Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) shows an important role in the sustainable agriculture industry. The increasing demand for crop production with a significant reduction of synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides use is a big challenge nowadays. The use of PGPR has been proven to be an environmentally sound way of increasing crop yields by facilitating plant growth through either a direct or indirect mechanism. The mechanisms of PGPR include regulating hormonal and nutritional balance, inducing resistance against plant pathogens, and solubilizing nutrients for easy uptake by plants. In addition, PGPR show synergistic and antagonistic interactions with microorganisms within the rhizosphere and beyond in bulk soil, which indirectly boosts plant growth rate. There are many bacteria species that act as PGPR, described in the literature as successful for improving plant growth. However, there is a gap between the mode of action (mechanism) of the PGPR for plant growth and the role of the PGPR as biofertilizer-thus the importance of nano-encapsulation technology in improving the efficacy of PGPR. Hence, this review bridges the gap mentioned and summarizes the mechanism of PGPR as a biofertilizer for agricultural sustainability.
Nerolidol (3,7,11-trimethyl-1,6,10-dodecatrien-3-ol) is a naturally occurring sesquiterpene alcohol that is present in various plants with a floral odor. It is synthesized as an intermediate in the production of (3E)-4,8-dimethy-1,3,7-nonatriene (DMNT), a herbivore-induced volatile that protects plants from herbivore damage. Chemically, nerolidol exists in two geometric isomers, a trans and a cis form. The usage of nerolidol is widespread across different industries. It has been widely used in cosmetics (e.g., shampoos and perfumes) and in non-cosmetic products (e.g., detergents and cleansers). In fact, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also permitted the use of nerolidol as a food flavoring agent. The fact that nerolidol is a common ingredient in many products has attracted researchers to explore more medicinal properties of nerolidol that may exert beneficial effect on human health. Therefore, the aim of this review is to compile and consolidate the data on the various pharmacological and biological activities displayed by nerolidol. Furthermore, this review also includes pharmacokinetic and toxicological studies of nerolidol. In summary, the various pharmacological and biological activities demonstrated in this review highlight the prospects of nerolidol as a promising chemical or drug candidate in the field of agriculture and medicine.
Continuing our interest in the Uncaria genus, the phytochemistry and the in-vitro α-glucosidase inhibitory activities of Malaysian Uncaria cordata var. ferruginea were investigated. The phytochemical study of this plant, which employed various chromatographic techniques including recycling preparative HPLC, led to the isolation of ten compounds with diverse structures comprising three phenolic acids, two coumarins, three flavonoids, a terpene and an iridoid glycoside. These constituents were identified as 2-hydroxybenzoic acid or salicylic acid (1), 2,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (2), 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (3), scopoletin or 7-hydroxy-6-methoxy-coumarin (4), 3,4-dihydroxy-7-methoxycoumarin (5), quercetin (6), kaempferol (7), taxifolin (8), loganin (9) and β-sitosterol (10). Structure elucidation of the compounds was accomplished with the aid of 1D and 2D Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectral data and Ultraviolet-Visible (UV-Vis), Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry (MS). In the α-glucosidase inhibitory assay, the crude methanolic extract of the stems of the plant and its acetone fraction exhibited strong α-glucosidase inhibition activity of 87.7% and 89.2%, respectively, while its DCM fraction exhibited only moderate inhibition (75.3%) at a concentration of 1 mg/mL. The IC50 values of both fractions were found to be significantly lower than the standard acarbose suggesting the presence of potential α-glucosidase inhibitors. Selected compounds isolated from the active fractions were then subjected to α-glucosidase assay in which 2,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid and quercetin showed strong inhibitory effects against the enzyme with IC50 values of 549 and 556 μg/mL compared to acarbose (IC50 580 μg/mL) while loganin and scopoletin only showed weak α-glucosidase inhibition of 44.9% and 34.5%, respectively. This is the first report of the isolation of 2-hydroxybenzoic acid, 2,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid and loganin from the genus and the first report of the α-glucosidase inhibitory potential of 2,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid.
Malabaricones A-C (1-3) and giganteone A (4) were isolated from the bark of Myristica cinnamomea King. Their structures were elucidated and characterized by means of NMR and MS spectral analyses. These isolates were evaluated for their anti-quorum sensing activity using quorum sensing biosensors, namely Escherichia coli [pSB401] and Escherichia coli [pSB1075], whereby the potential of giganteone A (4) as a suitable anti-quorum sensing agent was demonstrated.
A series of heterocyclic compounds bearing the well-known free radical scavenging 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzyloxy group, was synthesized. The key compound 4-(3,4,5-trimethoxybenzyl-oxy)benzohydrazide was converted into thiosemicarbazide derivatives, which were subsequently cyclized with NaOH to provide 1,2,4-triazole derivatives. Alternative treatment of the acid hydrazide with carbon disulfide in the presence of KOH led to the corresponding 1,3,4-oxadiazole and various alkylated derivatives. The newly synthesized compounds were purified and the structures of the products were elucidated and confirmed on the basis of their analytical and spectral data. Their antioxidant activities were evaluated using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH(•)) and Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power (FRAP) assays. The thiosemicarbazide derivatives were highly active in both antioxidant assays with the lowest IC50 value for DPPH radical scavenging. Theoretical calculations based on density functional theory (DFT) were performed to understand the relative importance of NH, SH and CH hydrogens on the radical scavenging activities of these compounds.
Alzheimer's disease is considered one of the major neurodegenerative diseases and is characterized by the production of β-amyloid (Aβ) proteins and progressive loss of neurons. Biochanin A, a phytoestrogen compound found mainly in Trifolium pratense, was used in the present study as a potential alternative to estrogen replacement therapy via the investigation of its neuroprotective effects against Aβ25-35-induced toxicity, as well as of its potential mechanisms of action in PC12 cells. Exposure of these cells to the Aβ25-35 protein significantly increased cell viability loss and apoptosis. However, the effects induced by Aβ25-35 were markedly reversed in the present of biochanin A. Pretreatment with biochanin A attenuated the cytotoxic effect of the Aβ25-35 protein by decreasing viability loss, LDH release, and caspase activity in cells. Moreover, we found that expression of cytochrome c and Puma were reduced, alongside with the restoration of Bcl-2/Bax and Bcl-xL/Bax ratio in the presence of biochanin A, which led to a decrease in the apoptotic rate. These data demonstrate that mitochondria are involved in the protective effect of biochanin A against Aβ25-35 and that this drug attenuated Aβ25-35-induced PC12 cell injury and apoptosis by preventing mitochondrial dysfunction. Thus, biochanin A might raise a possibility as a potential therapeutic agent for Alzheimer's disease and other related neurodegenerative diseases.
Phoenix dactylifera or date palm fruits are reported to contain natural compounds that exhibit antioxidant and antibacterial properties. This research aimed to study the effect of fruit chilling at 4 °C for 8 weeks, extract storage at -20 °C for 5 weeks, and extraction solvents (methanol or acetone) on total phenolic content (TPC), antioxidant activity and antibacterial properties of Saudi Arabian P. dactylifera cv Mabroom, Safawi and Ajwa, as well as Iranian P. dactylifera cv Mariami. The storage stability of total anthocyanin content (TAC) was also evaluated, before and after storing the extracts at -20 °C and 4 °C respectively, for 5 weeks. Mariami had the highest TAC (3.18 ± 1.40 mg cyd 3-glu/100 g DW) while Mabroom had the lowest TAC (0.54 ± 0.15 mg cyd 3-glu/100 g DW). The TAC of all extracts increased after storage. The chilling of date palm fruits for 8 weeks prior to solvent extraction elevated the TPC of all date fruit extracts, except for methanolic extracts of Mabroom and Mariami. All IC50 values of all cultivars decreased after the fruit chilling treatment. Methanol was a better solvent compared to acetone for the extraction of phenolic compounds in dates. The TPC of all cultivars extracts decreased after 5 weeks of extract storage. IC50 values of all cultivars extracts increased after extract storage except for the methanolic extracts of Safawi and Ajwa. Different cultivars exhibited different antibacterial properties. Only the methanolic extract of Ajwa exhibited antibacterial activity against all four bacteria tested: Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Serratia marcescens and Escherichia coli. These results could be useful to the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries in the development of natural compound-based products.
The fluoroquinolone antibacterial drug ciprofloxacin (cip) has been used to cap metallic (silver and gold) nanoparticles by a robust one pot synthetic method under optimized conditions, using NaBH₄ as a mild reducing agent. Metallic nanoparticles (MNPs) showed constancy against variations in pH, table salt (NaCl) solution, and heat. Capping with metal ions (Ag/Au-cip) has significant implications for the solubility, pharmacokinetics and bioavailability of fluoroquinolone molecules. The metallic nanoparticles were characterized by several techniques such as ultraviolet visible spectroscopy (UV), atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) methods. The nanoparticles synthesized using silver and gold were subjected to energy dispersive X-ray tests in order to show their metallic composition. The NH moiety of the piperazine group capped the Ag/Au surfaces, as revealed by spectroscopic studies. The synthesized nanoparticles were also assessed for urease inhibition potential. Fascinatingly, both Ag-cip and Au-cip NPs exhibited significant urease enzyme inhibitory potential, with IC50 = 1.181 ± 0.02 µg/mL and 52.55 ± 2.3 µg/mL, compared to ciprofloxacin (IC50 = 82.95 ± 1.62 µg/mL). MNPs also exhibited significant antibacterial activity against selected bacterial strains.
E. longifolia is attracting interest due to its pharmacological properties and pro-vitality effects. In this study, an online SPE-LC approach using polystyrene divinyl benzene (PSDVB) and C18 columns was developed in obtaining chromatographic fingerprints of E. longifolia. E. longifolia root samples were extracted using pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) technique prior to online SPE-LC. The effects of mobile phase compositions and column switching time on the chromatographic fingerprint were optimized. Validation of the developed method was studied based on eurycomanone. Linearity was in the range of 5 to 50 µg∙mL(-1) (r² = 0.997) with 3.2% relative standard deviation of peak area. The developed method was used to analyze 14 E. longifolia root samples and 10 products (capsules). Selected chemometric techniques: cluster analysis (CA), discriminant analysis (DA), and principal component analysis (PCA) were applied to the fingerprint datasets of 37 selected peaks to evaluate the ability of the chromatographic fingerprint in classifying quality of E. longifolia. Three groups were obtained using CA. DA yielded 100% correlation coefficient with 19 discriminant compounds. Using PCA, E. longifolia root samples were clearly discriminated from the products. This study showed that the developed online SPE-LC method was able to provide comprehensive evaluation of E. longifolia samples for quality control purposes.
In this work, the potential of CO₂ mineral carbonation of brucite (Mg(OH)2) derived from the Mount Tawai peridotite (forsterite based (Mg)₂SiO4) to produce thermodynamically stable magnesium carbonate (MgCO3) was evaluated. The effect of three main factors (reaction temperature, particle size, and water vapor) were investigated in a sequence of experiments consisting of aqueous acid leaching, evaporation to dryness of the slurry mass, and then gas-solid carbonation under pressurized CO2. The maximum amount of Mg converted to MgCO₃ is ~99%, which occurred at temperatures between 150 and 175 °C. It was also found that the reduction of particle size range from >200 to <75 µm enhanced the leaching rate significantly. In addition, the results showed the essential role of water vapor in promoting effective carbonation. By increasing water vapor concentration from 5 to 10 vol %, the mineral carbonation rate increased by 30%. This work has also numerically modeled the process by which CO₂ gas may be sequestered, by reaction with forsterite in the presence of moisture. In both experimental analysis and geochemical modeling, the results showed that the reaction is favored and of high yield; going almost to completion (within about one year) with the bulk of the carbon partitioning into magnesite and that very little remains in solution.
The microwave-assisted three-component reactions of 3,5-bis(E)-arylmethylidene]tetrahydro-4(1H)-pyridinones, acenaphthenequinone and cyclic α-amino acids in an ionic liquid, 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide, occurred through a domino sequence affording structurally intriguing diazaheptacyclic cage-like compounds in excellent yields.
This paper is a review on the types of antagonists and the signaling mechanism pathways that have been used to determine the mechanisms of action employed for vasodilation by test compounds. Thus, we exhaustively reviewed and analyzed reports related to this topic published in PubMed between the years of 2010 till 2015. The aim of this paperis to suggest the most appropriate type of antagonists that correspond to receptors that would be involved during the mechanistic studies, as well as the latest signaling pathways trends that are being studied in order to determine the route(s) that atest compound employs for inducing vasodilation. The methods to perform the mechanism studies were included. Fundamentally, the affinity, specificity and selectivity of the antagonists to their receptors or enzymes were clearly elaborated as well as the solubility and reversibility. All the signaling pathways on the mechanisms of action involved in the vascular tone regulation have been well described in previous review articles. However, the most appropriate antagonists that should be utilized have never been suggested and elaborated before, hence the reason for this review.
Uridine-cytidine kinase 2 is implicated in uncontrolled proliferation of abnormal cells and it is a hallmark of cancer, therefore, there is need for effective inhibitors of this key enzyme. In this study, we employed the used of in silico studies to find effective UCK2 inhibitors of natural origin using bioinformatics tools. An in vitro kinase assay was established by measuring the amount of ADP production in the presence of ATP and 5-fluorouridine as a substrate. Molecular docking studies revealed an interesting ligand interaction with the UCK2 protein for both flavokawain B and alpinetin. Both compounds were found to reduce ADP production, possibly by inhibiting UCK2 activity in vitro. In conclusion, we have identified flavokawain B and alpinetin as potential natural UCK2 inhibitors as determined by their interactions with UCK2 protein using in silico molecular docking studies. This can provide information to identify lead candidates for further drug design and development.
Increasing evidence from both experimental and clinical studies depicts the involvement of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of various diseases. Specifically, disruption of homeostatic redox balance in accumulated body fat mass leads to obesity-associated metabolic syndrome. Strategies for the restoration of redox balance, potentially by exploring potent plant bioactives, have thus become the focus of therapeutic intervention. The present study aimed to bioprospect the potential use of the curculigoside-cinnamic acid-rich fraction from Molineria latifolia rhizome as an antioxidant therapeutic agent. The ethyl acetate fraction (EAF) isolated from M. latifolia rhizome methanolic extract (RME) contained the highest amount of phenolic compounds, particularly curculigoside and cinnamic acid. EAF demonstrated glycation inhibitory activities in both glucose- and fructose-mediated glycation models. In addition, in vitro chemical-based and cellular-based antioxidant assays showed that EAF exhibited high antioxidant activities and a protective effect against oxidative damage in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Although the efficacies of individual phenolics differed depending on the structure and concentration, a correlational study revealed strong correlations between total phenolic contents and antioxidant capacities. The results concluded that enriched phenolic contents in EAF (curculigoside-cinnamic acid-rich fraction) contributed to the overall better reactivity. Our data suggest that this bioactive-rich fraction warrants therapeutic potential against oxidative stress-related disorders.
The effects of different drying methods (freeze drying, vacuum oven drying, and shade drying) on the phytochemical constituents associated with the antioxidant activities of Z. officinale var. rubrum Theilade were evaluated to determine the optimal drying process for these rhizomes. Total flavonoid content (TFC), total phenolic content (TPC), and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity were measured using the spectrophotometric method. Individual phenolic acids and flavonoids, 6- and 8-gingerol and shogaol were identified by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography method. Ferric reducing antioxidant potential (FRAP) and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assays were used for the evaluation of antioxidant activities. The highest reduction in moisture content was observed after freeze drying (82.97%), followed by vacuum oven drying (80.43%) and shade drying (72.65%). The highest TPC, TFC, and 6- and 8-shogaol contents were observed in samples dried by the vacuum oven drying method compared to other drying methods. The highest content of 6- and 8-gingerol was observed after freeze drying, followed by vacuum oven drying and shade drying methods. Fresh samples had the highest PPO activity and lowest content of flavonoid and phenolic acid compounds compared to dried samples. Rhizomes dried by the vacuum oven drying method represent the highest DPPH (52.9%) and FRAP activities (566.5 μM of Fe (II)/g DM), followed by freeze drying (48.3% and 527.1 μM of Fe (II)/g DM, respectively) and shade drying methods (37.64% and 471.8 μM of Fe (II)/g DM, respectively) with IC50 values of 27.2, 29.1, and 34.8 μg/mL, respectively. Negative and significant correlations were observed between PPO and antioxidant activity of rhizomes. Vacuum oven dried rhizomes can be utilized as an ingredient for the development of value-added food products as they contain high contents of phytochemicals with valuable antioxidant potential.
Zanthoxylum rhetsa is an aromatic tree, known vernacularly as "Indian Prickly Ash". It has been predominantly used by Indian tribes for the treatment of many infirmities like diabetes, inflammation, rheumatism, toothache and diarrhea. In this study, we identified major volatile constituents present in different solvent fractions of Z. rhetsa bark using GC-MS analysis and isolated two tetrahydrofuran lignans (yangambin and kobusin), a berberine alkaloid (columbamine) and a triterpenoid (lupeol) from the bioactive chloroform fraction. The solvent fractions and purified compounds were tested for their cytotoxic potential against human dermal fibroblasts (HDF) and mouse melanoma (B16-F10) cells, using the MTT assay. All the solvent fractions and purified compounds were found to be non-cytotoxic to HDF cells. However, the chloroform fraction and kobusin exhibited cytotoxic effect against B16-F10 melanoma cells. The presence of bioactive lignans and alkaloids were suggested to be responsible for the cytotoxic property of Z. rhetsa bark against B16-F10 cells.
Deoxyelephantopin (DET), one of the major sesquiterpene lactones derived from Elephantopus scaber was reported to possess numerous pharmacological functions. This study aimed to assess the apoptosis inducing effects and cell cycle arrest by DET followed by elucidation of the mechanisms underlying cell death in HCT116 cells. The anticancer activity of DET was evaluated by a MTT assay. Morphological and biochemical changes were detected by Hoescht 33342/PI and Annexin V/PI staining. The results revealed that DET and isodeoxyelephantopin (isoDET) could be isolated from the ethyl acetate fraction of E. scaber leaves via a bioassay-guided approach. DET induced significant dose- and time-dependent growth inhibition of HCT116 cells. Characteristics of apoptosis including nuclear morphological changes and externalization of phosphatidylserine were observed. DET also significantly resulted in the activation of caspase-3 and PARP cleavage. Additionally, DET induced cell cycle arrest at the S phase along with dose-dependent upregulation of p21 and phosphorylated p53 protein expression. DET dose-dependently downregulated cyclin D1, A2, B1, E2, CDK4 and CDK2 protein expression. In conclusion, our data showed that DET induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in HCT116 colorectal carcinoma, suggesting that DET has potential as an anticancer agent for colorectal carcinoma.
The use of chitosan as a delivery carrier has attracted much attention in recent years. In this study, chitosan nanoparticles (CS-NP) and chitosan-ΦKAZ14 bacteriophage-loaded nanoparticles (C-ΦKAZ14 NP) were prepared by a simple coercavation method and characterized. The objective was to achieve an effective protection of bacteriophage from gastric acids and enzymes in the chicken gastrointestinal tract. The average particle sizes for CS-NP and C-ΦKAZ14 NP were 188 ± 7.4 and 176 ± 3.2 nm, respectively. The zeta potentials for CS-NP and C-ΦKAZ14 NP were 50 and 60 mV, respectively. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) of C-ΦKAZ14 NP gave an onset temperature of -17.17 °C with a peak at 17.32 °C and final end set of 17.41 °C, while blank chitosan NP had an onset of -20.00 °C with a peak at -19.78 °C and final end set at -20.47. FT-IR spectroscopy data of both CS-NP and C-ΦKAZ14 NP were the same. Chitosan nanoparticles showed considerable protection of ΦKAZ14 bacteriophage against degradation by enzymes as evidenced in gel electrophoresis, whereby ΦKAZ14 bacteriophage encapsulated in chitosan nanoparticles were protected whereas the naked ΦKAZ14 bacteriophage were degraded. C-ΦKAZ14 NP was non-toxic as shown by a chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) toxicity assay. It was concluded that chitosan nanoparticles could be a potent carrier of ΦKAZ14 bacteriophage for oral therapy against colibacillosis in poultry.
Quantifying the similarity of molecules is considered one of the major tasks in virtual screening. There are many similarity measures that have been proposed for this purpose, some of which have been derived from document and text retrieving areas as most often these similarity methods give good results in document retrieval and can achieve good results in virtual screening. In this work, we propose a similarity measure for ligand-based virtual screening, which has been derived from a text processing similarity measure. It has been adopted to be suitable for virtual screening; we called this proposed measure the Adapted Similarity Measure of Text Processing (ASMTP). For evaluating and testing the proposed ASMTP we conducted several experiments on two different benchmark datasets: the Maximum Unbiased Validation (MUV) and the MDL Drug Data Report (MDDR). The experiments have been conducted by choosing 10 reference structures from each class randomly as queries and evaluate them in the recall of cut-offs at 1% and 5%. The overall obtained results are compared with some similarity methods including the Tanimoto coefficient, which are considered to be the conventional and standard similarity coefficients for fingerprint-based similarity calculations. The achieved results show that the performance of ligand-based virtual screening is better and outperforms the Tanimoto coefficients and other methods.
Plectranthus amboinicus (Lour.) Spreng. is a perennial herb belonging to the family Lamiaceae which occurs naturally throughout the tropics and warm regions of Africa, Asia and Australia. This herb has therapeutic and nutritional properties attributed to its natural phytochemical compounds which are highly valued in the pharmaceutical industry. Besides, it has horticultural properties due to its aromatic nature and essential oil producing capability. It is widely used in folk medicine to treat conditions like cold, asthma, constipation, headache, cough, fever and skin diseases. The leaves of the plant are often eaten raw or used as flavoring agents, or incorporated as ingredients in the preparation of traditional food. The literature survey revealed the occurrence 76 volatiles and 30 non-volatile compounds belonging to different classes of phytochemicals such as monoterpenoids, diterpenoids, triterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids, phenolics, flavonoids, esters, alcohols and aldehydes. Studies have cited numerous pharmacological properties including antimicrobial, antiinflammatory, antitumor, wound healing, anti-epileptic, larvicidal, antioxidant and analgesic activities. Also, it has been found to be effective against respiratory, cardiovascular, oral, skin, digestive and urinary diseases. Yet, scientific validation of many other traditional uses would be appreciated, mainly to discover and authenticate novel bioactive compounds from this herb. This review article provides comprehensive information on the botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology and nutritional importance of P. amboinicus essential oil and its various solvent extracts. This article allows researchers to further explore the further potential of this multi-utility herb for various biomedical applications.