In this paper, a comprehensive study has been made on the detection of free fatty acids (FFAs) in palm oil via an optical technique based on enzymatic aminolysis reactions. FFAs in crude palm oil (CPO) were converted into fatty hydroxamic acids (FHAs) in a biphasic lipid/aqueous medium in the presence of immobilized lipase. The colored compound formed after complexation between FHA and vanadium (V) ion solution was proportional to the FFA content in the CPO samples and was analyzed using a spectrophotometric method. In order to develop a rapid detection system, the parameters involved in the aminolysis process were studied. The utilization of immobilized lipase as catalyst during the aminolysis process offers simplicity in the product isolation and the possibility of conducting the process under extreme reaction conditions. A good agreement was found between the developed method using immobilized Thermomyces lanuginose lipase as catalyst for the aminolysis process and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) standard titration method (R2 = 0.9453).
In an effort to study curcumin analogues as an alternative to improve the therapeutic efficacy of curcumin, we screened the cytotoxic potential of four diarylpentanoids using the HeLa and CaSki cervical cancer cell lines. Determination of their EC50 values indicated relatively higher potency of 1,5-bis(2-hydroxyphenyl)-1,4-pentadiene-3-one (MS17, 1.03 ± 0.5 μM; 2.6 ± 0.9 μM) and 1,5-bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1,4-pentadiene-3-one (MS13, 2.8 ± 0.4; 6.7 ± 2.4 μM) in CaSki and HeLa, respectively, with significantly greater growth inhibition at 48 and 72 h of treatment compared to the other analogues or curcumin. Based on cytotoxic and anti-proliferative activity, MS17 was selected for comprehensive apoptotic studies. At 24 h of treatment, fluorescence microscopy detected that MS17-exposed cells exhibited significant morphological changes consistent with apoptosis, corroborated by an increase in nucleosomal enrichment due to DNA fragmentation in HeLa and CaSki cells and activation of caspase-3 activity in CaSki cells. Quantitative real-time PCR also detected significant down-regulation of HPV18- and HPV16-associated E6 and E7 oncogene expression following treatment. The overall data suggests that MS17 treatment has cytotoxic, anti-proliferative and apoptosis-inducing potential in HPV-positive cervical cancer cells. Furthermore, its role in down-regulation of HPV-associated oncogenes responsible for cancer progression merits further investigation into its chemotherapeutic role for cervical cancer.
The present study reports a bioassay-guided isolation of β-caryophyllene from the essential oil of Aquilaria crassna. The structure of β-caryophyllene was confirmed using FT-IR, NMR and MS. The antimicrobial effect of β-caryophyllene was examined using human pathogenic bacterial and fungal strains. Its anti-oxidant properties were evaluated by DPPH and FRAP scavenging assays. The cytotoxicity of β-caryophyllene was tested against seven human cancer cell lines. The corresponding selectivity index was determined by testing its cytotoxicity on normal cells. The effects of β-caryophyllene were studied on a series of in vitro antitumor-promoting assays using colon cancer cells. Results showed that β-caryophyllene demonstrated selective antibacterial activity against S. aureus (MIC 3 ± 1.0 µM) and more pronounced anti-fungal activity than kanamycin. β-Caryophyllene also displayed strong antioxidant effects. Additionally, β-caryophyllene exhibited selective anti-proliferative effects against colorectal cancer cells (IC50 19 µM). The results also showed that β-caryophyllene induces apoptosis via nuclear condensation and fragmentation pathways including disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential. Further, β-caryophyllene demonstrated potent inhibition against clonogenicity, migration, invasion and spheroid formation in colon cancer cells. These results prompt us to state that β-caryophyllene is the active principle responsible for the selective anticancer and antimicrobial activities of A. crassnia. β-Caryophyllene has great potential to be further developed as a promising chemotherapeutic agent against colorectal malignancies.
Lipase is one of the more important enzymes used in various industries such as the food, detergent, pharmaceutical, textile, and pulp and paper sectors. A novel aqueous two-phase system composed of surfactant and xylitol was employed for the first time to purify lipase from Cucurbita moschata. The influence of different parameters such as type and concentration of surfactants, and the composition of the surfactant/xylitol mixtures on the partitioning behavior and recovery of lipase was investigated. Moreover, the effect of system pH and crude load on the degree of purification and yield of the purified lipase were studied. The results indicated that the lipase was partitioned into the top surfactant rich phase while the impurities partitioned into the bottom xylitol-rich phase using an aqueous two phase system composed of 24% (w/w) Triton X-100 and 20% (w/w) xylitol, at 56.2% of tie line length (TLL), (TTL is one of the important parameters in this study and it is determined from a bimodal curve in which the tie-line connects two nodes on the bimodal, that represent concentration of phase components in the top and bottom phases) and a crude load of 25% (w/w) at pH 8.0. Recovery and recycling of components was also measured in each successive step process. The enzyme was successfully recovered by the proposed method with a high purification factor of 16.4 and yield of 97.4% while over 97% of the phase components were also recovered and recycled. This study demonstrated that the proposed novel aqueous two phase system method is more efficient and economical than the traditional aqueous two phase system method for the purification and recovery of the valuable enzyme lipase.
Numerous bioactive compounds have cytotoxic properties towards cancer cells. However, most studies have used single compounds when bioactives may target different pathways and exert greater cytotoxic effects when used in combination. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the anti-proliferative effect of γ-tocotrienol (γ-T3) and 6-gingerol (6G) in combination by evaluating apoptosis and active caspase-3 in HT-29 and SW837 colorectal cancer cells. MTS assays were performed to determine the anti-proliferative and cytotoxicity effect of γ-T3 (0-150 µg/mL) and 6G (0-300 µg/mL) on the cells. The half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) value of 6G+ γ-T3 for HT-29 was 105 + 67 µg/mL and for SW837 it was 70 + 20 µg/mL. Apoptosis, active caspase-3 and annexin V FITC assays were performed after 24 h of treatment using flow cytometry. These bioactives in combination showed synergistic effect on HT-29 (CI: 0.89 ± 0.02,) and SW837 (CI: 0.79 ± 0.10) apoptosis was increased by 21.2% in HT-29 and 55.4% in SW837 (p < 0.05) after 24 h treatment, while normal hepatic WRL-68 cells were unaffected. Increased apoptosis by the combined treatments was also observed morphologically, with effects like cell shrinkage and pyknosis. In conclusion, although further studies need to be done, γ-T3 and 6G when used in combination act synergistically increasing cytotoxicity and apoptosis in cancer cells.
Secondary metabolite contents (total phenolic, flavonoid, tocopherol, and tocotrienol) and antioxidant activities of Hashemi rice bran extracts obtained by ultrasound-assisted and traditional solvent (ethanol and 50:50 (v/v) ethanol-water) extraction techniques were compared. Phenolic and, flavonoid compounds were identified using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography and method validation was performed. Significant differences (p < 0.05) were observed among the different extraction techniques upon comparison of phytochemical contents and antioxidant activities. The extracts obtained using the ethanol-water (50:50 v/v) ultrasonic technique showed the highest amounts of total phenolics (288.40 mg/100 g dry material (DM)), total flavonoids (156.20 mg/100 g DM), and total tocotrienols (56.23 mg/100 g DM), and the highest antioxidant activity (84.21% 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), 65.27% β-carotene-linoleic bleaching and 82.20% nitric oxide scavenging activity). Secondary metabolite contents and antioxidant activities of the rice bran extracts varied depending of the extraction method used, and according to their effectiveness, these were organized in a decreasing order as follows: ethanol-water (50:50 v/v) ultrasonic, ethanol-water (50:50 v/v) maceration, ethanol ultrasonic and ethanol maceration methods. Ferulic, gallic and chlorogenic acids were the most abundant phenolic compounds in rice bran extracts. The phytochemical constituents of Hashemi rice bran and its antioxidant properties provides insights into its potential application to promote health.
Pogostemon cablin Benth. (patchouli) is an important herb which possesses many therapeutic properties and is widely used in the fragrance industries. In traditional medicinal practices, it is used to treat colds, headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, insect and snake bites. In aromatherapy, patchouli oil is used to relieve depression, stress, calm nerves, control appetite and to improve sexual interest. Till now more than 140 compounds, including terpenoids, phytosterols, flavonoids, organic acids, lignins, alkaloids, glycosides, alcohols, aldehydes have been isolated and identified from patchouli. The main phytochemical compounds are patchouli alcohol, α-patchoulene, β-patchoulene, α-bulnesene, seychellene, norpatchoulenol, pogostone, eugenol and pogostol. Modern studies have revealed several biological activities such as antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, antithrombotic, aphrodisiac, antidepressant, antimutagenic, antiemetic, fibrinolytic and cytotoxic activities. However, some of the traditional uses need to be verified and may require standardizing and authenticating the bioactivity of purified compounds through scientific methods. The aim of the present review is to provide comprehensive knowledge on the phytochemistry and pharmacological activities of essential oil and different plant extracts of patchouli based on the available scientific literature. This information will provide a potential guide in exploring the use of main active compounds of patchouli in various medical fields.
Mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation are widely accepted as key hallmarks of obesity-induced skeletal muscle insulin resistance. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the functional roles of an anti-inflammatory compound, celastrol, in mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance induced by antimycin A (AMA) in human skeletal muscle cells. We found that celastrol treatment improved insulin-stimulated glucose uptake activity of AMA-treated cells, apparently via PI3K/Akt pathways, with significant enhancement of mitochondrial activities. Furthermore, celastrol prevented increased levels of cellular oxidative damage where the production of several pro-inflammatory cytokines in cultures cells was greatly reduced. Celastrol significantly increased protein phosphorylation of insulin signaling cascades with amplified expression of AMPK protein and attenuated NF-κB and PKC θ activation in human skeletal muscle treated with AMA. The improvement of insulin signaling pathways by celastrol was also accompanied by augmented GLUT4 protein expression. Taken together, these results suggest that celastrol may be advocated for use as a potential therapeutic molecule to protect against mitochondrial dysfunction-induced insulin resistance in human skeletal muscle cells.
This paper describes an efficient and regioselective method for the synthesis of novel fluorinated spiro-heterocycles in excellent yield by cascade [5+1] double Michael addition reactions. The compounds 7,11-bis(4-fluorophenyl)-2,4-dimethyl- 2,4-diazaspiro[5.5] undecane-1,3,5,9-tetraone (3a) and 2,4-dimethyl-7,11-bis (4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)-2,4-diazaspiro[5.5]undecane-1,3,5,9-tetraone (3b) were characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction, FT-IR and NMR techniques. The optimized geometrical parameters, infrared vibrational frequencies and NMR chemical shifts of the studied compounds have also been calculated using the density functional theory (DFT) method, using Becke-3-Lee-Yang-Parr functional and the 6-311G(d,p) basis set. There is good agreement between the experimentally determined structural parameters, vibrational frequencies and NMR chemical shifts of the studied compounds and those predicted theoretically. The calculated natural atomic charges using NBO method showed higher polarity of 3a compared to 3b.The calculated electronic spectra are also discussed based on the TD-DFT calculations.
Dominant strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolated from honey bees were evaluated for their γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-producing ability. Out of 24 strains, strain Taj-Apis362 showed the highest GABA-producing ability (1.76 mM) in MRS broth containing 50 mM initial glutamic acid cultured for 60 h. Effects of fermentation parameters, including initial glutamic acid level, culture temperature, initial pH and incubation time on GABA production were investigated via a single parameter optimization strategy. The optimal fermentation condition for GABA production was modeled using response surface methodology (RSM). The results showed that the culture temperature was the most significant factor for GABA production. The optimum conditions for maximum GABA production by Lactobacillus plantarum Taj-Apis362 were an initial glutamic acid concentration of 497.97 mM, culture temperature of 36 °C, initial pH of 5.31 and incubation time of 60 h, which produced 7.15 mM of GABA. The value is comparable with the predicted value of 7.21 mM.
An Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method was applied to introduce the luciferase reporter gene under the control of the CaMV35S promoter in the pGreen0049 binary vector into strawberry cv. Camarosa. The in vitro regeneration system of strawberry leaves to be used in the transformation was optimized using different TDZ concentrations in MS medium. TDZ at 16 µM showed the highest percentage (100%) of shoot formation and the highest mean number of shoots (24) produced per explant. Studies on the effects of different antibiotics, namely timentin, cefotaxime, carbenicillin and ampicillin, on shoot regeneration of strawberry leaf explants showed the best shoot regeneration in the presence of 300 mg/L timentin and 150 mg/L cefotaxime. Assessment of the different factors affecting Agrobacterium mediated-transformation of strawberry with the luciferase gene showed the highest efficiency of putative transformant production (86%) in the treatment with no preculture, bacterial OD600 of 0.6 and the addition of 150 mg/L cefotaxime in the pre-selection and selection media. The presence of the luciferase gene in the plant genome was verified by the luciferase reporter gene assay, nested PCR amplification and dot blot of genomic DNA isolated from the young leaves of each putatively transformed plantlet.
Aluminum toxicity is widely considered as the most important limiting factor for plants growing in acid sulfate soils. A study was conducted in laboratory and in field to ameliorate Al toxicity using plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB), ground magnesium limestone (GML) and ground basalt. Five-day-old rice seedlings were inoculated by Bacillus sp., Stenotrophomonas maltophila, Burkholderia thailandensis and Burkholderia seminalis and grown for 21 days in Hoagland solution (pH 4.0) at various Al concentrations (0, 50 and 100 μM). Toxicity symptoms in root and leaf were studied using scanning electron microscope. In the field, biofertilizer (PGPB), GML and basalt were applied (4 t·ha-1 each). Results showed that Al severely affected the growth of rice. At high concentrations, the root surface was ruptured, leading to cell collapse; however, no damages were observed in the PGPB inoculated seedlings. After 21 days of inoculation, solution pH increased to >6.0, while the control treatment remained same. Field study showed that the highest rice growth and yield were obtained in the bio-fertilizer and GML treatments. This study showed that Al toxicity was reduced by PGPB via production of organic acids that were able to chelate the Al and the production of polysaccharides that increased solution pH. The release of phytohormones further enhanced rice growth that resulted in yield increase.
Curcumin has poor in vivo absorption and bioavailability, highlighting a need for new curcumin analogues with better characteristics in these aspects. The aim of this study is to determine the anti-cancer properties of four selected curcumin analogues, on the cytotoxicity, proliferative and apoptotic effects on androgen-independent human prostate cancer cells (PC-3 and DU 145). Initial cytotoxicity screening showed MS17 has the highest cell inhibitory effect, with EC50 values of 4.4 ± 0.3 and 4.1 ± 0.8 µM, followed by MS13 (7.5 ± 0.1 and 7.4 ± 2.6 µM), MS49 (14.5 ± 1.2 and 12.3 ± 2.3 µM) and MS40E (28.0 ± 7.8 and 30.3 ± 1.9 µM) for PC-3 and DU 145 cells, respectively. Time-dependent analysis also revealed that MS13 and MS17 displayed a greater anti-proliferative effect than the other compounds. MS17 was chosen based on the high selectivity index value for further analysis on the morphological and biochemical hallmarks of apoptosis. Fluorescence microscopy analysis revealed apoptotic changes in both treated prostate cancer cells. Relative caspase-3 activity increased significantly at 48 h in PC-3 and 12 h in DU 145 cells. Highest enrichment of free nucleosomes was noted at 48 h after treatment with MS17. In conclusion, MS17 demonstrated anti-proliferative effect and induces apoptosis in a time and dose-dependent manner suggesting its potential for development as an anti-cancer agent for androgen-independent prostate cancer.
The crude methanol extracts and fractions of the root and stem barks of Dillenia serrata Thunb. showed 64% to 73% inhibition on the production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in lipopolysaccharide-induced human whole blood using a radioimmunoassay technique. Three triterpenoids isolated from the root bark of the plant, koetjapic (1), 3-oxoolean-12-en-30-oic (2), and betulinic (3) acids, exhibited significant concentration-dependent inhibitory effects on PGE2 production with IC50 values of 1.05, 1.54, and 2.59 μM, respectively, as compared with the positive control, indomethacin (IC50 = 0.45 μM). Quantification of compounds 1 and 3 in the methanol extracts and fractions were carried out by using a validated reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) method. The ethyl acetate fraction of the stem bark showed the highest content of both compound 1 (15.1%) and compound 3 (52.8%). The strong inhibition of the extracts and fractions on cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzymatic activity was due to the presence of their major constituents, especially koetjapic and betulinic acids.
The study was designed to evaluate the cardioprotective effects of the standardized aqueous and 80% ethanol extracts of Labisia pumila var. alata (LPva) in isoproterenol (ISO)-induced myocardial infarction (MI) in rats. The extracts were administered to Wistar rats orally for 28 days with three doses (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg of body weight) prior to ISO (85 mg/kg)-induced MI in two doses on day 29 and 30. The sera and hearts were collected for biochemical and histopathological analysis after the rats were sacrificed 48 h after the first induction. The main components of the extracts, gallic acid, alkylresorcinols and flavonoids were identified and quantitatively analyzed in the extracts by using a validated reversed phase HPLC method. The extracts showed significant protective effects as pretreated rats showed a significant dose-dependent decrease (p < 0.05) in cardiac enzyme activities, i.e., cardiac troponin I (cTnI), creatine kinase MB isoenzyme (CK-MB), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST), when compared with ISO-control rats. There were significant rises (p < 0.05) in the activity of oxidase enzymes, i.e., glutathione peroxide (GPx), catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) of the pretreated rats, when compared with ISO-control group. Histopathological examination showed an improvement in membrane cell integrity in pre-treated rats compared to untreated rats. The major components of LPva extracts can be used as their biomarkers and contributed to the cardioprotective effects against ISO-induced MI rats.
In vitro and in vivo studies of the activity of Phaleria macrocarpa Boerl (Thymelaeaceae) leaves against the therapeutic target for hypercholesterolemia were done using the HDL receptor (SR-BI) and hypercholesterolemia-induced Sprague Dawley rats. The in vitro study showed that the active fraction (CF6) obtained from the ethyl acetate extract (EMD) and its component 2',6',4-trihydroxy-4'-methoxybenzophenone increased the SR-BI expression by 95% and 60%, respectively. The in vivo study has proven the effect of EMD at 0.5 g/kgbw dosage in reducing the total cholesterol level by 224.9% and increasing the HDL cholesterol level by 157% compared to the cholesterol group. In the toxicity study, serum glutamate oxalate transaminase (SGOT) and serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) activity were observed to be at normal levels. The liver histology also proved no toxicity and abnormalities in any of the treatment groups, so it can be categorized as non-toxic to the rat liver. The findings taken together show that P. macrocarpa leaves are safe and suitable as an alternative control and prevention treatment for hypercholesterolemia in Sprague Dawley rats.
The anticorrosion ability of a synthesized coumarin, namely 2-(coumarin-4-yloxy)acetohydrazide (EFCI), for mild steel (MS) in 1 M hydrochloric acid solution has been studied using a weight loss method. The effect of temperature on the corrosion rate was investigated, and some thermodynamic parameters were calculated. The results indicated that inhibition efficiencies were enhanced with an increase in concentration of inhibitor and decreased with a rise in temperature. The IE value reaches 94.7% at the highest used concentration of the new eco-friendly inhibitor. The adsorption of inhibitor on MS surface was found to obey a Langmuir adsorption isotherm. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was performed on inhibited and uninhibited mild steel samples to characterize the surface. The Density Function theory (DFT) was employed for quantum-chemical calculations such as EHOMO (highest occupied molecular orbital energy), ELUMO (lowest unoccupied molecular orbital energy) and μ (dipole moment), and the obtained results were found to be consistent with the experimental findings. The synthesized inhibitor was characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopic studies.
Some chalcones have been designed and synthesized using Claisen-Schmidt reactions as inhibitors of the ferredoxin and ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase interaction to pursue a new selective antimalaria agent. The synthesized compounds exhibited inhibition interactions between PfFd-PfFNR in the range of 10.94%-50%. The three strongest inhibition activities were shown by (E)-1-(4-aminophenyl)-3-(4-methoxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-one (50%), (E)-1-(4-aminophenyl)-3-(2,4-dimethoxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-one (38.16%), and (E)-1-(4-aminophenyl)-3-(2,3-dimethoxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-one (31.58%). From the docking experiments we established that the amino group of the methoxyamino chlacone derivatives plays an important role in the inhibition activity by electrostatic interaction through salt bridges and that it forms more stable and better affinity complexes with FNR than with Fd.
The present study reports the synthesis of various new derivatives based on 5-aryl-2-bromo-3-hexylthiophene with moderate-to-good yields via a palladium-catalyzed Suzuki cross-coupling reaction. This coupling method involved the reaction of 2,5-dibromo-3-hexylthiophene with several arylboronic acids in order to synthesize corresponding thiophene derivatives under controlled and optimal reaction conditions. The different substituents (CH3, OCH3, Cl, F etc.) present on arylboronic acids are found to have significant electronic effects on the overall properties of new products. The synthesized thiophene molecules were studied for their haemolytic, biofilm inhibition and anti-thrombolytic activities, and almost all products showed potentially good properties. The compound 2-bromo-5-(3-chloro-4-fluorophenyl)-3-hexylthiophenein particular exhibited the highest values for haemolytic and bio-film inhibition activities among all newly synthesized derivatives. In addition, the compound 2-bromo-3-hexyl-5-(4-iodophenyl)thiophene also showed high anti-thrombolytic activity, suggesting the potential medicinal applications of these newly synthesized compounds.
Formation of biofilms is a major factor for nosocomial infections associated with methicillin-resistance Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This study was carried out to determine the ability of a fraction, F-10, derived from the plant Duabanga grandiflora to inhibit MRSA biofilm formation. Inhibition of biofilm production and microtiter attachment assays were employed to study the anti-biofilm activity of F-10, while latex agglutination test was performed to study the influence of F-10 on penicillin-binding protein 2a (PBP2a) level in MRSA biofilm. PBP2a is a protein that confers resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics. The results showed that, F-10 at minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC, 0.75 mg/mL) inhibited biofilm production by 66.10%; inhibited cell-surface attachment by more than 95%; and a reduced PBP2a level in the MRSA biofilm was observed. Although ampicilin was more effective in inhibiting biofilm production (MIC of 0.05 mg/mL, 84.49%) compared to F-10, the antibiotic was less effective in preventing cell-surface attachment. A higher level of PBP2a was detected in ampicillin-treated MRSA showing the development of further resistance in these colonies. This study has shown that F-10 possesses anti-biofilm activity, which can be attributed to its ability to reduce cell-surface attachment and attenuate the level of PBP2a that we postulated to play a crucial role in mediating biofilm formation.