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.
Silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs), the most popular nanoparticles, possess unique properties. Achillea biebersteinii is a plant of the Asteraceae family rich in active antitumor components. The aim of this research was the characterization and investigation of the cytotoxic properties of Ag-NPs synthesized using A. biebersteinii flower extract, on a human breast cancer cell line. The Ag-NPs were synthesized after approximately 180 min of reaction at 40 °C, then they were characterized by UV-visible spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The anti-apoptosis effect of Ag-NPs on the MCF-7 cell line was investigated by MTT assay, DAPI and acridine orange staining and caspase activity. The transcriptional expression of bax, bcl-2, caspase-3, -8 and -9 were also evaluated by RT-PCR. The TEM images revealed that the Ag-NPs morphology had a different shape. The DLS indicated that the average hydrodynamic diameter of the biosynthesized Ag-NPs was around 12 nm. By UV-visible spectroscopy the strongest absorbance peak was observed at 460 nm. The FTIR results also showed interaction between the plant extract and Ag-NPs due to the similarity in the peak patterns. The EDS results showed that Ag-NPs display an absorption peak at 3 keV, indicating the presence of the element silver. The Ag-NPs caused a dose-dependent decrease in cell viability, fragmentation in nucleic acid, inhibited the proliferation and induction of apoptosis on MCF-7 by suppressing specific cell cycle genes, and simulation programmed cell dead genes. Further investigation is required to establish the potential of this novel and promising approach in cancer therapy.
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 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.
A series of novel dimethoxyindanone embedded spiropyrrolidines were synthesized in ionic liquid, [bmim]Br and were evaluated for their inhibitory activities towards cholinesterases. Among the spiropyrrolidines, compound 4f exhibited the most potent activity with an IC50 value of 1.57 µM against acethylcholinesterase (AChE). Molecular docking simulation for the most active compound was employed with the aim of disclosing its binding mechanism to the active site of AChE receptor.
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.
Varied pharmacological responses have been reported for mitragynine in the literature, but no supportive scientific explanations have been given for this. These studies have been undertaken without a sufficient understanding of the physicochemical properties of mitragynine. In this work a UV spectrophotometer approach and HPLC-UV method were employed to ascertain the physicochemical properties of mitragynine. The pKa of mitragynine measured by conventional UV (8.11 ± 0.11) was in agreement with the microplate reader determination (8.08 ± 0.04). Mitragynine is a lipophilic alkaloid, as indicated by a logP value of 1.73. Mitragynine had poor solubility in water and basic media, and conversely in acidic environments, but it is acid labile. In an in vitro dissolution the total drug release was higher for the simulated gastric fluid but was prolonged and incomplete for the simulated intestinal fluid. The hydrophobicity, poor water solubility, high variability of drug release in simulated biological fluids and acid degradable characteristics of mitragynine probably explain the large variability of its pharmacological responses reported in the literature. The determined physicochemical properties of mitragynine will provide a basis for developing a suitable formulation to further improve its solubility, stability and oral absorption for better assessment of this compound in preclinical studies.
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.
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.
The increase of atmospheric CO2 due to global climate change or horticultural practices has direct and indirect effects on food crop quality. One question that needs to be asked, is whether CO2 enrichment affects the nutritional quality of Malaysian young ginger plants. Responses of total carbohydrate, fructose, glucose, sucrose, protein, soluble amino acids and antinutrients to either ambient (400 μmol/mol) and elevated (800 μmol/mol) CO2 treatments were determined in the leaf and rhizome of two ginger varieties namely Halia Bentong and Halia Bara. Increasing of CO2 level from ambient to elevated resulted in increased content of total carbohydrate, sucrose, glucose, and fructose in the leaf and rhizome of ginger varieties. Sucrose was the major sugar followed by glucose and fructose in the leaf and rhizome extract of both varieties. Elevated CO2 resulted in a reduction of total protein content in the leaf (H. Bentong: 38.0%; H. Bara: 35.4%) and rhizome (H. Bentong: 29.0%; H. Bara: 46.2%). In addition, under CO2 enrichment, the concentration of amino acids increased by approximately 14.5% and 98.9% in H. Bentong and 12.0% and 110.3% in H. Bara leaf and rhizome, respectively. The antinutrient contents (cyanide and tannin) except phytic acid were influenced significantly (P ≤ 0.05) by CO2 concentration. Leaf extract of H. Bara exposed to elevated CO2 exhibited highest content of cyanide (336.1 mg HCN/kg DW), while, highest content of tannin (27.5 g/kg DW) and phytic acid (54.1 g/kg DW) were recorded from H.Bara rhizome grown under elevated CO2. These results demonstrate that the CO2 enrichment technique could improve content of some amino acids and antinutrients of ginger as a food crop by enhancing its nutritional and health-promoting properties.
The D-optimal mixture experimental design was employed to optimize the melting point of natural lipstick based on pitaya (Hylocereus polyrhizus) seed oil. The influence of the main lipstick components-pitaya seed oil (10%-25% w/w), virgin coconut oil (25%-45% w/w), beeswax (5%-25% w/w), candelilla wax (1%-5% w/w) and carnauba wax (1%-5% w/w)-were investigated with respect to the melting point properties of the lipstick formulation. The D-optimal mixture experimental design was applied to optimize the properties of lipstick by focusing on the melting point with respect to the above influencing components. The D-optimal mixture design analysis showed that the variation in the response (melting point) could be depicted as a quadratic function of the main components of the lipstick. The best combination of each significant factor determined by the D-optimal mixture design was established to be pitaya seed oil (25% w/w), virgin coconut oil (37% w/w), beeswax (17% w/w), candelilla wax (2% w/w) and carnauba wax (2% w/w). With respect to these factors, the 46.0 °C melting point property was observed experimentally, similar to the theoretical prediction of 46.5 °C. Carnauba wax is the most influential factor on this response (melting point) with its function being with respect to heat endurance. The quadratic polynomial model sufficiently fit the experimental data.
A series of ninety-seven diarylpentanoid derivatives were synthesized and evaluated for their anti-inflammatory activity through NO suppression assay using interferone gamma (IFN-γ)/lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. Twelve compounds (9, 25, 28, 43, 63, 64, 81, 83, 84, 86, 88 and 97) exhibited greater or similar NO inhibitory activity in comparison with curcumin (14.7 ± 0.2 µM), notably compounds 88 and 97, which demonstrated the most significant NO suppression activity with IC50 values of 4.9 ± 0.3 µM and 9.6 ± 0.5 µM, respectively. A structure-activity relationship (SAR) study revealed that the presence of a hydroxyl group in both aromatic rings is critical for bioactivity of these molecules. With the exception of the polyphenolic derivatives, low electron density in ring-A and high electron density in ring-B are important for enhancing NO inhibition. Meanwhile, pharmacophore mapping showed that hydroxyl substituents at both meta- and para-positions of ring-B could be the marker for highly active diarylpentanoid derivatives.
Plasticized poly(lactic acid) PLA with epoxidized vegetable oils (EVO) were prepared using a melt blending method to improve the ductility of PLA. The plasticization of the PLA with EVO lowers the Tg as well as cold-crystallization temperature. The tensile properties demonstrated that the addition of EVO to PLA led to an increase of elongation at break, but a decrease of tensile modulus. Plasticized PLA showed improvement in the elongation at break by 2058% and 4060% with the addition of 5 wt % epoxidized palm oil (EPO) and mixture of epoxidized palm oil and soybean oil (EPSO), respectively. An increase in the tensile strength was also observed in the plasticized PLA with 1 wt % EPO and EPSO. The use of EVO increases the mobility of the polymeric chains, thereby improving the flexibility and plastic deformation of PLA. The SEM micrograph of the plasticized PLA showed good compatible morphologies without voids resulting from good interfacial adhesion between PLA and EVO. Based on the results of this study, EVO may be used as an environmentally friendly plasticizer that can improve the overall properties of PLA.
The aims of this study were to determine the antioxidant and antiproliferative activity of the following Theobroma cacao plant part methanolic extracts: leaf, bark, husk, fermented and unfermented shell, pith, root, and cherelle. Antioxidant activity was determined using 2,2-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), and Folin-Ciocalteu assays; the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium (MTT) assay was used to determine antiproliferative activity. The root extract had the highest antioxidant activity; its median effective dose (EC50) was 358.3±7.0 µg/mL and total phenolic content was 22.0±1.1 g GAE/100 g extract as compared to the other methanolic plant part extracts. Only the cherelle extract demonstrated 10.4%±1.1% inhibition activity in the lipid peroxidation assay. The MTT assay revealed that the leaf extract had the highest antiproliferative activity against MCF-7 cells [median inhibitory concentration (IC50)=41.4±3.3 µg/mL]. Given the overall high IC50 for the normal liver cell line WRL-68, this study indicates that T. cacao methanolic extracts have a cytotoxic effect in cancer cells, but not in normal cells. Planned future investigations will involve the purification, identification, determination of the mechanisms of action, and molecular assay of T. cacao plant extracts.
The aim of this research was to identify the volatile metabolites produced in different organs (leaves, stem and roots) of Polygonum minus, an important essential oil producing crop in Malaysia. Two methods of extraction have been applied: Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) and hydrodistillation coupled with Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). Approximately, 77 metabolites have been identified and aliphatic compounds contribute significantly towards the aroma and flavour of this plant. Two main aliphatic compounds: decanal and dodecanal were found to be the major contributor. Terpenoid metabolites were identified abundantly in leaves but not in the stem and root of this plant. Further studies on antioxidant, total phenolic content, anticholinesterase and antimicrobial activities were determined in the essential oil and five different extracts. The plant showed the highest DPPH radical scavenging activity in polar (ethanol) extract for all the tissues tested. For anti-acetylcholinesterase activity, leaf in aqueous extract and methanol extract showed the best acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activities. However, in microbial activity, the non-polar extracts (n-hexane) showed high antimicrobial activity against Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) compared to polar extracts. This study could provide the first step in the phytochemical profiles of volatile compounds and explore the additional value of pharmacology properties of this essential oil producing crop Polygonum minus.
In the current study, changes in secondary metabolite synthesis and the pharmaceutical quality of sabah snake grass leaves and buds were considered in relation to plant age (1 month, 6 months, and 1 year old). The activity of the enzyme chalcone synthase (CHS, EC 184.108.40.206) was measured, as it is a key enzyme for flavonoid production. Significant differences in total flavonoid (TF) production were observed between the three plant growth periods and the different plant parts. The highest contents of TF (6.32 mg/g dry weight [DW]) and total phenolic (TP) (18.21 mg/g DW) were recorded in 6-month-old buds. Among the flavonoids isolated in this study the most important ones based on concentration were from high to low as follows: catechin > quercetin > kaempferol > luteolin. Production of phenolic acids increased from 1 to 6 months, but after 6 months up to 1 year of age, they decreased significantly. The highest contents of caffeic acid (0.307 mg/g DW) and gallic acid (5.96 mg/g DW) were recorded in 1-year and 6-month-old buds, respectively. The lowest and highest activity of CHS was recorded in 1-month and 6-month-old buds with values of 3.6 and 9.5 nkat/mg protein, respectively. These results indicate that the increment in flavonoids and phenolic acids in 6-month-old buds can be attributed to an increase in CHS activity. The highest 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) activity was observed in the extract of 1-year-old buds followed by 6-month-old buds, with 50% of free radical scavenging (IC50) values of 64.6 and 73.5 µg/mL, respectively. Interestingly, a ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay showed a higher activity in 6-month-old buds (488 μM of Fe(II)/g) than in 1-year-old buds (453 μM of Fe(II)/g), in contrast to the DPPH result. Significant correlations (p < 0.05) were observed between CHS enzyme activity and FRAP activity, TF, catechin, and kaempferol content. Extracts of 6-month-old bud exhibited a significant in vitro anticancer activity against HeLa cancer cells with IC50 value of 56.8 µg/mL. These results indicate that early harvesting of snake grass (6-month-old) may yield increased concentrations of secondary metabolites, which are potent antioxidant compounds.
To supply the increasing demand of natural high potency sweeteners to reduce the calories in food and beverages, we have looked to steviol glycosides. In this work we report the bioconversion of rebaudioside A to rebaudioside I using a glucosyltransferase enzyme. This bioconversion reaction adds one sugar unit with a 1→3 linkage. We utilized 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy (1H, 13C, COSY, HSQC-DEPT, HMBC, 1D TOCSY and NOESY) and mass spectral data to fully characterize rebaudioside I.
In an effort to develop new antibacterial drugs, some novel bisindolylmethane derivatives containing Schiff base moieties were prepared and screened for their antibacterial activity. The synthesis of the bisindolylmethane Schiff base derivatives 3-26 was carried out in three steps. First, the nitro group of 3,3'-((4-nitrophenyl)-methylene)bis(1H-indole) (1) was reduced to give the amino substituted bisindolylmethane 2 without affecting the unsaturation of the bisindolylmethane moiety using nickel boride in situ generated. Reduction of compound 1 using various catalysts showed that combination of sodium borohydride and nickel acetate provides the highest yield for compound 2. Bisindolylmethane Schiff base derivatives were synthesized by coupling various benzaldehydes with amino substituted bisindolylmethane 2. All synthesized compounds were characterized by various spectroscopic methods. The bisindolylmethane Schiff base derivatives were evaluated against selected Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains. Derivatives having halogen and nitro substituent display weak to moderate antibacterial activity against Salmonella typhi, S. paratyphi A and S. paratyphi B.
Rubus fruticosus L. is a shrub famous for its fruit called blackberry fruit or more commonly blackberry. The fruit has medicinal, cosmetic and nutritive value. It is a concentrated source of valuable nutrients, as well as bioactive constituents of therapeutic interest highlighting its importance as a functional food. Besides use as a fresh fruit, it is also used as ingredient in cooked dishes, salads and bakery products like jams, snacks, desserts, and fruit preserves. R. fruticosus contains vitamins, steroids and lipids in seed oil and minerals, flavonoids, glycosides, terpenes, acids and tannins in aerial parts that possess diverse pharmacological activities such as antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial anti-diabetic, anti-diarrheal, and antiviral. Various agrogeoclimatological factors like cultivar, environmental conditions of the area, agronomic practices employed, harvest time, post-harvest storage and processing techniques all influence the nutritional composition of blackberry fruit. This review focuses on the nutrients and chemical constituents as well as medicinal properties of different parts of R. fruticosus. Various cultivars and their physicochemical characteristics, polyphenolic content and ascorbic acid content are also discussed. The information in the present work will serve as baseline data and may lead to new biomedical applications of R. fruticosus as functional food.
Schiff bases of 3,4-dimethoxybenzenamine 1-25 were synthesized and evaluated for their antioxidant activity. All the synthesized compounds were characterized by various spectroscopic techniques. In addition, the characterizations of compounds 13, 15 and 16 were supported by crystal X-ray determinations and their geometrical parameters were compared with theoretical DFT calculations at the B3LYP level of theory. Furthermore, the X-ray crystal data of two non-crystalline compounds 8 and 18 were theoretically calculated and compared with the practical values of compounds 13, 15, 16 and found a good agreement. The compounds showed good DPPH scavenging activity ranging from 10.12 to 84.34 μM where compounds 1-4 and 6 showed stronger activity than the standard n-propyl gallate. For the superoxide anion radical assay, compounds 1-3 showed better activity than the standard.