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Molecules, Volume 25, Issue 7 (April-1 2020) – 97 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Purification, Identification, and Characterization of an Endo-1,4-β-Xylanase from Wheat Malt
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1572; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071572 (registering DOI) - 29 Mar 2020
Abstract
In this study, an endo-1,4-β-xylanase was purified from wheat malt following the procedures of ammonium sulfate precipitation, cation-exchange chromatography, and two-step anion-exchange chromatography. The purified endo-1,4-β-xylanase had a specific activity of 3.94 u/mg, demonstrating a weight average molecular weight (Mw) of approximately 58,000 [...] Read more.
In this study, an endo-1,4-β-xylanase was purified from wheat malt following the procedures of ammonium sulfate precipitation, cation-exchange chromatography, and two-step anion-exchange chromatography. The purified endo-1,4-β-xylanase had a specific activity of 3.94 u/mg, demonstrating a weight average molecular weight (Mw) of approximately 58,000 Da. After LC–MS/MS (Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry) identification, the purified enzyme had the highest matching degree with a GH10 (Glycoside Hydrolase 10) domain-containing protein from wheat, there were 23 match peptides with a score above the threshold and the prot-cover was 45.5%. The resulting purified enzyme was used to investigate its degradation ability on high viscosity wheat-derived water-extractable arabinoxylan (WEAX). Degradation experiments confirmed that the purified enzyme was a true endo-acting enzyme, which could degrade large WEAX into smaller WEAX. The average degree of polymerization (avDP) and the viscosity of WEAX decreased with the increasing reaction time. The enzyme could degrade a small amount of WEAX into arabinoxylan-oligosaccharides (AXOS) with a degree of polymerization of 2–6, but no monosaccharide was produced. The degradation occurred rapidly in the first 3.5 h and decreased with the further prolongation of reaction time. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Lapatinib, Nilotinib and Lomitapide Inhibit Haemozoin Formation in Malaria Parasites
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1571; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071571 (registering DOI) - 29 Mar 2020
Abstract
With the continued loss of antimalarials to resistance, drug repositioning may have a role in maximising efficiency and accelerating the discovery of new antimalarial drugs. Bayesian statistics was previously used as a tool to virtually screen USFDA approved drugs for predicted β-haematin (synthetic [...] Read more.
With the continued loss of antimalarials to resistance, drug repositioning may have a role in maximising efficiency and accelerating the discovery of new antimalarial drugs. Bayesian statistics was previously used as a tool to virtually screen USFDA approved drugs for predicted β-haematin (synthetic haemozoin) inhibition and in vitro antimalarial activity. Here, we report the experimental evaluation of nine of the highest ranked drugs, confirming the accuracy of the model by showing an overall 93% hit rate. Lapatinib, nilotinib, and lomitapide showed the best activity for inhibition of β-haematin formation and parasite growth and were found to inhibit haemozoin formation in the parasite, providing mechanistic insights into their mode of antimalarial action. We then screened the USFDA approved drugs for binding to the β-haematin crystal, applying a docking method in order to evaluate its performance. The docking method correctly identified imatinib, lapatinib, nilotinib, and lomitapide. Experimental evaluation of 22 of the highest ranked purchasable drugs showed a 24% hit rate. Lapatinib and nilotinib were chosen as templates for shape and electrostatic similarity screening for lead hopping using the in-stock ChemDiv compound catalogue. The actives were novel structures worthy of future investigation. This study presents a comparison of different in silico methods to identify new haemozoin-inhibiting chemotherapeutic alternatives for malaria that proved to be useful in different ways when taking into consideration their strengths and limitations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Purposing and Repurposing of Antimalarial Agents)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Purine and Purine Isostere Derivatives of Ferrocene: An Evaluation of ADME, Antitumor and Electrochemical Properties
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1570; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071570 (registering DOI) - 29 Mar 2020
Abstract
Novel purine and purine isosteres containing a ferrocene motif and 4,1-disubstituted (11a11c, 12a12c, 13a13c, 14a14c, 15a15c, 16a, 23a23c, 24a24c, 25a [...] Read more.
Novel purine and purine isosteres containing a ferrocene motif and 4,1-disubstituted (11a11c, 12a12c, 13a13c, 14a14c, 15a15c, 16a, 23a23c, 24a24c, 25a25c) and 1,4-disubstituted (34a34c and 35a35c) 1,2,3-triazole rings were synthesized. The most potent cytotoxic effect on colorectal adenocarcinoma (SW620) was exerted by the 6-chloro-7-deazapurine 11c (IC50 = 9.07 µM), 6-chloropurine 13a (IC50 = 14.38 µM) and 15b (IC50 = 15.50 µM) ferrocenylalkyl derivatives. The N-9 isomer of 6-chloropurine 13a containing ferrocenylmethylene unit showed a favourable in vitro physicochemical and ADME properties including high solubility, moderate permeability and good metabolic stability in human liver microsomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Translational Approach to Antitumor Drugs)
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Open AccessArticle
Automatic On-Line Purge-and-Trap Sequential Injection Analysis for Trace Ammonium Determination in Untreated Estuarine and Seawater Samples
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1569; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071569 (registering DOI) - 29 Mar 2020
Abstract
An innovative automatic purge-and-trap (P&T) system coupled with fluorimetric sequential injection (SI), for the on-line separation and preconcentration of volatile compounds, is presented. The truth of concept is demonstrated for the ammonium fluorimetric determination in environmental water samples with complex matrices without any [...] Read more.
An innovative automatic purge-and-trap (P&T) system coupled with fluorimetric sequential injection (SI), for the on-line separation and preconcentration of volatile compounds, is presented. The truth of concept is demonstrated for the ammonium fluorimetric determination in environmental water samples with complex matrices without any pretreatment. The P&T flow system comprises a thermostated purge-vessel where ammonium is converted into gaseous ammonia and a trap-vessel for ammonia collection. This configuration results in matrix removal as well as analyte preconcentration, avoiding membrane-associated problems. All the main parameters affecting the efficiency of a P&T system were studied and optimized. The proposed method is characterized by a working range of 2.7–150.0 μg L−1 of NH4+, with a detection and quantification limit of 0.80 and 2.66 μg L−1, respectively, for a 10-mL sample consumption. The accuracy of the method was assessed by recovery assays in seawater, estuarine, and lake water samples as well as by the analysis of standard reference material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analytical Aspects in Environmental Pollution Monitoring in Greece)
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Open AccessArticle
Reprogrammable Permanent Shape Memory Materials Based on Reversibly Crosslinked Epoxy/PCL Blends
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1568; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071568 (registering DOI) - 29 Mar 2020
Abstract
: Epoxy/Polycaprolactone (PCL) blends cured with a conventional diamine (4,4′-diaminodiphenylmethane, DDM) and with different amounts of a disulfide containing diamine (4, 4´-dithioaniline, DSS) were prepared through melting. The curing process was studied by FTIR and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and the mechanical behavior [...] Read more.
: Epoxy/Polycaprolactone (PCL) blends cured with a conventional diamine (4,4′-diaminodiphenylmethane, DDM) and with different amounts of a disulfide containing diamine (4, 4´-dithioaniline, DSS) were prepared through melting. The curing process was studied by FTIR and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and the mechanical behavior of the networks was studied by DMA. The shape memory properties and the recyclability of the materials were also analyzed. All blends showed a very high curing degree and temperature activated shape memory effect, related to the glass transition of the epoxy resin. The PCL plasticized the mixture, allowing tailoring of the epoxy glass transition. In addition, in the blends cured with DSS, as a consequence of the disulfide exchange reaction, the permanent shape could be erased and a new shape could be reprogrammed. Using this strategy, reprogrammable permanent shape memory materials were obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Shape Memory Polymers and Polymeric Nanocomposites)
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Open AccessReview
Terpenoids, Cannabimimetic Ligands, beyond the Cannabis Plant
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1567; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071567 (registering DOI) - 29 Mar 2020
Abstract
Medicinal use of Cannabis sativa L. has an extensive history and it was essential in the discovery of phytocannabinoids, including the Cannabis major psychoactive compound—Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)—as well as the G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors (CBR), named cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1R) and cannabinoid receptor type-2 (CB2R), [...] Read more.
Medicinal use of Cannabis sativa L. has an extensive history and it was essential in the discovery of phytocannabinoids, including the Cannabis major psychoactive compound—Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)—as well as the G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors (CBR), named cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1R) and cannabinoid receptor type-2 (CB2R), both part of the now known endocannabinoid system (ECS). Cannabinoids is a vast term that defines several compounds that have been characterized in three categories: (i) endogenous, (ii) synthetic, and (iii) phytocannabinoids, and are able to modulate the CBR and ECS. Particularly, phytocannabinoids are natural terpenoids or phenolic compounds derived from Cannabis sativa. However, these terpenoids and phenolic compounds can also be derived from other plants (non-cannabinoids) and still induce cannabinoid-like properties. Cannabimimetic ligands, beyond the Cannabis plant, can act as CBR agonists or antagonists, or ECS enzyme inhibitors, besides being able of playing a role in immune-mediated inflammatory and infectious diseases, neuroinflammatory, neurological, and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as in cancer, and autoimmunity by itself. In this review, we summarize and critically highlight past, present, and future progress on the understanding of the role of cannabinoid-like molecules, mainly terpenes, as prospective therapeutics for different pathological conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on the Cannabinoid Receptors Pharmacology)
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Open AccessArticle
Direct Analysis of Psilocin and Muscimol in Urine Samples Using Single Drop Microextraction Technique In-Line with Capillary Electrophoresis
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1566; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071566 (registering DOI) - 29 Mar 2020
Abstract
The fully automated system of single drop microextraction coupled with capillary electrophoresis (SDME-CE) was developed for in-line preconcentration and determination of muscimol (MUS) and psilocin (PSC) from urine samples. Those two analytes are characteristic active metabolites of Amanita and Psilocybe mushrooms, evoking visual [...] Read more.
The fully automated system of single drop microextraction coupled with capillary electrophoresis (SDME-CE) was developed for in-line preconcentration and determination of muscimol (MUS) and psilocin (PSC) from urine samples. Those two analytes are characteristic active metabolites of Amanita and Psilocybe mushrooms, evoking visual and auditory hallucinations. Study analytes were selectively extracted from the donor phase (urine samples, pH 4) into the organic phase (a drop of octanol layer), and re-extracted to the acidic acceptor (background electrolyte, BGE), consisting of 25 mM phosphate buffer (pH 3). The optimized conditions for the extraction procedure of a 200 µL urine sample allowed us to obtain more than a 170-fold enrichment effect. The calibration curves were linear in the range of 0.05–50 mg L−1, with the correlation coefficients from 0.9911 to 0.9992. The limit of detections was determined by spiking blank urine samples with appropriate standards, i.e., 0.004 mg L−1 for PSC and 0.016 mg L−1 for MUS, respectively. The limits of quantification varied from 0.014 mg L−1 for PSC and 0.045 mg L−1 for MUS. The developed method practically eliminated the sample clean-up step, which was limited only to simple dilution (1:1, v/v) and pH adjustment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preliminary Study on the Differences in Hydrocarbons Between Phosphine-Susceptible and -Resistant Strains of Rhyzopertha dominica (Fabricius) and Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) Using Direct Immersion Solid-Phase Microextraction Coupled with GC-MS
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1565; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071565 (registering DOI) - 29 Mar 2020
Abstract
Phosphine resistance is a worldwide issue threatening the grain industry. The cuticles of insects are covered with a layer of lipids, which protect insect bodies from the harmful effects of pesticides. The main components of the cuticular lipids are hydrocarbon compounds. In this [...] Read more.
Phosphine resistance is a worldwide issue threatening the grain industry. The cuticles of insects are covered with a layer of lipids, which protect insect bodies from the harmful effects of pesticides. The main components of the cuticular lipids are hydrocarbon compounds. In this research, phosphine-resistant and -susceptible strains of two main stored-grain insects, T. castaneum and R. dominica, were tested to determine the possible role of their cuticular hydrocarbons in phosphine resistance. Direct immersion solid-phase microextraction followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was applied to extract and analyze the cuticular hydrocarbons. The results showed significant differences between the resistant and susceptible strains regarding the cuticular hydrocarbons that were investigated. The resistant insects of both species contained higher amounts than the susceptible insects for the majority of the hydrocarbons, sixteen from cuticular extraction and nineteen from the homogenized body extraction for T. castaneum and eighteen from cuticular extraction and twenty-one from the homogenized body extraction for R. dominica. 3-methylnonacosane and 2-methylheptacosane had the highest significant difference between the susceptible and resistant strains of T. castaneum from the cuticle and the homogenized body, respectively. Unknown5 from the cuticle and 3-methylhentriacontane from the homogenized body recorded the highest significant differences in R. dominica. The higher hydrocarbon content is a key factor in eliminating phosphine from entering resistant insect bodies, acting as a barrier between insects and the surrounding phosphine environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solid-Phase Microextraction II)
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Open AccessArticle
Ionic Liquids and Ohmic Heating in Combination for Pd-catalyzed Cross-coupling Reactions: Sustainable Synthesis of Flavonoids
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1564; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071564 (registering DOI) - 29 Mar 2020
Abstract
In order to meet the increasing demand for environmentally benign chemical processes, we developed a Suzuki–Miyaura reaction protocol based on the combination of ohmic heating (ΩH) and supported ionic liquid phase catalysis (SILPC) in aqueous media. This methodology was applied to the synthesis [...] Read more.
In order to meet the increasing demand for environmentally benign chemical processes, we developed a Suzuki–Miyaura reaction protocol based on the combination of ohmic heating (ΩH) and supported ionic liquid phase catalysis (SILPC) in aqueous media. This methodology was applied to the synthesis of a series of flavonoid derivatives, including isoflavones, styrylisoflavones, and diarylalkenylisoflavones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Organometallic Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Himalayan Nettle Girardinia diversifolia as a Candidate Ingredient for Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Applications—Phytochemical Analysis and In Vitro Bioassays
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1563; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071563 (registering DOI) - 29 Mar 2020
Abstract
Girardinia diversifolia, also known as Himalayan nettle, is a perennial herb used in Nepal to make fiber as well as in traditional medicine for the treatment of several diseases. To date, phytochemical studies and biological assays on this plant are scarce. Thus, [...] Read more.
Girardinia diversifolia, also known as Himalayan nettle, is a perennial herb used in Nepal to make fiber as well as in traditional medicine for the treatment of several diseases. To date, phytochemical studies and biological assays on this plant are scarce. Thus, in the present work, the G. diversifolia extracts have been evaluated for their potential pharmaceutical, cosmetic and nutraceutical uses. For this purpose, detailed phytochemical analyses were performed, evidencing the presence of phytosterols, fatty acids, carotenoids, polyphenols and saponins. The most abundant secondary metabolites were β- and γ-sitosterol (11 and 9% dw, respectively), and trans syringin (0.5 mg/g) was the most abundant phenolic. Fatty acids with an abundant portion of unsaturated derivatives (linoleic and linolenic acid at 22.0 and 9.7 mg/g respectively), vitamin C (2.9 mg/g) and vitamin B2 (0.12 mg/g) were also present. The antioxidant activity was moderate while a significant ability to inhibit acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrilcholinesterase (BuChE), tyrosinase, α-amylase and α-glucosidase was observed. A cytotoxic effect was observed on human ovarian, pancreatic and hepatic cancer cell lines. The effect in hepatocarcinoma cells was associated to a downregulation of the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), a pivotal regulator of cellular cholesterol homeostasis. These data show the potential usefulness of this species for possible applications in pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and cosmetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds of Fruits, Vegetables and Mushrooms)
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Open AccessArticle
Thiol-Reactive PODS-Bearing Bifunctional Chelators for the Development of EGFR-Targeting [18F]AlF-Affibody Conjugates
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1562; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071562 (registering DOI) - 29 Mar 2020
Abstract
Site-selective bioconjugation of cysteine-containing peptides and proteins is currently achieved via a maleimide–thiol reaction (Michael addition). When maleimide-functionalized chelators are used and the resulting bioconjugates are subsequently radiolabeled, instability has been observed both during radiosynthesis and post-injection in vivo, reducing radiochemical yield and [...] Read more.
Site-selective bioconjugation of cysteine-containing peptides and proteins is currently achieved via a maleimide–thiol reaction (Michael addition). When maleimide-functionalized chelators are used and the resulting bioconjugates are subsequently radiolabeled, instability has been observed both during radiosynthesis and post-injection in vivo, reducing radiochemical yield and negatively impacting performance. Recently, a phenyloxadiazolyl methylsulfone derivative (PODS) was proposed as an alternative to maleimide for the site-selective conjugation and radiolabeling of proteins, demonstrating improved in vitro stability and in vivo performance. Therefore, we have synthesized two novel PODS-bearing bifunctional chelators (NOTA-PODS and NODAGA-PODS) and attached them to the EGFR-targeting affibody molecule ZEGFR:03115. After radiolabeling with the aluminum fluoride complex ([18F]AlF), both conjugates showed good stability in murine serum. When injected in high EGFR-expressing tumor-bearing mice, [18F]AlF-NOTA-PODS-ZEGFR:03115 and [18F]AlF-NODAGA-PODS-ZEGFR:03115 showed similar pharmacokinetics and a specific tumor uptake of 14.1 ± 5.3% and 16.7 ± 4.5% ID/g at 1 h post-injection, respectively. The current results are encouraging for using PODS as an alternative to maleimide-based thiol-selective bioconjugation reactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiopharmaceuticals for PET Imaging)
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Open AccessArticle
5-Alkylamino-N-phenylpyrazine-2-carboxamides: Design, Preparation, and Antimycobacterial Evaluation
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1561; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071561 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 160
Abstract
According to the World Health Organization, tuberculosis is still in the top ten causes of death from a single infectious agent, killing more than 1.7 million people worldwide each year. The rising resistance developed by Mycobacterium tuberculosis against currently used antituberculars is an [...] Read more.
According to the World Health Organization, tuberculosis is still in the top ten causes of death from a single infectious agent, killing more than 1.7 million people worldwide each year. The rising resistance developed by Mycobacterium tuberculosis against currently used antituberculars is an imperative to develop new compounds with potential antimycobacterial activity. As a part of our continuous research on structural derivatives of the first-line antitubercular pyrazinamide, we have designed, prepared, and assessed the in vitro whole cell growth inhibition activity of forty-two novel 5-alkylamino-N-phenylpyrazine-2-carboxamides with various length of the alkylamino chain (propylamino to octylamino) and various simple substituents on the benzene ring. Final compounds were tested against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Ra and four other mycobacterial strains (M. aurum, M. smegmatis, M. kansasii, M. avium) in a modified Microplate Alamar Blue Assay. We identified several candidate molecules with micromolar MIC against M. tuberculosis H37Ra and low in vitro cytotoxicity in HepG2 cell line, for example, N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-5-(pentylamino)pyrazine-2-carboxamide (3c, MIC = 3.91 µg/mL or 13.02 µM, SI > 38) and 5‑(heptylamino)-N-(p-tolyl)pyrazine-2-carboxamide (4e, MIC = 0.78 µg/mL or 2.39 µM, SI > 20). In a complementary screening, we evaluated the in vitro activity against bacterial and fungal strains of clinical importance. We observed no antibacterial activity and sporadic antifungal activity against the Candida genus. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Cornstalk Biochar Immobilized Bacteria on Ammonia Reduction in Laying Hen Manure Composting
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1560; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071560 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 189
Abstract
NH3 emission has become one of the key factors for aerobic composting of animal manure. It has been reported that adding microbial agents during aerobic composting can reduce NH3 emissions. However, environmental factors have a considerable influence on the activity and [...] Read more.
NH3 emission has become one of the key factors for aerobic composting of animal manure. It has been reported that adding microbial agents during aerobic composting can reduce NH3 emissions. However, environmental factors have a considerable influence on the activity and stability of the microbial agent. Therefore, this study used cornstalk biochar as carriers to find out the better biological immobilization method to examine the mitigation ability and mechanism of NH3 production from laying hen manure composting. The results from different immobilized methods showed that NH3 was reduced by 12.43%, 5.53%, 14.57%, and 22.61% in the cornstalk biochar group, free load bacteria group, mixed load bacteria group, and separate load bacteria group, respectively. Under the simulated composting condition, NH3 production was 46.52, 38.14, 39.08, and 30.81 g in the treatment of the control, mixed bacteria, cornstalk biochar, and cornstalk biochar separate load immobilized mixed bacteria, respectively. The cornstalk biochar separate load immobilized mixed bacteria treatment significantly reduced NH3 emission compared with the other treatments (p < 0.05). Compared with the control, adding cornstalk biochar immobilized mixed bacteria significantly decreased the electrical conductivity, water-soluble carbon, total nitrogen loss, and concentration of ammonium nitrogen (p < 0.05), and significantly increased the seed germination rate, total number of microorganisms, and relative abundance of lactic acid bacteria throughout the composting process (p < 0.05). Therefore, the reason for the low NH3 emission might be due not only to the adsorption of the cornstalk biochar but also because of the role of complex bacteria, which increases the relative abundance of lactic acid bacteria and promotes the acid production of lactic acid bacteria to reduce NH3 emissions. This result revealed the potential of using biological immobilization technology to reduce NH3 emissions during laying hen manure composting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Green Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Solubility, Hansen Solubility Parameters and Thermodynamic Behavior of Emtricitabine in Various (Polyethylene Glycol-400 + Water) Mixtures: Computational Modeling and Thermodynamics
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1559; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071559 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
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Abstract
This study was aimed to find out the solubility, thermodynamic behavior, Hansen solubility parameters and molecular interactions of an antiviral drug emtricitabine (ECT) in various “[polyethylene glycol-400 (PEG-400) + water]” mixtures. The solubility of ECT in mole fraction was determined at “T [...] Read more.
This study was aimed to find out the solubility, thermodynamic behavior, Hansen solubility parameters and molecular interactions of an antiviral drug emtricitabine (ECT) in various “[polyethylene glycol-400 (PEG-400) + water]” mixtures. The solubility of ECT in mole fraction was determined at “T = 298.2 to 318.2 K” and “p = 0.1 MPa” using an isothermal method. The experimental solubilities of ECT in mole fraction were validated and correlated using various computational models which includes “Van’t Hoff, Apelblat, Yalkowsky-Roseman, Jouyban-Acree and Jouyban-Acree-Van’t Hoff models”. All the models performed well in terms of model correlation. The solubility of ECT was increased with the raise in temperature in all “PEG-400 + water” mixtures studied. The highest and lowest solubility values of ECT were found in pure PEG-400 (1.45 × 10−1) at “T = 318.2 K” and pure water (7.95 × 10−3) at “T = 298.2 K”, respectively. The quantitative values of activity coefficients indicated higher interactions at molecular level in ECT and PEG-400 combination compared with ECT and water combination. “Apparent thermodynamic analysis” showed an “endothermic and entropy-driven dissolution” of ECT in all “PEG-400 + water” combinations studied. The solvation nature of ECT was found an “enthalpy-driven” in each “PEG-400 + water” mixture studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Computational and Theoretical Chemistry)
Open AccessArticle
The Assessment of Carbon Dioxide Dissociation Using a Single-Mode Microwave Plasma Generator
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1558; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071558 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 171
Abstract
This paper focuses on the dissociation of carbon dioxide (CO2) following the absorption processes of microwave radiation by noncontact metal wire (tungsten). Using a microwave plasma generator (MPG) with a single-mode cavity, we conducted an interaction of microwaves with a noncontact [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on the dissociation of carbon dioxide (CO2) following the absorption processes of microwave radiation by noncontact metal wire (tungsten). Using a microwave plasma generator (MPG) with a single-mode cavity, we conducted an interaction of microwaves with a noncontact electrode in a CO2 atmosphere. High energy levels of electromagnetic radiation are generated in the focal point of the MPG’s cylindrical cavity. The metal wires are vaporized and ionized from this area, subsequently affecting the dissociation of CO2. The CO2 dissociation is highlighted through plasma characterization and carbon monoxide (CO) quantity determination. For plasma characterization, we used an optical emission spectroscopy method (OES), and for CO quantity determination, we used a gas analyzer instrument. Using an MPG in the CO2 atmosphere, we obtained a high electron temperature of the plasma and a strong dissociation of CO2. After 20 s of the interaction between microwaves and noncontact electrodes, the quantity of CO increased from 3 ppm to 1377 ppm (0.13% CO). This method can be used in space applications to dissociate CO2 and refresh the atmosphere of closed spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Photoacoustic Spectroscopy)
Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Antimicrobial Activity of Phosphonopeptide Derivatives Incorporating Single and Dual Inhibitors
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1557; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071557 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 151
Abstract
In diagnostic microbiology, culture media are widely used for detection of pathogenic bacteria. Such media employ various ingredients to optimize detection of specific pathogens such as chromogenic enzyme substrates and selective inhibitors to reduce the presence of commensal bacteria. Despite this, it is [...] Read more.
In diagnostic microbiology, culture media are widely used for detection of pathogenic bacteria. Such media employ various ingredients to optimize detection of specific pathogens such as chromogenic enzyme substrates and selective inhibitors to reduce the presence of commensal bacteria. Despite this, it is rarely possible to inhibit the growth of all commensal bacteria, and thus pathogens can be overgrown and remain undetected. One approach to attempt to remedy this is the use of “suicide substrates” that can target specific bacterial enzymes and selectively inhibit unwanted bacterial species. With the purpose of identifying novel selective inhibitors, six novel phosphonopeptide derivatives based on d/l-fosfalin and β-chloro-l-alanine were synthesized and tested on 19 different strains of clinically relevant bacteria. Several compounds show potential as useful selective agents that could be exploited in the recovery of several bacterial pathogens including Salmonella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Listeria. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Essential Oils Extracted from Different Species of the Lamiaceae Plant Family as Prospective Bioagents against Several Detrimental Pests
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1556; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071556 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 147
Abstract
On the basis of the side effects of detrimental synthetic chemicals, introducing healthy, available, and effective bioagents for pest management is critical. Due to this circumstance, several studies have been conducted that evaluate the pesticidal potency of plant-derived essential oils. This review presents [...] Read more.
On the basis of the side effects of detrimental synthetic chemicals, introducing healthy, available, and effective bioagents for pest management is critical. Due to this circumstance, several studies have been conducted that evaluate the pesticidal potency of plant-derived essential oils. This review presents the pesticidal efficiency of essential oils isolated from different genera of the Lamiaceae family including Agastache Gronovius, Hyptis Jacquin, Lavandula L., Lepechinia Willdenow, Mentha L., Melissa L., Ocimum L., Origanum L., Perilla L., Perovskia Kar., Phlomis L., Rosmarinus L., Salvia L., Satureja L., Teucrium L., Thymus L., Zataria Boissier, and Zhumeria Rech. Along with acute toxicity, the sublethal effects were illustrated such as repellency, antifeedant activity, and adverse effects on the protein, lipid, and carbohydrate contents, and on the esterase and glutathione S-transferase enzymes. Chemical profiles of the introduced essential oils and the pesticidal effects of their main components have also been documented including terpenes (hydrocarbon monoterpene, monoterpenoid, hydrocarbon sesquiterpene, and sesquiterpenoid) and aliphatic phenylpropanoid. Consequently, the essential oils of the Lamiaceae plant family and their main components, especially monoterpenoid ones with several bioeffects and multiple modes of action against different groups of damaging insects and mites, are considered to be safe, available, and efficient alternatives to the harmful synthetic pesticides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils with Potential as Insecticidal Agents)
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Open AccessArticle
Anthocyanin Induction by Drought Stress in the Calyx of Roselle Cultivars
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1555; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071555 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
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Abstract
Abiotic factors can alter the chemical profile of crops and the number of compounds they contain. In this study, the anthocyanin and anthocyanidin contents, determined by ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC-MS/MS), and the colour attributes of the calyces of three cultivars of Hibiscus sabdariffa [...] Read more.
Abiotic factors can alter the chemical profile of crops and the number of compounds they contain. In this study, the anthocyanin and anthocyanidin contents, determined by ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC-MS/MS), and the colour attributes of the calyces of three cultivars of Hibiscus sabdariffa subjected to three water stress regimes during the stage of physiological maturity were investigated. The total anthocyanin content in calyx increased relative to the control content under a 65% moisture irrigation regime. Among the cultivars, UAN16-2 showed the greatest increases in the contents of cyanidin, delphinidin 3-O-glucoside, cyanidin 3-O-glucoside, and cyanidin 3-O-sambubioside. The content of cyanidin 3-O-sambubioside showed the greatest increase, increasing by 55% relative to the control level. The contents of these compounds are correlated with colour attributes such as luminosity. Water stress under the 33% moisture condition during plant development led to decreased anthocyanin contents in all of the roselle cultivars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthocyanin)
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Open AccessArticle
Anti-Allergic and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Undecane on Mast Cells and Keratinocytes
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1554; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071554 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 147
Abstract
The critical roles of keratinocytes and resident mast cells in skin allergy and inflammation have been highlighted in many studies. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), the intracellular second messenger, has also recently emerged as a target molecule in the immune reaction underlying inflammatory skin [...] Read more.
The critical roles of keratinocytes and resident mast cells in skin allergy and inflammation have been highlighted in many studies. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), the intracellular second messenger, has also recently emerged as a target molecule in the immune reaction underlying inflammatory skin conditions. Here, we investigated whether undecane, a naturally occurring plant compound, has anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory activities on sensitized rat basophilic leukemia (RBL-2H3) mast cells and HaCaT keratinocytes and we further explored the potential involvement of the cAMP as a molecular target for undecane. We confirmed that undecane increased intracellular cAMP levels in mast cells and keratinocytes. In sensitized mast cells, undecane inhibited degranulation and the secretion of histamine and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α). In addition, in sensitized keratinocytes, undecane reversed the increased levels of p38 phosphorylation, nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB) transcriptional activity and target cytokine/chemokine genes, including thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC), macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC) and interleukin-8 (IL-8). These results suggest that undecane may be useful for the prevention or treatment of skin inflammatory disorders, such as atopic dermatitis, and other allergic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Biology)
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Open AccessArticle
Antiestrogenic Activity and Possible Mode of Action of Certain New Nonsteroidal Coumarin-4-acetamides
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1553; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071553 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 147
Abstract
The preparation of certain 2-(2-oxo-2H-chromen-4-yl)-N-substituted acetamides IIIa–h was planned as a step in the development of new modified nonsteroidal antiestrogens. The purity of target compounds IIIa–h was checked by thin-layer chromatography (TLC), and their structures were confirmed using various [...] Read more.
The preparation of certain 2-(2-oxo-2H-chromen-4-yl)-N-substituted acetamides IIIa–h was planned as a step in the development of new modified nonsteroidal antiestrogens. The purity of target compounds IIIa–h was checked by thin-layer chromatography (TLC), and their structures were confirmed using various spectroscopic tools including IR, 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, and MS spectroscopy. Viability tests were applied using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay to evaluate the cytotoxic effect of the synthesized compounds against two breast cancer cell lines, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. Compound IIIb proved the most active against MCF-7 cells, with an IC50 value of 0.32 μM. The results of an analysis of in vitro antiestrogenic activity indicated that only compound IIIb exhibited antiestrogenic activity; its IC50 value of 29.49 μM was about twice as potent as that of the reference compound, MIBP. The aromatase activity was evaluated for the synthesized target compounds IIIa–g and the intermediates Ib and IIa. A significant aromatase inhibition was observed for the intermediate Ib and compound IIIe, with IC50 values of 14.5 and 17.4 μM, respectively. Compound IIIb, namely 7-methoxy-4-(2-oxo-2-(piperidin-1-yl)ethyl)-2H-chromen-2-one, could be used as an antiestrogen and/or cytotoxic agent with selective activity against tumor cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medicinal Chemistry)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Improved Predictive Tools for Structural Properties of Metal–Organic Frameworks
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1552; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071552 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 155
Abstract
The accurate determination of structural parameters is necessary to understand the electronic and magnetic properties of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) and is a first step toward accurate calculations of electronic structure and function for separations and catalysis. Theoretical structural determination of metal-organic frameworks is [...] Read more.
The accurate determination of structural parameters is necessary to understand the electronic and magnetic properties of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) and is a first step toward accurate calculations of electronic structure and function for separations and catalysis. Theoretical structural determination of metal-organic frameworks is particularly challenging because they involve ionic, covalent, and noncovalent interactions, which must be treated in a balanced fashion. Here, we apply a diverse group of local exchange-correlation functionals (PBE, PBEsol, PBE-D2, PBE-D3, vdW-DF2, SOGGA, MN15-L, revM06-L, SCAN, and revTPSS) to a broad test set of MOFs to seek the most accurate functionals to study various structural aspects of porous solids, in particular to study lattice constants, unit cell volume, two types of pore size characteristics, bond lengths, bond angles, and torsional angles). The recently developed meta functionals revM06-L and SCAN, without adding any molecular mechanics terms, are able to predict more accurate structures than previously recommended functionals, both those without molecular mechanics terms (PBE, PBEsol, vdW-DF2, and revTPSS) and those with them (PBE-D2 and PBE-D3). To provide a broader test, these two functionals are also tested for lattice constants and band gaps of unary, binary, and ternary semiconductors. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Influence of the Sample Preparation Method in Discriminating Candida spp. Using ATR-FTIR Spectroscopy
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1551; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071551 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 150
Abstract
Several studies have investigated the capacity of ATR-FTIR spectroscopy for fungal species discrimination. However, preparation methods vary among studies. This study aims to ascertain the effect of sample preparation on the discriminatory capacity of ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. Candida species were streaked to obtain colonies [...] Read more.
Several studies have investigated the capacity of ATR-FTIR spectroscopy for fungal species discrimination. However, preparation methods vary among studies. This study aims to ascertain the effect of sample preparation on the discriminatory capacity of ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. Candida species were streaked to obtain colonies and spectra were collected from each preparation type, which included: (a) untreated colonies being directly transferred to the ATR crystal, (b) following washing and (c) following 24-h fixation in formalin. Spectra were pre-processed and principal component analysis (PCA) and K-means cluster analysis (KMC) were performed. Results showed that there was a clear discrimination between preparation types. Groups of spectra from untreated and washed isolates clustered separately due to intense protein, DNA and polysaccharide bands, whilst fixed spectra clustered separately due to intense polysaccharide bands. This signified that sample preparation had influenced the chemical composition of samples. Nevertheless, across preparation types, significant species discrimination was observed, and the polysaccharide (1200–900 cm−1) region was a common critical marker for species discrimination. However, different discriminatory marker bands were observed across preparation methods. Thus, sample preparation appears to influence the chemical composition of Candida samples; however, does not seem to significantly impact the species discrimination potential for ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fatty Acid Content and Composition of the Morphological Fractions of Cistus Ladanifer L. and Its Seasonal Variation
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1550; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071550 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 138
Abstract
Cistus ladanifer L. is a shrub from Cistaceae family, widespread in Mediterranean countries. Fatty acids (FA) have multiple roles in plants and are involved in adaption mechanisms to environmental conditions. This work evaluated the FA content and composition of each morphological fraction of [...] Read more.
Cistus ladanifer L. is a shrub from Cistaceae family, widespread in Mediterranean countries. Fatty acids (FA) have multiple roles in plants and are involved in adaption mechanisms to environmental conditions. This work evaluated the FA content and composition of each morphological fraction of C. ladanifer (leaves, stems, flower buds, flowers and seed heads) throughout a full year. Cistus ladanifer plants were collected in southern Portugal, during four consecutive seasons (18 plants/season), and the different morphological plant fractions (leaves, stems, flower buds, flowers and seed heads) were separated. Cistus ladanifer morphological fractions showed distinct FA compositions, being possible to discriminate three groups—the leaves that showed to be dominated by saturated FA (main 20:0) and contain branched-chain FA (iso-19:0 and iso-21:0); the stems that are composed mainly by SFA (main 22:0); and the reproductive organs that showed higher contents of polyunsaturated FA (PUFA) and the 16:0 as the main SFA. The FA composition of leaves changed over seasons, with replacement of the PUFA by monounsaturated FA and branched-chain FA during hot seasons. Regarding the other C. ladanifer morphological fractions, the FA composition was more stable over seasons, suggesting that leaves are more prone to adaptations to environmental changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Induced Phases of New H-bonded Supramolecular Liquid Crystal Complexes; Mesomorphic and Geometrical Estimation
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1549; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071549 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 240
Abstract
New five rings architecture of 1:1 supramolecular hydrogen bonded (H-bonded) complexes were formed between 4-(2-(pyridin-4-yl)diazenyl-3-methylphenyl 4-alkoxybenzoates and 4-n-alkoxyphenyliminobenzoic acids. Mesomorphic and optical behaviors of three systems designed complexes were investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and polarizing optical microscopy (POM). H-bonded interactions were [...] Read more.
New five rings architecture of 1:1 supramolecular hydrogen bonded (H-bonded) complexes were formed between 4-(2-(pyridin-4-yl)diazenyl-3-methylphenyl 4-alkoxybenzoates and 4-n-alkoxyphenyliminobenzoic acids. Mesomorphic and optical behaviors of three systems designed complexes were investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and polarizing optical microscopy (POM). H-bonded interactions were confirmed via FT-IR spectroscopy. Computational calculations were carried out by density functional theory (DFT) estimation for all formed complexes. Experimental evaluations were correlated with the theoretical predictions and results revealed that, all prepared complexes possessing enantiotropic tri-mesophases with induced smectic C (SmC) and nematic temperature ranges. Moreover, DFT predicted for all formed supramolecular complexes possessing a non-linear bent geometry. Moreover, the π–π stacking of the aromatic rings plays an important role in the mesomorphic properties and thermal stabilities of observed phases. The energy changes between frontier molecular orbitals (HOMO and LUMO) and the molecular electrostatic potential (MEP) of the designed complexes were discussed and related to the experimental results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Advances in Liquid Crystals)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a Liquid Chromatography–High Resolution Mass Spectrometry Method for the Determination of Free Fatty Acids in Milk
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1548; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071548 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 193
Abstract
The determination of free fatty acids (FFAs) in milk is of importance for quality control, legislative purposes, authentication and product development. We present herein a liquid chromatography–high resolution mass spectrometry method for the direct determination of FFAs in milk. The method involves mild [...] Read more.
The determination of free fatty acids (FFAs) in milk is of importance for quality control, legislative purposes, authentication and product development. We present herein a liquid chromatography–high resolution mass spectrometry method for the direct determination of FFAs in milk. The method involves mild sample preparation, avoids time-consuming derivatization and allows the direct quantification of twenty-two FFAs in a 10-min single run. It was validated and applied in thirteen cow milk and seven goat milk samples. Saturated fatty acids C16:0, C18:0 and unsaturated C18:1 (n-9) were found to be the major components of milk FFAs at concentrations of 33.1 ± 8.2 μg/mL, 16.5 ± 5.3 μg/mL and 14.8 ± 3.8 μg/mL, respectively, in cow milk and at concentrations of 22.8 ± 1.8 μg/mL, 12.7 ± 2.8 μg/mL and 13.3 ± 0.3 μg/mL, respectively, in goat milk. Other saturated and unsaturated FFAs were found in significantly lower quantities. Saturated fatty acids C6:0, C8:0 and C10:0 were found in higher quantities in goat milk than in cow milk. The levels of the important (for human health) odd-chain FFAs C15:0 and C17:0 were estimated in cow and goat milk. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Heterocyclic Amine Formation in Grilled Chicken Depending on Body Parts and Treatment Conditions
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1547; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071547 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 158
Abstract
Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) carcinogenicity is known since the 1970′s, but the exact way of their formation is still unclear. During these examinations different body parts (breast filet with and without skin, thigh filet without skin and full wing with skin) of chickens from [...] Read more.
Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) carcinogenicity is known since the 1970′s, but the exact way of their formation is still unclear. During these examinations different body parts (breast filet with and without skin, thigh filet without skin and full wing with skin) of chickens from the same Ross 308 strain were analyzed after grilling with the combination of 3-3 temperature and duration levels (150-180-210 °C and 2.5-5-10 min per side). Five different kinds of heterocyclic amines (HAR, NOR, MeIQx, 4,8-DiMeIQx and PhIP) were detected by HLPC-MS/MS. The results obtained from the present study confirm that, in general, the higher the temperature and longer the duration of the grilling the more HCAs will be generated. Grilling of chicken thigh without bones and skin resulted in lower amounts of HCAs generated in comparison to the grilling of chicken breast without skin. The presence of skin on the chicken breast increased the amounts of HCAs formed, especially if grilling was performed at high temperature for longer duration, especially at 210 °C for 10 min. In case of grilling the chicken wings, the amounts of HCAs formed were lower than observed in the breast. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the OMICS Platforms in Food Analysis)
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Open AccessArticle
Determination of Glyphosate in Dried Wheat by 1H-NMR Spectroscopy
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1546; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071546 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 142
Abstract
A wheat field was sprayed with a dosage of 1.1 kg a.i./ha Roundup PowerMax 10 days before harvest. The 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy was used for the detection and quantification of the glyphosate (GLYP) in dried wheat spikelets, leaves, and [...] Read more.
A wheat field was sprayed with a dosage of 1.1 kg a.i./ha Roundup PowerMax 10 days before harvest. The 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy was used for the detection and quantification of the glyphosate (GLYP) in dried wheat spikelets, leaves, and stems. The quantification was done by the integration of the CH2-P groups doublet at 3.00 ppm with good linearity. The GLYP content varied between different samples and parts of the plant. On average, the largest content of herbicide was found in leaves (20.0 mg/kg), followed by stems (6.4 mg/kg) and spikelets (6.3 mg/kg). Our study shows that the 1H-NMR spectroscopy can be a rapid and reliable tool for GLYP detection and quantification in the field studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Flavones Contents in Extracts from Oroxylum indicum Seeds and Plant Tissue Cultures
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1545; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071545 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 120
Abstract
Oroxylum indicum (L.) Benth. ex Kurz or Pheka, is a plant in the Bignoniaceae family with various traditional uses. The mature fruits promote anti-helminthic and stomachic effects, while the seeds have been used as a purgative and for the relief of tonsil pain. [...] Read more.
Oroxylum indicum (L.) Benth. ex Kurz or Pheka, is a plant in the Bignoniaceae family with various traditional uses. The mature fruits promote anti-helminthic and stomachic effects, while the seeds have been used as a purgative and for the relief of tonsil pain. The young fruits are popularly consumed as vegetables, while the seeds are one of the components in traditional drink formulations. To develop new plant raw material sources, a plant tissue culture technique was used to generate plant tissue cultured samples from the seeds of O. indicum. Plant tissue cultured samples were collected from three different growth stages; 4 days, then at 3 and 9 weeks, and prepared as crude extracts by maceration with ethanol, along with the seed raw material sample. A high performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method was used for quantitative analysis of the contents of the three major flavones; baicalin, baicalein, and chrysin in the extracts from the seeds and plant tissue cultured samples of this plant. Baicalin was found in the highest amount among these three flavones in all extracts. The seed extract contained the highest baicalin content (24.24% w/w in the extract), followed by the shoot extract from tissue-cultured plant at week 3 (14.78% w/w of the extract). The amounts of chrysin in all O. indicum showed the same trend as the contents of baicalin, but the amounts were lower, while baicalein was accumulated at the lowest amount among three flavonoids and the amounts were quite stable in all O. indicum extracts. From the results, O. indicum seed and plant tissue cultured extracts have potential as sources of flavones, which could be further developed as health products in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation of Nanocellulose Using Ionic Liquids: 1-Propyl-3-Methylimidazolium Chloride and 1-Ethyl-3-Methylimidazolium Chloride
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1544; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071544 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 114
Abstract
Cellulose nanocrystals were prepared using ionic liquids (ILs), 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [EMIM][Cl] and 1-propyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [PMIM][Cl], from microcrystalline cellulose. The resultant samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), dynamic light scattering (DLS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron [...] Read more.
Cellulose nanocrystals were prepared using ionic liquids (ILs), 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [EMIM][Cl] and 1-propyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [PMIM][Cl], from microcrystalline cellulose. The resultant samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), dynamic light scattering (DLS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The XRD results showed that nanocellulose obtained by treatment with both ILs preserved basic cellulose I structure, but crystallinity index of samples (except for Sigmacell treated with [EMIM][Cl]) was lower in comparison to the starting microcrystalline cellulose. The DLS results indicated noticeably smaller particle sizes of prepared cellulose for material treated with [PMIM][Cl] compared to cellulose samples hydrolyzed with [EMIM][Cl], which were prone to agglomeration. The obtained nanocellulose had a rod-like structure that was confirmed by electron microscopy analyses. Moreover, the results described in this paper indicate that cation type of ILs influences particle size and morphology of cellulose after treatment with ionic liquids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BioOrg: From Biomolecules to Biomaterials)
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Open AccessReview
Antibacterial Prodrugs to Overcome Bacterial Resistance
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1543; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071543 (registering DOI) - 28 Mar 2020
Viewed by 134
Abstract
Bacterial resistance to present antibiotics is emerging at a high pace that makes the development of new treatments a must. At the same time, the development of novel antibiotics for resistant bacteria is a slow-paced process. Amid the massive need for new drug [...] Read more.
Bacterial resistance to present antibiotics is emerging at a high pace that makes the development of new treatments a must. At the same time, the development of novel antibiotics for resistant bacteria is a slow-paced process. Amid the massive need for new drug treatments to combat resistance, time and effort preserving approaches, like the prodrug approach, are most needed. Prodrugs are pharmacologically inactive entities of active drugs that undergo biotransformation before eliciting their pharmacological effects. A prodrug strategy can be used to revive drugs discarded due to a lack of appropriate pharmacokinetic and drug-like properties, or high host toxicity. A special advantage of the use of the prodrug approach in the era of bacterial resistance is targeting resistant bacteria by developing prodrugs that require bacterium-specific enzymes to release the active drug. In this article, we review the up-to-date implementation of prodrugs to develop medications that are active against drug-resistant bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prodrugs and Their Future Prospects and Clinical Impact)
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