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Special Issue "Extraction, Separation and Identification of Compounds from Natural Sources"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2022 | Viewed by 12641

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Mohamed L. Ashour
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11566, Egypt
Interests: secondary metabolites; terrestrial Plants; drug discovery; structure elucidation; HPLC; GC
Prof. Nawal M. Al Musayeib
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh 11495, Saudi Arabia
Interests: antibiotics; isolation and characterization; natural products; LC/MS
Dr. Fadia S. Youssef
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11566, Egypt
Interests: natural products; molecular modeling; essential oils; marine products; chemometrics; structural elucidation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural products are highly popular for their notable biological activities as well as remarkable chemical diversity. They have continued to serve as perfect templates for the discovery of new scaffolds of promising drug entities, alleviating many serious diseases. Recently, many great achievements have been sparked in the separation, isolation, identification, and structural elucidation of naturally occurring compounds. Today, the extraction and metabolic profiling of crude extracts, as well as the isolation and biosynthesis of natural compounds, has become easier than before owing to the presence of multiple advanced and hyphenated chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques such as LC-MS (liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry), LC-PDA (liquid chromatography coupled with photodiode array detector), LC-NMR-MS (liquid chromatography coupled with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectrometry), as well as GC-MS (gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry). This Special Issue aims to shed light on the extraction, separation, isolation, and identification of secondary metabolites from natural sources comprising plants, their essential oils/marine organisms, and their associated micro-organisms. This separation is performed using different techniques such as LC-MS, NMR, and GC-MS. Evaluation of their bioactivities and their probable mode of action is also recommended that will eventually lead to the discovery of promising leads that could be incorporated in many pharmaceutical products to cure many problems. Short communications, research articles, and review articles are welcomed.

Prof. Dr. Mohamed L. Ashour
Prof. Nawal M. Al Musayeib
Dr. Fadia S. Youssef
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • natural sources
  • marine organisms
  • medicinal plants
  • essential oils
  • LC-MS (liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry)
  • GC-MS (gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry)
  • Structural elucidation
  • NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance)
  • molecular docking

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Research

Article
Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction of Anthocyanins from Malus ‘Royalty’ Fruits: Optimization, Separation, and Antitumor Activity
Molecules 2022, 27(13), 4299; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27134299 - 04 Jul 2022
Viewed by 209
Abstract
Red Malus ‘Royalty’ fruits are rich in anthocyanins. This study aimed to obtain the optimal parameters for the extraction and separation of anthocyanins from Malus ‘Royalty’ fruits and to evaluate the inhibitory effect of the enriched anthocyanin fraction on gastric cancer cells. Ultrasonic-assisted [...] Read more.
Red Malus ‘Royalty’ fruits are rich in anthocyanins. This study aimed to obtain the optimal parameters for the extraction and separation of anthocyanins from Malus ‘Royalty’ fruits and to evaluate the inhibitory effect of the enriched anthocyanin fraction on gastric cancer cells. Ultrasonic-assisted extraction was used for the extraction of the anthocyanins of Malus ‘Royalty’ fruit, and the extraction results showed that the optimum parameters were an extraction temperature of 20 °C, a solid–liquid ratio of 1:6 (g/mL), ethanol and formic acid contents of 70% and 0.4%, respectively, an extraction time of 40 min, and an ultrasonic power of 300 W. The optimum extraction parameters to achieve the highest anthocyanin yield by a single-factor experiment coupled with response surface methodology were identified. The separation results showed that the AB-8 macroporous resin was a better purifying material, with 60% ethanol as an adsorbent, and the adsorption–desorption equilibrium times were 6 h and 1 h, respectively. Cyanidin-3-galactoside was the main body composition separation of anthocyanins by a high-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detector. The antitumor activity results showed that the anthocyanins of Malus ‘Royalty’ fruits have a significant inhibitory effect on the gastric cancer cell line BGC-803. The in vitro cell viability test of CCK-8 showed that the inhibitory effect on tumor cells was more significant with the increased anthocyanin concentration, with a half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) value of 105.5 μg/mL. The cell morphology was observed by an inverted microscope, and it was found that the backbone of BGC-803 treated with a high concentration of anthocyanins was disintegrated and the nucleoplasm was concentrated. The mechanism of apoptosis was analyzed by Western blotting, and the results showed that with increasing anthocyanin concentration in the medium, the expression levels of the proapoptotic proteins Bax and Bak increased, and the expression levels of the antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL decreased, which coordinated the regulation of cell apoptosis. This research suggests that the enriched anthocyanin fraction from Malus ‘Royalty’ fruits have potential antitumor and adjuvant therapeutic effects on gastric cancer. Full article
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Article
Chemical Composition, Anti-Breast Cancer Activity and Extraction Techniques of Ent-Abietane Diterpenoids from Euphorbia fischeriana Steud
Molecules 2022, 27(13), 4282; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27134282 - 03 Jul 2022
Viewed by 241
Abstract
Ent-abietane diterpenoids are the main active constituents of Euphorbia fischeriana. In the continuing search for new anti-breast cancer drugs, 11 ent-abietane diterpenoids (111) were isolated from E. fischeriana. The structures of these compounds were clearly elucidated on [...] Read more.
Ent-abietane diterpenoids are the main active constituents of Euphorbia fischeriana. In the continuing search for new anti-breast cancer drugs, 11 ent-abietane diterpenoids (111) were isolated from E. fischeriana. The structures of these compounds were clearly elucidated on the basis of 1D and 2D NMR spectra as well as HRESIMS data. Among them, compound 1 was a novel compound, compound 10 was isolated from Euphorbia genus for the first time, compound 11 was firstly discovered from E. fischeriana. These compounds exhibited varying degrees of growth inhibition against the MCF-10A, MCF-7, ZR-75-1 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines in vitro. The experimental data obtained permit us to identify the roles of the epoxy group, hydroxyl group and acetoxyl group on their cytotoxic activities. Extraction is an important means for the isolation, identification, and application of valuable compounds from natural plants. To maximize yields of ent-abietane diterpenoids of E. fischeriana, 17-hydroxyjolkinolide B, jolkinolide B, 17-hydroxyjolkinolide A and jolkinolide A were selected as quality controls to optimize the salting-out-assisted liquid–liquid extraction (SALLE) by response surface methodology (RSM). The optimized conditions for SALLE were 0.47 g sodium dihydrogen phosphate, 5.5 mL acetonitrile and 4.5 mL water at pH 7.5. The experimental values of 17-hydroxyjolkinolide B, jolkinolide B, 17-hydroxyjolkinolide A and jolkinolide A (2.134, 0.529, 0.396, and 0.148 mg/g, respectively) were in agreement with the predicted values, thus demonstrating the appropriateness of the model. Full article
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Article
GC-MS/MS Quantification of EGFR Inhibitors, β-Sitosterol, Betulinic Acid, (+) Eriodictyol, (+) Epipinoresinol, and Secoisolariciresinol, in Crude Extract and Ethyl Acetate Fraction of Thonningia sanguinea
Molecules 2022, 27(13), 4109; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27134109 - 26 Jun 2022
Viewed by 296
Abstract
Medicinal plants are widely used in folk medicine to treat various diseases. Thonningia sanguinea Vahl is widespread in African traditional medicine, and exhibits antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and anticancer activities. T. sanguinea is a source of phytomedicinal agents that have previously been isolated and [...] Read more.
Medicinal plants are widely used in folk medicine to treat various diseases. Thonningia sanguinea Vahl is widespread in African traditional medicine, and exhibits antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and anticancer activities. T. sanguinea is a source of phytomedicinal agents that have previously been isolated and structurally elucidated. Herein, gas chromatography combined with tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) was used to quantify epipinoresinol, β-sitosterol, eriodictyol, betulinic acid, and secoisolariciresinol contents in the methanolic crude extract and its ethyl acetate fraction for the first time. The ethyl acetate fraction was rich in epipinoresinol, eriodictyol, and secoisolariciresinol at concentrations of 2.3, 3.9, and 2.4 mg/g of dry extract, respectively. The binding interactions of these compounds with the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) were computed using a molecular docking study. The results revealed that the highest binding affinities for the EGFR signaling pathway were attributed to eriodictyol and secoisolariciresinol, with good binding energies of −19.93 and −16.63 Kcal/mol, respectively. These compounds formed good interactions with the key amino acid Met 769 as the co-crystallized ligand. So, the ethyl acetate fraction of T. sanguinea is a promising adjuvant therapy in cancer treatments. Full article
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Article
Phytochemical Investigation of Cordia africana Lam. Stem Bark: Molecular Simulation Approach
Molecules 2022, 27(13), 4039; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27134039 - 23 Jun 2022
Viewed by 241
Abstract
Background: The current work planned to evaluate Cordia africana Lam. stem bark, a traditionally used herb in curing of different ailments in Africa such as gastritis and wound infections, based on phytochemical and antibacterial studies of two pathogenic microorganisms: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) [...] Read more.
Background: The current work planned to evaluate Cordia africana Lam. stem bark, a traditionally used herb in curing of different ailments in Africa such as gastritis and wound infections, based on phytochemical and antibacterial studies of two pathogenic microorganisms: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Helicobacter pylori. Methods: High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) profiling was used for qualitative and quantitative investigation of the ethanol extract. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the ethanolic extract and isolated compounds was estimated using the broth microdilution method and evidenced by molecular dynamics simulations. Results: Four compounds were isolated and identified for the first time: α-amyrin, β-sitosterol, rosmarinic acid (RA) and methyl rosmarinate (MR). HPLC analysis illustrated that MR was the dominant phenolic acid. MR showed the best bacterial inhibitory activity against MRSA and H. pylori with MIC 7.81 ± 1.7 μg/mL and 31.25 ± 0.6, respectively, when compared to clarithromycin and vancomycin, respectively. Conclusion: The antibacterial activity of the stem bark of Cordia africana Lam. was evidenced against MRSA and H. pylori. Computational modeling of the studied enzyme-ligands systems reveals that RA and MR can potentially inhibit both MRSA peptidoglycan transpeptidases and H. pylori urease, thereby creating a pathway via the use of a double target approach in antibacterial treatment. Full article
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Article
Structural Characterization and In-Vitro Antioxidant and Immunomodulatory Activities of Polysaccharide Fractions Isolated from Artemisia annua L.
Molecules 2022, 27(11), 3643; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27113643 - 06 Jun 2022
Viewed by 424
Abstract
Arimisia annua L. is an important anticancer herb used in traditional Chinese medicine. The molecular basis underpinning the anticancer activity is complex and not fully understood, but the herbal polysaccharides, broadly recognised as having immunomodulatory, antioxidant and anticancer activities, are potential key active [...] Read more.
Arimisia annua L. is an important anticancer herb used in traditional Chinese medicine. The molecular basis underpinning the anticancer activity is complex and not fully understood, but the herbal polysaccharides, broadly recognised as having immunomodulatory, antioxidant and anticancer activities, are potential key active agents. To examine the functions of polysaccharides from A. annua, their immunomodulatory and antioxidant potentials were evaluated, as well as their structural characterization. The water-soluble polysaccharides (AAPs) were fractionated using size-exclusion chromatography to obtain three dominant fractions, AAP-1, AAP-2 and AAP-3, having molecular masses centered around 1684, 455 and 5.8kDa, respectively. The antioxidant potentials of the isolated polysaccharides were evaluated by measuring radical scavenging activities against DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical), ABTS●+ (2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid radical ion), and the OH (hydroxyl radical). AAP-1 displayed high antioxidant activities against these radicals, which were 68%, 73% and 78%, respectively. AAP-2 displayed lower scavenging activities than the other two fractions. Immunostimulatory activities of AAPs were measured using mouse macrophages. The three polysaccharide fractions displayed significant antioxidant activities and stimulated the production of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). AAP-1 showed significant immunostimulatory activity (16-fold increase in the production of IL-6 compared to the control and 13-fold increase in the production of TNF-α) with low toxicity (>60% cell viability at 125 μg/mL concentration). Preliminary structural characterization of the AAPs was carried out using gas chromatography (GC) and FTIR techniques. The results indicate that AAP-1 and AAP-2 are pyranose-containing polysaccharides with β-linkages, and AAP-3 is a β-fructofuranoside. The results suggest that these polysaccharides are potential candidates for immunotherapy and cancer treatment. Full article
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Article
Investigation of Chemical Compositions and Biological Activities of Mentha suaveolens L. from Saudi Arabia
Molecules 2022, 27(9), 2949; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27092949 - 05 May 2022
Viewed by 438
Abstract
Mentha is an aromatic plant used since antiquity for its pharmaceutical virtues. The climate of Saudi Arabia favors the growth of aromatic plants including Mentha suaveolens L. The aim of this study is to analyze the volatile oils of different parts of fresh [...] Read more.
Mentha is an aromatic plant used since antiquity for its pharmaceutical virtues. The climate of Saudi Arabia favors the growth of aromatic plants including Mentha suaveolens L. The aim of this study is to analyze the volatile oils of different parts of fresh and dried Mentha suaveolens L. grown in Saudi Arabia (Aljouf area) using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) and Gas Chromatography Flame Ionization Detector (GC/FID) techniques, to recognize the effect of drying on chemical composition, then to evaluate the antioxidant and antifungal activities of different extracts. In total, 118 compounds were identified via GC/MS and GC/FID, in which carvone is the main volatile constituent (stems, leaves, whole plant 45–64%). This investigation deduces that Mentha belonged to the carvone chemotype. Then, the analysis of non-volatile constituents of fresh and dried Mentha was performed by HPLC. The main phenolic compound of fresh and dried Mentha for different parts was rosmarinic acid (ranging from 28,002.5 to 6558 µg/g). The ethanolic extract of fresh stem showed the highest antifungal activity (53% inhibition) compared with miconazole (60% inhibition) but the ethanoic extract of dry stem showed no activity. Additionally, all ethanolic extracts, whether for fresh or dry Mentha, have antioxidant activity more than 90% while the antioxidant activity of whole plant volatile oil is equal to 53.33%. This research shows that M. suaveolens L. could be applied to manufacture natural antioxidants, antifungal, and flavoring agents. Full article
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Article
The Potential Role of Nigella sativa Seed Oil as Epigenetic Therapy of Cancer
Molecules 2022, 27(9), 2779; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27092779 - 27 Apr 2022
Viewed by 535
Abstract
Nigella sativa oil, commonly known as black seed oil (BSO), is a well-known Mediterranean food, and its consumption is associated with beneficial effects on human health. A large number of BSO’s therapeutic properties is attributed to its pharmacologically active compound, thymoquinone (TQ), which [...] Read more.
Nigella sativa oil, commonly known as black seed oil (BSO), is a well-known Mediterranean food, and its consumption is associated with beneficial effects on human health. A large number of BSO’s therapeutic properties is attributed to its pharmacologically active compound, thymoquinone (TQ), which inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis by targeting several epigenetic players, including the ubiquitin-like, containing plant homeodomain (PHD) and an interesting new gene, RING finger domains 1 (UHRF1), and its partners, DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) and histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1). This study was designed to compare the effects of locally sourced BSO with those of pure TQ on the expression of the epigenetic complex UHRF1/DNMT1/HDAC1 and the related events in several cancer cells. The gas chromatographs obtained from GC-MS analyses of extracted BSO showed that TQ was the major volatile compound. BSO significantly inhibited the proliferation of MCF-7, HeLa and Jurkat cells in a dose-dependent manner, and it induced apoptosis in these cell lines. BSO-induced inhibitory effects were associated with a significant decrease in mRNA expression of UHRF1, DNMT1 and HDAC1. Molecular docking and MD simulation showed that TQ had good binding affinity to UHRF1 and HDAC1. Of note, TQ formed a stable metal coordinate bond with zinc tom, found in the active site of the HDAC1 protein. These findings suggest that the use of TQ-rich BSO represents a promising strategy for epigenetic therapy for both solid and blood tumors through direct targeting of the trimeric epigenetic complex UHRF1/DNMT1/ HDAC1. Full article
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Article
A New Xanthone Glycoside from Mangifera indica L.: Physicochemical Properties and In Vitro Anti-Skin Aging Activities
Molecules 2022, 27(9), 2609; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27092609 - 19 Apr 2022
Viewed by 491
Abstract
A new xanthone glycoside, 1,3,5,6-tetrahydroxyxanthone-C-4-β-d-glucopyranoside was isolated from the methanol extract of Mangifera indica leaves (Anacardiaceae) growing in Egypt. The structure was clarified by 1D and 2D-NMR spectroscopic data. The physicochemical properties of the compound such as lipophilicity, solubility, and formulation [...] Read more.
A new xanthone glycoside, 1,3,5,6-tetrahydroxyxanthone-C-4-β-d-glucopyranoside was isolated from the methanol extract of Mangifera indica leaves (Anacardiaceae) growing in Egypt. The structure was clarified by 1D and 2D-NMR spectroscopic data. The physicochemical properties of the compound such as lipophilicity, solubility, and formulation considerations were predicted via in silico ADMET technique using the SwissADME server. This technique provided Lipinski’s rule of five, such as GIT absorption, distribution, metabolism, and skin permeation. The in vitro inhibitory activities against aging-mediated enzymes such as collagenase, elastase, hyaluronidase, and tyrosinase were assessed. The compound exhibited remarkable anti-collagenase, anti-elastase, anti-hyaluronidase, and anti-tyrosinase effects with IC50 values of 1.06, 419.10, 1.65, and 0.48 µg/mL, respectively, compared to the positive control. The compound showed promising predicted aqueous solubility and reasonable skin penetration suggesting the suitability of the compound for topical formulation as an anti-aging agent for cosmetic preparations. Full article
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Article
In Vitro Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Cotula anthemoides Essential Oil and In Silico Molecular Docking of Its Bioactives
Molecules 2022, 27(6), 1994; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27061994 - 19 Mar 2022
Viewed by 668
Abstract
The genus Cotula (Asteraceae) comprises about 80 species, amongst them Cotula anthemoides L. It is a wild plant growing in Egypt that possesses many traditional uses as a headache, colic, and chest cold remedy. In our study, the chemical composition of C. [...] Read more.
The genus Cotula (Asteraceae) comprises about 80 species, amongst them Cotula anthemoides L. It is a wild plant growing in Egypt that possesses many traditional uses as a headache, colic, and chest cold remedy. In our study, the chemical composition of C. anthemoides essential oils was analyzed using GC-MS spectroscopy. Sixteen components of leave and stem oils and thirteen components of flower oils were characterized. The main components in both essential oil parts were camphor (88.79% and 86.45%) and trans-thujone (5.14% and 10.40%) in the leaves and stems and the flowers, respectively. The anti-inflammatory activity of the oils in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophage cells was evaluated. The flower oil showed its predominant effect in the amelioration of proinflammatory cytokines and tumor necrosis factor-α, as well as cyclooxygenase-2. The bornyl acetate showed the highest affinity for the cyclooxygenase-2 receptor, while compound cis-p-menth-2-ene-1-ol had the best affinity for the tumor necrosis factor receptor, according to the results of molecular docking. In addition, the molecule cis-β-farnesene showed promising dual affinity for both studied receptors. Our findings show that essential oils from C. anthemoides have anti-inflammatory properties through their control over the generation of inflammatory mediators. These findings suggest that C. anthemoides essential oils could lead to the discovery of novel sources of anti-inflammatory treatments. Full article
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Article
Phytochemical Insights into Ficus sur Extracts and Their Biological Activity
Molecules 2022, 27(6), 1863; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27061863 - 13 Mar 2022
Viewed by 805
Abstract
This study focused on the biological evaluation and chemical characterisation of Ficus sur Forssk. (F. sur) (Family: Moraceae). The methanolic and aqueous extracts’ phytochemical profile, antioxidant, and enzyme inhibitory properties were investigated. The aqueous stem bark extract yielded the highest phenolic [...] Read more.
This study focused on the biological evaluation and chemical characterisation of Ficus sur Forssk. (F. sur) (Family: Moraceae). The methanolic and aqueous extracts’ phytochemical profile, antioxidant, and enzyme inhibitory properties were investigated. The aqueous stem bark extract yielded the highest phenolic content (115.51 ± 1.60 mg gallic acid equivalent/g extract), while the methanolic leaves extract possessed the highest flavonoid content (27.47 ± 0.28 mg Rutin equivalent/g extract). In total, 118 compounds were identified in the tested extracts. The methanolic stem bark extract exhibited the most potent radical scavenging potential against 2,2-diphenyl-1 picrylhydrazyl and 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (475.79 ± 6.83 and 804.31 ± 4.52 mg Trolox equivalent/g extract, respectively) and the highest reducing Cu2+ capacity (937.86 ± 14.44 mg Trolox equivalent/g extract). The methanolic stem bark extract substantially depressed tyrosinase (69.84 ± 0.35 mg kojic acid equivalent/g extract), α-amylase (0.77 ± 0.01 mmol acarbose equivalent/g extract), acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase (2.91 ± 0.07 and 6.56 ± 0.34 mg galantamine equivalent/g extract, respectively) enzymes. F. sur extracts were tested for anticancer properties and antiviral activity towards human herpes virus type 1 (HHV-1). Stem bark infusion and methanolic extract showed antineoplastic activity against cervical adenocarcinoma and colon cancer cell lines, whereas leaf methanolic extract exerted moderate antiviral activity towards HHV-1. This investigation yielded important scientific data on F. sur which might be used to generate innovative phytopharmaceuticals. Full article
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Article
Isolation, Structure Elucidation and Antimicrobial Evaluation of Natural Pentacyclic Triterpenoids and Phytochemical Investigation of Different Fractions of Ziziphus spina-christi (L.) Stem Bark Using LCHRMS Analysis
Molecules 2022, 27(6), 1805; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27061805 - 10 Mar 2022
Viewed by 755
Abstract
Ziziphus spina-christi L. (ZSC-L) is a tree with thorny branches, belongs to the family Rhamnaceae and grows in the sub-tropics. The purpose of this research is to isolate and partially purify bioactive components from the crude ethanol extract of the stem bark of [...] Read more.
Ziziphus spina-christi L. (ZSC-L) is a tree with thorny branches, belongs to the family Rhamnaceae and grows in the sub-tropics. The purpose of this research is to isolate and partially purify bioactive components from the crude ethanol extract of the stem bark of ZSC-L. Besides, bioassay-guided fractionation of ZSC-L stem bark was conducted using different solvents. The solvents were reutilized to minimize the production cost and environmental harm. In addition, the antimicrobial activities of the fractions were analyzed, followed by metabolic profiling using LC-HRMS. The n-butanol fraction showed the highest antimicrobial efficacy, so it was subjected to further purification. For the first time, two major compounds were isolated from the stem bark of ZSC-L and identified as lupane-type pentacyclic triterpenoids betulinic acid and betulin. Both compounds were used as antibacterial and anticancer agents and considered as a green product as the extraction procedure reduced the use of hazardous chemicals. Metabolic characterization of ZSC-L and its bioactive fractions were performed using LC-HR-ESI-MS and the results revealed the dereplication of 36 compounds belonging to different chemical classes. Flavonoids and triterpenes were the most prominent metabolite classes in the different fractions. The molecular docking results were obtained by studying the interaction of betulin and betulinic acid with antimicrobial receptors (4UYM, 1IYL, 1AJ2, 6J7L, 1AD4, 2VEG) to support the in vitro results. Our study highlights that Ziziphus spina-christi and its phytoconstituents, especially triterpenoids, act as a promising antimicrobial candidate in pharmaceutical and clinical applications. Full article
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Article
Chemical Compositions and Antioxidant Activities of Essential Oils, and Their Combinations, Obtained from Flavedo By-Product of Seven Cultivars of Sicilian Citrus aurantium L.
Molecules 2022, 27(5), 1580; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27051580 - 27 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 687
Abstract
In this work, seven Citrus aurantium essential oils (EOs) derived from flavedo of cultivars ‘Canaliculata’, ‘Consolei’, ‘Crispifolia’, ‘Fasciata’, ‘Foetifera’, ‘Listata’, and ‘Bizzaria’ were investigated. EOs were also combined in 1:1 (v/v) ratio to identify possible synergism or antagonism of [...] Read more.
In this work, seven Citrus aurantium essential oils (EOs) derived from flavedo of cultivars ‘Canaliculata’, ‘Consolei’, ‘Crispifolia’, ‘Fasciata’, ‘Foetifera’, ‘Listata’, and ‘Bizzaria’ were investigated. EOs were also combined in 1:1 (v/v) ratio to identify possible synergism or antagonism of actions. GC-MS analysis was done to investigate Eos’ phytochemical profiles. The antioxidant activity was studied by using a multi-target approach based on FRAP, DPPH, ABTS, and β-carotene bleaching tests. A great difference was observed in EOs’ phytochemical profiles. d-limonene (33.35–89.17%) was the main monoterpene hydrocarbon, and α-Pinene, β-myrcene, and β-linalool were identified in almost all samples. Among EOs, only C3 showed high quantitative and qualitative variability in its chemical composition. The chemical diversity of EOs was also demonstrated by PCA and HCA statistical analysis. Samples C2, C4, C5, C6, and C7 were statistically similar to each other, while C1 and C3 were characterized as having a different amount of other compounds and oxygenated monoterpenes, respectively, with respect to the other EOs mentioned. The global antioxidant score (GAS) revealed that among the tested EOs, C. aurantium ‘Fasciata’ EO had the highest antioxidant potential, with a GAS value of −0.47, whereas among combinations, the EO obtained by mixing ‘Canaliculata’ + ‘Bizzaria’ was the most active. Comparison by theoretical and real data on inhibitory concentration (IC50) and FRAP values did not reveal any significant effect of synergism or antagonism of actions to be valid in all biological applied tests. These findings, considered together, represent an important starting point to understand which compounds are responsible for the activities and their future possible industrial application. Full article
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Article
Identification of α-Glucosidase Inhibitors from Scutellaria edelbergii: ESI-LC-MS and Computational Approach
Molecules 2022, 27(4), 1322; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27041322 - 16 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 699
Abstract
The recent study investigated the in vitro anti-diabetic impact of the crude extract (MeOH) and subfractions ethyl acetate (EtOAc); chloroform; n-butanol; n-hexane; and aqueous fraction of S. edelbergii and processed the active EtOAc fraction for the identification of chemical constituents for the first [...] Read more.
The recent study investigated the in vitro anti-diabetic impact of the crude extract (MeOH) and subfractions ethyl acetate (EtOAc); chloroform; n-butanol; n-hexane; and aqueous fraction of S. edelbergii and processed the active EtOAc fraction for the identification of chemical constituents for the first time via ESI-LC-MS analysis through positive ionization mode (PIM) and negative ionization mode (NIM); the identified compounds were further validated through computational analysis via standard approaches. The crude extract and subfractions presented appreciable activity against the α-glucosidase inhibitory assay. However, the EtOAc fraction with IC50 = 0.14 ± 0.06 µg/mL revealed the maximum potential among the fractions used, followed by the MeOH and n-hexane extract with IC50 = 1.47 ± 0.14 and 2.18 ± 0.30 µg/mL, respectively. Moreover, the acarbose showed an IC50 = 377.26 ± 1.20 µg/ mL whereas the least inhibition was observed for the chloroform fraction, with an IC50 = 23.97 ± 0.14 µg/mL. Due to the significance of the EtOAc fraction, when profiled for its chemical constituents, it presented 16 compounds among which the flavonoid class was dominant, and offered eight compounds, of which six were identified in NIM, and two compounds in PIM. Moreover, five terpenoids were identified—three and two in NIM and PIM, respectively—as well as two alkaloids, both of which were detected in PIM. The EtOAc fraction also contained one phenol that was noticed in PIM. The detected flavonoids, terpenoids, alkaloids, and phenols are well-known for their diverse biomedical applications. The potent EtOAc fraction was submitted to computational analysis for further validation of α-glucosidase significance to profile the responsible compounds. The pharmacokinetic estimations and protein-ligand molecular docking results with the support of molecular dynamic simulation trajectories at 100 ns suggested that two bioactive compounds—dihydrocatalpol and leucosceptoside A—from the EtOAc fraction presented excellent drug-like properties and stable conformations; hence, these bioactive compounds could be potential inhibitors of alpha-glucosidase enzyme based on intermolecular interactions with significant residues, docking score, and binding free energy estimation. The stated findings reflect that S. edelbergii is a rich source of bioactive compounds offering potential cures for diabetes mellitus; in particular, dihydrocatalpol and leucosceptoside A could be excellent therapeutic options for the progress of novel drugs to overcome diabetes mellitus. Full article
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Article
Piper tectoniifolium Kunth: A New Natural Source of the Bioactive Neolignan (−)-Grandisin
Molecules 2022, 27(4), 1151; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27041151 - 09 Feb 2022
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Abstract
The Piper species are a recognized botanical source of a broad structural diversity of lignans and its derivatives. For the first time, Piper tectoniifolium Kunth is presented as a promising natural source of the bioactive (−)-grandisin. Phytochemical analyses of extracts from its leaves, [...] Read more.
The Piper species are a recognized botanical source of a broad structural diversity of lignans and its derivatives. For the first time, Piper tectoniifolium Kunth is presented as a promising natural source of the bioactive (−)-grandisin. Phytochemical analyses of extracts from its leaves, branches and inflorescences showed the presence of the target compound in large amounts, with leaf extracts found to contain up to 52.78% in its composition. A new HPLC-DAD-UV method was developed and validated to be selective for the identification of (−)-grandisin being sensitive, linear, precise, exact, robust and with a recovery above 90%. The absolute configuration of the molecule was determined by X-ray diffraction. Despite the identification of several enantiomers in plant extracts, the major isolated substance was characterized to be the (−)-grandisin enantiomer. In vascular reactivity tests, it was shown that the grandisin purified from botanical extracts presented an endothelium-dependent vasorelaxant effect with an IC50 of 9.8 ± 1.22 μM and around 80% relaxation at 30 μM. These results suggest that P. tectoniifolium has the potential to serve as a renewable source of grandisin on a large scale and the potential to serve as template for development of new drugs for vascular diseases with emphasis on disorders related to endothelial disfunction. Full article
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Article
Potential Anticancer Activity of the Furanocoumarin Derivative Xanthotoxin Isolated from Ammi majus L. Fruits: In Vitro and In Silico Studies
Molecules 2022, 27(3), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27030943 - 29 Jan 2022
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Abstract
Ammi majus L., an indigenous plant in Egypt, is widely used in traditional medicine due to its various pharmacological properties. We aimed to evaluate the anticancer properties of Ammi majus fruit methanol extract (AME) against liver cancer and to elucidate the active compound(s) [...] Read more.
Ammi majus L., an indigenous plant in Egypt, is widely used in traditional medicine due to its various pharmacological properties. We aimed to evaluate the anticancer properties of Ammi majus fruit methanol extract (AME) against liver cancer and to elucidate the active compound(s) and their mechanisms of action. Three fractions from AME (Hexane, CH2Cl2, and EtOAc) were tested for their anticancer activities against HepG2 cell line in vitro (cytotoxicity assay, cell cycle analysis, annexin V-FITC apoptosis assay, and autophagy efflux assay) and in silico (molecular docking). Among the AME fractions, CH2Cl2 fraction revealed the most potent cytotoxic activity. The structures of compounds isolated from the CH2Cl2 fraction were elucidated using 1H- and 13C-NMR and found that Compound 1 (xanthotoxin) has the strongest cytotoxic activity against HepG2 cells (IC50 6.9 ± 1.07 µg/mL). Treating HepG2 cells with 6.9 µg/mL of xanthotoxin induced significant changes in the DNA-cell cycle (increases in apoptotic pre-G1 and G2/M phases and a decrease in the S-phase). Xanthotoxin induced significant increase in Annexin-V-positive HepG2 cells both at the early and late stages of apoptosis, as well as a significant decrease in autophagic flux in cancer compared with control cells. In silico analysis of xanthotoxin against the DNA-relaxing enzyme topoisomease II (PDB code: 3QX3) revealed strong interaction with the key amino acid Asp479 in a similar fashion to that of the co-crystallized inhibitor (etoposide), implying that xanthotoxin has a potential of a broad-spectrum anticancer activity. Our results indicate that xanthotoxin exhibits anticancer effects with good biocompatibility toward normal human cells. Further studies are needed to optimize its antitumor efficacy, toxicity, solubility, and pharmacokinetics. Full article
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Article
Phytochemical Profiling, In Vitro Biological Activities, and In Silico Molecular Docking Studies of Dracaena reflexa
Molecules 2022, 27(3), 913; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27030913 - 28 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 876
Abstract
Dracaena reflexa, a traditionally significant medicinal plant, has not been extensively explored before for its phytochemical and biological potential. The present study was conducted to evaluate the bioactive phytochemicals and in vitro biological activities of D. reflexa, and perform in silico [...] Read more.
Dracaena reflexa, a traditionally significant medicinal plant, has not been extensively explored before for its phytochemical and biological potential. The present study was conducted to evaluate the bioactive phytochemicals and in vitro biological activities of D. reflexa, and perform in silico molecular docking validation of D. reflexa. The bioactive phytochemicals were assessed by preliminary phytochemical testing, total bioactive contents, and GC-MS analysis. For biological evaluation, the antioxidant (DPPH, ABTS, CUPRAC, and ABTS), antibacterial, thrombolytic, and enzyme inhibition (tyrosinase and cholinesterase enzymes) potential were determined. The highest level of total phenolic contents (92.72 ± 0.79 mg GAE/g extract) was found in the n-butanol fraction while the maximum total flavonoid content (110 ± 0.83 mg QE/g extract) was observed in methanolic extract. The results showed that n-butanol fraction exhibited very significant tyrosinase inhibition activity (73.46 ± 0.80) and acetylcholinesterase inhibition activity (64.06 ± 2.65%) as compared to other fractions and comparable to the standard compounds (kojic acid and galantamine). The methanolic extract was considered to have moderate butyrylcholinesterase inhibition activity (50.97 ± 063) as compared to the standard compound galantamine (53.671 ± 0.97%). The GC-MS analysis of the n-hexane fraction resulted in the tentative identification of 120 bioactive phytochemicals. Furthermore, the major compounds as identified by GC-MS were analyzed using in silico molecular docking studies to determine the binding affinity between the ligands and the enzymes (tyrosinase, acetylcholinesterase, and butyrylcholinesterase enzymes). The results of this study suggest that Dracaena reflexa has unquestionable pharmaceutical importance and it should be further explored for the isolation of secondary metabolites that can be employed for the treatment of different diseases. Full article
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Article
Phytochemical Screening by LC-ESI-MS/MS and Effect of the Ethyl Acetate Fraction from Leaves and Stems of Jatropha macrantha Müll Arg. on Ketamine-Induced Erectile Dysfunction in Rats
Molecules 2022, 27(1), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27010115 - 25 Dec 2021
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Abstract
Jatropha macrantha Müll Arg. L is also known as “huanarpo macho” and used in the Peruvian traditional medicine as an aphrodisiac and erectile dysfunction (ED). The aim of this study was to determine the phytochemical constituents in leaves and stems ethyl acetate fraction [...] Read more.
Jatropha macrantha Müll Arg. L is also known as “huanarpo macho” and used in the Peruvian traditional medicine as an aphrodisiac and erectile dysfunction (ED). The aim of this study was to determine the phytochemical constituents in leaves and stems ethyl acetate fraction (LEAF and SEAF) of J. macrantha and to compare the antioxidant activity and the ameliorative effect on ketamine-induced erectile dysfunction in rats. The phytochemical constituents were determined by LC-ESI-MS/MS, the total phenolic compounds and total flavonoids (TPC and TF) by Folin-Ciocalteu and aluminum chloride, respectively. The antioxidant activity was determined by DPPH, ABTS, and FRAP assays. Experimental groups were divided as follows: I: negative control; II: positive control (ketamine at 50 mg/ kg/d); III: sildenafil 5 mg/kg; IV, V, VI: LEAF at 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg, respectively, and VII, VIII, IX: SEAF at 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg, respectively. The phytochemical analysis revealed the presence mainly of coumarins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and terpenes. TPC of LEAF and SEAF were 359 ± 5.21 mg GAE/g and 306 ± 1.93 mg GAE/g, respectively; TF in LEAF and SEAF were 23.7 ± 0.80 mg EQ/g, and 101 ± 1.42 mg EQ/g, respectively. The DPPH, ABTS, FRAP in SEAF were 647 ± 3.27; 668 ± 2.30; and 575 ± 2.86 μmol TE/g, respectively, whilst LEAF showed 796 ± 3.15; 679 ± 0.85; and 806 ± 3.42 μmol TE/g, respectively. Regarding sexual behavior, LEAF showed a better effect in mount frequency, intromission frequency, ejaculation frequency, mount latency, intromission latency, ejaculatory latency, and post ejaculatory latency than SEAF. As conclusion, LEAF of J. macrantha at 50 mg/kg showed a better effect on sexual behavior in male rats with erectile dysfunction than SEAF but not higher than sildenafil. Full article
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Article
Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of Ilex Leaves Water Extracts
Molecules 2021, 26(24), 7442; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26247442 - 08 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1035
Abstract
Plants from the Ilex genus are known for properties such as antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity, can act as antiobesity agents and thus can be helpful in medicine. Some holly species, such as Ilex paraguariensis (widely known in the form of popular beverage: yerba [...] Read more.
Plants from the Ilex genus are known for properties such as antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity, can act as antiobesity agents and thus can be helpful in medicine. Some holly species, such as Ilex paraguariensis (widely known in the form of popular beverage: yerba mate), have been investigated, while others have been partially researched or remain unknown. Therefore, we performed qualitative and quantitative phytochemical analyses and screened antimicrobial properties of lesser-studied species (I. aquifolium L., I. aquifolium ‘Argentea Marginata’ and I. × meserveae ‘Blue Angel’). I. paraguariensis was used as a standard species for comparison purposes. Investigations were performed on water extracts due to their expected activity and composition. Antimicrobial research included evaluating minimal inhibitory, bactericidal (Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli) and fungicidal concentration (Candida albicans, Alternaria alternata, Fusarium oxysporum, and Aspergillus niger) of extracts. The influence of the extracts on the production, eradication, and viability of bacterial biofilms was also analysed. It was established that Ilex paraguariensis possesses the richest profile of hydroxycinnamic acids derivatives in terms of component concentration and diversity. Ilex spp., especially I. × meserveae, contain a slightly higher amount of flavonoids and more different flavonoid derivatives than I. paraguariensis. However, the strongest antibacterial activity was shown by I. aquifolium L. and its cultivar ‘Argentea Marginata’ in terms of minimal inhibitory, bactericidal and fungicidal concentration, and biofilm assays. Extracts from both species significantly reduced the biofilm viability of S. aureus as well, which may be of use in the production of multicomponent lavaseptics, antiseptics, diuretics (supporting urinary tract infection therapy) and, due to their action on fungi, additives to growth media for specific fungi. The significant content of saponins enables Ilex extracts to be used as natural emulsifiers, for example, in cosmetics. Moreover, relatively high chlorogenic acid and rutin content may suggest use of Ilex spp. to treat obesity, digestive problems, in chemoprevention, and as preservatives in the food industry. Full article
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