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Molecules, Volume 28, Issue 12 (June-2 2023) – 315 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Aptamers, which block the infection of SARS-CoV-2 by interfering with the interaction between viral receptor ACE2 and the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, were developed based on the three-dimensional structure of aptamer and receptor binding domain (RBD) complexes through cryo-EM analyses (cover figure). The modified nucleotide 5-[N-(1-naphthylmethyl) carboxamide]-2′-deoxy uridine (Nap-dU) played crucial roles in the structural maintenance and spike binding of aptamers. The aptamers were optimized using structural insights for enhanced stability and spike-binding affinity. Moreover, a bivalent aptamer, composed of two optimized aptamers (AM032-4 and AM047-6) connected by a linker, showed a strong inhibitory effect on virus infection. This study underscores the potential of a structure-based aptamer design for developing antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses. View this paper
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15 pages, 2514 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Anti-Neuroinflammatory Activity of Isatin Derivatives in Activated Microglia
by Alejandro Cenalmor, Elena Pascual, Sergio Gil-Manso, Rafael Correa-Rocha, José Ramón Suárez and Isabel García-Álvarez
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4882; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124882 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1944
Abstract
Neuroinflammation plays a crucial role in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Overactivated microglia cause neurotoxicity and prolong the inflammatory response in many neuropathologies. In this study, we have synthesised a series of isatin derivatives to evaluate their anti-neuroinflammatory potential [...] Read more.
Neuroinflammation plays a crucial role in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Overactivated microglia cause neurotoxicity and prolong the inflammatory response in many neuropathologies. In this study, we have synthesised a series of isatin derivatives to evaluate their anti-neuroinflammatory potential using lipopolysaccharide activated microglia as a cell model. We explored four different substitutions of the isatin moiety by testing their anti-neuroinflammatory activity on BV2 microglia cells. Based on the low cytotoxicity and the activity in reducing the release of nitric oxide, pro-inflammatory interleukin 6 and tumour necrosis factor α by microglial cells, the N1-alkylated compound 10 and the chlorinated 20 showed the best results at 25 µM. Taken together, the data suggest that 10 and 20 are promising lead compounds for developing new neuroprotective agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medicinal Chemistry)
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20 pages, 22717 KiB  
Article
Eu(III) and Cm(III) Complexation by the Aminocarboxylates NTA, EDTA, and EGTA Studied with NMR, TRLFS, and ITC—An Improved Approach to More Robust Thermodynamics
by Sebastian Friedrich, Claudia Sieber, Björn Drobot, Satoru Tsushima, Astrid Barkleit, Katja Schmeide, Thorsten Stumpf and Jerome Kretzschmar
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4881; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124881 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2180
Abstract
The complex formation of Eu(III) and Cm(III) was studied via tetradentate, hexadentate, and octadentate coordinating ligands of the aminopolycarboxylate family, viz., nitrilotriacetate (NTA3−), ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA4−), and ethylene glycol-bis(2-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N′,N′-tetraacetate (EGTA4− [...] Read more.
The complex formation of Eu(III) and Cm(III) was studied via tetradentate, hexadentate, and octadentate coordinating ligands of the aminopolycarboxylate family, viz., nitrilotriacetate (NTA3−), ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA4−), and ethylene glycol-bis(2-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N′,N′-tetraacetate (EGTA4−), respectively. Based on the complexones’ pKa values obtained from 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopic pH titration, complex formation constants were determined by means of the parallel-factor-analysis-assisted evaluation of Eu(III) and Cm(III) time-resolved laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy (TRLFS). This was complemented by isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), providing the enthalpy and entropy of the complex formation. This allowed us to obtain genuine species along with their molecular structures and corresponding reliable thermodynamic data. The three investigated complexones formed 1:1 complexes with both Eu(III) and Cm(III). Besides the established Eu(III)–NTA 1:1 and 1:2 complexes, we observed, for the first time, the existence of a Eu(III)–NTA 2:2 complex of millimolar metal and ligand concentrations. Demonstrated for thermodynamic studies on Eu(III) and Cm(III) interaction with complexones, the utilized approach is commonly applicable to many other metal–ligand systems, even to high-affinity ligands. Full article
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25 pages, 10078 KiB  
Article
Rindera graeca (A. DC.) Boiss. & Heldr. (Boraginaceae) In Vitro Cultures Targeting Lithospermic Acid B and Rosmarinic Acid Production
by Katarzyna Sykłowska-Baranek, Małgorzata Gaweł, Łukasz Kuźma, Beata Wileńska, Mateusz Kawka, Małgorzata Jeziorek, Konstantia Graikou, Ioanna Chinou, Ewa Szyszko, Piotr Stępień, Patryk Zakrzewski and Agnieszka Pietrosiuk
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4880; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124880 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1311
Abstract
The in vitro cultures of Rindera graeca, a rare endemic plant, were developed as a sustainable source of phenolic acids. Various shoot and root cultures were established and scaled up in a sprinkle bioreactor. A multiplication rate of 7.2 shoots per explant [...] Read more.
The in vitro cultures of Rindera graeca, a rare endemic plant, were developed as a sustainable source of phenolic acids. Various shoot and root cultures were established and scaled up in a sprinkle bioreactor. A multiplication rate of 7.2 shoots per explant was achieved. HPLC–PDA–ESI–HRMS analysis revealed the presence of rosmarinic acid (RA) and lithospermic acid B (LAB) as the main secondary metabolites in both the shoot and root cultures. The maximum RA (30.0 ± 3.2 mg/g DW) and LAB (49.3 ± 15.5 mg/g DW) yields were determined in root-regenerated shoots. The strongest free radical scavenging activity (87.4 ± 1.1%), according to 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl-hydrate assay, was noted for roots cultivated in a DCR medium. The highest reducing power (2.3 µM ± 0.4 TE/g DW), determined by the ferric-reducing antioxidant power assay, was noted for shoots cultivated on an SH medium containing 0.5 mg/L 6-benzylaminopurine. A genetic analysis performed using random amplified polymorphic DNA and start codon targeted markers revealed genetic variation of 62.8% to 96.5% among the investigated shoots and roots. This variability reflects the capacity of cultivated shoots and roots to produce phenolic compounds. Full article
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21 pages, 6339 KiB  
Article
Structured LDH/Bentonite Composites for Chromium Removal and Recovery from Aqueous Solutions
by Mitra De Geest, Bart Michielsen, Radu-G. Ciocarlan, Pegie Cool and Elena M. Seftel
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4879; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124879 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1443
Abstract
This study focuses on chromium removal through adsorption and ion exchange using structured calcined layered double hydroxide (LDH) (MgAl)–bentonite composites. Firstly, the powders were structured into granulates to study the effect on Cr sorption kinetics to circumvent the limitations of working with powders [...] Read more.
This study focuses on chromium removal through adsorption and ion exchange using structured calcined layered double hydroxide (LDH) (MgAl)–bentonite composites. Firstly, the powders were structured into granulates to study the effect on Cr sorption kinetics to circumvent the limitations of working with powders in real-life applications. Secondly, the regeneration of the structured composites was optimized to enable multi-cycling operation, which is the key for their applicability beyond laboratory scale. Firstly, the LDH/bentonite ratio was optimized to obtain the best performance for the removal of Cr3+ and Cr6+ species. In powder form, the calcined adsorbent containing 80 wt% LDH and 20 wt% bentonite performed best with an adsorption capacity of 48 and 40 mg/g for Cr3+ and Cr6+, respectively. The desorption was optimized by studying the effect of the NaCl concentration and pH, with a 2 M NaCl solution without pH modification being optimal. The kinetic data of the adsorption and desorption steps were modelled, revealing a pseudo-second order model for both. This was also demonstrated using XRD and Raman measurements after the Cr3+ and Cr6+ adsorption tests, indicating successful uptake and revealing the adsorption mechanism. Finally, five consecutive adsorption–desorption cycles were performed, each showing nearly 100% adsorption and desorption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wastewater Treatment: Functional Materials and Advanced Technology)
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14 pages, 3407 KiB  
Article
Chemical Constituents from the Fruits of Amomum kravanh and Their Role in Activating Alcohol Dehydrogenase
by Hao-Ming Xiong, Hui-Ying Li, Zhi-Rong Lin, Xiao-Mei Liu, Li-Ping Bai, Wei Zhang, Zhi-Hong Jiang and Guo-Yuan Zhu
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4878; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124878 - 20 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1332
Abstract
Alcoholism is a worldwide health problem, and diseases caused by alcoholism are killing people every year. Amomum kravanh is a traditional Chinese medicine used to relieve hangovers. However, whether its bioactive components improve alcohol metabolism is not clear. In this study, ten new [...] Read more.
Alcoholism is a worldwide health problem, and diseases caused by alcoholism are killing people every year. Amomum kravanh is a traditional Chinese medicine used to relieve hangovers. However, whether its bioactive components improve alcohol metabolism is not clear. In this study, ten new (amomumols A-J, 110) and thirty-five known (1145) compounds were isolated from the fruits of Amomum kravanh by an activity-guided separation. Ten novel compounds were identified as four sesquiterpenoids (14), three monoterpene derivatives (57), two neolignans (8, 9), and a novel norsesquiterpenoid (10) with a new C14 nor-bisabolane skeleton. Their structures were determined by the comprehensive analysis of high-resolution electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (HRESIMS), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and electronic circular dichroism (ECD) calculation. The effects of all isolated compounds on the activity of alcohol dehydrogenase were evaluated in vitro, and it was found that eight compounds (11, 12, 15, 18, 26, and 3638) exhibited significant activation effects on the alcohol dehydrogenase at 50 μM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
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19 pages, 7415 KiB  
Article
Integrated Transcriptomic and Metabolomic Analyses Reveal the Effects of Grafting on Special Metabolites of Acanthopanax senticosus Leaves
by Qi Wang, Kedan Deng, Jun Ai, Yingping Wang, Yougui Wang, Yueying Ren and Nanqi Zhang
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4877; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124877 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1361
Abstract
Acanthopanax senticosus (A. senticosus) is a member of Acanthopanax Miq. and is used in traditional Chinese medicine, and it has been found that grafting technology can be used to alter plant metabolite composition and transcriptome characteristics. In this study, shoots of [...] Read more.
Acanthopanax senticosus (A. senticosus) is a member of Acanthopanax Miq. and is used in traditional Chinese medicine, and it has been found that grafting technology can be used to alter plant metabolite composition and transcriptome characteristics. In this study, shoots of A. senticosus were grafted onto the rootstocks of the vigorous Acanthopanax sessiliflorus (A. sessiliflorus) to improve its varietal characteristics. In order to investigate the changes in metabolites and transcriptional patterns in grafted A. senticosus leaves (GSCL), fresh leaves were collected from 2-year-old grafted A. senticosus scions, while self-rooted seedling A. senticosus leaves (SCL) were used as controls to analyse the transcriptome and metabolome. Metabolic profiles and gene expression patterns were further identified and correlated in special metabolite target pathways. The content of chlorogenic acid and triterpenoids in the GSCL was higher than in the control, while the quercetin content was lower. All these metabolic changes were associated with changes in the expression pattern of transcripts. Our results revealed the transcriptome and metabolome characteristics of GSCL. This may help to improve leaf quality in A. senticosus cultivation, suggesting that it is feasible to improve the medicinal quality of GSCL through asexual propagation, but the long-term effects need further investigation. In conclusion, this dataset provides a useful resource for future studies on the effects of grafting on medicinal plants. Full article
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14 pages, 3973 KiB  
Article
Anticancer Activity and Mode of Action of Cu(II), Zn(II), and Mn(II) Complexes with 5-Chloro-2-N-(2-quinolylmethylene)aminophenol
by Shuangshuang Gai, Liqin He, Mingxian He, Xuwei Zhong, Caiyun Jiang, Yiming Qin and Ming Jiang
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4876; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124876 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1316
Abstract
Developing a new generation of anticancer metal-based drugs that can both kill tumor cells and inhibit cell migration is a promising strategy. Herein, we synthesized three Cu(II), Zn(II), and Mn(II) complexes derived from 5-chloro-2-N-(2-quinolylmethylene)aminophenol (C1–C3). Among these complexes, the Cu(II) complex [...] Read more.
Developing a new generation of anticancer metal-based drugs that can both kill tumor cells and inhibit cell migration is a promising strategy. Herein, we synthesized three Cu(II), Zn(II), and Mn(II) complexes derived from 5-chloro-2-N-(2-quinolylmethylene)aminophenol (C1–C3). Among these complexes, the Cu(II) complex (C1) showed significantly greater cytotoxicity toward lung cancer cell lines than cisplatin. C1 inhibited A549 cell metastasis and suppressed the growth of the A549 tumor in vivo. In addition, we confirmed the anticancer mechanism of C1 by triggering multiple mechanisms, including inducing mitochondrial apoptosis, acting on DNA, blocking cell cycle arrest, inducing cell senescence, and inducing DNA damage. Full article
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14 pages, 3044 KiB  
Article
Amino Acid-Coated Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework for Delivery of Genetic Material in Prostate Cancer Cell
by Shakil Ahmed Polash, Koen Garlick-Trease, Suneela Pyreddy, Selvakannan Periasamy, Gary Bryant and Ravi Shukla
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4875; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124875 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2061
Abstract
Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) are currently under progressive development as a tool for non-viral biomolecule delivery. Biomolecules such as proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids can be encapsulated in MOFs for therapeutic purposes. The favorable physicochemical properties of MOFs make them an attractive choice [...] Read more.
Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) are currently under progressive development as a tool for non-viral biomolecule delivery. Biomolecules such as proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids can be encapsulated in MOFs for therapeutic purposes. The favorable physicochemical properties of MOFs make them an attractive choice for delivering a wide range of biomolecules including nucleic acids. Herein, a green fluorescence protein (GFP)-expressing plasmid DNA (pDNA) is used as a representative of a biomolecule to encapsulate within a Zn-based metal–organic framework (MOF) called a zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF). The synthesized biocomposites are coated with positively charged amino acids (AA) to understand the effect of surface functionalization on the delivery of pDNA to prostate cancer (PC-3) cells. FTIR and zeta potential confirm the successful preparation of positively charged amino acid-functionalized derivatives of pDNA@ZIF (i.e., pDNA@ZIFAA). Moreover, XRD and SEM data show that the functionalized derivates retain the pristine crystallinity and morphology of pDNA@ZIF. The coated biocomposites provide enhanced uptake of genetic material by PC-3 human prostate cancer cells. The AA-modulated fine-tuning of the surface charge of biocomposites results in better interaction with the cell membrane and enhances cellular uptake. These results suggest that pDNA@ZIFAA can be a promising alternative tool for non-viral gene delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers in Biomedical Applications)
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47 pages, 2990 KiB  
Review
Sesquiterpenoids from Meliaceae Family and Their Biological Activities
by Sandra Amalia Riyadi, Al Arofatus Naini and Unang Supratman
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4874; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124874 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2382
Abstract
Sesquiterpenoids, an important class of natural products possessing three isoprene-derived units, are widely distributed across plants and have a variety of biological activities. All sesquiterpenoids are derived from farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP), a biosynthesis precursor that can form various carbon skeletons. In order to [...] Read more.
Sesquiterpenoids, an important class of natural products possessing three isoprene-derived units, are widely distributed across plants and have a variety of biological activities. All sesquiterpenoids are derived from farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP), a biosynthesis precursor that can form various carbon skeletons. In order to provide a reference for further research and development of these compounds, this review focused on the increasing number of isolated and volatile sesquiterpenoids found to be produced by plants of the Meliaceae family between 1968 and 2023. The related articles were collected from SciFinder, Google Scholar, and PubMed. According to a literature review, several studies were started for more than 55 years on the plant’s stem barks, twigs, leaves, flowers, seeds, and pericarps, where approximately 413 sesquiterpenoid compounds from several groups such as eudesmane, aromadendrane, cadinane, guaiane, bisabolane, furanoeremophilane, humulene, germacrane, and oppositane-type were isolated and identified with some minor products. Additionally, the hypothetical route of sesquiterpenoids biosynthesis from this family was identified, and eudesmane-type was reported to be 27% of the total compounds. The antimicrobial, antidiabetic, antioxidant, antiplasmodial, antiviral, and cytotoxic activities of the isolated compounds and major volatile sesquiterpenoids constituent on essential oil were also evaluated. The result showed the fundamental of using the sesquiterpenoid compounds from the Meliaceae family in traditional medicine and the discovery of new drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products: Chemical Composition and Pharmacological Activity)
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15 pages, 2822 KiB  
Article
Modification of a Marine Pine Kraft Lignin Sample by Enzymatic Treatment with a Pycnoporus cinnabarinus Laccase
by Sona Malric-Garajova, Florian Fortuna, Florian Pion, Elise Martin, Adithya Raveendran Thottathil, Audrey Guillemain, Annick Doan, Anne Lomascolo, Craig B. Faulds, Stéphanie Baumberger, Laurence Foulon, Brigitte Chabbert, Hélène de Baynast, Pascal Dubessay, Fabrice Audonnet, Emmanuel Bertrand, Giuliano Sciara, Sandra Tapin-Lingua, Paul-Henri Ducrot, Philippe Michaud, Véronique Aguié-Béghin and Eric Recordadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4873; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124873 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1361
Abstract
Here, we report work on developing an enzymatic process to improve the functionalities of industrial lignin. A kraft lignin sample prepared from marine pine was treated with the high-redox-potential laccase from the basidiomycete fungus Pycnoporus cinnabarinus at three different concentrations and pH conditions, [...] Read more.
Here, we report work on developing an enzymatic process to improve the functionalities of industrial lignin. A kraft lignin sample prepared from marine pine was treated with the high-redox-potential laccase from the basidiomycete fungus Pycnoporus cinnabarinus at three different concentrations and pH conditions, and with and without the chemical mediator 1-hydroxybenzotriazole (HBT). Laccase activity was tested in the presence and absence of kraft lignin. The optimum pH of PciLac was initially 4.0 in the presence and absence of lignin, but at incubation times over 6 h, higher activities were found at pH 4.5 in the presence of lignin. Structural changes in lignin were investigated by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and solvent-extractable fractions were analyzed using high-performance size-exclusion chromatography (HPSEC) and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The FTIR spectral data were analyzed with two successive multivariate series using principal component analysis (PCA) and ANOVA statistical analysis to identify the best conditions for the largest range of chemical modifications. DSC combined with modulated DSC (MDSC) revealed that the greatest effect on glass transition temperature (Tg) was obtained at 130 U g cm−1 and pH 4.5, with the laccase alone or combined with HBT. HPSEC data suggested that the laccase treatments led to concomitant phenomena of oligomerization and depolymerization, and GC–MS revealed that the reactivity of the extractable phenolic monomers depended on the conditions tested. This study demonstrates that P. cinnabarinus laccase can be used to modify marine pine kraft lignin, and that the set of analytical methods implemented here provides a valuable tool for screening enzymatic treatment conditions. Full article
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35 pages, 1433 KiB  
Review
Artefact Profiling: Panomics Approaches for Understanding the Materiality of Written Artefacts
by Marina Creydt and Markus Fischer
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4872; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124872 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1547
Abstract
This review explains the strategies behind genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, metallomics and isotopolomics approaches and their applicability to written artefacts. The respective sub-chapters give an insight into the analytical procedure and the conclusions drawn from such analyses. A distinction is made between information that [...] Read more.
This review explains the strategies behind genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, metallomics and isotopolomics approaches and their applicability to written artefacts. The respective sub-chapters give an insight into the analytical procedure and the conclusions drawn from such analyses. A distinction is made between information that can be obtained from the materials used in the respective manuscript and meta-information that cannot be obtained from the manuscript itself, but from residues of organisms such as bacteria or the authors and readers. In addition, various sampling techniques are discussed in particular, which pose a special challenge in manuscripts. The focus is on high-resolution, non-targeted strategies that can be used to extract the maximum amount of information about ancient objects. The combination of the various omics disciplines (panomics) especially offers potential added value in terms of the best possible interpretations of the data received. The information obtained can be used to understand the production of ancient artefacts, to gain impressions of former living conditions, to prove their authenticity, to assess whether there is a toxic hazard in handling the manuscripts, and to be able to determine appropriate measures for their conservation and restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Analytical Strategies to Study Cultural Heritage Samples)
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18 pages, 2800 KiB  
Article
Micronized Powder of Raspberry Pomace as a Source of Bioactive Compounds
by Renata Różyło, Ryszard Amarowicz, Michał Adam Janiak, Marek Domin, Sławomir Gawłowski, Ryszard Kulig, Grzegorz Łysiak, Klaudia Rząd and Arkadiusz Matwijczuk
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4871; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124871 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1575
Abstract
Red raspberries, which contain a variety of nutrients and phytochemicals that are beneficial for human health, can be utilized as a raw material in the creation of several supplements. This research suggests micronized powder of raspberry pomace production. The molecular characteristics (FTIR), sugar, [...] Read more.
Red raspberries, which contain a variety of nutrients and phytochemicals that are beneficial for human health, can be utilized as a raw material in the creation of several supplements. This research suggests micronized powder of raspberry pomace production. The molecular characteristics (FTIR), sugar, and biological potential (phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity) of micronized raspberry powders were investigated. FTIR spectroscopy results revealed spectral changes in the ranges with maxima at ~1720, 1635, and 1326, as well as intensity changes in practically the entire spectral range analyzed. The discrepancies clearly indicate that the micronization of the raspberry byproduct samples cleaved the intramolecular hydrogen bonds in the polysaccharides present in the samples, thus increasing the respective content of simple saccharides. In comparison to the control powders, more glucose and fructose were recovered from the micronized samples of the raspberry powders. The study’s micronized powders were found to contain nine different types of phenolic compounds, including rutin, elagic acid derivatives, cyanidin-3-sophoroside, cyanidin-3-(2-glucosylrutinoside), cyanidin-3-rutinoside, pelargonidin-3-rutinoside, and elagic acid derivatives. Significantly higher concentrations of ellagic acid and ellagic acid derivatives and rutin were found in the micronized samples than in the control sample. The antioxidant potential assessed by ABTS and FRAP significantly increased following the micronization procedure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Chemistry and Bioactive Compounds in Relation to Health)
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23 pages, 1083 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Mineral Fertilization on the Content of Bioactive Compounds in Hemp Seeds and Oil
by Jakub Frankowski, Anna Przybylska-Balcerek, Małgorzata Graczyk, Grażyna Niedziela, Dominika Sieracka and Kinga Stuper-Szablewska
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4870; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124870 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1350
Abstract
The popularity of hemp cultivation for industrial purposes has been steadily growing for many years. With the addition of products derived from these plants to the Novel Food Catalogue, maintained by the European Commission, a significant increase in interest in hemp food is [...] Read more.
The popularity of hemp cultivation for industrial purposes has been steadily growing for many years. With the addition of products derived from these plants to the Novel Food Catalogue, maintained by the European Commission, a significant increase in interest in hemp food is also expected. The aim of the study was to determine the characteristics of hempseed, oil, and oil cake samples produced from experimental plots grown in different conditions. The research was conducted on the Henola variety, one of the newest and most popular varieties of hemp, recently bred for grain and oil. The content of bioactive compounds in grain and oil has been subjected to detailed chemical analyses in order to determine the effect of fertilization, the method of plant cultivation, and processing conditions on their quantity. The test results and the statistical analysis carried out showed a significant impact of the tested factors on the content of some of the tested bioactive compounds. The obtained results will help in the development of an effective method of cultivation for this hemp variety in order to maximize the content of the desired bioactive compounds per unit of cultivation area. Full article
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16 pages, 4744 KiB  
Article
Design, Synthesis, Molecular Modeling, and Biological Evaluation of Novel Pyrimidine Derivatives as Potential Calcium Channel Blockers
by Yasser M. Zohny, Samir M. Awad, Maha A. Rabie and Omar Awad Alsaidan
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4869; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124869 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1650
Abstract
Pyrimidines play an important role in modern medical fields. They have a wide spectrum of biological activities such as antimicrobial, anticancer, anti-allergic, anti-leishmanial, antioxidant agents and others. Moreover, in recent years, 3,4-dihydropyrimidin-2(1H)ones have attracted researchers to synthesize them via Biginelli reaction and evaluate [...] Read more.
Pyrimidines play an important role in modern medical fields. They have a wide spectrum of biological activities such as antimicrobial, anticancer, anti-allergic, anti-leishmanial, antioxidant agents and others. Moreover, in recent years, 3,4-dihydropyrimidin-2(1H)ones have attracted researchers to synthesize them via Biginelli reaction and evaluate their antihypertensive activities as bioisosters of Nifedipine, which is a famous calcium channel blocker. Our new target compounds were prepared through one-pot reaction of thiourea 1, ethyl acetoacetate 2 and/or 1H-indole-2-carbaldehyde, 2-chloroquinoline-3-carbaldehyde, 1,3-diphenyl-1H-pyrazole-4-carbaldehyde, 3ac in acid medium (HCl) yielding pyrimidines 4ac, which in turn were hydrolyzed to carboxylic acid derivatives 5ac which were chlorinated by SOCl2 to give acyl chlorides 6ac. Finally, the latter were reacted with some selected aromatic amines, namely, aniline, p-toluidine and p-nitroaniline, producing amides 7ac, 8ac, and 9ac. The purity of the prepared compounds was examined via TLC monitoring, and structures were confirmed by different spectroscopic techniques such as IR, 1HNMR, 13CNMR, and mass spectroscopy. The in vivo evaluation of the antihypertensive activity revealed that compounds 4c, 7a, 7c, 8c, 9b and 9c had comparable antihypertensive properties with Nifedipine. On the other hand, the in vitro calcium channel blocking activity was evaluated by IC50 measurement and results revealed that compounds 4c, 7a, 7b, 7c, 8c, 9a, 9b, and 9c had comparable calcium channel blocking activity with the reference Nifedipine. Based on the aforementioned biological results, we selected compounds 8c and 9c to be docked onto Ryanodine and dihydropyridine receptors. Furthermore, we developed a structure–activity relationship. The designed compounds in this study show promising activity profiles in reducing blood pressure and as calcium channel blockers, and could be considered as new potential antihypertensive and/or antianginal agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biologically Active Heterocyclic Compounds)
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21 pages, 8422 KiB  
Article
Understanding Gel-Powers: Exploring Rheological Marvels of Acrylamide/Sodium Alginate Double-Network Hydrogels
by Shi-Chang Wang, Shu-Tong Du, Saud Hashmi, Shu-Ming Cui, Ling Li, Stephan Handschuh-Wang, Xuechang Zhou and Florian J. Stadler
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4868; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124868 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2072
Abstract
This study investigates the rheological properties of dual-network hydrogels based on acrylamide and sodium alginate under large deformations. The concentration of calcium ions affects the nonlinear behavior, and all gel samples exhibit strain hardening, shear thickening, and shear densification. The paper focuses on [...] Read more.
This study investigates the rheological properties of dual-network hydrogels based on acrylamide and sodium alginate under large deformations. The concentration of calcium ions affects the nonlinear behavior, and all gel samples exhibit strain hardening, shear thickening, and shear densification. The paper focuses on systematic variation of the alginate concentration—which serves as second network building blocks—and the Ca2+-concentration—which shows how strongly they are connected. The precursor solutions show a typical viscoelastic solution behavior depending on alginate content and pH. The gels are highly elastic solids with only relatively small viscoelastic components, i.e., their creep and creep recovery behavior are indicative of the solid state after only a very short time while the linear viscoelastic phase angles are very small. The onset of the nonlinear regime decreases significantly when closing the second network (alginate) upon adding Ca2+, while at the same time the nonlinearity parameters (Q0, I3/I1, S, T, e3/e1, and v3/v1) increase significantly. Further, the tensile properties are significantly improved by closing the alginate network by Ca2+ at intermediate concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Recent Advances in Hydrogels)
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16 pages, 2342 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of E-Beam Radiation against Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Brettanomyces bruxellensis, and Wild Yeast and Their Influence on Wine Quality
by Magdalena Błaszak, Barbara Jakubowska, Sabina Lachowicz-Wiśniewska, Wojciech Migdał, Urszula Gryczka and Ireneusz Ochmian
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4867; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124867 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1076
Abstract
The simplest way to eliminate microorganisms in the must/wine is through sulfuration, as it allows the introduction of pure yeast varieties into the must, which guarantees a high-quality wine. However, sulfur is an allergen, and an increasing number of people are developing allergies [...] Read more.
The simplest way to eliminate microorganisms in the must/wine is through sulfuration, as it allows the introduction of pure yeast varieties into the must, which guarantees a high-quality wine. However, sulfur is an allergen, and an increasing number of people are developing allergies to it. Therefore, alternative methods for microbiological stabilization of must and wine are being sought. Consequently, the aim of the experiment was to evaluate the effectiveness of ionizing radiation in eliminating microorganisms in must. The sensitivity of wine yeasts, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, S. cerevisiae var. bayanus, Brettanomyces bruxellensis, and wild yeasts to ionizing radiation was com-pared. The effects of these yeasts on wine chemistry and quality were also determined. Ionizing radiation eliminates yeast in wine. A dose of 2.5 kGy reduced the amount of yeast by more than 90% without reducing the quality of the wine. However, higher doses of radiation worsened the organoleptic properties of the wine. The breed of yeast used has a very strong influence on the quality of the wine. It is justifiable to use commercial yeast breeds to obtain standard-quality wine. The use of special strains, e.g., B. bruxellensis, is also justified when aiming to obtain a unique product during vinification. This wine was reminiscent of wine produced with wild yeast.. The wine fermented with wild yeast had a very poor chemical composition, which negatively affected its taste and aroma. The high content of 2-methylbutanol and 3-methylbutanol caused the wine to have a nail polish remover smell. Full article
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16 pages, 953 KiB  
Article
Physicochemical Aspects, Bioactive Compounds, Phenolic Profile and In Vitro Antioxidant Activity of Tropical Red Fruits and Their Blend
by Yaroslávia Ferreira Paiva, Rossana Maria Feitosa de Figueirêdo, Alexandre José de Melo Queiroz, Lumara Tatiely Santos Amadeu, Francislaine Suelia dos Santos, Carolaine Gomes dos Reis, Ana Júlia de Brito Araújo Carvalho, Marcos dos Santos Lima, Antônio Gilson Barbosa de Lima, Josivanda Palmeira Gomes, Rodrigo Leite Moura, Henrique Valentim Moura and Eugênia Telis de Vilela Silva
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4866; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124866 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1377
Abstract
The combination of fruit pulps from different species, in addition to multiplying the offer of flavors, aromas and textures, favors the nutritional spectrum and the diversity of bioactive principles. The objective was to evaluate and compare the physicochemical characteristics, bioactive compounds, profile of [...] Read more.
The combination of fruit pulps from different species, in addition to multiplying the offer of flavors, aromas and textures, favors the nutritional spectrum and the diversity of bioactive principles. The objective was to evaluate and compare the physicochemical characteristics, bioactive compounds, profile of phenolic compounds and in vitro antioxidant activity of pulps of three species of tropical red fruits (acerola, guava and pitanga) and of the blend produced from the combination. The pulps showed significant values of bioactive compounds, with emphasis on acerola, which had the highest levels in all parameters, except for lycopene, with the highest content in pitanga pulp. Nineteen phenolic compounds were identified, being phenolic acids, flavanols, anthocyanin and stilbene; of these, eighteen were quantified in acerola, nine in guava, twelve in pitanga and fourteen in the blend. The blend combined positive characteristics conferred by the individual pulps, with low pH favorable for conservation, high levels of total soluble solids and sugars, greater diversity of phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity close to that of acerola pulp. Pearson’s correlation between antioxidant activity and ascorbic acid content, total phenolic compounds, flavonoids, anthocyanins and carotenoids for the samples were positive, indicating their use as a source of bioactive compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physicochemical Study of Foods)
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9 pages, 1474 KiB  
Communication
Two Novel Neutral Cyclometalated Iridium(III) Complexes Based on 10,11,12,13-Tetrahydrodibenzo[a,c]phenazine for Efficient Red Electroluminescence
by Yuzhen Yang, Han Zhao, Weiqiao Zhou, Qin Zeng, Zihao Zhang, Junjie Jiang, Yongyang Gong, Yanqin Miao, Song Guo and Yuanli Liu
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4865; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124865 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1174
Abstract
Two novel neutral phosphorescent iridium(III) complexes (Ir1 and Ir2) were rationally designed and synthesized with high yields using 10,11,12,13-tetrahydrodibenzo[a,c]phenazine as the main ligand. The two complexes showed bright-red phosphorescence (625 nm for Ir1, and 620 nm for Ir2, in CH2Cl2 [...] Read more.
Two novel neutral phosphorescent iridium(III) complexes (Ir1 and Ir2) were rationally designed and synthesized with high yields using 10,11,12,13-tetrahydrodibenzo[a,c]phenazine as the main ligand. The two complexes showed bright-red phosphorescence (625 nm for Ir1, and 620 nm for Ir2, in CH2Cl2), high-luminescence quantum efficiency (0.32 for Ir1, and 0.35 for Ir2), obvious solvatochromism and good thermostability. Then, they were used to fabricate high-efficiency red OLEDs via vacuum evaporation; the maximum current efficiency, power efficiency, and external quantum efficiency of the red devices based on Ir1 and Ir2 are 13.47/15.22 cd/A, 10.35/12.26 lm/W, and 10.08/7.48%, respectively. Full article
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15 pages, 3059 KiB  
Article
NMR-Based Metabolomic Study on Phaseolus vulgaris Flour Fermented by Lactic Acid Bacteria and Yeasts
by Giuseppina Tatulli, Laura Ruth Cagliani, Francesca Sparvoli, Milena Brasca and Roberto Consonni
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4864; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124864 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1362
Abstract
In recent years, fermented foods have attracted increasing attention due to their important role in the human diet, since they supply beneficial health effects, providing important sources of nutrients. In this respect, a comprehensive characterization of the metabolite content in fermented foods is [...] Read more.
In recent years, fermented foods have attracted increasing attention due to their important role in the human diet, since they supply beneficial health effects, providing important sources of nutrients. In this respect, a comprehensive characterization of the metabolite content in fermented foods is required to achieve a complete vision of physiological, microbiological, and functional traits. In the present preliminary study, the NMR-based metabolomic approach combined with chemometrics has been applied, for the first time, to investigate the metabolite content of Phaseolus vulgaris flour fermented by different lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeasts. A differentiation of microorganisms (LAB and yeasts), LAB metabolism (homo- and heterofermentative hexose fermentation), LAB genus (Lactobacillus, Leuconostoc, and Pediococcus), and novel genera (Lacticaseibacillus, Lactiplantibacillus, and Lentilactobacillus) was achieved. Moreover, our findings showed an increase of free amino acids and bioactive molecules, such as GABA, and a degradation of anti-nutritional compounds, such as raffinose and stachyose, confirming the beneficial effects of fermentation processes and the potential use of fermented flours in the production of healthy baking foods. Finally, among all microorganisms considered, the Lactiplantibacillus plantarum species was found to be the most effective in fermenting bean flour, as a larger amount of free amino acids were assessed in their analysis, denoting more intensive proteolytic activity. Full article
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19 pages, 2256 KiB  
Article
Exploring Proton-Only NMR Experiments and Filters for Daphnia In Vivo: Potential and Limitations
by Kiera Ronda, Katelyn Downey, Amy Jenne, Monica Bastawrous, William W. Wolff, Katrina Steiner, Daniel H. Lysak, Peter M. Costa, Myrna J. Simpson, Karl J. Jobst and Andre J. Simpson
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4863; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124863 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1449
Abstract
Environmental metabolomics provides insight into how anthropogenic activities have an impact on the health of an organism at the molecular level. Within this field, in vivo NMR stands out as a powerful tool for monitoring real-time changes in an organism’s metabolome. Typically, these [...] Read more.
Environmental metabolomics provides insight into how anthropogenic activities have an impact on the health of an organism at the molecular level. Within this field, in vivo NMR stands out as a powerful tool for monitoring real-time changes in an organism’s metabolome. Typically, these studies use 2D 13C-1H experiments on 13C-enriched organisms. Daphnia are the most studied species, given their widespread use in toxicity testing. However, with COVID-19 and other geopolitical factors, the cost of isotope enrichment increased ~6–7 fold over the last two years, making 13C-enriched cultures difficult to maintain. Thus, it is essential to revisit proton-only in vivo NMR and ask, “Can any metabolic information be obtained from Daphnia using proton-only experiments?”. Two samples are considered here: living and whole reswollen organisms. A range of filters are tested, including relaxation, lipid suppression, multiple-quantum, J-coupling suppression, 2D 1H-1H experiments, selective experiments, and those exploiting intermolecular single-quantum coherence. While most filters improve the ex vivo spectra, only the most complex filters succeed in vivo. If non-enriched organisms must be used, then, DREAMTIME is recommended for targeted monitoring, while IP-iSQC was the only experiment that allowed non-targeted metabolite identification in vivo. This paper is critically important as it documents not just the experiments that succeed in vivo but also those that fail and demonstrates first-hand the difficulties associated with proton-only in vivo NMR. Full article
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16 pages, 3657 KiB  
Article
Bifunctional Hot Water Vapor Template-Mediated Synthesis of Nanostructured Polymeric Carbon Nitride for Efficient Hydrogen Evolution
by Baihua Long, Hongmei He, Yang Yu, Wenwen Cai, Quan Gu, Jing Yang and Sugang Meng
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4862; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124862 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2175
Abstract
Regulating bulk polymeric carbon nitride (PCN) into nanostructured PCN has long been proven effective in enhancing its photocatalytic activity. However, simplifying the synthesis of nanostructured PCN remains a considerable challenge and has drawn widespread attention. This work reported the one-step green and sustainable [...] Read more.
Regulating bulk polymeric carbon nitride (PCN) into nanostructured PCN has long been proven effective in enhancing its photocatalytic activity. However, simplifying the synthesis of nanostructured PCN remains a considerable challenge and has drawn widespread attention. This work reported the one-step green and sustainable synthesis of nanostructured PCN in the direct thermal polymerization of the guanidine thiocyanate precursor via the judicious introduction of hot water vapor’s dual function as gas-bubble templates along with a green etching reagent. By optimizing the temperature of the water vapor and polymerization reaction time, the as-prepared nanostructured PCN exhibited a highly boosted visible-light-driven photocatalytic hydrogen evolution activity. The highest H2 evolution rate achieved was 4.81mmol∙g−1∙h−1, which is over four times larger than that of the bulk PCN (1.19 mmol∙g−1∙h−1) prepared only by thermal polymerization of the guanidine thiocyanate precursor without the assistance of bifunctional hot water vapor. The enhanced photocatalytic activity might be attributed to the enlarged BET specific surface area, increased active site quantity, and highly accelerated photo-excited charge-carrier transfer and separation. Moreover, the sustainability of this environmentally friendly hot water vapor dual-function mediated method was also shown to be versatile in preparing other nanostructured PCN photocatalysts derived from other precursors such as dicyandiamide and melamine. This work is expected to provide a novel pathway for exploring the rational design of nanostructured PCN for highly efficient solar energy conversion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photocatalytic Materials and Photocatalytic Reactions)
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16 pages, 4389 KiB  
Article
Comparative Study of Chemically Treated Sugarcane and Kevlar Fiber to Develop Brake Resistance Composites
by Vikas Mehta, Naresh Kumar, Ali Algahtani, Vineet Tirth, Tawfiq Al-Mughanam and Kwok-Wing Chau
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4861; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124861 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1477
Abstract
Recently, much research has revealed the increasing importance of natural fiber in modern applications. Natural fibers are used in many vital sectors like medicine, aerospace and agriculture. The cause of increasing the application of natural fiber in different fields is its eco-friendly behavior [...] Read more.
Recently, much research has revealed the increasing importance of natural fiber in modern applications. Natural fibers are used in many vital sectors like medicine, aerospace and agriculture. The cause of increasing the application of natural fiber in different fields is its eco-friendly behavior and excellent mechanical properties. The study’s primary goal is to increase the usage of environmentally friendly materials. The existing materials used in brake pads are detrimental to humans and the environment. Natural fiber composites have recently been studied and effectively employed in brake pads. However, there has yet to be a comparison investigation of natural fiber and Kevlar-based brake pad composites. Sugarcane, a natural fabric, is employed in the present study to substitute trendy materials like Kevlar and asbestos. The brake pads have been developed with 5–20 wt.% SCF and 5–10 wt.% Kevlar fiber (KF) to make the comparative study. SCF compounds at 5 wt.% outperformed the entire NF composite in coefficient of friction (µ), (%) fade and wear. However, the values of mechanical properties were found to be almost identical. Although it has been observed that, with an increase in the proportion of SCF, the performance also increased in terms of recovery. The thermal stability and wear rate are maximum for 20 wt.% SCF and 10 wt.% KF composites. The comparative study indicated that the Kevlar-based brake pad specimens provide superior outcomes compared to the SCF composite for fade (%), wear performance and coefficient of friction (Δμ). Finally, the worn composite surfaces were examined using a scanning electron microscopy technique to investigate probable wear mechanisms and to comprehend the nature of the generated contact patches/plateaus, which is critical for determining the tribological behavior of the composites. Full article
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53 pages, 4188 KiB  
Review
A Comprehensive Update of Various Attempts by Medicinal Chemists to Combat COVID-19 through Natural Products
by Ayesha Rafiq, Tooba Jabeen, Sana Aslam, Matloob Ahmad, Usman Ali Ashfaq, Noor ul Amin Mohsin, Magdi E. A. Zaki and Sami A. Al-Hussain
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4860; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124860 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2103
Abstract
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global panic because of its continual evolution and recurring spikes. This serious malignancy is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Since the outbreak, millions of people have been affected from December [...] Read more.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global panic because of its continual evolution and recurring spikes. This serious malignancy is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Since the outbreak, millions of people have been affected from December 2019 till now, which has led to a great surge in finding treatments. Despite trying to handle the pandemic with the repurposing of some drugs, such as chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, lopinavir, ivermectin, etc., against COVID-19, the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues its out-of-control spread. There is a dire need to identify a new regimen of natural products to combat the deadly viral disease. This article deals with the literature reports to date of natural products showing inhibitory activity towards SARS-CoV-2 through different approaches, such as in vivo, in vitro, and in silico studies. Natural compounds targeting the proteins of SARS-CoV-2—the main protease (Mpro), papain-like protease (PLpro), spike proteins, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), endoribonuclease, exoribonuclease, helicase, nucleocapsid, methyltransferase, adeno diphosphate (ADP) phosphatase, other nonstructural proteins, and envelope proteins—were extracted mainly from plants, and some were isolated from bacteria, algae, fungi, and a few marine organisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Product Chemistry in Drug Discovery)
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14 pages, 3065 KiB  
Article
The Introduction of Detergents in Thermal Proteome Profiling Requires Lowering the Applied Temperatures for Efficient Target Protein Identification
by Yuying Ye, Kejia Li, Yanni Ma, Xiaolei Zhang, Yanan Li, Ting Yu, Yan Wang and Mingliang Ye
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4859; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124859 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1994
Abstract
Although the use of detergents in thermal proteome profiling (TPP) has become a common practice to identify membrane protein targets in complex biological samples, surprisingly, there is no proteome-wide investigation into the impacts of detergent introduction on the target identification performance of TPP. [...] Read more.
Although the use of detergents in thermal proteome profiling (TPP) has become a common practice to identify membrane protein targets in complex biological samples, surprisingly, there is no proteome-wide investigation into the impacts of detergent introduction on the target identification performance of TPP. In this study, we assessed the target identification performance of TPP in the presence of a commonly used non-ionic detergent or a zwitterionic detergent using a pan-kinase inhibitor staurosporine, our results showed that the addition of either of these detergents significantly impaired the identification performance of TPP at the optimal temperature for soluble target protein identification. Further investigation showed that detergents destabilized the proteome and increased protein precipitation. By lowering the applied temperature point, the target identification performance of TPP with detergents is significantly improved and is comparable to that in the absence of detergents. Our findings provide valuable insight into how to select the appropriate temperature range when detergents are used in TPP. In addition, our results also suggest that the combination of detergent and heat may serve as a novel precipitation-inducing force that can be applied for target protein identification. Full article
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18 pages, 6363 KiB  
Article
Programmable Complex Shape Changing of Polysiloxane Main-Chain Liquid Crystalline Elastomers
by Yuhe Zhang, Xiuxiu Wang, Wenlong Yang, Huixuan Yan, Xinyu Zhang, Dongxu Han, Yifan He, Chensha Li and Liguo Sun
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4858; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124858 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1338
Abstract
Liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) are shape-morphing materials whose large and reversible shape transformations are caused by the coupling between the mobile anisotropic properties of liquid crystal (LC) units and the rubber elastic of polymer networks. Their shape-changing behaviors under certain stimuli are largely [...] Read more.
Liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) are shape-morphing materials whose large and reversible shape transformations are caused by the coupling between the mobile anisotropic properties of liquid crystal (LC) units and the rubber elastic of polymer networks. Their shape-changing behaviors under certain stimuli are largely directed by the LC orientation; therefore, various strategies have been developed to spatially modulate the LC alignments. However, most of these methods are limited as they require complex fabrication technologies or have intrinsic limitations in applicability. To address this issue, programmable complex shape changes in some LCE types, such as polysiloxane side-chain LCEs, thiol-acrylate main-chain LCEs, etc., were achieved by using a mechanical alignment programming process coupled with two-step crosslinking. Here, we report a polysiloxane main-chain LCE with programmable 2- and 3D shape-changing abilities that were created by mechanically programming the polydomain LCE with two crosslinking steps. The resulting LCEs exhibited a reversible thermal-induced shape transformation between the initial and programmed shapes due to the two-way memory between the first and second network structures. Our findings expand on the applications of LCE materials in actuators, soft robotics, and smart structures where arbitrary and easily programmed shape morphing is needed. Full article
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27 pages, 10611 KiB  
Review
Light-Driven Energy and Charge Transfer Processes between Additives within Electrospun Nanofibres
by Reeda Mahmood, Tristan Mananquil, Rebecca Scenna, Emma S. Dennis, Judith Castillo-Rodriguez and Bryan D. Koivisto
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4857; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124857 - 19 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1649
Abstract
Electrospinning is a cost-effective and efficient method of producing polymeric nanofibre films. The resulting nanofibres can be produced in a variety of structures, including monoaxial, coaxial (core@shell), and Janus (side-by-side). The resulting fibres can also act as a matrix for various light-harvesting components [...] Read more.
Electrospinning is a cost-effective and efficient method of producing polymeric nanofibre films. The resulting nanofibres can be produced in a variety of structures, including monoaxial, coaxial (core@shell), and Janus (side-by-side). The resulting fibres can also act as a matrix for various light-harvesting components such as dye molecules, nanoparticles, and quantum dots. The addition of these light-harvesting materials allows for various photo-driven processes to occur within the films. This review discusses the process of electrospinning as well as the effect of spinning parameters on resulting fibres. Building on this, we discuss energy transfer processes that have been explored in nanofibre films, such as Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), metal-enhanced fluorescence (MEF), and upconversion. A charge transfer process, photoinduced electron transfer (PET), is also discussed. This review highlights various candidate molecules that have been used for photo-responsive processes in electrospun films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Featured Reviews in Applied Chemistry 2.0)
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25 pages, 3440 KiB  
Review
Pentagalloyl Glucose: A Review of Anticancer Properties, Molecular Targets, Mechanisms of Action, Pharmacokinetics, and Safety Profile
by Chengli Wen, Nathupakorn Dechsupa, Zehui Yu, Xu Zhang, Sicheng Liang, Xianying Lei, Tao Xu, Xiaolan Gao, Qinxue Hu, Phattarawadee Innuan, Jiraporn Kantapan and Muhan Lü
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4856; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124856 - 19 Jun 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2465
Abstract
Pentagalloyl glucose (PGG) is a natural hydrolyzable gallotannin abundant in various plants and herbs. It has a broad range of biological activities, specifically anticancer activities, and numerous molecular targets. Despite multiple studies available on the pharmacological action of PGG, the molecular mechanisms underlying [...] Read more.
Pentagalloyl glucose (PGG) is a natural hydrolyzable gallotannin abundant in various plants and herbs. It has a broad range of biological activities, specifically anticancer activities, and numerous molecular targets. Despite multiple studies available on the pharmacological action of PGG, the molecular mechanisms underlying the anticancer effects of PGG are unclear. Here, we have critically reviewed the natural sources of PGG, its anticancer properties, and underlying mechanisms of action. We found that multiple natural sources of PGG are available, and the existing production technology is sufficient to produce large quantities of the required product. Three plants (or their parts) with maximum PGG content were Rhus chinensis Mill, Bouea macrophylla seed, and Mangifera indica kernel. PGG acts on multiple molecular targets and signaling pathways associated with the hallmarks of cancer to inhibit growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis of several cancers. Moreover, PGG can enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy and radiotherapy by modulating various cancer-associated pathways. Therefore, PGG can be used for treating different human cancers; nevertheless, the data on the pharmacokinetics and safety profile of PGG are limited, and further studies are essential to define the clinical use of PGG in cancer therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Polyphenol Compounds)
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23 pages, 6312 KiB  
Review
The Recent Development of Acoustic Sensors as Effective Chemical Detecting Tools for Biological Cells and Their Bioactivities
by Mostafa Gouda, Hesham S. Ghazzawy, Nashi Alqahtani and Xiaoli Li
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4855; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124855 - 19 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4599
Abstract
One of the most significant developed technologies is the use of acoustic waves to determine the chemical structures of biological tissues and their bioactivities. In addition, the use of new acoustic techniques for in vivo visualizing and imaging of animal and plant cellular [...] Read more.
One of the most significant developed technologies is the use of acoustic waves to determine the chemical structures of biological tissues and their bioactivities. In addition, the use of new acoustic techniques for in vivo visualizing and imaging of animal and plant cellular chemical compositions could significantly help pave the way toward advanced analytical technologies. For instance, acoustic wave sensors (AWSs) based on quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) were used to identify the aromas of fermenting tea such as linalool, geraniol, and trans-2-hexenal. Therefore, this review focuses on the use of advanced acoustic technologies for tracking the composition changes in plant and animal tissues. In addition, a few key configurations of the AWS sensors and their different wave pattern applications in biomedical and microfluidic media progress are discussed. Full article
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5 pages, 207 KiB  
Editorial
Biological Activities of Natural Products III
by Halina Maria Ekiert and Agnieszka Szopa
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4854; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124854 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1112
Abstract
The search for natural products that display biological activity is invariably an attractive research area for scientific centers and teams from around the world [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Activities of Natural Products III)
12 pages, 664 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Supercritical Fluid CO2 Extraction from Yellow Horn Seed and Its Anti-Fatigue and Antioxidant Activity
by Siyan Lyu, Haoran Wang and Tingjun Ma
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4853; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124853 - 19 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1253
Abstract
A supercritical fluid carbon dioxide (SF-CO2) extraction method was used to obtain the optimum process for extracting yellow horn seed oil. The anti-fatigue and antioxidant properties of the extracted oil were investigated through animal experiments. The optimum process conditions for SF-CO [...] Read more.
A supercritical fluid carbon dioxide (SF-CO2) extraction method was used to obtain the optimum process for extracting yellow horn seed oil. The anti-fatigue and antioxidant properties of the extracted oil were investigated through animal experiments. The optimum process conditions for SF-CO2 extraction of the yellow horn oil were 40 MPa, 50 °C and 120 min, with an extraction yield of 31.61%. The high-dose group of yellow horn oil could significantly increase the weight-bearing swimming time, the hepatic glycogen (HG) content and decrease the lactic acid (LA) content and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) content (p < 0.05) in mice. Moreover, it improved the antioxidant ability by reducing the malondialdehyde (MDA) content (p < 0.01) and raising the glutathione reductase (GR) content and superoxide dismutase (SOD) content (p < 0.05) in mice. Yellow horn oil has the effects of being an anti-fatigue and antioxidant substance, which provides a basis for its further utilization and development. Full article
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