dose of HAR can cause central tremor toxicity, which may be related to the glutamate system. Memantine (MEM) is a non-competitive N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist. It can be used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and also can block the neurotoxicity caused by glutamate. Therefore, combination of HAR and MEM would be meaningful and the pharmacokinetics investigation of HAR and MEM in combination is necessary. A ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) method was established and validated for the simultaneous quantitative determination of MEM, HAR and harmol (HOL), a main metabolite of HAR, in rat plasma after oral administration of HAR and MEM in combination (5.0 mg/kg of MEM combined with 20.0, 40.0, 80.0 mg/kg of HAR). The contents of HAR and HOL were determined after oral administration of HAR (20.0, 40.0 and 80.0 mg/kg), and the content of MEM was determined after oral administration of MEM (5.0 mg/kg). Blood samples were collected from each rat at 0 (pre-dose), 0.08, 0.17, 0.25, 0.33, 0.50, 0.75, 1.0, 2.0, 4.0, 8.0, 12.0 and 24.0 h after administration. The maximum peak concentration (Cmax) of MEM was obviously decreased, and the area under the plasma concentration versus time curve from zero to time t (AUC(0-t)) and mean residence time (MRT) were significantly increased after combination with HAR. The Cmax and AUC(0-t) of HAR and its metabolite HOL were increased after combination with MEM. These findings suggested that co-administration of HAR and MEM could extend their residence time in rats, and then might increase the efficacy for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, this study will provide a basis for the rational combined application of HAR and MEM. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Primary Step Towards In Situ Detection of Chemical Biomarkers in the UNIVERSE via Liquid-Based Analytical System: Development of an Automated Online Trapping/Liquid Chromatography System
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1429; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071429
Received: 28 March 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
The search for biomarkers in our solar system is a fundamental challenge for the space research community. It encompasses major difficulties linked to their very low concentration levels, their ambiguous origins (biotic or abiotic), as well as their diversity and complexity. Even if, [...] Read more.
The search for biomarkers in our solar system is a fundamental challenge for the space research community. It encompasses major difficulties linked to their very low concentration levels, their ambiguous origins (biotic or abiotic), as well as their diversity and complexity. Even if, in 40 years’ time, great improvements in sample pre-treatment, chromatographic separation and mass spectrometry detection have been achieved, there is still a need for new in situ scientific instrumentation. This work presents an original liquid chromatographic system with a trapping unit dedicated to the one-pot detection of a large set of non-volatile extra-terrestrial compounds. It is composed of two units, monitored by a single pump. The first unit is an online trapping unit able to trap polar, apolar, monomeric and polymeric organics. The second unit is an online analytical unit with a high-resolution Q-Orbitrap mass spectrometer. The designed single pump system was as efficient as a laboratory dual-trap LC system for the analysis of amino acids, nucleobases and oligopeptides. The overall setup significantly improves sensitivity, providing limits of detection ranging from ppb to ppt levels, thus meeting with in situ enquiries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Sample Preparation Approaches for Separation Science)
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Open AccessArticle Novel Anti-Aging Benzoquinone Derivatives from Onosma bracteatum Wall
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1428; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071428
Received: 8 March 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate anti-aging molecules from Onosma bracteatum Wall, a traditional medicinal plant used in the Unani and Ayurvedic systems of medicine. During bioassay-guided isolation, two known benzoquinones, allomicrophyllone (1) and ehretiquinone (2) along [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate anti-aging molecules from Onosma bracteatum Wall, a traditional medicinal plant used in the Unani and Ayurvedic systems of medicine. During bioassay-guided isolation, two known benzoquinones, allomicrophyllone (1) and ehretiquinone (2) along with three novel benzoquinones designated as ehretiquinones B–D (35) were isolated from O. bracteatum. Their structures were characterized by spectroscopic analysis through 1D and 2D NMR, by MS spectroscopic analysis and comparing with those reported in the literatures. The anti-aging potential of the isolated benzoquinones was evaluated through a yeast lifespan assay, and the results indicated that 1, 2, 4 and 5 significantly extended the replicative lifespan of K6001 yeast, indicating that these benzoquinones obtained from O. brateatum have the ability to be employed as a potential therapeutic agent against age-related diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Antiproliferative Activities of Conjugates of Paclitaxel and Camptothecin with a Cyclic Cell-Penetrating Peptide
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1427; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071427
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 6 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Cell-penetrating peptide [WR]5 has been previously shown to be an efficient molecular transporter for various hydrophilic and hydrophobic molecules. The peptide was synthesized using Fmoc/tBu solid-phase chemistry, and one arginine was replaced with one lysine to enable the conjugation with the anticancer [...] Read more.
Cell-penetrating peptide [WR]5 has been previously shown to be an efficient molecular transporter for various hydrophilic and hydrophobic molecules. The peptide was synthesized using Fmoc/tBu solid-phase chemistry, and one arginine was replaced with one lysine to enable the conjugation with the anticancer drugs. Paclitaxel (PTX) was functionalized with an esterification reaction at the C2′ hydroxyl group of PTX with glutaric anhydride and conjugated with the cyclic peptide [W(WR)4K(βAla)] in DMF to obtain the peptide-drug conjugate PTX1. Furthermore, camptothecin (CPT) was modified at the C(20)-hydroxyl group through the reaction with triphosgene. Then, it was conjugated with two functionalized cyclic peptides through a formyl linker affording two different conjugates, namely CPT1 and CPT2. All the conjugates showed better water solubility as compared to the parent drug. The cytotoxicity assay of the drugs and their conjugates with the peptides were evaluated in the human breast cancer MCF-7 cell line. PTX inhibited cell proliferation by 39% while the PTX-peptide conjugate inhibited the proliferation by ~18% after 72 h incubation. On the other hand, CPT, CPT1, and CPT2 reduced the cell proliferation by 68%, 39%, and 62%, respectively, in the MCF-7 cell lines at 5 µM concentration after 72 h incubation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell-Penetrating Peptides (CPPs))
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Open AccessArticle High Flow-Rate Sample Loading in Large Volume Whole Water Organic Trace Analysis Using Positive Pressure and Finely Ground Sand as a SPE-Column In-Line Filter
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1426; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071426
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
By using an innovative, positive pressure sample loading technique in combination with an in-line filter of finely ground sand the bottleneck of solid phase extraction (SPE) can be reduced. Recently published work by us has shown the proof of concept of the technique. [...] Read more.
By using an innovative, positive pressure sample loading technique in combination with an in-line filter of finely ground sand the bottleneck of solid phase extraction (SPE) can be reduced. Recently published work by us has shown the proof of concept of the technique. In this work, emphasis is put on the SPE flow rate and method validation for 26 compounds of emerging environmental concern, mainly from the 1st and 2nd EU Watch List, with various physicochemical properties. The mean absolute recoveries in % and relative standard deviations (RSD) in % for the investigated compounds from spiked pure water samples at the three investigated flow rates of 10, 20, and 40 mL/min were 63.2% (3.2%), 66.9% (3.3%), and 69.0% (4.0%), respectively. All three flow rates produced highly repeatable results, and this allowed a flow rate increase of up to 40 mL/min for a 200 mg, 6 mL, reversed phase SPE cartridge without compromising the recoveries. This figure is more than four times the maximum flow rate recommended by manufacturers. It was indicated that some compounds, especially pronounced for the investigated macrolide molecules, might suffer when long contact times with the sample glass bottle occurs. A reduced contact time somewhat decreases this complication. A very good repeatability also held true for experiments on both spiked matrix-rich pond water (high and low concentrations) and recipient waters (river and wastewater) applying 40 mL/min. This work has shown that, for a large number of compounds of widely differing physicochemical properties, there is a generous flow rate window from 10 to 40 mL/min where sample loading can be conducted. A sample volume of 0.5 L, which at the recommended maximum flow rate speed of 10 mL/min, would previously take 50 min, can now be processed in 12 min using a flow rate of 40 mL/min. This saves 38 min per processed sample. This low-cost technology allows the sample to be transferred to the SPE-column, closer to the sample location and by the person taking the sample. This further means that only the sample cartridge would need to be sent to the laboratory, instead of the whole water sample, like today’s procedure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Sample Preparation Approaches for Separation Science)
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Open AccessArticle Anti-Inflammatory Effects of High Hydrostatic Pressure Extract of Mulberry (Morus alba) Fruit on LPS-Stimulated RAW264.7 Cells
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1425; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071425
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 9 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Mulberry fruit (Morus alba L.) contains abundant bioactive compounds, including anthocyanins and flavonols, and has been reported to possess potent beneficial properties including anticancer, antidiabetic, and anti-oxidant effects. High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) processing, a nonthermal food processing technology, is suitable for the [...] Read more.
Mulberry fruit (Morus alba L.) contains abundant bioactive compounds, including anthocyanins and flavonols, and has been reported to possess potent beneficial properties including anticancer, antidiabetic, and anti-oxidant effects. High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) processing, a nonthermal food processing technology, is suitable for the extraction of bioactive compounds from plants. Nevertheless, the anti-inflammatory effects of HHP extract of mulberry fruit (HM) in RAW264.7 cells remain unclear. The present study aimed to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of HM on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation in vitro. RAW264.7 cells were treated with various concentrations (0.1–1 μg/mL) of HM in the presence or absence of LPS. HM inhibited the inflammatory mediator, nitric oxide (NO) release, and mRNA expression of nitric oxide synthase 2 (NOS2) in LPS-induced RAW264.7 cells. In addition, HM suppressed both mRNA and protein expressions of prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2). Moreover, it reduced the LPS-induced secretion of proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. These results revealed that HM exerts anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting several mediators and cytokines involved in the inflammatory process. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Lignans
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1424; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071424
Received: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
The 13 research articles/communications, six reviews, and one perspective that comprise this Special Issue on Lignans, highlight the most recent research and investigations into this diverse and important class of bioactive natural products [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lignans)
Open AccessArticle Untargeted Metabolomics Study of the In Vitro Anti-Hepatoma Effect of Saikosaponin d in Combination with NRP-1 Knockdown
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1423; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071423
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Saikosaponin d (SSd) is one of the main active ingredients in Radix Bupleuri. In our study, network pharmacology databases and metabolomics were used in combination to explore the new targets and reveal the in-depth mechanism of SSd. A total of 35 potential targets [...] Read more.
Saikosaponin d (SSd) is one of the main active ingredients in Radix Bupleuri. In our study, network pharmacology databases and metabolomics were used in combination to explore the new targets and reveal the in-depth mechanism of SSd. A total of 35 potential targets were chosen through database searching (HIT and TCMID), literature mining, or chemical similarity predicting (Pubchem). Out of these obtained targets, Neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) was selected for further research based on the degree of molecular docking scores and novelty. Cell viability and wound healing assays demonstrated that SSd combined with NRP-1 knockdown could significantly enhance the damage of HepG2. Metabolomics analysis was then performed to explore the underlying mechanism. The overall difference between groups was quantitatively evaluated by the metabolite deregulation score (MDS). Results showed that NRP-1 knockdown exhibited the lowest MDS, which demonstrated that the metabolic profile experienced the slightest interference. However, SSd alone, or NRP-1 knockdown in combination with SSd, were both significantly influenced. Differential metabolites mainly involved short- or long-chain carnitines and phospholipids. Further metabolic pathway analysis revealed that disturbed lipid transportation and phospholipid metabolism probably contributed to the enhanced anti-hepatoma effect by NRP-1 knockdown in combination with SSd. Taken together, in this study, we provided possible interaction mechanisms between SSd and its predicted target NRP-1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Derivatives in Human Disorders)
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Open AccessArticle Microencapsulation of Lactococcus lactis Gh1 with Gum Arabic and Synsepalum dulcificum via Spray Drying for Potential Inclusion in Functional Yogurt
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1422; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071422
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 21 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
There has been an explosion of probiotic incorporated based product. However, many reports indicated that most of the probiotics have failed to survive in high quantity, which has limited their effectiveness in most functional foods. Thus, to overcome this problem, microencapsulation is considered [...] Read more.
There has been an explosion of probiotic incorporated based product. However, many reports indicated that most of the probiotics have failed to survive in high quantity, which has limited their effectiveness in most functional foods. Thus, to overcome this problem, microencapsulation is considered to be a promising process. In this study, Lactococcus lactis Gh1 was encapsulated via spray-drying with gum Arabic together with Synsepalum dulcificum or commonly known as miracle fruit. It was observed that after spray-drying, high viability (~109 CFU/mL) powders containing L. lactis in combination with S. dulcificum were developed, which was then formulated into yogurt. The tolerance of encapsulated bacterial cells in simulated gastric juice at pH 1.5 was tested in an in-vitro model and the result showed that after 2 h, cell viability remained high at 1.11 × 106 CFU/mL. Incubation of encapsulated cells in the presence of 0.6% (w/v) bile salts showed it was able to survive (~104 CFU/mL) after 2 h. Microencapsulated L. lactis retained a higher viability, at ~107 CFU/mL, when incorporated into yogurt compared to non-microencapsulated cells ~105 CFU/mL. The fortification of microencapsulated and non-microencapsulated L. lactis in yogurts influenced the viable cell counts of yogurt starter cultures, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subs. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Nanocrystallization of Anthocyanin Extract from Red-Fleshed Apple ′QN-5′ Improved Its Antioxidant Effect through Enhanced Stability and Activity under Stressful Conditions
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1421; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071421
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Red-flesh apples are known as functional fruits because of their rich anthocyanin. The anthocyanin content of the red flesh apple cultivar ′QN-5′ we bred can reach 361 mg·kg−1 (FW), and showed higher scavenging capacity to DPPH radicals, hydroxyl radicals, and superoxide anion [...] Read more.
Red-flesh apples are known as functional fruits because of their rich anthocyanin. The anthocyanin content of the red flesh apple cultivar ′QN-5′ we bred can reach 361 mg·kg−1 (FW), and showed higher scavenging capacity to DPPH radicals, hydroxyl radicals, and superoxide anion radicals, with scavenging rates of 80.0%, 54.0%, and 43.3%, respectively. We used this particular anthocyanin-rich ′QN-5′ apple as material to examine how nanocrystallization affects the antixodiant effect of anthocyanin. The anthocyanin extract was encapsulated with biocompatible zein to form zein-anthocyanin nanoparticles (ZANPs). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) scanning showed that ZANPs had a regular spherical shape with an average diameter size of 50–60nm. When the ratio of the zein and the anthocyanin was 1:0.5, the results suggested that the encapsulation efficiency (EE) of the ZANPs could reach as high as 92.8%, and that scavenging rate for DPPH radicals was increased from 87.1% to 97.2% compared to the non-nanocrystallized anthocyanin extract. Interestingly, treatment under alkaline conditions (pH 9.0), high temperature (90 °C), and a storage time of 7 days could decrease the scavenging capacity of the ZANPs for DPPH radicals, but this scavenging capacity loss for ZANPs was significantly lower than that observed in the non-nanocrystallized anthocyanin, suggesting the higher stability of ZANPs is caused by encapsulation. These results would provide a theoretical basis for the application of the anthocyanin in scavenging free radicals under stress conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle In Vitro Effects on Thrombin of Paris Saponins and In Vivo Hemostatic Activity Evaluation of Paris fargesii var. brevipetala
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1420; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071420
Received: 17 March 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 7 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
The resource shortage of Rhizoma Paridis has never been effectively addressed, and the industry continues to search for alternative resources. The in vitro effects on thrombin of Paris saponins and in vivo hemostatic activity of Paris fargesii var. brevipetala (PF) were evaluated in [...] Read more.
The resource shortage of Rhizoma Paridis has never been effectively addressed, and the industry continues to search for alternative resources. The in vitro effects on thrombin of Paris saponins and in vivo hemostatic activity of Paris fargesii var. brevipetala (PF) were evaluated in this study. PF is considered to be an alternative source of Rhizoma Paridis (RP). The in vitro incubation experiment was designed to investigate the effects on thrombin activity of Paris saponin H (PS H) and saponin extract in PF. The bleeding time of mouse tail snipping was used to evaluate the in vivo hemostatic effects of Paris saponins. Also, in vivo changes in four blood coagulation parameters in rats after oral administration of different groups of Paris saponins were compared. The effects of Paris saponins on liver function and blood lipid parameters were examined in order to avoid drug-induced liver injury. Activity studies of thrombin after ultra-filtration centrifugation showed that Paris saponins were able to enhance thrombin activity. Ultra performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) analysis results of the substrates led us to speculate that there is a specific binding between Paris saponins and thrombin. PS H and Paris saponins in PF significantly shortened the bleeding time in mice. One pathway by which Paris saponins enhance in vivo blood coagulation is by increasing fibrinogen (FIB), among the four blood coagulation parameters in rats. At the same time, the effects on liver and blood lipid parameters were insignificant. P. fargesii var. brevipetala can be developed as an alternative medicinal source of Rhizoma Paridis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Flavonoid Glycosides from Endemic Bulgarian Astragalus aitosensis (Ivanisch.)
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1419; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071419
Received: 28 March 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 6 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Astragalus is a very interesting plant genus, well-known for its content of flavonoids, triterpenes and polysaccharides. Its secondary metabolites are described as biologically active compounds showing several activities, e.g., immunomodulating, antibacterial, antiviral and hepatoprotective. This inspired us to analyze the Bulgarian endemic A. [...] Read more.
Astragalus is a very interesting plant genus, well-known for its content of flavonoids, triterpenes and polysaccharides. Its secondary metabolites are described as biologically active compounds showing several activities, e.g., immunomodulating, antibacterial, antiviral and hepatoprotective. This inspired us to analyze the Bulgarian endemic A. aitosensis (Ivanisch.) to obtain deeper information about its phenolic components. We used extensive chromatographic separation of A. aitosensis extract to obtain seven phenolic compounds (17), which were identified using combined LC-MS and NMR spectral studies. The 1D and 2D NMR analyses and HR-MS allowed us to resolve the structures of known compounds 57 as isorhamnetin-3-O-robinobioside, isorhamnetin-3-O-(2,6-di-O-α-rhamno-pyranosyl-β-galactopyranoside), and alangiflavoside, respectively, and further comparison of these spectral data with available literature helped us with structural analysis of newly described flavonoid glycosides 14. These were described in plant source for the first time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Product Isolation, Identification and Biological Activity)
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Open AccessArticle Measurement of Circular Dichroism Spectra without Control of a Phase Modulator using Retardation Domain Analysis
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1418; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071418
Received: 19 March 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 10 April 2019
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Abstract
This study investigated the measurement of circular dichroism (CD) spectra without controlling a phase modulator. In a conventional CD system, the peak retardation of the phase modulator must remain constant over the observed wavelength range. Thus, the phase modulator must be controlled to [...] Read more.
This study investigated the measurement of circular dichroism (CD) spectra without controlling a phase modulator. In a conventional CD system, the peak retardation of the phase modulator must remain constant over the observed wavelength range. Thus, the phase modulator must be controlled to maintain an appropriate modulation degree at an observed wavelength. In contrast, CD obtained using retardation domain analysis is not affected by peak retardation. Consequently, CD spectra can be measured without control of the phase modulator, which was experimentally demonstrated in this study. Additionally, linear dichroism spectra were obtained using retardation domain analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Chiroptical Spectroscopy)
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Open AccessReview Hotoda’s Sequence and Anti-HIV Activity: Where Are We Now?
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1417; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071417
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 5 April 2019 / Published: 10 April 2019
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Abstract
The pharmacological relevance of ODNs forming G-quadruplexes as anti-HIV agents has been extensively reported in the literature over the last few years. Recent detailed studies have elucidated the peculiar arrangement adopted by many G-quadruplex-based aptamers and provided insight into their mechanism of action. [...] Read more.
The pharmacological relevance of ODNs forming G-quadruplexes as anti-HIV agents has been extensively reported in the literature over the last few years. Recent detailed studies have elucidated the peculiar arrangement adopted by many G-quadruplex-based aptamers and provided insight into their mechanism of action. In this review, we have reported the history of a strong anti-HIV agent: the 6-mer d(TGGGAG) sequence, commonly called “Hotoda’s sequence”. In particular, all findings reported on this sequence and its modified sequences have been discussed considering the following research phases: (i) discovery of the first 5′-modified active d(TGGGAG) sequences; (ii) synthesis of a variety of end-modified d(TGGGAG) sequences; (iii) biophysical and NMR investigations of natural and modified Hotoda’s sequences; (iv); kinetic studies on the most active 5′-modified d(TGGGAG) sequences; and (v) extensive anti-HIV screening of G-quadruplexes formed by d(TGGGAG) sequences. This review aims to clarify all results obtained over the years on Hotoda’s sequence, revealing its potentiality as a strong anti-HIV agent (EC50 = 14 nM). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Development of Antiviral Agents)
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Open AccessArticle Solvent Fractionation and Acetone Precipitation for Crude Saponins from Eurycoma longifolia Extract
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1416; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071416
Received: 22 March 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 10 April 2019
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Abstract
Eurycoma longifolia is a popular folk medicine in South East Asia. This study was focused on saccharide-containing compounds including saponins, mainly because of their medical potentials. Different organic solvents such as ethyl acetate, butanol, and chloroform were used to fractionate the phytochemical groups, [...] Read more.
Eurycoma longifolia is a popular folk medicine in South East Asia. This study was focused on saccharide-containing compounds including saponins, mainly because of their medical potentials. Different organic solvents such as ethyl acetate, butanol, and chloroform were used to fractionate the phytochemical groups, which were consequently precipitated in cold acetone. Solvent fractionation was found to increase the total saponin content based on colorimetric assay using vanillin and sulfuric acid. Ethyl acetate fraction and its precipitate were showed to have the highest crude saponins after acetone precipitation. The samples were shown to have anti-proliferative activity comparable with tamoxifen (IC50 = 110.6 µg/mL) against human breast cancer cells. The anti-proliferative activities of the samples were significantly improved from crude extract (IC50 = 616.3 µg/mL) to ethyl acetate fraction (IC50 = 185.4 µg/mL) and its precipitate (IC50 = 153.4 µg/mL). LC-DAD-MS/MS analysis revealed that the saccharide-containing compounds such as m/z 497, 610, 723, 836, and 949 were abundant in the samples, and they could be ionized in negative ion mode. The compounds consisted of 226 amu monomers with UV-absorbing property at 254 nm, and were tentatively identified as formylated hexoses. To conclude, solvent fractionation and acetone precipitation could produce saccharide-containing compounds including saponins with higher anti-proliferative activity than crude extract against MCF-7 cells. This is the first study to use non-toxic solvents for fractionation of bioactive compounds from highly complex plant extract of E. longifolia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Extracts: Biological and Pharmacological Activity)
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