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Molecules, Volume 26, Issue 21 (November-1 2021) – 431 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Phosphate and sulfate ions pose a substantial risk to aquatic life. Further, recovery of phosphorous is a vital challenge as it is a finite resource and is indispensable for agriculture. Thus, efficient removal and recovery is essential for aqueous ecosystems and the economy. Poly(melamine-co-formaldehyde) (PMF) with its high chemical resistance and its high amount of nitrogen functionalities represents an ideal adsorbent material. Here, PMF was synthesized in the form of mesoporous particles yielding specific surface areas up to 409 m2/g. Different amounts of silica nanospheres were utilized as a hard template. The obtained porous PMF particles achieved extremely high adsorption capacities for sulfate and phosphate ions. Selective adsorption of sulfate was achieved for hybrid SiO2 PMF particles.
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Review
3-Phenylcoumarins as a Privileged Scaffold in Medicinal Chemistry: The Landmarks of the Past Decade
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6755; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216755 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 431
Abstract
3-Phenylcoumarins are a family of heterocyclic molecules that are widely used in both organic and medicinal chemistry. In this overview, research on this scaffold, since 2010, is included and discussed, focusing on aspects related to its natural origin, synthetic procedures and pharmacological applications. [...] Read more.
3-Phenylcoumarins are a family of heterocyclic molecules that are widely used in both organic and medicinal chemistry. In this overview, research on this scaffold, since 2010, is included and discussed, focusing on aspects related to its natural origin, synthetic procedures and pharmacological applications. This review paper is based on the most relevant literature related to the role of 3-phenylcoumarins in the design of new drug candidates. The references presented in this review have been collected from multiple electronic databases, including SciFinder, Pubmed and Mendeley. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecules Medicinal Chemistry Reviews 2021)
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Article
Organosolv Fractionation of Birch Sawdust: Establishing a Lignin-First Biorefinery
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6754; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216754 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 369
Abstract
The use of residual biomass for bioconversions makes it possible to decrease the output of fossil-based chemicals and pursue a greener economy. While the use of lignocellulosic material as sustainable feedstock has been tried at pilot scale, industrial production is not yet economically [...] Read more.
The use of residual biomass for bioconversions makes it possible to decrease the output of fossil-based chemicals and pursue a greener economy. While the use of lignocellulosic material as sustainable feedstock has been tried at pilot scale, industrial production is not yet economically feasible, requiring further technology and feedstock optimization. The aim of this study was to examine the feasibility of replacing woodchips with residual sawdust in biorefinery applications. Woodchips can be used in value-added processes such as paper pulp production, whereas sawdust is currently used mainly for combustion. The main advantages of sawdust are its large supply and a particle size sufficiently small for the pretreatment process. Whereas, the main challenge is the higher complexity of the lignocellulosic biomass, as it can contain small amounts of bark and cambium. Here, we studied the fractionation of birch sawdust by organosolv pretreatment at two different temperatures and for two different durations. We evaluated the efficiency of fractionation into the three main fractions: lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose. The cellulose content in pretreated biomass was as high as 69.2%, which was nearly double the amount in untreated biomass. The obtained lignin was of high purity, with a maximum 4.5% of contaminating sugars. Subsequent evaluation of the susceptibility of pretreated solids to enzymatic saccharification revealed glucose yields ranging from 75% to 90% after 48 h but reaching 100.0% under the best conditions. In summary, birch sawdust can be successfully utilized as a feedstock for organosolv fractionation and replace woodchips to simplify and lower the costs of biorefinery processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Efficient Technology for the Pretreatment of Biomass III)
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Article
Determination of Metallic Impurities by ICP-MS Technique in Eyeshadows Purchased in Poland. Part I
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6753; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216753 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 426
Abstract
Eye shadows, which are products willingly and frequently used by women and even children, have been reported in literature to contain toxic metals. In this work, a total of 94 eye shadows samples available on the Polish market were collected. Eye shadow products [...] Read more.
Eye shadows, which are products willingly and frequently used by women and even children, have been reported in literature to contain toxic metals. In this work, a total of 94 eye shadows samples available on the Polish market were collected. Eye shadow products have been selected in order to include several parameters important from the point of view of the typical consumer such as: product type (mat/pearl), consumer group (for adults and children), price range (very cheap, medium price, expensive and very expensive), color (twelve different colors were tested), manufacturer (eight brands were investigated) or country of production (four countries were included). The concentration of selected metals (Ag, Ba, Bi, Cd, Pb, Sr, Tl) was determined by ICP-MS technique after the sample extraction with a mixture of nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide in a microwave closed system. For Ag, Cd and Tl, some results were below the established limit of quantification for the employed technique. The presence of strontium, barium, lead and bismuth was confirmed in all studied samples. The obtained results for analyzed elements were, in general, quite comparable with the data reported by other authors. A small number of samples exceeding the permissible values (two samples were beyond the limit value for Cd of 0.5 mg/kg and one exceed the acceptable concentration for Pb of 10 mg/kg) also proves a relatively good condition of the Polish cosmetics market and suggests insubstantial risk for the potential consumers. The results gathered for some of the eye shadows intended for children turned out to be alarmingly high, in particular for elements such as Cd. The highest concentration of Cd reached almost 4 mg/kg, while of Pb amounted to 16 mg/kg. The presence of the statistically significant differences was confirmed for all included parameters with an exception of the color of the eye shadow. Considering the results acquired only for Cd and Pb with respect to the country of origin, the least contaminated cosmetics by metallic impurities seem to be the one produced in Canada, while the ones presenting the highest health risk among all studied eye shadows are make-up cosmetics originating from Poland and Italy. Multivariate analysis of a large data set using CA methods and PCA provided valuable information on dependencies between variables and objects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planet Contamination with Chemical Compounds)
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Article
Attenuative Effects of Fluoxetine and Triticum aestivum against Aluminum-Induced Alzheimer’s Disease in Rats: The Possible Consequences on Hepatotoxicity and Nephrotoxicity
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6752; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216752 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 402
Abstract
Background: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a chronic neurological illness that causes considerable cognitive impairment. Hepatic and renal dysfunction may worsen AD by disrupting β-amyloid homeostasis at the periphery and by causing metabolic dysfunction. Wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum) has been shown to have antioxidant and [...] Read more.
Background: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a chronic neurological illness that causes considerable cognitive impairment. Hepatic and renal dysfunction may worsen AD by disrupting β-amyloid homeostasis at the periphery and by causing metabolic dysfunction. Wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum) has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This work aims to study the effect of aluminum on neuronal cells, its consequences on the liver and kidneys, and the possible role of fluoxetine and wheatgrass juice in attenuating these pathological conditions. Method: Rats were divided into five groups. Control, AD (AlCl3), Fluoxetine (Fluoxetine and AlCl3), Wheatgrass (Wheatgrass and AlCl3), and combination group (fluoxetine, wheatgrass, and AlCl3). All groups were assigned daily to different treatments for five weeks. Conclusions: AlCl3 elevated liver and kidney enzymes, over-production of oxidative stress, and inflammatory markers. Besides, accumulation of tau protein and Aβ, the elevation of ACHE and GSK-3β, down-regulation of BDNF, and β–catenin expression in the brain. Histopathological examinations of the liver, kidney, and brain confirmed this toxicity, while treating AD groups with fluoxetine, wheatgrass, or a combination alleviates toxic insults. Conclusion: Fluoxetine and wheatgrass combination demonstrated a more significant neuroprotective impact in treating AD than fluoxetine alone and has protective effects on liver and kidney tissues. Full article
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Article
Organocatalytic Asymmetric [2 + 4] Cycloadditions of 3-Vinylindoles with ortho-Quinone Methides
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6751; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216751 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 325
Abstract
Catalytic asymmetric [2 + 4] cycloadditions of 3-vinylindoles with ortho-quinone methides and their precursors were carried out in the presence of chiral phosphoric acid to afford a series of indole-containing chroman derivatives with structural diversity in overall high yields (up to 98%), [...] Read more.
Catalytic asymmetric [2 + 4] cycloadditions of 3-vinylindoles with ortho-quinone methides and their precursors were carried out in the presence of chiral phosphoric acid to afford a series of indole-containing chroman derivatives with structural diversity in overall high yields (up to 98%), good diastereoselectivities (up to 93:7 dr) and moderate to excellent enantioselectivities (up to 98% ee). This approach not only enriches the chemistry of catalytic asymmetric cycloadditions involving 3-vinylindoles but is also useful for synthesizing chiral chroman derivatives. Full article
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Article
Based on Multi-Activity Integrated Strategy to Screening, Characterization and Quantification of Bioactive Compounds from Red Wine
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6750; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216750 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 336
Abstract
According to French Paradox, red wine was famous for the potential effects on coronary heart disease (CHD), but the specific compounds against CHD were unclear. Therefore, screening and characterization of bioactive compounds from red wine was extremely necessary. In this paper, the multi-activity [...] Read more.
According to French Paradox, red wine was famous for the potential effects on coronary heart disease (CHD), but the specific compounds against CHD were unclear. Therefore, screening and characterization of bioactive compounds from red wine was extremely necessary. In this paper, the multi-activity integrated strategy was developed and validated to screen, identify and quantify active compounds from red wine by using ultra high performance liquid chromatography-fraction collector (UHPLC-FC), ultra fast liquid chromatography-quadrupole-time-of-flight/mass spectrometry (UFLC-Q-TOF/MS) and bioactive analysis. UHPLC-FC was employed to separate and collect the components from red wine, which was further identified by UFLC-Q-TOF/MS to acquire their structural information. Furthermore, the active fractions were tested for antioxidant activity, inhibitory activity against thrombin and lipase activities in vitro by the activity screening kit. As the results, there were 37 fractions had antioxidant activity, 22 fractions had thrombin inhibitory activity and 28 fractions had lipase inhibitory activity. Finally, 77 active components from red wine were screened and 12 ingredients out of them were selected for quantification based on the integration of multi-activity. Collectively, the multi-activity integrated strategy was helpful for the rapid and effective discovery of bioactive components, which provided reference for exploring the health care function of food. Full article
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Article
Eucalyptus gunnii and Eucalyptus pulverulenta ‘Baby Blue’ Essential Oils as Potential Natural Herbicides
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6749; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216749 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 293
Abstract
The phytotoxicity and eco-compatibility of essential oils (EOs) from Eucalyptus gunnii (EG) and E. pulverulenta ‘Baby Blue’ (EP), cultivated in Italy for their cut foliage, were investigated. Leaf micromorphology, EOs phytochemical characterization, and phytotoxicity were analysed. EP revealed a significantly higher oil gland [...] Read more.
The phytotoxicity and eco-compatibility of essential oils (EOs) from Eucalyptus gunnii (EG) and E. pulverulenta ‘Baby Blue’ (EP), cultivated in Italy for their cut foliage, were investigated. Leaf micromorphology, EOs phytochemical characterization, and phytotoxicity were analysed. EP revealed a significantly higher oil gland density and a higher EO yield with respect to EG. In both EOs, 1,8-cineole was the major compound (~75%), followed by α-pinene in EG (13.1%) and eugenol in EP (7.5%). EO phytotoxicity was tested on both weeds (Lolium multiflorum, Portulaca oleracea) and crops (Raphanus sativus, Lactuca sativa, Lepidium sativum, Solanum lycopersicum, Pisum sativum, Cucumis sativus). EG EO inhibited germination of P. oleracea, R. sativus, and S. lycopersicum seeds (ranging from 61.5 to 94.6% for the higher dose used), while affecting only radical elongation in S. lycopersicum (ranging from 66.7 to 82.6%). EP EO inhibited germination of P. oleracea and R. sativus (ranging from 41.3 to 74.7%) and affected radical elongation of L. sativum and L. multiflorum (ranging from 57.4 to 76.0%). None of the EOs affected the germination and radical growing of L. sativa, P. sativum, and C. sativus. Moreover, EP EO was more active than EG EO in inhibiting α-amylase, a key enzyme for seed growth regulation. Brine shrimp lethality assay showed that both EOs are safe for aquatic organisms, suggesting their high eco-compatibility. The data collected provide useful information for future applications of these EOs in agriculture as safe and selective bioherbicides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils 2021)
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Article
Evaluation of the Membrane Damage Mechanism of Chlorogenic Acid against Yersinia enterocolitica and Enterobacter sakazakii and Its Application in the Preservation of Raw Pork and Skim Milk
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6748; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216748 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 267
Abstract
Plant-derived antimicrobial agents have adequate antimicrobial effects on food-borne pathogens, which can be used as food preservatives. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antibacterial mechanism of chlorogenic acid (CA) against Yersinia enterocolitica and Enterobacter sakazakii. The minimum inhibitory concentration [...] Read more.
Plant-derived antimicrobial agents have adequate antimicrobial effects on food-borne pathogens, which can be used as food preservatives. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antibacterial mechanism of chlorogenic acid (CA) against Yersinia enterocolitica and Enterobacter sakazakii. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of CA was determined by employing the broth microdilution method. Then, the cell function and morphological changes of Y. enterocolitica and E. sakazakii treated with CA were characterized. Finally, the growth inhibition models of Y. enterocolitica in raw pork and E. sakazakii in skim milk were constructed through the response surface methodology. The results demonstrated that CA has a satisfactory inhibitory effect against Y. enterocolitica and E. sakazakii with a MIC of 2.5 mg/mL. In addition, CA inhibited the growth of Y. enterocolitica and E. sakazakii via cell membrane damage, such as depolarization of the cell membrane, reduction in intracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and pH levels, and destruction of cell morphology. Moreover, CA reduced two log cycles of Y. enterocolitica in raw pork and E. sakazakii in skim milk at a certain temperature. According to the corresponding findings, CA has the potential to be developed as an effective preservative to control Y. enterocolitica and E. sakazakii-associated foodborne diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
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Article
Synthesis and Antiproliferative Activity of 2,4,6,7-Tetrasubstituted-2H-pyrazolo[4,3-c]pyridines
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6747; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216747 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 398
Abstract
A library of 2,4,6,7-tetrasubstituted-2H-pyrazolo[4,3-c]pyridines was prepared from easily accessible 1-phenyl-3-(2-phenylethynyl)-1H-pyrazole-4-carbaldehyde via an iodine-mediated electrophilic cyclization of intermediate 4-(azidomethyl)-1-phenyl-3-(phenylethynyl)-1H-pyrazoles to 7-iodo-2,6-diphenyl-2H-pyrazolo[4,3-c]pyridines followed by Suzuki cross-couplings with various boronic acids and alkylation reactions. [...] Read more.
A library of 2,4,6,7-tetrasubstituted-2H-pyrazolo[4,3-c]pyridines was prepared from easily accessible 1-phenyl-3-(2-phenylethynyl)-1H-pyrazole-4-carbaldehyde via an iodine-mediated electrophilic cyclization of intermediate 4-(azidomethyl)-1-phenyl-3-(phenylethynyl)-1H-pyrazoles to 7-iodo-2,6-diphenyl-2H-pyrazolo[4,3-c]pyridines followed by Suzuki cross-couplings with various boronic acids and alkylation reactions. The compounds were evaluated for their antiproliferative activity against K562, MV4-11, and MCF-7 cancer cell lines. The most potent compounds displayed low micromolar GI50 values. 4-(2,6-Diphenyl-2H-pyrazolo[4,3-c]pyridin-7-yl)phenol proved to be the most active, induced poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1) cleavage, activated the initiator enzyme of apoptotic cascade caspase 9, induced a fragmentation of microtubule-associated protein 1-light chain 3 (LC3), and reduced the expression levels of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). The obtained results suggest a complex action of 4-(2,6-diphenyl-2H-pyrazolo[4,3-c]pyridin-7-yl)phenol that combines antiproliferative effects with the induction of cell death. Moreover, investigations of the fluorescence properties of the final compounds revealed 7-(4-methoxyphenyl)-2,6-diphenyl-2H-pyrazolo[4,3-c]pyridine as the most potent pH indicator that enables both fluorescence intensity-based and ratiometric pH sensing. Full article
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Article
Biosynthesis of Tetrapyrrole Cofactors by Bacterial Community Inhabiting Porphyrine-Containing Shale Rock (Fore-Sudetic Monocline)
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6746; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216746 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 275
Abstract
This study describes for the first time the comprehensive characterization of tetrapyrrole cofactor biosynthetic pathways developed for bacterial community (BC) inhabiting shale rock. Based on the genomic and proteomic metadata, we have detailed the biosynthesis of siroheme, heme, cobalamin, and the major precursor [...] Read more.
This study describes for the first time the comprehensive characterization of tetrapyrrole cofactor biosynthetic pathways developed for bacterial community (BC) inhabiting shale rock. Based on the genomic and proteomic metadata, we have detailed the biosynthesis of siroheme, heme, cobalamin, and the major precursor uroporphyrinogen III by a deep BC living on a rock containing sedimentary tetrapyrrole compounds. The obtained results showed the presence of incomplete heme and cobalamin biosynthesis pathways in the studied BC. At the same time, the production of proteins containing these cofactors, such as cytochromes, catalases and sulfite reductase, was observed. The results obtained are crucial for understanding the ecology of bacteria inhabiting shale rock, as well as their metabolism and potential impact on the biogeochemistry of these rocks. Based on the findings, we hypothesize that the bacteria may use primary or modified sedimentary porphyrins and their degradation products as precursors for synthesizing tetrapyrrole cofactors. Experimental testing of this hypothesis is of course necessary, but its evidence would point to an important and unique phenomenon of the tetrapyrrole ring cycle on Earth involving bacteria. Full article
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Review
Roles of the 2-Oxoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase Superfamily in the Flavonoid Pathway: A Review of the Functional Diversity of F3H, FNS I, FLS, and LDOX/ANS
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6745; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216745 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 310
Abstract
The 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase (2-OGD) superfamily is one of the largest protein families in plants. The main oxidation reactions they catalyze in plants are hydroxylation, desaturation, demethylation, epimerization, and halogenation. Four members of the 2-OGD superfamily, i.e., flavonone 3β-hydroxylase (F3H), flavones synthase I (FNS [...] Read more.
The 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase (2-OGD) superfamily is one of the largest protein families in plants. The main oxidation reactions they catalyze in plants are hydroxylation, desaturation, demethylation, epimerization, and halogenation. Four members of the 2-OGD superfamily, i.e., flavonone 3β-hydroxylase (F3H), flavones synthase I (FNS I), flavonol synthase (FLS), and anthocyanidin synthase (ANS)/leucoanthocyanidin dioxygenase (LDOX), are present in the flavonoid pathway, catalyzing hydroxylation and desaturation reactions. In this review, we summarize the recent research progress on these proteins, from the discovery of their enzymatic activity, to their functional verification, to the analysis of the response they mediate in plants towards adversity. Substrate diversity analysis indicated that F3H, FNS Ⅰ, ANS/LDOX, and FLS perform their respective dominant functions in the flavonoid pathway, despite the presence of functional redundancy among them. The phylogenetic tree classified two types of FNS Ⅰ, one mainly performing FNS activity, and the other, a new type of FNS present in angiosperms, mainly involved in C-5 hydroxylation of SA. Additionally, a new class of LDOXs is highlighted, which can catalyze the conversion of (+)-catechin to cyanidin, further influencing the starter and extension unit composition of proanthocyanidins (PAs). The systematical description of the functional diversity and evolutionary relationship among these enzymes can facilitate the understanding of their impacts on plant metabolism. On the other hand, it provides molecular genetic evidence of the chemical evolution of flavonoids from lower to higher plants, promoting plant adaptation to harsh environments. Full article
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Article
Characterization of the Trans-Epithelial Transport of Green Tea (C. sinensis) Catechin Extracts with In Vitro Inhibitory Effect against the SARS-CoV-2 Papain-like Protease Activity
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6744; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216744 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 352
Abstract
This work describes an untargeted analytical approach for the screening, identification, and characterization of the trans-epithelial transport of green tea (Camellia sinensis) catechin extracts with in vitro inhibitory effect against the SARS-CoV-2 papain-like protease (PLpro) activity. After specific catechin extraction, a [...] Read more.
This work describes an untargeted analytical approach for the screening, identification, and characterization of the trans-epithelial transport of green tea (Camellia sinensis) catechin extracts with in vitro inhibitory effect against the SARS-CoV-2 papain-like protease (PLpro) activity. After specific catechin extraction, a chromatographic separation obtained six fractions were carried out. The fractions were assessed in vitro against the PLpro target. Fraction 5 showed the highest inhibitory activity against the SARS-CoV-2 PLpro (IC50 of 0.125 μg mL−1). The untargeted characterization revealed that (−)-epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG) was the most abundant compound in the fraction and the primary molecule absorbed by differentiated Caco-2 cells. Results indicated that fraction 5 was approximately 10 times more active than ECG (IC50 value equal to 11.62 ± 0.47 μg mL−1) to inhibit the PLpro target. Overall, our findings highlight the synergistic effects of the various components of the crude extract compared to isolated ECG. Full article
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Article
Cell Culture Characterization of Prooxidative Chain-Transfer Agents as Novel Cytostatic Drugs
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6743; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216743 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 367
Abstract
Prooxidative therapy is a well-established concept in infectiology and parasitology, in which prooxidative drugs like artemisinin and metronidazole play a pivotal clinical role. Theoretical considerations and earlier studies have indicated that prooxidative therapy might also represent a promising strategy in oncology. Here, we [...] Read more.
Prooxidative therapy is a well-established concept in infectiology and parasitology, in which prooxidative drugs like artemisinin and metronidazole play a pivotal clinical role. Theoretical considerations and earlier studies have indicated that prooxidative therapy might also represent a promising strategy in oncology. Here, we have investigated a novel class of prooxidative drugs, namely chain-transfer agents, as cytostatic agents in a series of human tumor cell lines in vitro. We have found that different chain-transfer agents of the lipophilic thiol class (like dodecane-1-thiol) elicited half-maximal effective concentrations in the low micromolar range in SY5Y cells (human neuroblastoma), Hela cells (human cervical carcinoma), HEK293 cells (immortalized human kidney), MCF7 cells (human breast carcinoma), and C2C12 cells (mouse myoblast). In contrast, HepG2 cells (human hepatocellular carcinoma) were resistant to toxicity, presumably through their high detoxification capacity for thiol groups. Cytotoxicity was undiminished by hypoxic culture conditions, but substantially lowered after cellular differentiation. Compared to four disparate, clinically used reference compounds in vitro (doxorubicin, actinomycin D, 5-fluorouracil, and hydroxyurea), chain-transfer agents emerged as comparably potent on a molar basis and on a maximum-effect basis. Our results indicate that chain-transfer agents possess a promising baseline profile as cytostatic drugs and should be explored further for anti-tumor chemotherapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Redox Active Molecules in Cancer Treatments)
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Article
Structural Optimization and Biological Activity of Pyrazole Derivatives: Virtual Computational Analysis, Recovery Assay and 3D Culture Model as Potential Predictive Tools of Effectiveness against Trypanosoma cruzi
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6742; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216742 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 302
Abstract
Chagas disease, a chronic and silent disease caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, is currently a global public health problem. The treatment of this neglected disease relies on benznidazole and nifurtimox, two nitroheterocyclic drugs that show limited efficacy and severe side effects. The failure [...] Read more.
Chagas disease, a chronic and silent disease caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, is currently a global public health problem. The treatment of this neglected disease relies on benznidazole and nifurtimox, two nitroheterocyclic drugs that show limited efficacy and severe side effects. The failure of potential drug candidates in Chagas disease clinical trials highlighted the urgent need to identify new effective chemical entities and more predictive tools to improve translational success in the drug development pipeline. In this study, we designed a small library of pyrazole derivatives (44 analogs) based on a hit compound, previously identified as a T. cruzi cysteine protease inhibitor. The in vitro phenotypic screening revealed compounds 3g, 3j, and 3m as promising candidates, with IC50 values of 6.09 ± 0.52, 2.75 ± 0.62, and 3.58 ± 0.25 µM, respectively, against intracellular amastigotes. All pyrazole derivatives have good oral bioavailability prediction. The structure–activity relationship (SAR) analysis revealed increased potency of 1-aryl-1H-pyrazole-imidazoline derivatives with the Br, Cl, and methyl substituents in the para-position. The 3m compound stands out for its trypanocidal efficacy in 3D microtissue, which mimics tissue microarchitecture and physiology, and abolishment of parasite recrudescence in vitro. Our findings encourage the progression of the promising candidate for preclinical in vivo studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Discovery, Synthesis and Evaluation of Bioactive Compounds)
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Article
Chloroquine Potentiates the Anticancer Effect of Pterostilbene on Pancreatic Cancer by Inhibiting Autophagy and Downregulating the RAGE/STAT3 Pathway
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6741; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216741 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 375
Abstract
The treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains a huge challenge, because pro-survival signaling pathways—such as the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE)/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) pathway—are overexpressed in PDAC cells. Moreover, PDAC cells are highly resistant to [...] Read more.
The treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains a huge challenge, because pro-survival signaling pathways—such as the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE)/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) pathway—are overexpressed in PDAC cells. Moreover, PDAC cells are highly resistant to chemotherapeutic agents because of autophagy induction. Therefore, autophagy and its modulated signaling pathways are attractive targets for developing novel therapeutic strategies for PDAC. Pterostilbene is a stilbenoid chemically related to resveratrol, and has potential for the treatment of cancers. Accordingly, we investigated whether the autophagy inhibitor chloroquine could potentiate the anticancer effect of pterostilbene in the PDAC cell lines MIA PaCa-2 and BxPC-3, as well as in an orthotopic animal model. The results indicated that pterostilbene combined with chloroquine significantly inhibited autophagy, decreased cell viability, and sensitized the cells to pterostilbene-induced apoptosis via downregulation of the RAGE/STAT3 and protein kinase B (AKT)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways in PDAC cells. The results of the orthotopic animal model showed that pterostilbene combined with chloroquine significantly inhibited pancreatic cancer growth, delayed tumor quadrupling times, and inhibited autophagy and STAT3 in pancreatic tumors. In summary, the present study suggested the novel therapeutic strategy of pterostilbene combined with chloroquine against the growth of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma by inhibiting autophagy and downregulating the RAGE/STAT3 signaling pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemicals in Cancer Prevention and Therapy)
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Article
Proteomic and Bioinformatic Analysis of Decellularized Pancreatic Extracellular Matrices
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6740; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216740 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 398
Abstract
Tissue microenvironments are rich in signaling molecules. However, factors in the tissue matrix that can serve as tissue-specific cues for engineering pancreatic tissues have not been thoroughly identified. In this study, we performed a comprehensive proteomic analysis of porcine decellularized pancreatic extracellular matrix [...] Read more.
Tissue microenvironments are rich in signaling molecules. However, factors in the tissue matrix that can serve as tissue-specific cues for engineering pancreatic tissues have not been thoroughly identified. In this study, we performed a comprehensive proteomic analysis of porcine decellularized pancreatic extracellular matrix (dpECM). By profiling dpECM collected from subjects of different ages and genders, we showed that the detergent-free decellularization method developed in this study permits the preservation of approximately 62.4% more proteins than a detergent-based method. In addition, we demonstrated that dpECM prepared from young pigs contained approximately 68.5% more extracellular matrix proteins than those prepared from adult pigs. Furthermore, we categorized dpECM proteins by biological process, molecular function, and cellular component through gene ontology analysis. Our study results also suggested that the protein composition of dpECM is significantly different between male and female animals while a KEGG enrichment pathway analysis revealed that dpECM protein profiling varies significantly depending on age. This study provides the proteome of pancreatic decellularized ECM in different animal ages and genders, which will help identify the bioactive molecules that are pivotal in creating tissue-specific cues for engineering tissues in vitro. Full article
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Article
Metabolomics Provides A Novel Interpretation of the Changes in Main Compounds during Black Tea Processing through Different Drying Methods
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6739; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216739 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 299
Abstract
This study aimed to compare the effect of hot roller (HR) drying and hot air (HA) drying on the sensory evaluation, chemical quality, antioxidant activity, and metabolic profile of Yihong Congou black tea processed from E’cha NO1. The Yihong Congou black tea dried [...] Read more.
This study aimed to compare the effect of hot roller (HR) drying and hot air (HA) drying on the sensory evaluation, chemical quality, antioxidant activity, and metabolic profile of Yihong Congou black tea processed from E’cha NO1. The Yihong Congou black tea dried with HA obtained higher sensory scores and better chemical qualities such as the hue of tea brew color (a and b), content of theaflavins, thearubigins, water extract, free amino acids, tea polyphenol, and the ratio of polyphenol to amino acids as well as higher antioxidant capacities compared to that dried with HR. The HA drying tea increased the contents of volatile compounds that had positive correlation with sweet and flowery flavor, while the HR drying tea increased the contents of volatile compounds related to fruity flavor. Moreover, non-targeted metabolomics data indicated that the levels of most free amino acids significantly increased, while the levels of most soluble sugars reduced in the HA drying method compared to the HR drying method. The metabolic analysis was also consistent with the above results and revealed that D-ribose and gallic acid were the main characteristic metabolites of HA drying. Our results could provide a technical reference and theoretical guide to processing a high quality of Yihong Congou black tea. Full article
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Perspective
Heterogeneous Catalysis to Drive the Waste-to-Pharma Concept: From Furanics to Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6738; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216738 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 301
Abstract
A perspective on the use of heterogeneous catalysis to drive the waste-to-pharma concept is provided in this contribution based on the conversion of furanics to active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). The provided overview of the concept in this perspective article has been exemplified for [...] Read more.
A perspective on the use of heterogeneous catalysis to drive the waste-to-pharma concept is provided in this contribution based on the conversion of furanics to active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). The provided overview of the concept in this perspective article has been exemplified for two key molecule examples: Ancarolol and Furosemide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers from High Cited Researchers)
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Article
Discovery of Guanidine Derivatives from Buthus martensii Karsch with Metal-Binding and Cholinesterase Inhibition Properties
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6737; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216737 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 286
Abstract
Two rare guanidine-type alkaloids, Buthutin A (1) and Buthutin B (2), along with two other compounds (3, 4), were isolated from Buthus martensii Karsch, and determined using extensive spectroscopic data analysis and high resolution-mass spectrometry. Compound [...] Read more.
Two rare guanidine-type alkaloids, Buthutin A (1) and Buthutin B (2), along with two other compounds (3, 4), were isolated from Buthus martensii Karsch, and determined using extensive spectroscopic data analysis and high resolution-mass spectrometry. Compound 1 showed the most potent inhibition on AChE and BChE with IC50 values of 7.83 ± 0.06 and 47.44 ± 0.95 μM, respectively. Kinetic characterization of compound 1 confirmed a mixed-type of AChE inhibition mechanism in accordance with the docking results, which shows its interaction with both catalytic active (CAS) and peripheral anionic (PAS) sites. The specific binding of compound 1 to PAS domain of AChE was also confirmed experimentally. Moreover, compounds 1 and 3 exhibited satisfactory biometal binding abilities toward Cu2+, Fe2+, Zn2+ and Al3+ ions. These results provide a new evidence for further development and utilization of B. martensii in health and pharmaceutical products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alkaloids in Future Drug Discovery)
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Article
Finding the First Potential Inhibitors of Shikimate Kinase from Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus through Computer-Assisted Drug Design
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6736; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216736 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 305
Abstract
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an important threat as it causes serious hospital and community acquired infections with deathly outcomes oftentimes, therefore, development of new treatments against this bacterium is a priority. Shikimate kinase, an enzyme in the shikimate pathway, is considered a [...] Read more.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an important threat as it causes serious hospital and community acquired infections with deathly outcomes oftentimes, therefore, development of new treatments against this bacterium is a priority. Shikimate kinase, an enzyme in the shikimate pathway, is considered a good target for developing antimicrobial drugs; this is given because of its pathway, which is essential in bacteria whereas it is absent in mammals. In this work, a computer-assisted drug design strategy was used to report the first potentials inhibitors for Shikimate kinase from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (SaSK), employing approximately 5 million compounds from ZINC15 database. Diverse filtering criteria, related to druglike characteristics and virtual docking screening in the shikimate binding site, were performed to select structurally diverse potential inhibitors from SaSK. Molecular dynamics simulations were performed to elucidate the dynamic behavior of each SaSK–ligand complex. The potential inhibitors formed important interactions with residues that are crucial for enzyme catalysis, such as Asp37, Arg61, Gly82, and Arg138. Therefore, the compounds reported provide valuable information and can be seen as the first step toward developing SaSK inhibitors in the search of new drugs against MRSA. Full article
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Article
4,5-Dicyano-1,2,3-Triazole—A Promising Precursor for a New Family of Energetic Compounds and Its Nitrogen-Rich Derivatives: Synthesis and Crystal Structures
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6735; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216735 - 07 Nov 2021
Viewed by 443
Abstract
The nitrogen-rich compounds and intermediates with structure of monocyclic, bicyclic, and fused rings based on 1,2,3-triazole were synthesized and prepared by using a promising precursor named 4,5-dicyano-1,2,3-triazole, which was obtained by the cyclization reaction of diaminomaleonitrile. Their structure and configurational integrity were assessed [...] Read more.
The nitrogen-rich compounds and intermediates with structure of monocyclic, bicyclic, and fused rings based on 1,2,3-triazole were synthesized and prepared by using a promising precursor named 4,5-dicyano-1,2,3-triazole, which was obtained by the cyclization reaction of diaminomaleonitrile. Their structure and configurational integrity were assessed by Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), mass spectrometry (MS), and elemental analysis (EA). Additionally, fourteen compounds were further confirmed by X-ray single crystal diffraction. Meanwhile, the physical properties of four selected compounds (3·H2O, 6·H2O, 10·H2O, and 16) including thermal stability, detonation parameters, and sensitivity were also estimated. All these compounds could be considered to construct more abundant 1,2,3-triazole-based neutral energetic molecules, salts, and complex compounds, which need to continue study in the future in the field of energetic materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Promising High-Energy-Density Materials)
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Article
Physical-Mechanical Behavior and Water-Barrier Properties of Biopolymers-Clay Nanocomposites
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6734; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216734 - 07 Nov 2021
Viewed by 429
Abstract
The preparation and characterization of biodegradable films based on starch-PVA-nanoclay by solvent casting are reported in this study. The films were prepared with a relation of 3:2 of starch:PVA and nanoclay (0.5, 1.0, and 1.5% w/v), and glycerol as plasticizer. [...] Read more.
The preparation and characterization of biodegradable films based on starch-PVA-nanoclay by solvent casting are reported in this study. The films were prepared with a relation of 3:2 of starch:PVA and nanoclay (0.5, 1.0, and 1.5% w/v), and glycerol as plasticizer. The nanoclays before being incorporated in the filmogenic solution of starch-PVA were dispersed in two ways: by magnetic stirring and by sonication. The SEM results suggest that the sonication of nanoclay is necessary to reach a good dispersion along the polymeric matrix. FTIR results of films with 1.0 and 1.5% w/v of sonicated nanoclay suggest a strong interaction of hydrogen bond with the polymeric matrix of starch-PVA. However, the properties of WVP, tensile strength, percentage of elongation at break, and Young’s modulus improved to the film with sonicated nanoclay at 0.5% w/v, while in films with 1.0 and 1.5% w/w these properties were even worse than in film without nanoclay. Nanoclay concentrations higher than 1.0 w/v saturate the polymer matrix, affecting the physicochemical properties. Accordingly, the successful incorporation of nanoclays at 0.5% w/v into the matrix starch-PVA suggests that this film is a good candidate for use as biodegradable packaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Investigation of Polymer Nanocomposites' Performance)
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Article
Anti-Obesity Effects of Matoa (Pometia pinnata) Fruit Peel Powder in High-Fat Diet-Fed Rats
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6733; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216733 - 07 Nov 2021
Viewed by 410
Abstract
Fruit peels, pericarps, or rinds are rich in phenolic/polyphenolic compounds with antioxidant properties and potentially beneficial effects against obesity and obesity-related non-communicable diseases. This study investigated the anti-obesity effects of matoa (Pometia pinnata) and salak (Salacca zalacca) fruit peel. [...] Read more.
Fruit peels, pericarps, or rinds are rich in phenolic/polyphenolic compounds with antioxidant properties and potentially beneficial effects against obesity and obesity-related non-communicable diseases. This study investigated the anti-obesity effects of matoa (Pometia pinnata) and salak (Salacca zalacca) fruit peel. Neither matoa peel powder (MPP) nor salak peel powder (SPP) affected the body weight, visceral fat weight, or serum glucose or lipid levels of Sprague–Dawley rats when included as 1% (w/w) of a high-fat diet (HFD). However, MPP significantly decreased the hepatic lipid level. MPP at a dose of 3% (w/w) of the HFD decreased body weight, visceral fat, and serum triglyceride levels as well as the hepatic lipid content. The inhibitory effect of MPP on hepatic lipid accumulation was not enhanced when its concentration was increased from 1% to 3% of the HFD. The anti-obesity effect of matoa was partly explained by the inhibitory effect of the matoa peel extract on fatty acid-induced secretion of ApoB-48 protein, a marker of intestinal chylomicrons, in differentiated Caco-2 cell monolayers. We identified hederagenin saponins that are abundant in MPP as potential anti-obesity substances. These results will contribute towards the development of functional foods with anti-obesity effects using the matoa fruit peel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for the Treatment of Diabetes and Obesity)
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Article
Development of Ferromagnetic Materials Containing Co2P, Fe2P Phases from Organometallic Dendrimers Precursors
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6732; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216732 - 06 Nov 2021
Viewed by 417
Abstract
The development of synthesis methods to access advanced materials, such as magnetic materials that combine multimetallic phosphide phases, remains a worthy research challenge. The most widely used strategies for the synthesis of magnetic transition metal phosphides (TMPs) are organometallic approaches. In this study, [...] Read more.
The development of synthesis methods to access advanced materials, such as magnetic materials that combine multimetallic phosphide phases, remains a worthy research challenge. The most widely used strategies for the synthesis of magnetic transition metal phosphides (TMPs) are organometallic approaches. In this study, Fe-containing homometallic dendrimers and Fe/Co-containing heterometallic dendrimers were used to synthesize magnetic materials containing multimetallic phosphide phases. The crystalline nature of the nearly aggregated particles was indicated for both designed magnetic samples. In contrast to heterometallic samples, homometallic samples showed dendritic effects on their magnetic properties. Specifically, saturation magnetization (Ms) and coercivity (Hc) decrease as dendritic generation increases. Incorporating cobalt into the homometallic dendrimers to prepare the heterometallic dendrimers markedly increases the magnetic properties of the magnetic materials from 60 to 75 emu/g. Ferromagnetism in homometallic and heterometallic particles shows different responses to temperature changes. For example, heterometallic samples were less sensitive to temperature changes due to the presence of Co2P in contrast to the homometallic ones, which show an abrupt change in their slopes at a temperature close to 209 K, which appears to be related to the Fe2P ratios. This study presents dendrimers as a new type of precursor for the assembly of magnetic materials containing a mixture of iron- and cobalt-phosphides phases with tunable magnetism, and provides an opportunity to understand magnetism in such materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Inorganic Chemistry)
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Article
Solid-State Structures and Photoluminescence of Lamellar Architectures of Cu(I) and Ag(I) Paddlewheel Clusters with Hydrogen-Bonded Polar Guests
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6731; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216731 - 06 Nov 2021
Viewed by 464
Abstract
Two hexanuclear paddlewheel-like clusters appending six carboxylic-acid pendants have been isolated with the inclusion of polar solvent guests: [Cu6(Hmna)6]·7DMF (1·7DMF) and [Ag6(Hmna)6]·8DMSO (2·8DMSO), where H2mna = 2-mercaptonicotininc acid, DMF [...] Read more.
Two hexanuclear paddlewheel-like clusters appending six carboxylic-acid pendants have been isolated with the inclusion of polar solvent guests: [Cu6(Hmna)6]·7DMF (1·7DMF) and [Ag6(Hmna)6]·8DMSO (2·8DMSO), where H2mna = 2-mercaptonicotininc acid, DMF = N,N’-dimethylformamide, and DMSO = dimethyl sulfoxide. The solvated clusters, together with their fully desolvated forms 1 and 2, have been characterized by FTIR, UV–Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, TG-DTA analysis, and DFT calculations. Crystal structures of two solvated clusters 1·7DMF and 2·8DMSO have been unambiguously determined by single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis. Six carboxylic groups appended on the clusters trap solvent guests, DMF or DMSO, through H-bonds. As a result, alternately stacked lamellar architectures comprising of a paddlewheel cluster layer and H-bonded solvent layer are formed. Upon UV illumination (λex = 365 nm), the solvated hexasilver(I) cluster 2·8DMSO gives intense greenish-yellow photoluminescence in the solid state (λPL = 545 nm, ΦPL = 0.17 at 298 K), whereas the solvated hexacopper(I) cluster 1·7DMF displays PL in the near-IR region (λPL = 765 nm, ΦPL = 0.38 at 298 K). Upon complete desolvation, a substantial bleach in the PL intensity (ΦPL < 0.01) is observed. The desorption–sorption response was studied by the solid-state PL spectroscopy. Non-covalent interactions in the crystal including intermolecular H-bonds, CH⋯π interactions, and π⋯π stack were found to play decisive roles in the creation of the lamellar architectures, small-molecule trap-and-release behavior, and guest-induced luminescence enhancement. Full article
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Article
Chromatographic Determination of Total Selenium in Biofortified Allium sp. following Piazselenol Formation and Micro-Solid-Phase Extraction
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6730; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216730 - 06 Nov 2021
Viewed by 408
Abstract
Herein, a method based on selective piazselenol formation is applied for total selenium determination in biofortified Allium species. Piazselenol is formed by reacting Se(IV) with an aromatic diamine, namely 4-nitro-1,2-phenylenediamine, in acidic medium. Samples were digested in a nitric acid/hydrogen peroxide open system, [...] Read more.
Herein, a method based on selective piazselenol formation is applied for total selenium determination in biofortified Allium species. Piazselenol is formed by reacting Se(IV) with an aromatic diamine, namely 4-nitro-1,2-phenylenediamine, in acidic medium. Samples were digested in a nitric acid/hydrogen peroxide open system, followed by selenate reduction in hydrochloric acid. Reaction conditions were optimized in terms of pH, temperature, reaction time, and other auxiliary reagents for interference removal, namely, EDTA and hydroxylamine. For the extraction of the selectively formed 4-nitro-piazselenol, micro-solid-phase extraction (μSPE) was applied, and the analysis and detection of the corresponding complex was performed by HPLC coupled with DAD. An external standard calibration curve was developed (R2 = 0.9994) with good sensitivity, and was used to calculate the total selenium content from several Allium plants material, with good intermediate precision (RSD% < 16%). The accuracy of the method was evaluated using both, a comparison with an accepted reference method from our previously published data, as well as three certified reference material with recoveries between 84–126%. The limit of detection was determined to be 0.35 μg/g (in solids) and 1.1 μg/L (in solution), while the limit of quantification was 1.07 μg/g and 3.4 μg/L (in solution). Using the proposed method, selenium content can be quickly and accurately determined in several types of samples. In addition, this study present experimental conditions for overcoming the interferences that might be encountered in selenium determination using piazselenol. Full article
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Article
Method Validation for Determination of Thallium by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry and Monitoring of Various Foods in South Korea
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6729; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216729 - 06 Nov 2021
Viewed by 469
Abstract
Thallium (Tl) is a rare element and one of the most harmful metals. This study validated an analytical method for determining Tl in foods by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) based on food matrices and calories. For six representative foods, the method’s [...] Read more.
Thallium (Tl) is a rare element and one of the most harmful metals. This study validated an analytical method for determining Tl in foods by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) based on food matrices and calories. For six representative foods, the method’s correlation coefficient (R2) was above 0.999, and the method limit of detection (MLOD) was 0.0070–0.0498 μg kg−1, with accuracy ranging from 82.06% to 119.81% and precision within 10%. We investigated 304 various foods in the South Korean market, including agricultural, fishery, livestock, and processed foods. Tl above the MLOD level was detected in 148 samples and was less than 10 μg kg−1 in 98% of the samples. Comparing the Tl concentrations among food groups revealed that fisheries and animal products had higher Tl contents than cereals and vegetables. Tl exposure via food intake did not exceed the health guidance level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Analysis of Inorganic Pollutants)
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Article
Interaction Study between ESIPT Fluorescent Lipophile-Based Benzazoles and BSA
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6728; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216728 - 06 Nov 2021
Viewed by 347
Abstract
In this study, the interactions of ESIPT fluorescent lipophile-based benzazoles with bovine serum albumin (BSA) were studied and their binding affinity was evaluated. In phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) solution these compounds produce absorption maxima in the UV region and a main fluorescence emission with [...] Read more.
In this study, the interactions of ESIPT fluorescent lipophile-based benzazoles with bovine serum albumin (BSA) were studied and their binding affinity was evaluated. In phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) solution these compounds produce absorption maxima in the UV region and a main fluorescence emission with a large Stokes shift in the blue–green regions due to a proton transfer process in the excited state. The interactions of the benzazoles with BSA were studied using UV-Vis absorption and steady-state fluorescence spectroscopy. The observed spectral quenching of BSA indicates that these compounds could bind to BSA through a strong binding affinity afforded by a static quenching mechanism (Kq~1012 L·mol−1·s−1). The docking simulations indicate that compounds 13 and 16 bind closely to Trp134 in domain I, adopting similar binding poses and interactions. On the other hand, compounds 12, 14, 15, and 17 were bound between domains I and III and did not directly interact with Trp134. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photoinduced Proton Transfer Processes Within Heterocyclic Structures)
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Article
Comparison of Different d-SPE Sorbent Performances Based on Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe (QuEChERS) Methodology for Multiresidue Pesticide Analyses in Rapeseeds
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6727; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216727 - 06 Nov 2021
Viewed by 302
Abstract
Pesticide extraction in rapeseed samples remains a great analytical challenge due to the complexity of the matrix, which contains proteins, fatty acids, high amounts of triglycerides and cellulosic fibers. An HPLC-MS/MS method was developed for the quantification of 179 pesticides in rapeseeds. The [...] Read more.
Pesticide extraction in rapeseed samples remains a great analytical challenge due to the complexity of the matrix, which contains proteins, fatty acids, high amounts of triglycerides and cellulosic fibers. An HPLC-MS/MS method was developed for the quantification of 179 pesticides in rapeseeds. The performances of the quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe (QuEChERS) method were evaluated using different dispersive solid-phase extraction (d-SPE) sorbents containing common octadecylsilane silica/primary–secondary amine adsorbent (PSA/C18) and new commercialized d-SPE materials dedicated to fatty matrices (Z-Sep, Z-Sep+, and EMR-Lipid). The analytical performances of these different sorbents were compared according to the SANTE/12682/2019 document. The best results were obtained using EMR-Lipid in terms of pesticide average recoveries (103 and 70 of the 179 targeted pesticides exhibited recoveries within 70–120% and 30–70%, respectively, with low RSD values). Moreover, the limits of quantification (LOQ) range from 1.72 µg/kg to 6.39 µg/kg for 173 of the pesticides. Only the recovery for tralkoxydim at 10 μg/kg level was not satisfactory (29%). The matrix effect was evaluated and proved to be limited between −50% and 50% for 169 pesticides with this EMR-Lipid and freezing. GC-Orbitrap analyses confirmed the best efficiency of the EMR-Lipid sorbent for the purification of rapeseeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Contaminations in Food)
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Article
Subcellular Localization of Connexin 26 in Cardiomyocytes and in Cardiomyocyte-Derived Extracellular Vesicles
Molecules 2021, 26(21), 6726; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26216726 - 06 Nov 2021
Viewed by 308
Abstract
Connexins (Cxs) are a family of membrane-spanning proteins, expressed in vertebrates and named according to their molecular weight. They are involved in tissue homeostasis, and they function by acting at several communication levels. Cardiac Cxs are responsible for regular heart function and, among [...] Read more.
Connexins (Cxs) are a family of membrane-spanning proteins, expressed in vertebrates and named according to their molecular weight. They are involved in tissue homeostasis, and they function by acting at several communication levels. Cardiac Cxs are responsible for regular heart function and, among them, Cx26 and Cx43 are widely expressed throughout the heart. Cx26 is present in vessels, as well as in cardiomyocytes, and its localization is scattered all over the cell aside from at the intercalated discs as is the case for the other cardiac Cxs. However, having been found in cardiomyocytes only recently, both its subcellular localization and its functional characterization in cardiomyocytes remain poorly understood. Therefore, in this study we aimed to obtain further data on the localization of Cx26 at the subcellular level. Our TEM immunogold analyses were performed on rat heart ventricles and differentiated H9c2 cardiac cell sections as well as on differentiated H9c2 derived extracellular vesicles. The results confirmed the absence of Cx26 at intercalated discs and showed the presence of Cx26 at the level of different subcellular compartments. The peculiar localization at the level of extracellular vesicles suggested a specific role for cardiac Cx26 in inter-cellular communication in an independent gap junction manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electron Microscopy in Molecules Analysis)
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