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Molecules, Volume 26, Issue 17 (September-1 2021) – 316 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Consecutive, individually resolved redox processes in compounds with two or more identical redox sites are often assumed to act as an indicator for electronically coupled mixed-valent states. Here, we present a macrocyclic tetraruthenium complex, which comprises two redox-active divinylphenylene-bridged diruthenium entities and two C5O52- croconate linkers. It has been revealed, by in-depth spectroscopic studies of the oxidized forms of the complex, that the potentially likewise redox-active croconate linkers behave innocently, in regards to redox processes, in this particular environment, and that the sizable redox splittings and the shifts in the CO stretching vibrations of the carbonyl ligands at the neutral and positively charged metal sites are entirely due to electrostatic and inductive effects. This makes this complex a true “pretender”. View this paper.
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Article
Artemisia anomala Herba Alleviates 2,4-Dinitrochlorobenzene-Induced Atopic Dermatitis-Like Skin Lesions in Mice and the Production of Pro-Inflammatory Mediators in Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha-/Interferon Gamma-Induced HaCaT Cells
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5427; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175427 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1089
Abstract
Artemisia anomala S. Moore is a perennial herbaceous plant classified as Asteraceae of the genus Artemisia. Many species of Artemisia have been used as medicinal materials. Artemisia anomala S. Moore has been widely used in China to treat inflammatory diseases. However, the mechanism [...] Read more.
Artemisia anomala S. Moore is a perennial herbaceous plant classified as Asteraceae of the genus Artemisia. Many species of Artemisia have been used as medicinal materials. Artemisia anomala S. Moore has been widely used in China to treat inflammatory diseases. However, the mechanism of its action on the keratinocyte inflammatory response is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the anti-inflammatory reaction of Artemisia anomala S. Moore ethanol extract (EAA) using human keratinocyte (HaCaT) cells, which involved investigating the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), signal transducer, and activator of transcription-1 (STAT-1), as well as mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways and atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions in mice. We elucidated the anti-inflammatory effects of EAA on tumor necrosis factor-α/interferon-γ (TNF-α/IFN-γ)-treated human keratinocyte cells and 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB)-induced atopic dermatitis (AD)-like mice. The levels of chemokines and cytokines (IL-8, IL-6, TARC, and RANTES) were determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The NF-κB, STAT-1, and MAPK signaling pathways in HaCaT cells were analyzed by western blotting. Thickening of the mice dorsal and ear skin was measured and inflammatory cell infiltration was observed by hematoxylin and eosin staining. Results showed that EAA suppressed IL-8, IL-6, TARC, and RANTES production. EAA inhibited nuclear translocation of NFκB and STAT-1, as well as reduced the levels of phosphorylated ERK MAPKs. EAA improved AD-like skin lesions in DNCB-treated mice. These findings suggest that EAA possesses stronger anti-inflammatory properties and can be useful as a functional food or candidate agent for AD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds for Cosmeceuticals against Skin Diseases)
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Article
Improving the Antimicrobial and Mechanical Properties of Epoxy Resins via Nanomodification: An Overview
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5426; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175426 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 882
Abstract
The main purpose of this work is to provide a comprehensive overview on the preparation of multifunctional epoxies, with improved antimicrobial activity and enhanced mechanical properties through nanomodification. In the first section, we focus on the approaches to achieve antimicrobial activity, as well [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this work is to provide a comprehensive overview on the preparation of multifunctional epoxies, with improved antimicrobial activity and enhanced mechanical properties through nanomodification. In the first section, we focus on the approaches to achieve antimicrobial activity, as well as on the methods used to evaluate their efficacy against bacteria and fungi. Relevant application examples are also discussed, with particular reference to antifouling and anticorrosion coatings for marine environments, dental applications, antimicrobial fibers and fabrics, and others. Subsequently, we discuss the mechanical behaviors of nanomodified epoxies with improved antimicrobial properties, analyzing the typical damage mechanisms leading to the significant toughening effect of nanomodification. Some examples of mechanical properties of nanomodified polymers are provided. Eventually, the possibility of achieving, at the same time, antimicrobial and mechanical improvement capabilities by nanomodification with nanoclay is discussed, with reference to both nanomodified epoxies and glass/epoxy composite laminates. According to the literature, a nanomodified epoxy can successfully exhibit antibacterial properties, while increasing its fracture toughness, even though its tensile strength may decrease. As for laminates—obtaining antibacterial properties is not followed by improved interlaminar properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Investigation of Polymer Nanocomposites' Performance)
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Article
HS–SPME–GC–MS and Electronic Nose Reveal Differences in the Volatile Profiles of Hedychium Flowers
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5425; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175425 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 928
Abstract
Floral fragrance is one of the most important characteristics of ornamental plants and plays a pivotal role in plant lifespan such as pollinator attraction, pest repelling, and protection against abiotic and biotic stresses. However, the precise determination of floral fragrance is limited. In [...] Read more.
Floral fragrance is one of the most important characteristics of ornamental plants and plays a pivotal role in plant lifespan such as pollinator attraction, pest repelling, and protection against abiotic and biotic stresses. However, the precise determination of floral fragrance is limited. In the present study, the floral volatile compounds of six Hedychium accessions exhibiting from faint to highly fragrant were comparatively analyzed via gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) and Electronic nose (E-nose). A total of 42 volatile compounds were identified through GC–MS analysis, including monoterpenoids (18 compounds), sesquiterpenoids (12), benzenoids/phenylpropanoids (8), fatty acid derivatives (2), and others (2). In Hedychium coronarium ‘ZS’, H. forrestii ‘Gaoling’, H. ‘Jin’, H. ‘Caixia’, and H. ‘Zhaoxia’, monoterpenoids were abundant, while sesquiterpenoids were found in large quantities in H. coccineum ‘KMH’. Hierarchical clustering analysis (HCA) divided the 42 volatile compounds into four different groups (I, II, III, IV), and Spearman correlation analysis showed these compounds to have different degrees of correlation. The E-nose was able to group the different accessions in the principal component analysis (PCA) corresponding to scent intensity. Furthermore, the pattern-recognition findings confirmed that the E-nose data validated the GC–MS results. The partial least squares (PLS) analysis between floral volatile compounds and sensors suggested that specific sensors were highly sensitive to terpenoids. In short, the E-nose is proficient in discriminating Hedychium accessions of different volatile profiles in both quantitative and qualitative aspects, offering an accurate and rapid reference technique for future applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Discoveries and New Approaches to the Study of Plant Volatiles)
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Review
Tualang Honey: A Decade of Neurological Research
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5424; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175424 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1138
Abstract
Tualang honey has been shown to protect against neurodegeneration, leading to improved memory/learning as well as mood. In addition, studies have also demonstrated its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, a substantial part of this research lacks systematization, and there seems to be a [...] Read more.
Tualang honey has been shown to protect against neurodegeneration, leading to improved memory/learning as well as mood. In addition, studies have also demonstrated its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, a substantial part of this research lacks systematization, and there seems to be a tendency to start anew with every study. This review presents a decade of research on Tualang honey with a particular interest in the underlying mechanisms related to its effects on the central nervous system. A total of 28 original articles published between 2011 and 2020 addressing the central nervous system (CNS) effects of Tualang honey were analysed. We identified five main categories, namely nootropic, antinociceptive, stress-relieving, antidepressant, and anxiolytic effects of Tualang honey, and proposed the underlying mechanisms. The findings from this review may potentially be beneficial towards developing new therapeutic roles for Tualang honey and help in determining how best to benefit from this brain supplement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bee Products as Natural Antioxidants in Disease and Health)
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Article
Targeting the Integrated Stress Response Kinase GCN2 to Modulate Retroviral Integration
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5423; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175423 - 06 Sep 2021
Viewed by 801
Abstract
Multiple viral targets are now available in the clinic to fight HIV infection. Even if this targeted therapy is highly effective at suppressing viral replication, caregivers are facing growing therapeutic failures in patients due to resistance, with or without treatment-adherence glitches. Accordingly, it [...] Read more.
Multiple viral targets are now available in the clinic to fight HIV infection. Even if this targeted therapy is highly effective at suppressing viral replication, caregivers are facing growing therapeutic failures in patients due to resistance, with or without treatment-adherence glitches. Accordingly, it is important to better understand how HIV and other retroviruses replicate in order to propose alternative antiviral strategies. Recent studies have shown that multiple cellular factors are implicated during the integration step and, more specifically, that integrase can be regulated through post-translational modifications. We have shown that integrase is phosphorylated by GCN2, a cellular protein kinase of the integrated stress response, leading to a restriction of HIV replication. In addition, we found that this mechanism is conserved among other retroviruses. Accordingly, we developed an in vitro interaction assay, based on the AlphaLISA technology, to monitor the integrase-GCN2 interaction. From an initial library of 133 FDA-approved molecules, we identified nine compounds that either inhibited or stimulated the interaction between GCN2 and HIV integrase. In vitro characterization of these nine hits validated this pilot screen and demonstrated that the GCN2-integrase interaction could be a viable solution for targeting integrase out of its active site. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Antiviral Drugs Discovery)
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Article
Adsorption/Desorption Behaviors and SERS Chemical Enhancement of 6-Mercaptopurine on a Nanostructured Gold Surface: The Au20 Cluster Model
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5422; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175422 - 06 Sep 2021
Viewed by 940
Abstract
Computational approaches are employed to elucidate the binding mechanism and the SERS phenomenon of 6-mercaptopurine (6MP) adsorbed on the tetrahedral Au20 cluster as a simple model for a nanostructured gold surface. Computations are carried out in both vacuum and aqueous environments using [...] Read more.
Computational approaches are employed to elucidate the binding mechanism and the SERS phenomenon of 6-mercaptopurine (6MP) adsorbed on the tetrahedral Au20 cluster as a simple model for a nanostructured gold surface. Computations are carried out in both vacuum and aqueous environments using a continuum model. In the gaseous phase and neutral conditions, interaction of 6MP with the gold cluster is mostly dominated by a covalent Au−S bond and partially stabilized by the Au⋅⋅⋅H−N coupling. However, in acidic solution, the nonconventional Au⋅⋅⋅H−S hydrogen-bond becomes the most favorable binding mode. The 6MP affinity for gold clusters decreases in the order of vacuum > neutral solution > acidic medium. During the adsorption, the energy gap of Au20 substantially declines, leading to an increase in its electrical conductivity, which can be converted to an electrical noise. Moreover, such interaction is likely a reversible process and triggered by either the low pH in sick tissues or the presence of cysteine residues in protein matrices. While N−H bending and stretching vibrations play major roles in the SERS phenomenon of 6MP on gold surfaces in neutral solution, the strongest enhancement in acidic environment is mostly due to an Au⋅⋅⋅H−S coupling, rather than an aromatic ring-gold surface π overlap as previously proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Metal Clusters: Fundamental and Applied Aspects)
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Article
Iodide Analogs of Arsenoplatins—Potential Drug Candidates for Triple Negative Breast Cancers
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5421; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175421 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1059
Abstract
Patients with triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs)—highly aggressive tumors that do not express estrogen, progesterone, and human epidermal growth factor 2 receptors—have limited treatment options. Fewer than 30% of women with metastatic TNBC survive five years after their diagnosis, with a mortality rate [...] Read more.
Patients with triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs)—highly aggressive tumors that do not express estrogen, progesterone, and human epidermal growth factor 2 receptors—have limited treatment options. Fewer than 30% of women with metastatic TNBC survive five years after their diagnosis, with a mortality rate within three months after a recurrence of 75%. Although TNBCs show a higher response to platinum therapy compared to other breast cancers, drug resistance remains a major obstacle; thus, platinum drugs with novel mechanisms are urgently needed. Arsenoplatins (APs) represent a novel class of anticancer agents designed to contain the pharmacophores of the two FDA approved drugs cisplatin and arsenic trioxide (As2O3) as one molecular entity. Here, we present the syntheses, crystal structures, DFT calculations, and antiproliferative activity of iodide analogs of AP-1 and AP-2, i.e., AP-5 and AP-4, respectively. Antiproliferative studies in TNBC cell lines reveal that all AP family members are more potent than cisplatin and As2O3 alone. DFT calculations demonstrate there is a low energy barrier for hydrolysis of the platinum-halide bonds in arsenoplatins, possibly contributing to their higher cytotoxicities compared to cisplatin. Full article
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Review
Chemistry of Peptide-Oligonucleotide Conjugates: A Review
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5420; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175420 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1965
Abstract
Peptide-oligonucleotide conjugates (POCs) represent one of the increasingly successful albeit costly approaches to increasing the cellular uptake, tissue delivery, bioavailability, and, thus, overall efficiency of therapeutic nucleic acids, such as, antisense oligonucleotides and small interfering RNAs. This review puts the subject of chemical [...] Read more.
Peptide-oligonucleotide conjugates (POCs) represent one of the increasingly successful albeit costly approaches to increasing the cellular uptake, tissue delivery, bioavailability, and, thus, overall efficiency of therapeutic nucleic acids, such as, antisense oligonucleotides and small interfering RNAs. This review puts the subject of chemical synthesis of POCs into the wider context of therapeutic oligonucleotides and the problem of nucleic acid drug delivery, cell-penetrating peptide structural types, the mechanisms of their intracellular transport, and the ways of application, which include the formation of non-covalent complexes with oligonucleotides (peptide additives) or covalent conjugation. The main strategies for the synthesis of POCs are viewed in detail, which are conceptually divided into (a) the stepwise solid-phase synthesis approach and (b) post-synthetic conjugation either in solution or on the solid phase, especially by means of various click chemistries. The relative advantages and disadvantages of both strategies are discussed and compared. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Applications of Oligonucleotide Conjugate II)
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Review
Factors Affecting Synthetic Dye Adsorption; Desorption Studies: A Review of Results from the Last Five Years (2017–2021)
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5419; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175419 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 1578
Abstract
The primary, most obvious parameter indicating water quality is the color of the water. Not only can it be aesthetically disturbing, but it can also be an indicator of contamination. Clean, high-quality water is a valuable, essential asset. Of the available technologies for [...] Read more.
The primary, most obvious parameter indicating water quality is the color of the water. Not only can it be aesthetically disturbing, but it can also be an indicator of contamination. Clean, high-quality water is a valuable, essential asset. Of the available technologies for removing dyes, adsorption is the most used method due to its ease of use, cost-effectiveness, and high efficiency. The adsorption process is influenced by several parameters, which are the basis of all laboratories researching the optimum conditions. The main objective of this review is to provide up-to-date information on the most studied influencing factors. The effects of initial dye concentration, pH, adsorbent dosage, particle size and temperature are illustrated through examples from the last five years (2017–2021) of research. Moreover, general trends are drawn based on these findings. The removal time ranged from 5 min to 36 h (E = 100% was achieved within 5–60 min). In addition, nearly 80% efficiency can be achieved with just 0.05 g of adsorbent. It is important to reduce adsorbent particle size (with Φ decrease E = 8–99%). Among the dyes analyzed in this paper, Methylene Blue, Congo Red, Malachite Green, Crystal Violet were the most frequently studied. Our conclusions are based on previously published literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecule Adsorption and Desorption from and to Aqueous Media)
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Article
Raffinose Capped Silver Nanoparticles: A New Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance Based Sensor for Selective Quantification of Cr(VI) in Waste Waters
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5418; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175418 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 626
Abstract
In this study, a new method for selective determination of Cr(VI) in water samples at pH 4 is presented using raffinose capped silver nanoparticles (Ag/Raff NPs) as an optical sensor. The method is based on the variation of LSPR absorption band intensity as [...] Read more.
In this study, a new method for selective determination of Cr(VI) in water samples at pH 4 is presented using raffinose capped silver nanoparticles (Ag/Raff NPs) as an optical sensor. The method is based on the variation of LSPR absorption band intensity as a result of electrostatic interaction between the negatively charged Ag/Raff NPs and positive Cr(III) ions, in-situ produced by chemical reduction of Cr(VI) with ascorbic acid, combined with the fast kinetics of Cr(III) coordination to the –OH groups of the capping agent on the nanoparticle surface, further causing the nanoparticle aggregation. The calibration curve for Cr(VI) is linear in the range 2.5–7.5 μmol L−1, the limit of quantification achieved is 1.9 μmol L−1, and values of relative standard deviation vary from 3 to 5% for concentration level 1.9–7.5 μmol L−1. The interference studies performed in the presence of various metal ions show very good selectivity of Ag/Raff NPs toward Cr(VI) species. The added–found method is used to confirm the accuracy and precision of developed analytical approach. Full article
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Article
Low-Field NMR Study of Shortcake Biscuits with Cricket Powder, and Their Nutritional and Physical Characteristics
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5417; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175417 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1142
Abstract
The growing human population renders challenges for the future supply of food products with high nutritional value. Here, we enhanced the functional and nutritional value of biscuits, a popular sweet snack, by replacing the wheat flour with 2%, 6%, or 10% (w [...] Read more.
The growing human population renders challenges for the future supply of food products with high nutritional value. Here, we enhanced the functional and nutritional value of biscuits, a popular sweet snack, by replacing the wheat flour with 2%, 6%, or 10% (w/w) cricket powder. Consumer acceptance ratings for reference and 2% augmented cookies were comparable, whereas the higher levels of enhancement received inferior consumer scores. This relatively small change in biscuit recipe provided significant and nutritionally desirable enhancements in the biscuits, observed in a series of analyses. An increase in the protein content was observed, including essential amino acids, as well as minerals and fat. This conversion also affected the physical properties of the biscuits, including hardness, and water molecular dynamics measured by 1H NMR. Cricket powder-augmented biscuits join the line of enhanced, functionally superior food products. This and similar food augmentation provide a viable scenario to meet the human food demands in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Protein Sources for Food Production and Human Nutrition)
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Article
Anti-Inflammatory CeO2 Nanoparticles Prevented Cytotoxicity Due to Exogenous Nitric Oxide Donors via Induction Rather Than Inhibition of Superoxide/Nitric Oxide in HUVE Cells
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5416; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175416 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 794
Abstract
The mechanism behind the cytoprotective potential of cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeO2 NPs) against cytotoxic nitric oxide (NO) donors and H2O2 is still not clear. Synthesized and characterized CeO2 NPs significantly ameliorated the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced cytokines IL-1β and TNF-α. [...] Read more.
The mechanism behind the cytoprotective potential of cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeO2 NPs) against cytotoxic nitric oxide (NO) donors and H2O2 is still not clear. Synthesized and characterized CeO2 NPs significantly ameliorated the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced cytokines IL-1β and TNF-α. The main goal of this study was to determine the capacities of NPs regarding signaling effects that could have occurred due to reactive oxygen species (ROS) and/or NO, since NP-induced ROS/NO did not lead to toxicity in HUVE cells. Concentrations that induced 50% cell death (i.e., IC50s) of two NO donors (DETA-NO; 1250 ± 110 µM and sodium nitroprusside (SNP); 950 ± 89 µM) along with the IC50 of H2O2 (120 ± 7 µM) were utilized to evaluate cytoprotective potential and its underlying mechanism. We determined total ROS (as a collective marker of hydrogen peroxide, superoxide radical (O2•−), hydroxyl radical, etc.) by DCFH-DA and used a O2•− specific probe DHE to decipher prominent ROS. The findings revealed that signaling effects mediated mainly by O2•− and/or NO are responsible for the amelioration of toxicity by CeO2 NPs at 100 µg/mL. The unaltered effect on mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) due to NP exposure and, again, CeO2 NPs-mediated recovery in the loss of MMP due to exogenous NO donors and H2O2 suggested that NP-mediated O2•− production might be extra-mitochondrial. Data on activated glutathione reductase (GR) and unaffected glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities partially explain the mechanism behind the NP-induced gain in GSH and persistent cytoplasmic ROS. The promoted antioxidant capacity due to non-cytotoxic ROS and/or NO production, rather than inhibition, by CeO2 NP treatment may allow cells to develop the capacity to tolerate exogenously induced toxicity. Full article
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Article
A Discrete Ligand-Free T3 Supertetrahedral Cluster of Gallium Sulfide
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5415; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175415 - 06 Sep 2021
Viewed by 789
Abstract
Large discrete supertetrahedral clusters of metal chalcogenides are rare due to the difficulty of crystallizing solids in which the negative charge of the cluster is balanced by the positive charges of the countercations. Here, we describe a discrete ligand-free T3 supertetrahedral cluster, [Ga [...] Read more.
Large discrete supertetrahedral clusters of metal chalcogenides are rare due to the difficulty of crystallizing solids in which the negative charge of the cluster is balanced by the positive charges of the countercations. Here, we describe a discrete ligand-free T3 supertetrahedral cluster, [Ga10S16(SH)4]6−, which was successfully synthesized in the presence of the superbase 1,8-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undec-7-ene (DBU) using the neutral surfactant polyethyleneglycol (PEG)-400 as the reaction solvent. Protonated DBUH+ cations are incorporated into the crystal structure of the product, which can be formulated as [C9H17N2]6[Ga10S16(SH)4]. This compound, which represents the first example of a discrete ligand-free T3 cluster of gallium sulfide, was fully characterized by single-crystal and powder X-ray diffraction, elemental analysis, infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and ultraviolet-visible diffuse reflectance. The results presented here indicate that the use of surfactants as solvents offers potential for the preparation of new compounds containing supertetrahedral clusters. Full article
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Article
Nanoparticle-Encapsulated Camptothecin: Epigenetic Modulation in DNA Repair Mechanisms in Colon Cancer Cells
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5414; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175414 - 06 Sep 2021
Viewed by 846
Abstract
Molecular crosstalk between the cellular epigenome and genome converge as a synergistic driver of oncogenic transformations. Besides other pathways, epigenetic regulatory circuits exert their effect towards cancer progression through the induction of DNA repair deficiencies. We explored this mechanism using a camptothecin encapsulated [...] Read more.
Molecular crosstalk between the cellular epigenome and genome converge as a synergistic driver of oncogenic transformations. Besides other pathways, epigenetic regulatory circuits exert their effect towards cancer progression through the induction of DNA repair deficiencies. We explored this mechanism using a camptothecin encapsulated in β-cyclodextrin–EDTA–Fe3O4 nanoparticles (CPT-CEF)-treated HT29 cells model. We previously demonstrated that CPT-CEF treatment of HT29 cells effectively induces apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, stalling cancer progression. A comparative transcriptome analysis of CPT-CEF-treated versus untreated HT29 cells indicated that genes controlling mismatch repair, base excision repair, and homologues recombination were downregulated in these cancer cells. Our study demonstrated that treatment with CPT-CEF alleviated this repression. We observed that CPT-CEF exerts its effect by possibly affecting the DNA repair mechanism through epigenetic modulation involving genes of HMGB1, APEX1, and POLE3. Hence, we propose that CPT-CEF could be a DNA repair modulator that harnesses the cell’s epigenomic plasticity to amend DNA repair deficiencies in cancer cells. Full article
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Review
CB1 Cannabinoid Receptor Signaling and Biased Signaling
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5413; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175413 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1622
Abstract
The CB1 cannabinoid receptor is a G-protein coupled receptor highly expressed throughout the central nervous system that is a promising target for the treatment of various disorders, including anxiety, pain, and neurodegeneration. Despite the wide therapeutic potential of CB1, the development of drug [...] Read more.
The CB1 cannabinoid receptor is a G-protein coupled receptor highly expressed throughout the central nervous system that is a promising target for the treatment of various disorders, including anxiety, pain, and neurodegeneration. Despite the wide therapeutic potential of CB1, the development of drug candidates is hindered by adverse effects, rapid tolerance development, and abuse potential. Ligands that produce biased signaling—the preferential activation of a signaling transducer in detriment of another—have been proposed as a strategy to dissociate therapeutic and adverse effects for a variety of G-protein coupled receptors. However, biased signaling at the CB1 receptor is poorly understood due to a lack of strongly biased agonists. Here, we review studies that have investigated the biased signaling profile of classical cannabinoid agonists and allosteric ligands, searching for a potential therapeutic advantage of CB1 biased signaling in different pathological states. Agonist and antagonist bound structures of CB1 and proposed mechanisms of action of biased allosteric modulators are used to discuss a putative molecular mechanism for CB1 receptor activation and biased signaling. Current studies suggest that allosteric binding sites on CB1 can be explored to yield biased ligands that favor or hinder conformational changes important for biased signaling. Full article
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Article
Metabolomic Profiling of Fresh Goji (Lycium barbarum L.) Berries from Two Cultivars Grown in Central Italy: A Multi-Methodological Approach
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5412; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175412 - 06 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1050
Abstract
The metabolite profile of fresh Goji berries from two cultivars, namely Big Lifeberry (BL) and Sweet Lifeberry (SL), grown in the Lazio region (Central Italy) and harvested at two different periods, August and October, corresponding at the beginning and the end of the [...] Read more.
The metabolite profile of fresh Goji berries from two cultivars, namely Big Lifeberry (BL) and Sweet Lifeberry (SL), grown in the Lazio region (Central Italy) and harvested at two different periods, August and October, corresponding at the beginning and the end of the maturation, was characterized by means of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electrospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (ESI FT-ICR MS) methodologies. Several classes of compounds such as sugars, amino acids, organic acids, fatty acids, polyphenols, and terpenes were identified and quantified in hydroalcoholic and organic Bligh-Dyer extracts. Sweet Lifeberry extracts were characterized by a higher content of sucrose with respect to the Big Lifeberry ones and high levels of amino acids (glycine, betaine, proline) were observed in SL berries harvested in October. Spectrophotometric analysis of chlorophylls and total carotenoids was also carried out, showing a decrease of carotenoids during the time. These results can be useful not only to valorize local products but also to suggest the best harvesting period to obtain a product with a chemical composition suitable for specific industrial use. Finally, preliminary studies regarding both the chemical characterization of Goji leaves generally considered a waste product, and the biological activity of Big Lifeberry berries extracts was also investigated. Goji leaves showed a chemical profile rich in healthy compounds (polyphenols, flavonoids, etc.) confirming their promising use in the supplements/nutraceutical/cosmetic field. MG63 cells treated with Big Lifeberry berries extracts showed a decrease of iNOS, COX-2, IL-6, and IL-8 expression indicating their significant biological activity. Full article
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Review
Challenges and Future Perspectives of Promising Biotechnologies for Lignocellulosic Biorefinery
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5411; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175411 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 984
Abstract
Lignocellulose is a kind of renewable bioresource containing abundant polysaccharides, which can be used for biochemicals and biofuels production. However, the complex structure hinders the final efficiency of lignocellulosic biorefinery. This review comprehensively summarizes the hydrolases and typical microorganisms for lignocellulosic degradation. Moreover, [...] Read more.
Lignocellulose is a kind of renewable bioresource containing abundant polysaccharides, which can be used for biochemicals and biofuels production. However, the complex structure hinders the final efficiency of lignocellulosic biorefinery. This review comprehensively summarizes the hydrolases and typical microorganisms for lignocellulosic degradation. Moreover, the commonly used bioprocesses for lignocellulosic biorefinery are also discussed, including separated hydrolysis and fermentation, simultaneous saccharification and fermentation and consolidated bioprocessing. Among these methods, construction of microbial co-culturing systems via consolidated bioprocessing is regarded as a potential strategy to efficiently produce biochemicals and biofuels, providing theoretical direction for constructing efficient and stable biorefinery process system in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioconversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass and Process Intensification)
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Article
Crystallographic and Spectroscopic Investigations on Oxidative Coordination in the Heteroleptic Mononuclear Complex of Cerium and Benzoxazine Dimer
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5410; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175410 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1333
Abstract
Among lanthanide-based compounds, cerium compounds exhibit a significant role in a variety of research fields due to their distinct tetravalency, high economic feasibility, and high stability of Ce(IV) complexes. Herein, a systematic investigation of crystallographic information, chemical properties, and mechanistic formation of the [...] Read more.
Among lanthanide-based compounds, cerium compounds exhibit a significant role in a variety of research fields due to their distinct tetravalency, high economic feasibility, and high stability of Ce(IV) complexes. Herein, a systematic investigation of crystallographic information, chemical properties, and mechanistic formation of the novel Ce(IV) complex synthesized from cerium(III) nitrate hexahydrate and 2,2′-(methylazanediyl)bis(methylene)bis(4-methylphenol) (MMD) ligand has been explored. According to the analysis of the crystallographic information, the obtained complex crystal consists of the Ce(IV) center coordinated with two nitrate ligands and two bidentate coordinated (N-protonated and O,O-deprotonated) MMD ligands. The fingerprint plots and the Hirshfeld surface analyses suggest that the C–H⋯O and C–H⋯π interactions significantly contribute to the crystal packing. The C–H⋯O and C–H⋯π contacts link the molecules into infinite molecular chains propagating along the [100] and [010] directions. Synchrotron powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) techniques have been employed to gain an understanding of the oxidative complexation of Ce(IV)-MMD complex in detail. This finding would provide the possibility to systematically control the synthetic parameters and wisely design the precursor components in order to achieve the desired properties of novel materials for specific applications. Full article
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Article
2-IPMA Ameliorates PM2.5-Induced Inflammation by Promoting Primary Ciliogenesis in RPE Cells
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5409; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175409 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1041
Abstract
Primary cilia mediate the interactions between cells and external stresses. Thus, dysregulation of primary cilia is implicated in various ciliopathies, e.g., degeneration of the retina caused by dysregulation of the photoreceptor primary cilium. Particulate matter (PM) can cause epithelium injury and endothelial dysfunction [...] Read more.
Primary cilia mediate the interactions between cells and external stresses. Thus, dysregulation of primary cilia is implicated in various ciliopathies, e.g., degeneration of the retina caused by dysregulation of the photoreceptor primary cilium. Particulate matter (PM) can cause epithelium injury and endothelial dysfunction by increasing oxidative stress and inflammatory responses. Previously, we showed that PM disrupts the formation of primary cilia in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. In the present study, we identified 2-isopropylmalic acid (2-IPMA) as a novel inducer of primary ciliogenesis from a metabolite library screening. Both ciliated cells and primary cilium length were increased in 2-IPMA-treated RPE cells. Notably, 2-IPMA strongly promoted primary ciliogenesis and restored PM2.5-induced dysgenesis of primary cilia in RPE cells. Both excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and activation of a stress kinase, JNK, by PM2.5 were reduced by 2-IPMA. Moreover, 2-IPMA inhibited proinflammatory cytokine production, i.e., IL-6 and TNF-α, induced by PM2.5 in RPE cells. Taken together, our data suggest that 2-IPMA ameliorates PM2.5-induced inflammation by promoting primary ciliogenesis in RPE cells. Full article
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Article
Protective Effect of Potentilla glabra in UVB-Induced Photoaging Process
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5408; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175408 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 888
Abstract
Maintaining skin homeostasis is one of the most important factors for skin health. UVB-induced skin photoaging is a difficult problem that has negative impacts on skin homeostasis. So far, a number of compounds have been discovered that improve human skin barrier function and [...] Read more.
Maintaining skin homeostasis is one of the most important factors for skin health. UVB-induced skin photoaging is a difficult problem that has negative impacts on skin homeostasis. So far, a number of compounds have been discovered that improve human skin barrier function and hydration, and are thought to be effective ways to protect skin homeostasis. Potentilla glabra var. mandshurica (Maxim.) Hand.-Mazz. Ethanol Extract (Pg-EE) is a compound that has noteworthy anti-inflammatory properties. However, its skin-protective effects are poorly understood. Therefore, we evaluated the capacity of Pg-EE to strengthen the skin barrier and improve skin hydration. Pg-EE can enhance the expression of filaggrin (FLG), transglutaminase (TGM)-1, hyaluronic acid synthase (HAS)-1, and HAS-2 in human keratinocytes. Moreover, Pg-EE down-regulated the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and up-regulated the production of FLG, HAS-1, and HAS-2 suppressed by UVB through inhibition of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathways. Given the above, since Pg-EE can improve skin barrier, hydration and reduce the UVB-induced inflammation on skin, it could therefore be a valuable natural ingredient for cosmetics or pharmaceuticals to treat skin disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for Cosmetic Applications)
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Article
Computational Identification of Dithymoquinone as a Potential Inhibitor of Myostatin and Regulator of Muscle Mass
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5407; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175407 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 790
Abstract
The skeletal muscle (SM) is the largest organ in the body and has tremendous regenerative power due to its myogenic stem cell population. Myostatin (MSTN), a protein produced by SM, is released into the bloodstream and is responsible for age-related reduced muscle fiber [...] Read more.
The skeletal muscle (SM) is the largest organ in the body and has tremendous regenerative power due to its myogenic stem cell population. Myostatin (MSTN), a protein produced by SM, is released into the bloodstream and is responsible for age-related reduced muscle fiber development. The objective of this study was to identify the natural compounds that inhibit MSTN with therapeutic potential for the management of age-related disorders, specifically muscle atrophy and sarcopenia. Sequential screening of 2000 natural compounds was performed, and dithymoquinone (DTQ) was found to inhibit MSTN with a binding free energy of −7.40 kcal/mol. Furthermore, the docking results showed that DTQ reduced the binding interaction between MSTN and its receptor, activin receptor type-2B (ActR2B). The global energy of MSTN-ActR2B was found to be reduced from −47.75 to −40.45 by DTQ. The stability of the DTQ–MSTN complex was subjected to a molecular dynamics analysis for up to 100 ns to check the stability of the complex using RMSD, RMSF, Rg, SASA, and H-bond number. The complex was found to be stable after 10 ns to the end of the simulation. These results suggest that DTQ blocks MSTN signaling through ActR2B and that it has potential use as a muscle growth-promoting agent during the aging process. Full article
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Article
Harnessing the Anti-Nociceptive Potential of NK2 and NK3 Ligands in the Design of New Multifunctional μ/δ-Opioid Agonist–Neurokinin Antagonist Peptidomimetics
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5406; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175406 - 06 Sep 2021
Viewed by 778
Abstract
Opioid agonists are well-established analgesics, widely prescribed for acute but also chronic pain. However, their efficiency comes with the price of drastically impacting side effects that are inherently linked to their prolonged use. To answer these liabilities, designed multiple ligands (DMLs) offer a [...] Read more.
Opioid agonists are well-established analgesics, widely prescribed for acute but also chronic pain. However, their efficiency comes with the price of drastically impacting side effects that are inherently linked to their prolonged use. To answer these liabilities, designed multiple ligands (DMLs) offer a promising strategy by co-targeting opioid and non-opioid signaling pathways involved in nociception. Despite being intimately linked to the Substance P (SP)/neurokinin 1 (NK1) system, which is broadly examined for pain treatment, the neurokinin receptors NK2 and NK3 have so far been neglected in such DMLs. Herein, a series of newly designed opioid agonist-NK2 or -NK3 antagonists is reported. A selection of reported peptidic, pseudo-peptidic, and non-peptide neurokinin NK2 and NK3 ligands were covalently linked to the peptidic μ-opioid selective pharmacophore Dmt-DALDA (H-Dmt-d-Arg-Phe-Lys-NH2) and the dual μ/δ opioid agonist H-Dmt-d-Arg-Aba-βAla-NH2 (KGOP01). Opioid binding assays unequivocally demonstrated that only hybrids SBL-OPNK-5, SBL-OPNK-7 and SBL-OPNK-9, bearing the KGOP01 scaffold, conserved nanomolar range μ-opioid receptor (MOR) affinity, and slightly reduced affinity for the δ-opioid receptor (DOR). Moreover, NK binding experiments proved that compounds SBL-OPNK-5, SBL-OPNK-7, and SBL-OPNK-9 exhibited (sub)nanomolar binding affinity for NK2 and NK3, opening promising opportunities for the design of next-generation opioid hybrids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Themed Issue Dedicated to Professor Victor Hruby)
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Review
A Review of the Health Protective Effects of Phenolic Acids against a Range of Severe Pathologic Conditions (Including Coronavirus-Based Infections)
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5405; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175405 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1281
Abstract
Phenolic acids comprise a class of phytochemical compounds that can be extracted from various plant sources and are well known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A few of the most common naturally occurring phenolic acids (i.e., caffeic, carnosic, ferulic, gallic, p-coumaric, rosmarinic, [...] Read more.
Phenolic acids comprise a class of phytochemical compounds that can be extracted from various plant sources and are well known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A few of the most common naturally occurring phenolic acids (i.e., caffeic, carnosic, ferulic, gallic, p-coumaric, rosmarinic, vanillic) have been identified as ingredients of edible botanicals (thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, mint, etc.). Over the last decade, clinical research has focused on a number of in vitro (in human cells) and in vivo (animal) studies aimed at exploring the health protective effects of phenolic acids against the most severe human diseases. In this review paper, the authors first report on the main structural features of phenolic acids, their most important natural sources and their extraction techniques. Subsequently, the main target of this analysis is to provide an overview of the most recent clinical studies on phenolic acids that investigate their health effects against a range of severe pathologic conditions (e.g., cancer, cardiovascular diseases, hepatotoxicity, neurotoxicity, and viral infections—including coronaviruses-based ones). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds on Health and Disease)
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Article
Identification of the Primary Structure of Selenium-Containing Polysaccharides Selectively Inhibiting T-Cell Proliferation
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5404; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175404 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 926
Abstract
We previously described the biosynthesis, isolation, and immunosuppressive activity of the selenium-containing polysaccharide fraction isolated from the mycelial culture of Lentinula edodes. Structural studies have shown that the fraction was a protein-containing mixture of high molar mass polysaccharides α- and β-glucans. However, [...] Read more.
We previously described the biosynthesis, isolation, and immunosuppressive activity of the selenium-containing polysaccharide fraction isolated from the mycelial culture of Lentinula edodes. Structural studies have shown that the fraction was a protein-containing mixture of high molar mass polysaccharides α- and β-glucans. However, which of the components of the complex fraction is responsible for the immunosuppressive activity non-typical for polysaccharides of fungal origin has not been explained. In the current study, we defined four-polysaccharide components of the Se-containing polysaccharide fraction determined their primary structure and examined the effect on T- and B-cell proliferation. The isolated Se-polysaccharides, α-1,4-glucan (Mw 2.25 × 106 g/mol), unbranched β-1,6-d-glucan, unbranched β-1,3-d-glucan and β-1,3-branched β-1,6-d-glucan (Mw 1.10 × 105 g/mol), are not typical as components of the cell wall of L. edodes. All are biologically active, but the inhibitory effect of the isolated polysaccharides on lymphocyte proliferation was weaker, though more selective than that of the crude fraction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Isolation, Identification and Applications of Polysaccharides)
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Article
The Structural and Dynamical Properties of the Hydration of SNase Based on a Molecular Dynamics Simulation
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5403; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175403 - 05 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 874
Abstract
The dynamics of protein–water fluctuations are of biological significance. Molecular dynamics simulations were performed in order to explore the hydration dynamics of staphylococcal nuclease (SNase) at different temperatures and mutation levels. A dynamical transition in hydration water (at ~210 K) can trigger larger-amplitude [...] Read more.
The dynamics of protein–water fluctuations are of biological significance. Molecular dynamics simulations were performed in order to explore the hydration dynamics of staphylococcal nuclease (SNase) at different temperatures and mutation levels. A dynamical transition in hydration water (at ~210 K) can trigger larger-amplitude fluctuations of protein. The protein–water hydrogen bonds lost about 40% in the total change from 150 K to 210 K, while the Mean Square Displacement increased by little. The protein was activated when the hydration water in local had a comparable trend in making hydrogen bonds with protein– and other waters. The mutations changed the local chemical properties and the hydration exhibited a biphasic distribution, with two time scales. Hydrogen bonding relaxation governed the local protein fluctuations on the picosecond time scale, with the fastest time (24.9 ps) at the hydrophobic site and slowest time (40.4 ps) in the charged environment. The protein dynamic was related to the water’s translational diffusion via the relaxation of the protein–water’s H-bonding. The structural and dynamical properties of protein–water at the molecular level are fundamental to the physiological and functional mechanisms of SNase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Dynamics Simulations: Advances and Applications)
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Article
In Vitro Evaluation of Antibacterial and Antifungal Activity of Biogenic Silver and Copper Nanoparticles: The First Report of Applying Biogenic Nanoparticles against Pilidium concavum and Pestalotia sp. Fungi
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5402; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175402 - 05 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1043
Abstract
There is increased attention paid to metallic nanoparticles due to their intensive use in various branches of agriculture and biotechnology, such as pest management, nanosensors, gene delivery, seed treatment, etc. There has been growing interest in applying environmentally friendly strategies for synthesizing nanoparticles [...] Read more.
There is increased attention paid to metallic nanoparticles due to their intensive use in various branches of agriculture and biotechnology, such as pest management, nanosensors, gene delivery, seed treatment, etc. There has been growing interest in applying environmentally friendly strategies for synthesizing nanoparticles without using substances which are hazardous to the environment. Biological practices for the synthesis of nanoparticles have been considered as possible ecofriendly alternatives to chemical synthesis. In the present study, we used biogenic silver and copper nanoparticles which were prepared by a previously reported green method. Moreover, the problem of chemical residues, which usually remain along with chemically synthesized nanoparticles and limit their application, was solved by developing such a green synthesis approach. To study the antibacterial activity of silver and copper nanoparticles, Pseudomonas aeruginosa was used; for the evaluation of antifungal activity, the pathogenic fungi Botrytis cinerea, Pilidium concavum and Pestalotia sp. were applied. To the best of our knowledge, this study represents the first time that the antifungal impact of a nanoparticle has been tested on Pilidium concavum and Pestalotia sp. Silver nanoparticles were found to be the more effective antimicrobial agent against all examined pathogens in comparison to copper nanoparticles. Data from such investigations provide valuable preliminary data on silver nanoparticle-based compounds or composites for use in the management of different pathogens. Full article
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Article
Biflavonoids from Selaginella doederleinii as Potential Antitumor Agents for Intervention of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5401; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175401 - 05 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1115
Abstract
Four new biflavonoids (14) were isolated from Selaginella doederleinii together with a known biflavonoid derivative (5). Their structures contained a rare linker of individual flavones to each other by direct C-3-O-C-4′′′ bonds, and were elucidated by extensive [...] Read more.
Four new biflavonoids (14) were isolated from Selaginella doederleinii together with a known biflavonoid derivative (5). Their structures contained a rare linker of individual flavones to each other by direct C-3-O-C-4′′′ bonds, and were elucidated by extensive spectroscopic data, including HRESIMS, NMR and ECD data. All isolates significantly inhibited the proliferation of NSCLC cells (IC50 = 2.3–8.4 μM) with low toxicity to non-cancer MRC-5 cells, superior to the clinically used drug DDP. Furthermore, the most active compound 3 suppressed XIAP and survivin expression, promoted upregulation of caspase-3/cleaved-caspase-3, as well as induced cell apoptosis and cycle arrest in A549 cells. Together, our findings suggest that 3 may be worth studying further for intervention of NSCLC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Product Chemistry in China)
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Article
Synthesis, Crystal Structure, and Luminescence of Cadmium(II) and Silver(I) Coordination Polymers Based on 1,3-Bis(1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)adamantane
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5400; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175400 - 05 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 969
Abstract
Coordination polymers with a new rigid ligand 1,3-bis(1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)adamantane (L) were prepared by its reaction with cadmium(II) or silver(I) nitrates. Crystal structure of the coordination polymers was determined using single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis. Silver formed two-dimensional coordination polymer [Ag(L)NO3]n, in [...] Read more.
Coordination polymers with a new rigid ligand 1,3-bis(1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)adamantane (L) were prepared by its reaction with cadmium(II) or silver(I) nitrates. Crystal structure of the coordination polymers was determined using single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis. Silver formed two-dimensional coordination polymer [Ag(L)NO3]n, in which metal ions are linked by 1,3-bis(1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)adamantane ligands, coordinated by nitrogen atoms at positions 2 and 4 of 1,2,4-triazole rings. Layers of the coordination polymer consist of rare 18- and 30-membered {Ag2L2} and {Ag4L4} metallocycles. Cadmium(II) nitrate formed two kinds of one-dimensional coordination polymers depending on the metal-to-ligand ratio used in the synthesis. Coordination polymer [Cd(L)2(NO3)2]n was obtained in case of a 1:2 M:L ratio, while for M:L = 2:1 product {[Cd(L)(NO3)2(CH3OH)]·0.5CH3OH}n was isolated. All coordination polymers demonstrated ligand-centered emission near 450 nm upon excitation at 370 nm. Full article
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Article
Effects of Angiotensin II on Erythropoietin Production in the Kidney and Liver
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5399; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175399 - 05 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 942
Abstract
The kidney is a main site of erythropoietin production in the body. We developed a new method for the detection of Epo protein by deglycosylation-coupled Western blotting. Detection of deglycosylated Epo enables the examination of small changes in Epo production. Using this method, [...] Read more.
The kidney is a main site of erythropoietin production in the body. We developed a new method for the detection of Epo protein by deglycosylation-coupled Western blotting. Detection of deglycosylated Epo enables the examination of small changes in Epo production. Using this method, we investigated the effects of angiotensin II (ATII) on Epo production in the kidney. ATII stimulated the plasma Epo concentration; Epo, HIF2α, and PHD2 mRNA expression in nephron segments in the renal cortex and outer medulla; and Epo protein expression in the renal cortex. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry revealed that ATII stimulates Epo mRNA and protein expression not only in proximal tubules but also in collecting ducts, especially in intercalated cells. These data support the regulation of Epo production in the kidney by the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAS). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Protein Glycosylation)
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Article
A Stability-Indicating Ultra Performance Liquid Chromato-Graphic (UPLC) Method for the Determination of a Mycophenolic Acid-Curcumin Conjugate and Its Applications to Chemical Kinetic Studies
Molecules 2021, 26(17), 5398; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26175398 - 05 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 773
Abstract
A simple, precise, and accurate reversed-phase ultra-performance liquid chromatographic (UPLC) method was developed and validated for the determination of a mycophenolic acid-curcumin (MPA-CUR) conjugate in buffer solutions. Chromatographic separation was performed on a C18 column (2.1 × 50 mm id, 1.7 µm) with [...] Read more.
A simple, precise, and accurate reversed-phase ultra-performance liquid chromatographic (UPLC) method was developed and validated for the determination of a mycophenolic acid-curcumin (MPA-CUR) conjugate in buffer solutions. Chromatographic separation was performed on a C18 column (2.1 × 50 mm id, 1.7 µm) with a gradient elution system of water and acetonitrile, each containing 0.1% formic acid, at a flow rate of 0.6 mL/min. The column temperature was controlled at 33 °C. The compounds were detected simultaneously at the maximum wavelengths of mycophenolic acid (MPA), 254 nm, and curcumin (CUR), or MPA-CUR, at 420 nm. The developed method was validated according to the ICH Q2(R1) guidelines. The linear calibration curves of the assay ranged from 0.10 to 25 μg/mL (r2 ≥ 0.995, 1/x2 weighting factor), with a limit of detection and a limit of quantitation of 0.04 and 0.10 μg/mL, respectively. The accuracy and precision of the developed method were 98.4–101.6%, with %CV < 2.53%. The main impurities from the specificity test were found to be MPA and CUR. Other validation parameters, including robustness and solution stability, were acceptable under the validation criteria. Forced degradation studies were conducted under hydrolytic (acidic and alkaline), oxidative, thermal, and photolytic stress conditions. MPA-CUR was well separated from MPA, CUR, and other unknown degradation products. The validated method was successfully applied in chemical kinetic studies of MPA-CUR in different buffer solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chromatographic Science of Natural Products II)
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