Natural Products of Medicinal Plants: Isolation, Purification and Bioactivity Evaluation

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Phytochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2024 | Viewed by 11056

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacy, University of Niš, Niš, Serbia
Interests: medicinal plants; pharmacognosy; phytotherapy; essential oils; biological activity of secondary plant metabolites

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Guest Editor
Scientific Department, Institute for Medicinal Plants Research “Dr Josif Pančić“, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Interests: phytochemistry; biological activity; phytotherapy; ethnomedicine; extractions; formulation of herbal products
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Asst. Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacy, University of Niš, Niš, Serbia
Interests: medicinal plants, pharmacognosy, phytotherapy, antioxidant activity, biological activity of secondary plant metabolites

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural products from medicinal plants have been used for centuries, dating back to the beginning of recorded history. Bioactive natural products derived from plants exhibit substantial structural variability and possess distinctive pharmacological properties resulting from the impact of natural selection and evolutionary processes that have influenced their utility for numerous centuries. These compounds have been instrumental in the identification of novel drugs, frequently serving as initial targets for drug discovery, which are subsequently subjected to synthetic alterations aimed at minimizing adverse effects and enhancing their bioavailability. As a result, they have historically played a significant role in advancing contemporary phytotherapy and, more broadly, modern pharmacotherapy.

By harnessing the synergy between traditional medicinal practices and the advancements in modern chemical technology, incorporating natural products as the foundation for pharmaceuticals holds potential to foster the creation of drug discovery methodologies that are not only environmentally friendly and cost-effective, but also more efficacious in nature.

The exploration of novel natural products demands significant investments of both time and resources, primarily due to the extensive endeavors involved in the isolation and characterization of these compounds.

This Special Issue aims to provide an overview of the techniques for separation, characterization and possible medical applications of natural products derived from plants. Thus, research papers and reviews exploring plant extracts, analysis of the extracts, natural compound separation and purification, and bioactivity evaluation are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Dušanka Kitić
Prof. Dr. Katarina Šavikin
Dr. Milica Randjelović
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • natural products
  • medicinal plants
  • secondary metabolites
  • bioactivity

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 2145 KiB  
Article
Rosmarinic Acid Present in Lepechinia floribunda and Lepechinia meyenii as a Potent Inhibitor of the Adenylyl Cyclase gNC1 from Giardia lamblia
by Adolfo Zurita, Esteban Vega Hissi, Agostina Cianci Romero, Adela María Luján, Sofía Salido, Agustín Yaneff, Carlos Davio, Justo Cobo, María Cecilia Carpinella and Ricardo Daniel Enriz
Plants 2024, 13(5), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13050646 - 26 Feb 2024
Viewed by 560
Abstract
Giardiasis is a parasitosis caused by Giardia lamblia with significant epidemiological and clinical importance due to its high prevalence and pathogenicity. The lack of optimal therapies for treating this parasite makes the development of new effective chemical entities an urgent need. In the [...] Read more.
Giardiasis is a parasitosis caused by Giardia lamblia with significant epidemiological and clinical importance due to its high prevalence and pathogenicity. The lack of optimal therapies for treating this parasite makes the development of new effective chemical entities an urgent need. In the search for new inhibitors of the adenylyl cyclase gNC1 obtained from G. lamblia, 14 extracts from Argentinian native plants were screened. Lepechinia floribunda and L. meyenii extracts exhibited the highest gNC1 inhibitory activity, with IC50 values of 9 and 31 µg/mL, respectively. In silico studies showed rosmarinic acid, a hydroxycinnamic acid present in both mentioned species, to be a promising anti-gNC1 compound. This result was confirmed experimentally, with rosmarinic acid showing an IC50 value of 10.1 µM. Theoretical and experimental findings elucidate the molecular-level mechanism of rosmarinic acid, pinpointing the key interactions stabilizing the compound–enzyme complex and the binding site. These results strongly support that rosmarinic acid is a promising scaffold for developing novel compounds with inhibitory activity against gNC1, which could serve as potential therapeutic agents to treat giardiasis. Full article
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28 pages, 8315 KiB  
Article
Natural 2′,4-Dihydroxy-4′,6′-dimethoxy Chalcone Isolated from Chromolaena tacotana Inhibits Breast Cancer Cell Growth through Autophagy and Mitochondrial Apoptosis
by Gina Mendez-Callejas, Marco Piñeros-Avila, Crispin A. Celis, Ruben Torrenegra, Anderson Espinosa-Benitez, Roberto Pestana-Nobles and Juvenal Yosa-Reyes
Plants 2024, 13(5), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13050570 - 20 Feb 2024
Viewed by 741
Abstract
Breast cancer (BC) is one of the most common cancers among women. Effective treatment requires precise tailoring to the genetic makeup of the cancer for improved efficacy. Numerous research studies have concentrated on natural compounds and their anti-breast cancer properties to improve the [...] Read more.
Breast cancer (BC) is one of the most common cancers among women. Effective treatment requires precise tailoring to the genetic makeup of the cancer for improved efficacy. Numerous research studies have concentrated on natural compounds and their anti-breast cancer properties to improve the existing treatment options. Chromolaena tacotana (Klatt) R.M. King and H. Rob (Ch. tacotana) is a notable source of bioactive hydroxy-methylated flavonoids. However, the specific anti-BC mechanisms of these flavonoids, particularly those present in the plant’s inflorescences, remain partly undefined. This study focuses on assessing a chalcone derivative extracted from Ch. tacotana inflorescences for its potential to concurrently activate regulated autophagy and intrinsic apoptosis in luminal A and triple-negative BC cells. We determined the chemical composition of the chalcone using ultraviolet (UV) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Its selective cytotoxicity against BC cell lines was assessed using the MTT assay. Flow cytometry and Western blot analysis were employed to examine the modulation of proteins governing autophagy and the intrinsic apoptosis pathway. Additionally, in silico simulations were conducted to predict interactions between chalcone and various anti-apoptotic proteins, including the mTOR protein. Chalcone was identified as 2′,4-dihydroxy-4′,6′-dimethoxy-chalcone (DDC). This compound demonstrated a selective inhibition of BC cell proliferation and triggered autophagy and intrinsic apoptosis. It induced cell cycle arrest in the G0/G1 phase and altered mitochondrial outer membrane potential (∆ψm). The study detected the activation of autophagic LC3-II and mitochondrial pro-apoptotic proteins in both BC cell lines. The regulation of Bcl-XL and Bcl-2 proteins varied according to the BC subtype, yet they showed promising molecular interactions with DDC. Among the examined pro-survival proteins, mTOR and Mcl-1 exhibited the most favorable binding energies and were downregulated in BC cell lines. Further research is needed to fully understand the molecular dynamics involved in the activation and interaction of autophagy and apoptosis pathways in cancer cells in response to potential anticancer agents, like the hydroxy-methylated flavonoids from Ch. tacotana. Full article
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32 pages, 9739 KiB  
Article
Exploring Ocimum basilicum’s Secondary Metabolites: Inhibition and Molecular Docking against Rhynchophorus ferrugineus for Optimal Action
by Hossam Moustafa Darrag, Hesham S. Ghazzawy, Mashail Nasser Alzain, Emadaldeen Hamad Hakami, Hani Taher Almuhanna and Nashi K. Alqahtani
Plants 2024, 13(4), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040491 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 751
Abstract
The objective of our work is to create a practical procedure to produce in vitro cell suspensions of O. basilicum and to ascertain the factors that encourage enhanced secondary metabolite production. We investigated the impact of these metabolites on Rhynchophorus ferrugineus’s adult [...] Read more.
The objective of our work is to create a practical procedure to produce in vitro cell suspensions of O. basilicum and to ascertain the factors that encourage enhanced secondary metabolite production. We investigated the impact of these metabolites on Rhynchophorus ferrugineus’s adult and larval target enzymes. The explants were cultivated on Murashige and Skoog (MS) media with 0.1 to 1 mg/L plant growth regulators (PGRs) to create calluses. 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), kinetin, 1-naphthylacetic acid (NAA), and indole-3-butryic acid (IBA) at 0.5, 0.5, 0.1, and 1 mg/L, respectively, with 3% sucrose led to the highest biomass accumulation. In cell suspensions, the total phenolic content (TPC) and total flavonoid content (TFC) were 39.68 and 5.49 mg/g DW, respectively, with abiotic Verticillium dahliae as an activator. Rosmarinic acid, ursolic acid, nepetoidin A and B, salvigenin, and quercetin-3-O-rutinoside as flavonoids and phenolics were analyzed using UPLC-I TQD MS, with the highest concentrations reached after 40 days. The extract demonstrates insecticidal activity against the fourth-instar larvae of R. ferrugineus, with adults at 1197 µg/mL and 12.5 µg/larvae as LC50 and LD50 values. The extract inhibited acetylcholine esterase (AChE), acid phosphatases (ACPs), alkaline phosphatases (ALPs), and gamma-aminobutyric acid-transaminase (GABA-T) in larval tissue in vitro, with IC50 values of 124.2, 149.3, 157.8, and 204.8 µg/mL, and in vivo, with IC50 values of 157.2, 179.4, 185.3, and 241.6 µg/mL, after 24 h. Pure compounds identified the activity of the extract, showing the inhibition of AChE, ACPs, ALPs, and GABA-T with IC50 values ˂ 200 µg/mL (in vitro). The ABMET examination revealed good oral permeability, and docking tests showed that the compounds bind AChE, ACPs, ALPs, and GABA-T. These findings show that a green bioprocessing method such as an O. basilicum cell suspension is a quick and straightforward technique for producing phenolic compounds, and it may be used to develop sustainable bio-insecticides and new green procedures. Full article
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18 pages, 1943 KiB  
Article
Spasmolytic Activity of Gentiana lutea L. Root Extracts on the Rat Ileum: Underlying Mechanisms of Action
by Nemanja Kitić, Jelena Živković, Katarina Šavikin, Milica Randjelović, Miloš Jovanović, Dušanka Kitić, Bojana Miladinović, Milica Milutinović, Nenad Stojiljković and Suzana Branković
Plants 2024, 13(3), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030453 - 04 Feb 2024
Viewed by 583
Abstract
The roots of Gentiana lutea L. are utilized in the preparation of various beverages and herbal remedies, serving as a traditional remedy for gastrointestinal ailments. The spasmolytic activity that could substantiate the traditional use of G. lutea root had not been investigated. The [...] Read more.
The roots of Gentiana lutea L. are utilized in the preparation of various beverages and herbal remedies, serving as a traditional remedy for gastrointestinal ailments. The spasmolytic activity that could substantiate the traditional use of G. lutea root had not been investigated. The main objective goal of the study was to determine the validity of its use as a traditional remedy. The extraction of G. lutea root was performed using a 50% hydroethanolic solvent with three different extraction techniques: ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE), heat-assisted extraction, and percolation. The spasmolytic activity was tested on isolated rat ileum. The mechanism of action was monitored using the models of spontaneous contractions and acetylcholine-, histamine-, CaCl2-, Bay K8644-, L-NAME-, ODQ-, apamin-, BaCl2-, charybdotoxin-, glibenclamide-, TRAM-34-, and quinine-modified contractions. UAE, having the best bioactivity, was further subjected to a liquid–liquid extraction fractionation. HPLC phytochemical analysis was performed for all tested extracts and fractions. Gentian root extracts were rich in secoiridoids, xanthones, and flavonoids. The UAE has shown better results on spontaneous contractions in comparison to its fractions, leading to the more detailed testing of its spasmolytic mechanism of activity. The extract’s activity is primarily mediated through intermediate conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels, ATP-sensitive K+ channels, voltage-sensitive K+ channels, and mechanisms that activate Ca2+ channels. Overall, the G. lutea root shows great potential in the treatment of spasmodic gastrointestinal ailments. Full article
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27 pages, 6931 KiB  
Article
Multifunctional Pomegranate Peel Microparticles with Health-Promoting Effects for the Sustainable Development of Novel Nutraceuticals and Pharmaceuticals
by Milica Radan, Nada Ćujić Nikolić, Snežana Kuzmanović Nedeljković, Zorana Mutavski, Nemanja Krgović, Tatjana Stević, Smilja Marković, Aleksandra Jovanović, Jelena Živković and Katarina Šavikin
Plants 2024, 13(2), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13020281 - 18 Jan 2024
Viewed by 769
Abstract
Recovering the bioactive components from pomegranate peel (PP) in the fruit-processing industry has attracted great attention in terms of minimizing the waste burden, as well as providing a new source of a multitude of functional compounds. The present study aimed to develop a [...] Read more.
Recovering the bioactive components from pomegranate peel (PP) in the fruit-processing industry has attracted great attention in terms of minimizing the waste burden, as well as providing a new source of a multitude of functional compounds. The present study aimed to develop a feasible microencapsulation process of PP extract by using pectin and a pectin/2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) blend as coating materials. Microsized powders obtained by a spray drying technique were examined in terms of technological characteristics, exhibiting high powder yield and desirable moisture content, flowability, and cohesive properties. Assuming that the interactions with the used biopolymers occur on the surface hydrophobic domain, their presence significantly improved the thermal stability of the microencapsulated powders up to 200 °C. The health-promoting effects of PP have been associated with its high content in ellagitannins, particularly punicalagin. The obtained PP powders exhibited strong antioxidant and hypoglycemic potential, while an antimicrobial assay revealed their potent activity against Gram-positive bacteria. Additionally, an in vitro release study suggested that the used biopolymers can modify the release of target bioactive compounds, thus establishing a basis for developing an oral-controlled release system. Altogether, biowaste valorization from PP by the production of effective multifunctional microsized powders represents a sustainable way to obtain novel nutraceuticals and/or pharmaceuticals. Full article
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18 pages, 2956 KiB  
Article
Furofuranoid-Type Lignans and Related Phenolics from Anisacanthus virgularis (Salisb.) Nees with Promising Anticholinesterase and Anti-Ageing Properties: A Study Supported by Molecular Modelling
by Mohamed A. A. Orabi, Reda A. Abdelhamid, Hanan Elimam, Yaseen A. M. M. Elshaier, Ahmed A. Ali, Nayef Aldabaan, Abdulaziz Hassan Alhasaniah and Mohamed S. Refaey
Plants 2024, 13(2), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13020150 - 05 Jan 2024
Viewed by 776
Abstract
Lignan phytomolecules demonstrate promising anti-Alzheimer activity by alleviating dementia and preserving nerve cells. The purpose of this work is to characterize the lignans of Anisacanthus virgularis and explore their potential anti-acetylcholinesterase and anti-ageing effects. Phytochemical investigation of A. virgularis aerial parts afforded a [...] Read more.
Lignan phytomolecules demonstrate promising anti-Alzheimer activity by alleviating dementia and preserving nerve cells. The purpose of this work is to characterize the lignans of Anisacanthus virgularis and explore their potential anti-acetylcholinesterase and anti-ageing effects. Phytochemical investigation of A. virgularis aerial parts afforded a new furofuranoid-type lignan (1), four known structural analogues, namely pinoresinol (2), epipinoresinol (3), phillyrin (4), and pinoresinol 4-O-β-d-glucoside (5), in addition to p-methoxy-trans-methyl cinnamate (6) and 1H-indole-3-carboxaldehyde (7). The structures were established from thorough spectroscopic analyses and comparisons with the literature. Assessment of the anticholinesterase activity of the lignans 15 displayed noticeable enzyme inhibition of 1 (IC50 = 85.03 ± 4.26 nM) and 5 (64.47 ± 2.75 nM) but lower activity of compounds 24 as compared to the reference drug donepezil. These findings were further emphasized by molecular docking of 1 and 5 with acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Rapid overlay chemical similarity (ROCS) and structure–activity relationships (SAR) analysis highlighted and rationalized the anti-AD capability of these compounds. Telomerase activation testing of the same isolates revealed 1.64-, 1.66-, and 1.72-fold activations in cells treated with compounds 1, 5, and 4, respectively, compared to untreated cells. Our findings may pave the way for further investigations into the development of anti-Alzheimer and/or anti-ageing drugs from furofuranoid-type lignans. Full article
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20 pages, 9023 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Quercetin Antiemetic Properties: In Vivo and In Silico Investigations on Receptor Binding Affinity and Synergistic Effects
by Raihan Chowdhury, Md. Shimul Bhuia, Asraful Islam Rakib, Rubel Hasan, Henrique Douglas Melo Coutinho, Isaac Moura Araújo, Irwin Rose Alencar de Menezes and Muhammad Torequl Islam
Plants 2023, 12(24), 4189; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12244189 - 18 Dec 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 869
Abstract
Quercetin (QUA), a flavonoid compound, is ubiquitously found in plants and has demonstrated a diverse range of biological activities. The primary objective of the current study is to assess the potential antiemetic properties of QUA using an in vivo and in silico approach. [...] Read more.
Quercetin (QUA), a flavonoid compound, is ubiquitously found in plants and has demonstrated a diverse range of biological activities. The primary objective of the current study is to assess the potential antiemetic properties of QUA using an in vivo and in silico approach. In this experiment, 4-day-old chicks were purchased to induce emesis by orally administering copper sulfate pentahydrate (CuSO4·5H2O) at a dose of 50 mg/kg (orally). Domperidone (DOM) (6 mg/kg), Hyoscine (HYS) (21 mg/kg), and Ondansetron (OND) (5 mg/kg) were treated as positive controls (PCs), and distilled water and a trace amount of Tween 80 mixture was employed as a negative control (NC). QUA was given orally at two distinct doses (25 and 50 mg/kg). Additionally, QUA (50 mg/kg) and PCs were administered separately or in combination to assess their antagonistic or synergistic effects on the chicks. The binding affinity of QUA and referral ligands towards the serotonin receptor (5HT3), dopamine receptors (D2 and D3), and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (M1–M5) were estimated, and ligand–receptor interactions were visualized through various computational tools. In vivo findings indicate that QUA (25 and 50 mg/kg) has a significant effect on reducing the number of retches (16.50 ± 4.65 and 10.00 ± 4.19 times) and increasing the chick latency period (59.25 ± 4.75 and 94.25 ± 4.01 s), respectively. Additionally, QUA (50 mg/kg) in combination with Domperidone and Ondansetron exhibited superior antiemetic effects, reducing the number of retches and increasing the onset of emesis-inducing time. Furthermore, it is worth noting that QUA exhibited the strongest binding affinity against the D2 receptor with a value of −9.7 kcal/mol through the formation of hydrogen and hydrophobic bonds. In summary, the study found that QUA exhibited antiemetic activity in chicks, potentially by interacting with the D2 receptor pathway. Full article
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15 pages, 1695 KiB  
Article
Unraveling the Potential of Organic Oregano and Tarragon Essential Oils: Profiling Composition, FT-IR and Bioactivities
by Dan Vârban, Marius Zăhan, Ioana Crișan, Carmen Rodica Pop, Emese Gál, Răzvan Ștefan, Ancuța Mihaela Rotar, Adriana Sebastiana Muscă, Ștefania Dana Meseșan, Vasile Horga, Ioan Ladoși, Loredana Olar, Andrei Stoie and Rodica Vârban
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4017; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234017 - 29 Nov 2023
Viewed by 895
Abstract
Oregano and tarragon are widely cultivated culinary herbs used for food seasoning, having familiar characteristic aromas appreciated by the wide public. The aim of this research was to characterize essential oils (EOs) from locally sourced organic oregano and tarragon (Cluj, Romania) and study [...] Read more.
Oregano and tarragon are widely cultivated culinary herbs used for food seasoning, having familiar characteristic aromas appreciated by the wide public. The aim of this research was to characterize essential oils (EOs) from locally sourced organic oregano and tarragon (Cluj, Romania) and study their bioactivity potential. Results showed that oregano EO had a sesquiterpene dominant profile responsible for strong bands between 2800 and 3000 cm−1 on the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) spectrum and a composition consistent with reports from similar climatic regions. The tarragon EO profile was defined by phenylpropanoids responsible for the strong sharp peaks between 1000 and 1600 cm−1 on the FT-IR spectrum. In oregano EO, 22 compounds were identified with β-caryophyllene as a major constituent. In tarragon EO, 20 compounds were identified with eugenol as a major constituent. Oregano EO had a stronger antibacterial effect against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial strains, while tarragon EO had a slightly stronger cytotoxic effect on three types of cancer cell lines tested (skin melanoma, prostate carcinoma, and colorectal adenocarcinoma). It was concluded that, given the fact that a sufficient supply of high-quality plant material can be available for EO extraction, culinary herbs can become reliable candidates for many industries without the risk of discontinued supply. Therefore, research aiming to widen their potential applications is welcome and worth pursuing. Full article
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16 pages, 1325 KiB  
Article
Indonesian Euphorbiaceae: Ethnobotanical Survey, In Vitro Antibacterial, Antitumour Screening and Phytochemical Analysis of Euphorbia atoto
by Dyke Gita Wirasisya, Annamária Kincses, Lívia Vidács, Nikoletta Szemerédi, Gabriella Spengler, Anita Barta, I Gde Mertha and Judit Hohmann
Plants 2023, 12(22), 3836; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12223836 - 13 Nov 2023
Viewed by 855
Abstract
Indonesia is among the countries with the most significant biodiversity globally. Jamu, the traditional medicine of Indonesia, predominantly uses herbal materials and is an integral component of the Indonesian healthcare system. The present study reviewed the ethnobotanical data of seven Indonesian Euphorbiaceae [...] Read more.
Indonesia is among the countries with the most significant biodiversity globally. Jamu, the traditional medicine of Indonesia, predominantly uses herbal materials and is an integral component of the Indonesian healthcare system. The present study reviewed the ethnobotanical data of seven Indonesian Euphorbiaceae species, namely Euphorbia atoto, E. hypericifolia, Homalanthus giganteus, Macaranga tanarius, Mallotus mollissimus, M. rufidulus, and Shirakiopsis indica, based on the RISTOJA database and other literature sources. An antimicrobial screening of the plant extracts was performed in 15 microorganisms using the disk diffusion and broth microdilution methods, and the antiproliferative effects were examined in drug-sensitive Colo 205 and resistant Colo 320 cells by the MTT assay. The antimicrobial testing showed a high potency of M. tanarius, H. giganteus, M. rufidulus, S. indica, and E. atoto extracts (MIC = 12.5–500 µg/mL) against different bacteria. In the antitumour screening, remarkable activities (IC50 0.23–2.60 µg/mL) were demonstrated for the extracts of H. giganteus, M. rufidulus, S. indica, and E. atoto against Colo 205 cells. The n-hexane extract of E. atoto, with an IC50 value of 0.24 ± 0.06 µg/mL (Colo 205), was subjected to multistep chromatographic separation, and 24-methylene-cycloartan-3β-ol, jolkinolide E, tetra-tert-butyl-diphenyl ether, α-tocopherol, and β-sitosterol were isolated. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Research

24 pages, 7225 KiB  
Review
Climate-Affected Australian Tropical Montane Cloud Forest Plants: Metabolomic Profiles, Isolated Phytochemicals, and Bioactivities
by Ngawang Gempo, Karma Yeshi, Darren Crayn and Phurpa Wangchuk
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1024; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071024 - 03 Apr 2024
Viewed by 595
Abstract
The Australian Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (WTWHA) in northeast Queensland is home to approximately 18 percent of the nation’s total vascular plant species. Over the past century, human activity and industrial development have caused global climate changes, posing a severe and irreversible [...] Read more.
The Australian Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (WTWHA) in northeast Queensland is home to approximately 18 percent of the nation’s total vascular plant species. Over the past century, human activity and industrial development have caused global climate changes, posing a severe and irreversible danger to the entire land-based ecosystem, and the WTWHA is no exception. The current average annual temperature of WTWHA in northeast Queensland is 24 °C. However, in the coming years (by 2030), the average annual temperature increase is estimated to be between 0.5 and 1.4 °C compared to the climate observed between 1986 and 2005. Looking further ahead to 2070, the anticipated temperature rise is projected to be between 1.0 and 3.2 °C, with the exact range depending on future emissions. We identified 84 plant species, endemic to tropical montane cloud forests (TMCF) within the WTWHA, which are already experiencing climate change threats. Some of these plants are used in herbal medicines. This study comprehensively reviewed the metabolomics studies conducted on these 84 plant species until now toward understanding their physiological and metabolomics responses to global climate change. This review also discusses the following: (i) recent developments in plant metabolomics studies that can be applied to study and better understand the interactions of wet tropics plants with climatic stress, (ii) medicinal plants and isolated phytochemicals with structural diversity, and (iii) reported biological activities of crude extracts and isolated compounds. Full article
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25 pages, 1358 KiB  
Review
Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.)―A Review of Its Botany, Phytochemistry, Pharmacological Activities, and Biotechnological Development
by Nabilah Sekar Azizah, Budi Irawan, Joko Kusmoro, Wahyu Safriansyah, Kindi Farabi, Dina Oktavia, Febri Doni and Mia Miranti
Plants 2023, 12(24), 4148; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12244148 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2524
Abstract
An urgent demand for natural compound alternatives to conventional medications has arisen due to global health challenges, such as drug resistance and the adverse effects associated with synthetic drugs. Plant extracts are considered an alternative due to their favorable safety profiles and potential [...] Read more.
An urgent demand for natural compound alternatives to conventional medications has arisen due to global health challenges, such as drug resistance and the adverse effects associated with synthetic drugs. Plant extracts are considered an alternative due to their favorable safety profiles and potential for reducing side effects. Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is a valuable plant resource and a potential candidate for the development of pharmaceutical medications. A single pure compound or a combination of compounds exhibits exceptional medicinal properties, including antiviral activity against both DNA and RNA viruses, antibacterial effects against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, antifungal properties, antioxidant activity, antidiabetic potential, neuroprotective qualities, and anticancer properties. The plant contains various phytochemical constituents, which mostly consist of linalool, eucalyptol, estragole, and eugenol. For centuries, community and traditional healers across the globe have employed O. basilicum L. to treat a wide range of ailments, including flu, fever, colds, as well as issues pertaining to digestion, reproduction, and respiration. In addition, the current research presented underscores the significant potential of O. basilicum-related nanotechnology applications in addressing diverse challenges and advancing numerous fields. This promising avenue of exploration holds great potential for future scientific and technological advancements, promising improved utilization of medicinal products derived from O. basilicum L. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Antimicrobial capacities of Ocimum basilicum L.: biotechnological development and future prospects
Authors: Nabilah Sekar Azizaha, Budi Irawana, Joko Kusmoroa, Wahyu Safriansyahb, Kindi Farabib, Dina Oktaviac, Febri Donia, and Mia Mirantia,*
Affiliation: aDepartment of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science, Universitas Padjadjaran, Jatinangor, 45363, West Java, Indonesia bDepartement of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Universitas Padjadjaran, Jatinangor, 45363, West Java, Indonesia cDepartement of Transdisciplinary, Graduate School, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung 40132, West Java, Indonesia
Abstract: An urgent demand for natural compound alternatives to conventional medications has arisen due to global health challenges such as drug resistance and the adverse effects associated with synthetic drugs. Plant extracts is one of alternative because of safety profile and reducing side effects. Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is a valuable resource and a potential candidate for the development of pharmaceutical medications. One pure compound or a combination of compounds has great medicinal properties including antiviral against DNA and RNA viruses, antibacterial against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, antifungal, antioxidant, antidiabetic, neuroprotective, and anticancer. The plant contains various phytochemical constituents, which mostly consist of linalool, eucalyptol, estragole, and eugenol. For centuries, community and traditional healers across the globe have employed O. basilicum L. to address a wide range of ailments, including flu, fever, colds, as well as issues pertaining to digestion, reproduction, and respiration. In addition, the current research presented underscores the significant potential of O. basilicum-related nanotechnology in addressing diverse challenges and advancing numerous fields. This promising avenue of exploration offers exciting prospects for future scientific and technological advancements.

Title: Molecular Docking, Phytochemical Analysis and Antifungal Potential of Rosemary Ethyl Acetate Extract against Strawberry Gray Mold Pathogen
Authors: Said Behiry
Affiliation: Department of Agricultural Botany Faculty of Agriculture Saba Basha Alexandria University
Abstract: The ethyl acetate extract of Salvia rosmarinus (rosemary) leaves was studied and analyzed in this work using HPLC and GC-MS instruments. The HPLC analysis revealed that the extract revealed a diverse array of polyphenolic compounds, including vanillin, syringic acid, rutin, quercetin, py-rocatechol, naringenin, methyl gallate, kaempferol, hesperetin, gallic acid, ferulic acid, ellagic acid, daidzein, coumaric acid, cinnamic acid, chlorogenic acid, catechin, caffeic acid, and apigenin. In addition, three fungal isolates were isolated from strawberry plants showing gray mold symptoms and were determined to be Botrytis cinerea after molecular identification. The extract's effectiveness against the Botrytis strain was tested at doses of 0, 50, 150, and 200 µg/mL. The highest growth inhibition percentages of 61.48% for B. cinerea isolate BC-103 were measured when the extract was applied at 200 µg/mL. From the GC-MS results, we can deduce that trans-caryophyllene (3.78%), methyl palmitate (4.54%), palmitic acid (5.21%), methyl stearate (2.28%), cis-vaccenic acid (5.7%), ferruginol (2.42%), and benahorin (11.15%) are the most abundant compounds in the extract. Arachidyl oleate (-10.26 kcal/mol), (+)-beta-cedrene (-9.27 kcal/mol), and (-)-borneol (-9.10 kcal/mol) exhibited higher molecular interactions with Botrytis cinerea’s chitin synthase binding site. Based on these findings, rosemary extract may be a good natural antifungal agent source for combating plant photogenic fungi. Therefore, it offers a more secure replacement for conventional protective methods used in gray mold disease management.

Title: Protoberberine and amide-type alkaloids from Abuta grandifolia and in vitro evaluation for acetylcholinesterase, lipoxygenase and antimicrobial activities
Authors: Marycleuma Campos Henriquea, Rochelly da S. Mesquitaa, Sergio M. Nunomurab and Rita de C. S. Nunomuraa,c*
Affiliation: a Analytical Center – Multidisciplinary Support Center (CAM), Federal University of Amazonas, Manaus, AM, Brazil; b National Institute for Amazon Research. Coordination of Technology and Innovation. Laboratory of Active Principles of the Amazon. 69067-375. Manaus, Brazil c Department of Chemistry, Federal University of Amazonas (UFAM), Manaus, AM, Brazil.
Abstract: Amide alkaloid N-trans-feruloyltiramine (1) and a protoberberine alkaloid palmatine (2) were isolated from branches of Abuta grandifolia (Mart.) Sandwich (Menispermaceae), a medicinal plant from the Amazon region. Their structures were determined by 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy. The isolated alkaloids and crude extracts were evaluated for their enzyme inhibitory (acetylcholinesterase and lipoxygenase) and antimicrobial activities. The compounds 1, 2, dichloromethane and methanol extracts showed AChE inhibitory effect. The dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, and methanol extracts revealed a potent lipoxygenase inhibitory effect with the IC50 values in the range of 20-50 µg/mL. The dichloromethane and methanol extracts also exhibited significant antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (IC50 31.25-62.5 µg/mL).

Title: Perspectives on extraction and isolation of bioactive polysaccharides from medicinal plants
Authors: Lucas de Freitas Pedrosa; João Paulo Fabi
Affiliation: Department of Food Science and Experimental Nutrition,School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo 05508-000, SP, Brazil; Food Research Center (FoRC), CEPID-FAPESP (Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers, São Paulo Research Foundation), São Paulo 05508-080, SP, Brazil
Abstract: Exploring bioactive polysaccharides from medicinal plants has garnered significant attention due to their diverse therapeutic properties, including immunomodulatory, antitumor, antiviral, and antioxidant activities. This review article provides an encompassing overview of the current methodologies and innovations in extracting and isolating bioactive polysaccharides from medicinal plants, underlining the critical role these compounds play in pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. Initially, we discuss the fundamental principles underlying the extraction techniques such as water extraction, ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE), microwave-assisted extraction (MAE), enzyme-assisted extraction (EAE), and supercritical fluid extraction (SFE), highlighting their efficiency, selectivity, and sustainability. Subsequent sections delve into the purification and characterization methods, including membrane filtration, chromatographic techniques, and spectroscopic analyses, which are essential for identifying the structure-function relationships of these polysaccharides. Furthermore, we examine the challenges associated with the scalability of extraction processes and the maintenance of polysaccharide integrity during extraction and isolation. The review also presents case studies of specific medicinal plants that have been sources of potent bioactive polysaccharides, illustrating these compounds' practical applications and health benefits. Through this comprehensive review, we aim to shed light on the advancements and prospects in extracting and isolating bioactive polysaccharides, paving the way for their enhanced application in medicine and health.

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