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Molecules, Volume 23, Issue 2 (February 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Biocatalysts able to convert nitroaromatics to aromatic amines are in high demand, yet they are not [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview Mitochondria: Central Organelles for Melatonin′s Antioxidant and Anti-Aging Actions
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 509; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020509
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
Melatonin, along with its metabolites, have long been known to significantly reduce the oxidative stress burden of aging cells or cells exposed to toxins. Oxidative damage is a result of free radicals produced in cells, especially in mitochondria. When measured, melatonin, a potent
[...] Read more.
Melatonin, along with its metabolites, have long been known to significantly reduce the oxidative stress burden of aging cells or cells exposed to toxins. Oxidative damage is a result of free radicals produced in cells, especially in mitochondria. When measured, melatonin, a potent antioxidant, was found to be in higher concentrations in mitochondria than in other organelles or subcellular locations. Recent evidence indicates that mitochondrial membranes possess transporters that aid in the rapid uptake of melatonin by these organelles against a gradient. Moreover, we predicted several years ago that, because of their origin from melatonin-producing bacteria, mitochondria likely also synthesize melatonin. Data accumulated within the last year supports this prediction. A high content of melatonin in mitochondria would be fortuitous, since these organelles produce an abundance of free radicals. Thus, melatonin is optimally positioned to scavenge the radicals and reduce the degree of oxidative damage. In light of the “free radical theory of aging”, including all of its iterations, high melatonin levels in mitochondria would be expected to protect against age-related organismal decline. Also, there are many age-associated diseases that have, as a contributing factor, free radical damage. These multiple diseases may likely be deferred in their onset or progression if mitochondrial levels of melatonin can be maintained into advanced age. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Physicochemical Characterization and Functional Analysis of the Polysaccharide from the Edible Microalga Nostoc sphaeroides
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020508
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 18 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
Nostoc colonies have been used as food and medicine for centuries, and their main supporting matrix is polysaccharides, which help Nostoc cells resist various environmental stresses including oxidative stress. Here we isolated a polysaccharide, nostoglycan, from cultured Nostoc sphaeroides colonies and determined its
[...] Read more.
Nostoc colonies have been used as food and medicine for centuries, and their main supporting matrix is polysaccharides, which help Nostoc cells resist various environmental stresses including oxidative stress. Here we isolated a polysaccharide, nostoglycan, from cultured Nostoc sphaeroides colonies and determined its physicochemical properties, which revealed a characteristic infrared absorption spectrum typical of polysaccharides and an amorphous morphology with rough surfaces. We also show that nostoglycan has strong moisture absorption and retention capacities and a high relative viscosity. Using Caenorhabditis elegans models, we then demonstrate that nostoglycan is capable of improving overall survival rate of the animals under increased oxidative stress caused by paraquat. Nostoglycan also reduces reactive oxygen species level, inhibits protein carbonyl formation and lipid peroxidation, and increases activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase in paraquat-exposed nematodes. As oxidative stress may drive tumor progression, we further demonstrate that nostoglycan can suppress the proliferation of several types of tumor cells and induce apoptosis of human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells via caspase-3 activation. Together, our results yield important information on the physicochemical characteristics and demonstrate the antioxidant and anti-proliferative functions of nostoglycan, and thus provide an insight into its potential in food and health industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Natural Polysaccharides Research)
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Open AccessArticle Resveratrol-Inspired Benzo[b]selenophenes Act as Anti-Oxidants in Yeast
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020507
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 17 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
Resveratrol is a natural (poly)phenol primarily found in plants protecting them against pathogens, as well as harmful effects of physical and chemical agents. In higher eukaryotic cells and organisms, this compound displays a remarkable range of biological activities, such as anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer,
[...] Read more.
Resveratrol is a natural (poly)phenol primarily found in plants protecting them against pathogens, as well as harmful effects of physical and chemical agents. In higher eukaryotic cells and organisms, this compound displays a remarkable range of biological activities, such as anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-aging, cardio- and neuro-protective properties. Here, biological activities of synthetic selenium-containing derivatives of resveratrol—benzo[b]selenophenes—have been studied in lower eukaryotes Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Their toxicity, as well as DNA damaging and reactive oxygen species (ROS) inducing potencies, manifested through their ability to act as redox active anti-microbial agents, have been examined. We show that some benzo[b]selenophenes can kill yeast cells and that the killing effects are not mediated by DNA damage types that can be detected as DNA double-strand breaks. These benzo[b]selenophenes could potentially be used as anti-fungal agents, although their concentrations relevant to application in humans need to be further evaluated. In addition, most of the studied benzo[b]selenophenes display redox-modulating/anti-oxidant activity (comparable or even higher than that of resveratrol or Trolox) causing a decrease in the intracellular ROS levels in yeast cells. Therefore, after careful re-evaluation in other biological systems these observations might be transferred to humans, where resveratrol-inspired benzo[b]selenophenes could be used as supra-anti-oxidant supplements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Small Molecule Catalysts with Therapeutic Potential)
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Open AccessArticle Triterpene Acids from Frankincense and Semi-Synthetic Derivatives That Inhibit 5-Lipoxygenase and Cathepsin G
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020506
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
Age-related diseases, such as osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, are often associated with chronic unresolved inflammation. Neutrophils play central roles in this process by releasing tissue-degenerative proteases, such as cathepsin G, as well as pro-inflammatory leukotrienes produced by the 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO)
[...] Read more.
Age-related diseases, such as osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, are often associated with chronic unresolved inflammation. Neutrophils play central roles in this process by releasing tissue-degenerative proteases, such as cathepsin G, as well as pro-inflammatory leukotrienes produced by the 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) pathway. Boswellic acids (BAs) are pentacyclic triterpene acids contained in the gum resin of the anti-inflammatory remedy frankincense that target cathepsin G and 5-LO in neutrophils, and might thus represent suitable leads for intervention with age-associated diseases that have a chronic inflammatory component. Here, we investigated whether, in addition to BAs, other triterpene acids from frankincense interfere with 5-LO and cathepsin G. We provide a comprehensive analysis of 17 natural tetra- or pentacyclic triterpene acids for suppression of 5-LO product synthesis in human neutrophils. These triterpene acids were also investigated for their direct interference with 5-LO and cathepsin G in cell-free assays. Furthermore, our studies were expanded to 10 semi-synthetic BA derivatives. Our data reveal that besides BAs, several tetra- and pentacyclic triterpene acids are effective or even superior inhibitors of 5-LO product formation in human neutrophils, and in parallel, inhibit cathepsin G. Their beneficial target profile may qualify triterpene acids as anti-inflammatory natural products and pharmacological leads for intervention with diseases related to aging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Derived Natural Products and Age Related Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Separation of Seven Polyphenols from the Rhizome of Smilax glabra by Offline Two Dimension Recycling HSCCC with Extrusion Mode
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 505; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020505
Received: 12 January 2018 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
An offline two-dimensional recycling high-speed countercurrent chromatography (2D R-HSCCC) strategy with extrusion mode was developed for isolating polyphenols from the rhizome of Smilax glabra. Firstly, the ethyl acetate extract was divided into two fractions, Fr.1 and Fr.2, by silica gel column chromatography.
[...] Read more.
An offline two-dimensional recycling high-speed countercurrent chromatography (2D R-HSCCC) strategy with extrusion mode was developed for isolating polyphenols from the rhizome of Smilax glabra. Firstly, the ethyl acetate extract was divided into two fractions, Fr.1 and Fr.2, by silica gel column chromatography. Then, HSCCC was applied to separate polyphenols from the two fractions using a solvent system consisting of petroleum ether–ethyl acetate–methanol–water (1:3:0.5:5, v/v). Fifty milligrams of Fr.1 was separated by conventional HSCCC, yielding 5-O-caffeoylshikimic acid (1, 15.8 mg) and taxifolin (2, 4.8 mg). Offline 2D R-HSCCC with extrusion mode was used to separate Fr.2, and astilbin (4, 37.3 mg), neoisoastilbin (5, 8.8 mg), engeletin (7, 7.9 mg), and a mixture of two polyphenols were obtained from 100 mg of Fr.2. The mixture of two polyphenols was further separated by pre-HPLC, yielding neoastilbin (3, 15.2 mg) and isoastilbin (6, 9.9 mg). The purities of these seven compounds were all over 96.0%. Their structures were identified by MS and NMR. The results demonstrated that the strategy based on offline 2D R-HSCCC with extrusion mode was a powerful tool to separate the main compounds from the rhizome of Smilax glabra and valued for the preparative separation compounds with broad K-values and similar structures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Discovery of Flavonoids from Scutellaria baicalensis with Inhibitory Activity Against PCSK 9 Expression: Isolation, Synthesis and Their Biological Evaluation
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020504
Received: 23 January 2018 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
Nine flavonoids were isolated and identified from a chloroform-soluble fraction of the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis through a bioactivity-guided fractionation using a proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) monitoring assay in HepG2 cells. All structures were established by interpreting the corresponding spectroscopic data
[...] Read more.
Nine flavonoids were isolated and identified from a chloroform-soluble fraction of the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis through a bioactivity-guided fractionation using a proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) monitoring assay in HepG2 cells. All structures were established by interpreting the corresponding spectroscopic data and comparing measured values from those in the literature. All compounds were assessed for their ability to inhibit PCSK9 mRNA expression; compounds 1 (3,7,2′-trihydroxy-5-methoxy-flavanone) and 4 (skullcapflavone II) were found to suppress PCSK9 mRNA via SREBP-1. Furthermore, compound 1 was found to increase low-density lipoprotein receptor protein expression. Also, synthesis of compound 1 as a racemic mixture form (1a) was completed for the first time. Natural compound 1 and synthetic racemic 1a were evaluated for their inhibitory activities against PCSK9 mRNA expression and the results confirmed the stereochemistry of 1 was important. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
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Open AccessCommunication Bacillus Cellulase Molecular Cloning, Expression, and Surface Display on the Outer Membrane of Escherichia coli
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020503
Received: 17 January 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (783 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the main challenges of using recombinant enzymes is that they are derived from genetically-modified microorganisms commonly located in the intracellular region. The use of these recombinant enzymes for commercial purposes requires the additional processes of cell disruption and purification, which may
[...] Read more.
One of the main challenges of using recombinant enzymes is that they are derived from genetically-modified microorganisms commonly located in the intracellular region. The use of these recombinant enzymes for commercial purposes requires the additional processes of cell disruption and purification, which may result in enzyme loss, denaturation, and increased total production cost. In this study, the cellulase gene of Bacillus licheniformis ATCC 14580 was cloned, over-expressed, and surface displayed in recombinant Escherichia coli using an ice-nucleation protein (INP). INP, an outer membrane-bound protein from Pseudomonas syringae, was utilized as an anchor linker, which was cloned with a foreign cellulase gene into the pET21a vector to develop a surface display system on the outer membrane of E. coli. The resulting strain successfully revealed cellulase on the host cell surface. The over-expressed INP-cellulase fusion protein was confirmed via staining assay for determining the extracellular cellulase and Western blotting method for the molecular weight (MW) of cellulase, which was estimated to be around 61.7 kDa. Cell fractionation and localization tests demonstrated that the INP-cellulase fusion protein was mostly present in the supernatant (47.5%) and outer membrane (19.4%), while the wild-type strain intracellularly retained enzymes within cytosol (>61%), indicating that the INP gene directed the cellulase expression on the bacteria cell surface. Further studies of the optimal enzyme activity were observed at 60 °C and pH 7.0, and at least 75% of maximal enzyme activity was preserved at 70 °C. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Pilot Study of 64CuCl2 for PET Imaging of Inflammation
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020502
Received: 21 January 2018 / Revised: 18 February 2018 / Accepted: 20 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
Copper(II) ion (Cu2+) is the essential element for numerous pathophysiological processes in vivo. Copper transporter 1 (CTR1) is mainly responsible for maintaining Cu2+ accumulation in cells, which has been found to be over-expressed in inflammatory tissues. Therefore, we explored the
[...] Read more.
Copper(II) ion (Cu2+) is the essential element for numerous pathophysiological processes in vivo. Copper transporter 1 (CTR1) is mainly responsible for maintaining Cu2+ accumulation in cells, which has been found to be over-expressed in inflammatory tissues. Therefore, we explored the potential application of 64CuCl2 for PET imaging of inflammation through targeting CTR1. The animal models of H2O2 induced muscle inflammation and lipopolysaccaharide induced lung inflammation were successfully established, then imaged by small animal PET (PET/CT) post-injection of 64CuCl2, and PET images were quantitatively analyzed. H&E and immunohistochemical (IHC) staining and western blot experiments were performed for evaluating CTR1 levels in the inflammatory and control tissues. Both inflammatory muscle and lungs can be clearly imaged by PET. PET image quantitative analysis revealed that the inflammatory muscle and lungs showed significantly higher 64Cu accumulation than the controls, respectively (p < 0.05). Furthermore, IHC staining and western blot analysis demonstrated that compared with the controls, CTR1 expression was increased in both the inflammatory muscle and lungs, which was consistent with the levels of 64Cu2+ accumulation in these tissues. 64CuCl2 can be used as a novel, simple, and highly promising PET tracer for CTR1 targeted imaging of inflammation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Kinetics and Optimization of Lipophilic Kojic Acid Derivative Synthesis in Polar Aprotic Solvent Using Lipozyme RMIM and Its Rheological Study
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020501
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
The synthesis of kojic acid derivative (KAD) from kojic and palmitic acid (C16:0) in the presence of immobilized lipase from Rhizomucor miehei (commercially known as Lipozyme RMIM), was studied using a shake flask system. Kojic acid is a polyfunctional heterocycles that acts as
[...] Read more.
The synthesis of kojic acid derivative (KAD) from kojic and palmitic acid (C16:0) in the presence of immobilized lipase from Rhizomucor miehei (commercially known as Lipozyme RMIM), was studied using a shake flask system. Kojic acid is a polyfunctional heterocycles that acts as a source of nucleophile in this reaction allowing the formation of a lipophilic KAD. In this study, the source of biocatalyst, Lipozyme RMIM, was derived from the lipase of Rhizomucor miehei immobilized on weak anion exchange macro-porous Duolite ES 562 by the adsorption technique. The effects of solvents, enzyme loading, reaction temperature, and substrate molar ratio on the reaction rate were investigated. In one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) experiments, a high reaction rate (30.6 × 10−3 M·min−1) of KAD synthesis was recorded using acetone, enzyme loading of 1.25% (w/v), reaction time of 12 h, temperature of 50 °C and substrate molar ratio of 5:1. Thereafter, a yield of KAD synthesis was optimized via the response surface methodology (RSM) whereby the optimized molar ratio (fatty acid: kojic acid), enzyme loading, reaction temperature and reaction time were 6.74, 1.97% (w/v), 45.9 °C, and 20 h respectively, giving a high yield of KAD (64.47%). This condition was reevaluated in a 0.5 L stirred tank reactor (STR) where the agitation effects of two impellers; Rushton turbine (RT) and pitch-blade turbine (PBT), were investigated. In the STR, a very high yield of KAD synthesis (84.12%) was achieved using RT at 250 rpm, which was higher than the shake flask, thus indicating better mixing quality in STR. In a rheological study, a pseudoplastic behavior of KAD mixture was proposed for potential application in lotion formulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipases and Lipases Modification)
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Open AccessArticle Graphene Oxide as a Nanocarrier for a Theranostics Delivery System of Protocatechuic Acid and Gadolinium/Gold Nanoparticles
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020500
Received: 4 January 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2808 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We have synthesized a graphene oxide (GO)-based theranostic nanodelivery system (GOTS) for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using naturally occurring protocatechuic acid (PA) as an anticancer agent and gadolinium (III) nitrate hexahydrate (Gd) as the starting material for a contrast agent,. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs)
[...] Read more.
We have synthesized a graphene oxide (GO)-based theranostic nanodelivery system (GOTS) for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using naturally occurring protocatechuic acid (PA) as an anticancer agent and gadolinium (III) nitrate hexahydrate (Gd) as the starting material for a contrast agent,. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were subsequently used as second diagnostic agent. The GO nanosheets were first prepared from graphite via the improved Hummer’s protocol. The conjugation of the GO and the PA was done via hydrogen bonding and π–π stacking interactions, followed by surface adsorption of the AuNPs through electrostatic interactions. GAGPA is the name given to the nanocomposite obtained from Gd and PA conjugation. However, after coating with AuNPs, the name was modified to GAGPAu. The physicochemical properties of the GAGPA and GAGPAu nanohybrids were studied using various characterization techniques. The results from the analyses confirmed the formation of the GOTS. The powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) results showed the diffractive patterns for pure GO nanolayers, which changed after subsequent conjugation of the Gd and PA. The AuNPs patterns were also recorded after surface adsorption. Cytotoxicity and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast tests were also carried out on the developed GOTS. The GAGPAu was significantly cytotoxic to the human liver hepatocellular carcinoma cell line (HepG2) but nontoxic to the standard fibroblast cell line (3T3). The GAGPAu also appeared to possess higher T1 contrast compared to the pure Gd and water reference. The GOTS has good prospects of serving as future theranostic platform for cancer chemotherapy and diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nanochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle Establishment of the Volatile Signature of Wine-Based Aromatic Vinegars Subjected to Maceration
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020499
Received: 17 January 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
PDF Full-text (3901 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The flavoring of vinegars with aromatic fruits and medicinal herbs is a practice with increasing trend mostly in countries with oenological tradition, resulting in a product of improved quality and consumer attractiveness. This study was directed towards the evaluation of the impact of
[...] Read more.
The flavoring of vinegars with aromatic fruits and medicinal herbs is a practice with increasing trend mostly in countries with oenological tradition, resulting in a product of improved quality and consumer attractiveness. This study was directed towards the evaluation of the impact of the maceration process on the volatile signature of wine-based aromatic vinegars (WBAVs). The evaluation was performed using solid phase microextraction (SPME) combined with gas chromatography combined with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Experimental parameters influencing headspace solid (HS)-SPME extraction efficiency, were optimized using an univariate experimental design. The best results were achieved using a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) fiber, 10 mL of vinegar sample, at 50 °C for 30 min of extraction. This way One hundred and three volatile organic compounds (VOCs), belonging to different chemical families including ethyl esters (37), higher alcohols (20), fatty acids (10), terpenoids (23), carbonyl compounds (six), lactones (five) and volatile phenols (two), were identified in wine vinegar (control) and WBAV. As far as we know, 34 of these VOCs are reported for the first time in macerated vinegars. Higher alcohols and lactones are the major chemical families in WBAV macerated with apple, whereas terpenoids are predominant in WBAV macerated with banana. The obtained data represent a suitable tool to guarantee the authenticity and genuineness of WBAV, as well as to promote the production of WBAV with improved sensorial and organoleptic properties. To the best of our knowledge, there are no reported studies dealing with the volatile signature of WBAV enriched with banana, passion fruit, apple and pennyroyal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Analytical Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle Antioxidation and Cytoprotection of Acteoside and Its Derivatives: Comparison and Mechanistic Chemistry
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020498
Received: 24 January 2018 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 20 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3030 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The study tried to explore the role of sugar-residues and mechanisms of phenolic phenylpropanoid antioxidants. Acteoside, along with its apioside forsythoside B and rhamnoside poliumoside, were comparatively investigated using various antioxidant assays. In three electron-transfer (ET)-based assays (FRAP, CUPRAC, PTIO•-scavenging at pH 4.5),
[...] Read more.
The study tried to explore the role of sugar-residues and mechanisms of phenolic phenylpropanoid antioxidants. Acteoside, along with its apioside forsythoside B and rhamnoside poliumoside, were comparatively investigated using various antioxidant assays. In three electron-transfer (ET)-based assays (FRAP, CUPRAC, PTIO•-scavenging at pH 4.5), the relative antioxidant levels roughly ruled as: acteoside >forsythoside B > poliumoside. Such order was also observed in H+-transfer-involved PTIO•-scavenging assay at pH 7.4, and in three multiple-pathway-involved radical-scavenging assays, i.e., ABTS+•-scavenging, DPPH•-scavenging, and •O2-scavenging. In UV-vis spectra, each of them displayed a red-shift at 335→364 nm and two weak peaks (480 and 719 nm), when mixed with Fe2+; however, acteoside gave the weakest absorption. In Ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC−ESI−Q−TOF−MS/MS) analysis, no radical-adduct-formation (RAF) peak was found. MTT assay revealed that poliumoside exhibited the highest viability of oxidative-stressed bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. In conclusion, acteoside, forsythoside B, and poliumoside may be involved in multiple-pathways to exert the antioxidant action, including ET, H+-transfer, or Fe2+-chelating, but not RAF. The ET and H+-transfer may be hindered by rhamnosyl and apiosyl moieties; however, the Fe2+-chelating potential can be enhanced by two sugar-residues (especially rhamnosyl moiety). The general effect of rhamnosyl and apiosyl moieties is to improve the antioxidant or cytoprotective effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Antioxidant Capacities of Natural Products)
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Open AccessArticle Characterization, Stability and Biological Activity In Vitro of Cathelicidin-BF-30 Loaded 4-Arm Star-Shaped PEG-PLGA Microspheres
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020497
Received: 24 January 2018 / Revised: 18 February 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
BF-30 is a single chain polypeptide of an N-segment with an α-helix from cathelicidin gene encoding, and it contains 30 amino acid residues, with a relative molecular mass and isoelectric point of 3637.54 and 11.79, respectively. Cathelicidin-BF-30 was entrapped in four-arm star-shaped poly(ethylene
[...] Read more.
BF-30 is a single chain polypeptide of an N-segment with an α-helix from cathelicidin gene encoding, and it contains 30 amino acid residues, with a relative molecular mass and isoelectric point of 3637.54 and 11.79, respectively. Cathelicidin-BF-30 was entrapped in four-arm star-shaped poly(ethylene glycol-b-dl-lactic acid-co-glycolic acid) block copolymers (4-arm-PEG-PLGA) by a double-emulsion solvent-evaporation method. Three release phases of cathelicidin-BF-30loaded 4-arm-PEG-PLGA microspheres were observed, including an initial burst-release phase, followed by a lag phase with minimal drug release and finally a secondary zero-order release phase. The delivery system released BF-30 over more than 15 days in vitro. Furthermore, the material for preparing the microspheres has good biocompatibility and biodegradability. Additionally, based on the drug resistance of food pathogenic bacteria, the antibacterial effects of BF-30 on Shigella dysenteriae CMCC 51105 (Sh. dysenteriae CMCC 51105), Salmonella typhi (S. typhi) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) as well as the stability of the in vitro release of the BF-30-loded microspheres were studied. The α-helix secondary structure and antibacterial activity of released BF-30 were retained and compared with native peptide. These BF-30 loaded microspheres presented <10% hemolysis and no toxicity for HEK293T cells even at the highest tested concentration (150 μg/mL), indicating that they are hemocompatible and a promising delivery and protection system for BF-30 peptide. Full article
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Open AccessArticle In Silico-Based Repositioning of Phosphinothricin as a Novel Technetium-99m Imaging Probe with Potential Anti-Cancer Activity
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020496
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
l-Phosphinothricin (glufosinate or 2-amino-4-((hydroxy(methyl) phosphinyl) butyric acid ammonium salt (AHPB)), which is a structural analog of glutamate, is a recognized herbicide that acts on weeds through inhibition of glutamine synthetase. Due to the structural similarity between phosphinothricin and some bisphosphonates (BPs), this
[...] Read more.
l-Phosphinothricin (glufosinate or 2-amino-4-((hydroxy(methyl) phosphinyl) butyric acid ammonium salt (AHPB)), which is a structural analog of glutamate, is a recognized herbicide that acts on weeds through inhibition of glutamine synthetase. Due to the structural similarity between phosphinothricin and some bisphosphonates (BPs), this study focuses on investigating the possibility of repurposing phosphinothricin as a bisphosphonate analogue, particularly in two medicine-related activities: image probing and as an anti-cancer drug. As BP is a competitive inhibitor of human farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase (HFPPS), in silico molecular docking and dynamic simulations studies were established to evaluate the binding and stability of phosphinothricin with HFPPS, while the results showed good binding and stability in the active site of the enzyme in relation to alendronate. For the purpose of inspecting bone-tissue accumulation of phosphinothricin, a technetium (99mTc)–phosphinothricin complex was developed and its stability and tissue distribution were scrutinized. The radioactive complex showed rapid, high and sustained uptake into bone tissues. Finally, the cytotoxic activity of phosphinothricin was tested against breast and lung cancer cells, with the results indicating cytotoxic activity in relation to alendronate. All the above results provide support for the use of phosphinothricin as a potential anti-cancer drug and of its technetium complex as an imaging probe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Imaging and Treatment Monitoring of Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle Physicochemical Properties and Chemical Stability of β-Carotene Bilayer Emulsion Coated with Bovine Serum Albumin and Arabic Gum Compared to Monolayer Emulsions
Molecules 2018, 23(2), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020495
Received: 17 January 2018 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 20 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
β-carotene is a lipophilic micronutrient that is considered beneficial to human health. However, there are some limitations in utilizing β-carotene in functional foods or dietary supplements currently because of its poor water dispersibility and chemical stability. A new type of β-carotene bilayer emulsion
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β-carotene is a lipophilic micronutrient that is considered beneficial to human health. However, there are some limitations in utilizing β-carotene in functional foods or dietary supplements currently because of its poor water dispersibility and chemical stability. A new type of β-carotene bilayer emulsion delivery system was prepared by a layer-by-layer electrostatic deposition technique, for which were chosen bovine serum albumin (BSA) as the inner emulsifier and Arabic gum (GA) as the outer emulsifier. The physicochemical properties of bilayer emulsions were mainly characterized by droplet size distribution, zeta potential, rheological behavior, Creaming Index (CI), and encapsulation ratio of β-carotene. Besides this, the effects of processing conditions (pH, thermal treatment, UV radiation, strong oxidant) and storage time on the chemical stability of bilayer emulsions were also evaluated. The bilayer emulsion had a small droplet size (221.27 ± 5.17 nm) and distribution (PDI = 0.23 ± 0.02), strong zeta potential (−30.37 ± 0.71 mV), good rheological behavior (with the highest viscosity that could reduce the possibility of flocculation) and physical stability (CI = 0), high β-carotene encapsulation ratio (94.35 ± 0.71%), and low interfacial tension (40.81 ± 0.86 mN/m). It also obtained better chemical stability under different environmental stresses when compared with monolayer emulsions studied, because it had a dense and thick bilayer structure. Full article
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