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 anti-inflammatory drug predinisolone (1) was reduced to 20β-hydroxyprednisolone (2) by the marine endophytic fungus Penicilium lapidosum isolated from an alga. The structural elucidation of 2 was achieved by 1D- and 2D-NMR, MS, IR data. Although, 2 is a known compound previously obtained through microbial transformation, the data provided failed to prove the C20 stereochemistry. To solve this issue, DFT and TD-DFT calculations have been carried out at the B3LYP/6-31+G (d,p) level of theory in gas and solvent phase. The absolute configuration of C20 was eventually assigned by combining experimental and calculated electronic circular dichroism spectra and 3JHH chemical coupling constants.
Angiogenesis, which is required for physiological events, plays a crucial role in several pathological conditions, such as tumor growth and metastasis. The use of plant extracts is a cost effective and eco-friendly way to synthesize nanoparticles. In the present study, we investigated the anti-angiogenesis properties of silver nanoparticles synthesized using Saliva officinalis extract on chick chorioalantoic membrane. The production of nanoparticles was confirmed by the color change from yellow to brown observed after approximately 3 h at 37 °C. Then, the nanoparticles were characterized by UV-visible spectroscopy, FTIR, and TEM. The UV-visible spectroscopy results showed that the surface plasmon resonance band for AgNPs was around 430 nm. The intensity of the AgNP-specific absorption peak improved with an increase of 0.5 mL of extract into 10 mL of AgNO3 (2.5 mM). The FTIR results showed good interaction between the plant extracts and AgNPs. The TEM images of the samples revealed that the NPs varied in morphology and size from 1 to 40 nm; the average was recorded at 16.5 ± 1.2 nm. Forty Ross fertilized eggs were divided into four groups; the control and three experimental groups. On the 8th day, gelatin sponges containing albumin were placed on the chorioalantoic membrane and soaked with different concentrations of NPs. On the 12th day, all the cases were photographed using a photostereomicroscope. The number and the lengths of the vessels were measured using Image J software. The crown rump (CR) and weight of the embryo were also recorded. Then the hemoglobin content was measured using Drabkin's reagent kit for quantification of the blood vessel formation. According to the data analysis, the number and length of the blood vessels, as well as the CR and weight of the embryos reduced significantly compared to the control (p < 0.05), dose dependently. The total hemoglobin was quantified as an indicator of the blood vessel formation. The hemoglobin content in the treated samples with AgNPs decreased, which showed its inhibitory effect on angiogenesis.
Some novel coumarins were synthesized starting from 4-hydroxycoumarin and methyl bromoacetate. The structures of the newly obtained compounds were confirmed by elemental analysis, mass, IR and NMR spectra.
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.
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.
Eurycomanone and eurycomanol are two quassinoids from the roots of Eurycoma longifolia Jack. The aim of this study was to assess the bioactivity of these compounds in Jurkat and K562 human leukemia cell models compared to peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy donors. Both eurycomanone and eurycomanol inhibited Jurkat and K562 cell viability and proliferation without affecting healthy cells. Interestingly, eurycomanone inhibited NF-κB signaling through inhibition of IκBα phosphorylation and upstream mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling, but not eurycomanol. In conclusion, both quassinoids present differential toxicity towards leukemia cells, and the presence of the α,β-unsaturated ketone in eurycomanone could be prerequisite for the NF-κB inhibition.
Human plasma inhibits arachidonic acid metabolism and platelet aggregation. This helps human form a haemostatic control system that prevents the progress of certain aggregatory or inflammatory reactions. Whether this property of plasma is unique to human or extends to other species is not well known. It is speculated that this protective ability of plasma remains evolutionarily conserved in different mammals. In order to confirm this, the effect of plasma from 12 different mammalian species was investigated for its inhibitory potential against arachidonic acid metabolism and platelet aggregation. Metabolism of arachidonic acid by cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways was studies using radio-immuno assay and thin layer chromatography while platelet aggregation in the plasma of various mammals was monitored following turbedmetric method in a dual channel aggregometer. Results indicate that inhibition of AA metabolism and platelet aggregation is a common feature of plasma obtained from different mammalian species, although there exists large interspecies variation. This shows that besides human, other mammals also possess general protective mechanisms against various aggregatory and inflammatory conditions and this anti-inflammatory property of the plasma is evolutionarily conserved in mammalian species. The most likely candidates responsible for these properties of plasma include haptoglobin, albumin and lipoproteins.
Plant bioactives -gingerol (GING), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and asiaticoside (AS) and vitamin E, such as tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF), have been reported to possess anticancer activity. In this study, we investigated the apoptotic properties of these bioactive compounds alone or in combination on glioma cancer cells. TRF, GING, EGCG and AS were tested for cytotoxicity on glioma cell lines 1321N1 (Grade II), SW1783 (Grade III) and LN18 (Grade IV) in culture by the (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxy-phenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt) (MTS) assay. With the exception of AS, combinations of two compounds were tested, and the interactions of each combination were evaluated by the combination index (CI) using an isobologram. Different grades of glioma cancer cells showed different cytotoxic responses to the compounds, where in 1321N1 and LN18 cells, the combination of EGCG + GING exhibited a synergistic effect with CI = 0.77 and CI = 0.55, respectively. In contrast, all combinations tested (TRF + GING, TRF + EGCG and EGCG + GING) were found to be antagonistic on SW1783 with CI values of 1.29, 1.39 and 1.39, respectively. Combined EGCG + GING induced apoptosis in both 1321N1 and LN18 cells, as evidenced by Annexin-V FITC/PI staining and increased active caspase-3. Our current data suggests that the combination of EGCG + GING synergistically induced apoptosis and inhibits the proliferation 1321N1 and LN18 cells, but not SW1783 cells, which may be due to their different genetic profiles.
The gastroretentive dosage form of famotidine was modified using tamarind seed powders to prolong the gastric retention time. Tamarind seeds were used in two different forms having different swelling and gelling properties: with husk (TSP) or without husk (TKP). TKP (TKP1 to TKP 6) and TSP (TSP1 to TSP 6) series were prepared using tamarind powder:xanthan in the ratios of 5:0, 4:1, 3:2, 2:3, 1:4, 0:5, respectively. The matrix tablets were prepared by the wet granulation method and evaluated for pharmacopoeial requirements. TKP2 was the optimum formulation as it had a short floating lag time (FLT<30 s) and more than 98.5% drug release in 12 h. The dissolution data were fitted to popular mathematical models to assess the mechanism of drug release, and the optimum formulation showed a predominant first order release and diffusion mechanism. It was concluded that the TKP2 prepared using tamarind kernel powder:xanthan (4:1) was the optimum formulation with shortest floating lag time and more than 90% release in the determined period of time.
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.
The natural product molecule 2,4,6-trihydroxy-3-geranyl-acetophenone (tHGA) isolated from the medicinal plant Melicope ptelefolia was shown to exhibit potent lipoxygenase (LOX) inhibitory activity. It is known that LOX plays an important role in inflammatory response as it catalyzes the oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids, such as linoleic acid to form hydroperoxides. The search for selective LOX inhibitors may provide new therapeutic approach for inflammatory diseases. Herein, we report the synthesis of tHGA analogs using simple Friedel-Craft acylation and alkylation reactions with the aim of obtaining a better insight into the structure-activity relationships of the compounds. All the synthesized analogs showed potent soybean 15-LOX inhibitory activity in a dose-dependent manner (IC50 = 10.31-27.61 μM) where compound 3e was two-fold more active than tHGA. Molecular docking was then applied to reveal the important binding interactions of compound 3e in soybean 15-LOX binding site. The findings suggest that the presence of longer acyl bearing aliphatic chain (5Cs) and aromatic groups could significantly affect the enzymatic activity.
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 126.96.36.199) 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.
The incorporation of lipophilic nutrients, such as astaxanthin (a fat soluble carotenoid) in nanodispersion systems can either increase the water solubility, stability and bioavailability or widen their applications in aqueous food and pharmaceutical formulations. In this research, gelatin and its combinations with sucrose oleate as a small molecular emulsifier, sodium caseinate (SC) as a protein and gum Arabic as a polysaccharide were used as stabilizer systems in the formation of astaxanthin nanodispersions via an emulsification-evaporation process. The results indicated that the addition of SC to gelatin in the stabilizer system could increase the chemical stability of astaxanthin nanodispersions significantly, while using a mixture of gelatin and sucrose oleate as a stabilizer led to production of nanodispersions with the smallest particle size (121.4±8.6 nm). It was also shown that a combination of gelatin and gum Arabic could produce optimal astaxanthin nanodispersions in terms of physical stability (minimum polydispersity index (PDI) and maximum zeta-potential). This study demonstrated that the mixture of surface active compounds showed higher emulsifying and stabilizing functionality compared to using them individually in the preparation of astaxanthin nanodispersions.
New thiosemicarbazide derivatives 2-6 were synthesised by reacting 2-(ethylsulfanyl)benzohydrazide with various aryl isothiocyanates. The cyclisation of compounds 2-6 under reflux conditions in a basic medium (aqueous NaOH, 4 N) yielded compounds 7-11 that contain a 1,2,4-triazole ring. All of the synthesised compounds were screened for their antioxidant activities. Compounds 2, 3, and 7 showed better radical scavenging in a 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay, with IC50 values of 1.08, 0.22, and 0.74 µg/mL, respectively, compared to gallic acid (IC50, 1.2 µg/mL). Compound 3 also showed superior results in a ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay (3054 µM/100 g) compared to those of ascorbic acid (1207 µM/100 g).
Extraction of protease from a local ginger rhizome (Zingiber officinale var. Bentong) was carried out. The effect of extraction pH (6.4, 6.8, 7.0, 7.2, 7.6, 8.0, 8.4, and 8.8) and stabilizers (0.2% ascorbic acid, 0.2% ascorbic acid and 5 mM EDTA, or 10 mM cysteine and 5 mM EDTA) on protease activity during extraction was examined. pH 7.0 potassium phosphate buffer and 10 mM cysteine in combination with 5 mM EDTA as stabilizer were found to be the most effective conditions. The extraction procedure yielded 0.73% of Bentong ginger protease (BGP) with a specific activity of 24.8±0.2 U/mg protein. Inhibitory tests with some protease inhibitors classified the enzyme as a cysteine protease. The protease showed optimum activity at 60 °C and pH 6-8, respectively. The enzyme was completely inhibited by heavy metal cations such as Cu2+, and Hg2+. SDS stimulated the activity of enzyme, while emulsifiers (Tween 80 and Tween 20) slightly reduced its activity. The kinetic analysis showed that the protease has Km and Vmax values of 0.21 mg mL-1 and 34.48 mg mL-1 min-1, respectively. The dried enzyme retained its activity for 22 months when stored at -20 °C.
The effects of ethanol concentration (0%-100%, v/v), solid-to-solvent ratio (1:10-1:60, w/v) and extraction time (30-180 min) on the extraction of polyphenols from agarwood (Aquilaria crassna) were examined. Total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC) and total flavanol (TF) assays and HPLC-DAD were used for the determination and quantification of polyphenols, flavanol gallates (epigallocatechin gallate--EGCG and epicatechin gallate--ECG) and a benzophenone (iriflophenone 3-C-β-glucoside) from the crude polyphenol extract (CPE) of A. crassna. 2,2'-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity was used to evaluate the antioxidant capacity of the CPE. Experimental results concluded that ethanol concentration and solid-to-solvent ratio had significant effects (p<0.05) on the yields of polyphenol and antioxidant capacity. Extraction time had an insignificant influence on the recovery of EGCG, ECG and iriflophenone 3-C-β-glucoside, as well as radical scavenging capacity from the CPE. The extraction parameters that exhibited maximum yields were 40% (v/v) ethanol, 1:60 (w/v) for 30 min where the TPC, TFC, TF, DPPH, EGCG, ECG and iriflophenone 3-C-β-glucoside levels achieved were 183.5 mg GAE/g DW, 249.0 mg QE/g DW, 4.9 mg CE/g DW, 93.7%, 29.1 mg EGCG/g DW, 44.3 mg ECG/g DW and 39.9 mg iriflophenone 3-C-β-glucoside/g DW respectively. The IC50 of the CPE was 24.6 mg/L.
Ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) with ethanol was used to extract the compounds responsible for the antioxidant activities of Misai Kucing (Orthosiphon stamineus). Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to optimize four independent variables: ethanol concentration (%), amplitude (%), duty cycle (W/s) and extraction time (min). Antioxidant compounds were determined by total phenolic content and total flavonoid content to be 1.4 g gallic acid equivalent/100 g DW and 45 g catechin equivalent/100 g DW, respectively. Antioxidant activities were evaluated using the 2,2'-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS•+) radical scavenging capacity assay and the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH•) radical scavenging capacity assay to be 1,961.3 and 2,423.3 µmol Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (TEAC)/100 g DW, respectively. Based on the optimal conditions, experimental values were reported to be close to the predicted value by RSM modeling (p>0.05), indicating the suitability of UAE for extracting the antioxidants of Misai Kucing. Rosmarinic acid, kaempferol-rutinoside and sinesetine were identified by high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.