A novel porous three-dimensional bone scaffold was developed using a natural polymer (alginate/Alg) in combination with a naturally obtained biomineral (nano cockle shell powder/nCP) through lyophilization techniques. The scaffold was developed in varying composition mixture of Alg-nCP and characterized using various evaluation techniques as well as preliminary in vitro studies on MG63 human osteoblast cells. Morphological observations using SEM revealed variations in structures with the use of different Alg-nCP composition ratios. All the developed scaffolds showed a porous structure with pore sizes ideal for facilitating new bone growth; however, not all combination mixtures showed subsequent favorable characteristics to be used for biological applications. Scaffolds produced using the combination mixture of 40% Alg and 60% nCP produced significantly promising results in terms of mechanical strength, degradation rate, and increased cell proliferation rates making it potentially the optimum composition mixture of Alg-nCP with future application prospects.
Oil palm frond (OPF) juice is a potential industrial fermentation substrate as it has high sugars content and the OPF are readily available daily. However, maximum sugars yield and storage stability of the OPF juice are yet to be determined. This study was conducted to determine the effect of physical pretreatment and storage duration of OPF petiole on sugars yield. Storage stability of OPF juice at different storing conditions was also investigated. It was found that OPF petiole squeezed by hydraulic pressing machine gave the highest sugars recovery at almost 40 g/kg, accounting for a recovery yield of 88%. Storage of OPF petiole up to 72 hrs prior to squeezing reduced the free sugars by 11 g/kg. Concentrated OPF juice with 95% water removal had the best storage stability at both 4 and 30°C, when it was stored for 10 days. Moreover, concentrated OPF syrup prepared by thermal processing did not give any Maillard effect on microbial growth. Based on our results, OPF juice meets all the criteria as a good fermentation substrate as it is renewable, consistently available, and easy to be obtained, it does not inhibit microbial growth and product formation, and it contains no impurities.
Phytochemical investigation on rhizomes of Kaempferia angustifolia has afforded a new abietene diterpene, kaempfolienol (1) along with crotepoxide (2), boesenboxide (3), 2'-hydroxy-4,4',6'-trimethoxychalcone (4), zeylenol (5), 6-methylzeylenol (6), (24S)-24-methyl-5α-lanosta-9(11), 25-dien-3β-ol (7), sucrose, β-sitosterol, and its glycoside (8). The structures of the compounds were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic methods (IR, MS, and NMR). Isolation of 6-methylzeylenol (6), (24S)-24-methyl-5α-lanosta-9(11), 25-dien-3β-ol (7), and β-sitosterol-3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (8) from this plant species has never been reported previously. The spectroscopic data of (7) is firstly described in this paper. Cytotoxic screening indicated that most of the pure compounds tested showed significant activity with (4) showing the most potent activity against HL-60 (human promyelocytic leukemia) and MCF-7 (human breast cancer) cell lines. However, all extracts and most of the pure compounds tested were found to be inactive against HT-29 (human colon cancer) and HeLa (human cervical cancer) cell lines. Similarly, none of the extracts or compounds showed activity in the antimicrobial testing.
Lung cancer remains to be one of the most common and serious types of cancer worldwide. While treatment is available, the survival rate of this cancer is still critically low due to late stage diagnosis and high frequency of drug resistance, thus highlighting the pressing need for a greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in lung carcinogenesis. Studies in the past years have evidenced that microRNAs (miRNAs) are critical players in the regulation of various biological functions, including apoptosis, which is a process frequently evaded in cancer progression. Recently, miRNAs were demonstrated to possess proapoptotic or antiapoptotic abilities through the targeting of oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. This review examines the involvement of miRNAs in the apoptotic process of lung cancer and will also touch on the promising evidence supporting the role of miRNAs in regulating sensitivity to anticancer treatment.
This study compares energy expenditure (EE), gait parameters (GP), and level of fatigue (LOF) between 5-minute walking with sharp turning (ST) and corner turning (CT). Data were obtained from 29 community-dwelling elderly (mean age, 62.7 ± 3.54 years). For 5 minutes, in ST task, participants walked on a 3-meter pathway with 2 cones placed at each end (180° turning), while in CT task, participants walked on a 6-meter pathway with 4 cones placed at 4 corners (90° turning). The physiological cost index, pedometer, and 10-point Modified Borg Dyspnoea Scale were used to measure EE (beats/min), GP (no of steps), and LOF, respectively. Data were analyzed by using independent t-tests. EE during ST (0.62 ± 0.21 beats/min) was significantly higher than CT (0.48 ± 0.17 beats/min) (P < 0.05). GP (434 ± 92.93 steps) and LOF (1.40 ± 1.11) in ST were found to be lower compared to GP (463 ± 92.18 steps) and LOF (1.54 ± 1.34) in CT (All, P > 0.05). Higher EE in ST could be due to the difficulty in changing to a 180° direction, which may involve agility and different turning strategies (step-turn or pivot-turn) to adjust the posture carefully. In CT, participants could choose a step-turn strategy to change to a 90° direction, which was less challenging to postural control.
In continuation of our natural and medicinal research programme on tropical rainforest plants, a bioassay guided fractionation of ethanolic extract of leaves of Canarium patentinervium Miq. (Burseraceae Kunth.) led to the isolation of scopoletin (1), scoparone (2), (+)-catechin (3), vomifoliol (4), lioxin (5), and syringic acid (6). All the compounds exhibited antiacetylcholinesterase activity with syringic acid, a phenolic acid exhibiting good AChE inhibition (IC50 29.53 ± 0.19 μ g/mL). All compounds displayed moderate antileishmanial activity with scopoletin having the highest antileishmanial activity (IC50 163.30 ± 0.32 μ g/mL). Given the aforementioned evidence, it is tempting to speculate that Canarium patentinervium Miq. represents an exciting scaffold from which to develop leads for treatment of neurodegenerative and parasitic diseases.
Diabetic complications occur as a result of increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) due to long term hyperglycaemia. Honey and ginger have been shown to exhibit antioxidant activity which can scavenge ROS. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant and antidiabetic effects of gelam honey, ginger, and their combination. Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 2 major groups which consisted of diabetic and nondiabetic rats. Diabetes was induced with streptozotocin intramuscularly (55 mg/kg body weight). Each group was further divided into 4 smaller groups according to the supplements administered: distilled water, honey (2 g/kg body weight), ginger (60 mg/kg body weight), and honey + ginger. Body weight and glucose levels were recorded weekly, while blood from the orbital sinus was obtained after 3 weeks of supplementation for the estimation of metabolic profile: glucose, triglyceride (TG), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), reduced glutathione (GSH): oxidized glutathione (GSSG), and malondialdehyde (MDA). The combination of gelam honey and ginger did not show hypoglycaemic potential; however, the combination treatment reduced significantly (P < 0.05) SOD and CAT activities as well as MDA level, while GSH level and GSH/GSSG ratio were significantly elevated (P < 0.05) in STZ-induced diabetic rats compared to diabetic control rats.
Stilbenoids have been considered as an alternative phytotherapeutic treatment against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection. The combined effect of ε-viniferin and johorenol A with the standard antibiotics, vancomycin and linezolid, was assessed against MRSA ATCC 33591 and HUKM clinical isolate. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) value of the individual tested compounds and the fractional inhibitory concentration index (FICI) value of the combined agents were, respectively, determined using microbroth dilution test and microdilution checkerboard (MDC) method. Only synergistic outcome from checkerboard test will be substantiated for its rate of bacterial killing using time-kill assay. The MIC value of ε -viniferin against ATCC 33591 and johorenol A against both strains was 0.05 mg/mL whereas HUKM strain was susceptible to 0.1 mg/mL of ε-viniferin. MDC study showed that only combination between ε-viniferin and vancomycin was synergistic against ATCC 33591 (FICI 0.25) and HUKM (FICI 0.19). All the other combinations (ε-viniferin-linezolid, johorenol A-vancomycin, and johorenol A-linezolid) were either indifferent or additive against both strains. However, despite the FICI value showing synergistic effect for ε-viniferin-vancomycin, TKA analysis displayed antagonistic interaction with bacteriostatic action against both strains. As conclusion, ε-viniferin can be considered as a bacteriostatic stilbenoid as it antagonized the bactericidal activity of vancomycin. These findings therefore disputed previous report that ε-viniferin acted in synergism with vancomycin but revealed that it targets similar site in close proximity to vancomycin's action, possibly at the bacterial membrane protein. Hence, this combination has a huge potential to be further studied and developed as an alternative treatment in combating MRSA in future.
The first purification of the Mo-reducing enzyme from Serratia sp. strain DRY5 that is responsible for molybdenum reduction to molybdenum blue in the bacterium is reported. The monomeric enzyme has an apparent molecular weight of 105 kDalton. The isoelectric point of this enzyme was 7.55. The enzyme has an optimum pH of 6.0 and maximum activity between 25 and 35°C. The Mo-reducing enzyme was extremely sensitive to temperatures above 50°C (between 54 and 70°C). A plot of initial rates against substrate concentrations at 15 mM 12-MP registered a V max for NADH at 12.0 nmole Mo blue/min/mg protein. The apparent K m for NADH was 0.79 mM. At 5 mM NADH, the apparent V max and apparent K m values for 12-MP of 12.05 nmole/min/mg protein and 3.87 mM, respectively, were obtained. The catalytic efficiency (k cat/K m ) of the Mo-reducing enzyme was 5.47 M(-1) s(-1). The purification of this enzyme could probably help to solve the phenomenon of molybdenum reduction to molybdenum blue first reported in 1896 and would be useful for the understanding of the underlying mechanism in molybdenum bioremediation involving bioreduction.
This study was performed to determine the effects of 8-week honey supplementation combined with different jumping exercise intensities on serum cortisol, progesterone, estradiol, and reproductive organs. Eighty-four 9-week-old female rats were divided into 7 groups: baseline controls (C0), sedentary group (C), 20 and 80 jumps per day (Ex(20J), Ex(80J)), honey (H), and combined honey with 20 and 80 jumps per day (HEx(20J), HEx(80J)) groups. Jumping exercise was performed at 5 days/week and honey was given at a dosage of 1 g/kg body weight/day for 7 days/week. The level of serum cortisol was higher in Ex(20J) and Ex(80J) compared to C. There was significantly lower value of serum cortisol in HEx(20J) compared to Ex(80J). Serum progesterone levels were significantly lower in Ex(20J) and Ex(80J) compared to C. However, serum progesterone levels were significantly higher in HEx(20J) and HEx(80J) compared to Ex(20J) and Ex(80J). Relative uterine weights were significantly greater in HEx(20J) compared to C and HEx(80J), respectively. There was no significant difference in estradiol level and relative ovarian weights among all the groups. Therefore, honey elicited beneficial effects in reducing the increase of cortisol and in increasing the reduce of progesterone levels induced by different intensities jumping exercise in female rats.
In recent years, the utilization of certain medicinal plants as therapeutic agents has drastically increased. Phaleria macrocarpa (Scheff.) Boerl is frequently used in traditional medicine. The present investigation was undertaken with the purpose of developing pharmacopoeial standards for this species. Nutritional values such as ash, fiber, protein, fat, and carbohydrate contents were investigated, and phytochemical screenings with different reagents showed the presence of flavonoids, glycosides, saponin glycosides, phenolic compounds, steroids, tannins, and terpenoids. Our results also revealed that the water fraction had the highest antioxidant activity compared to the methanol extract and other fractions. The methanol and the fractionated extracts (hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, and water) of P. macrocarpa seeds were also investigated for their cytotoxic effects on selected human cancer cells lines (MCF-7, HT-29, MDA-MB231, Ca Ski, and SKOV-3) and a normal human fibroblast lung cell line (MRC-5). Information from this study can be applied for future pharmacological and therapeutic evaluations of the species, and may assist in the standardization for quality, purity, and sample identification. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the phytochemical screening and cytotoxic effect of the crude and fractionated extracts of P. macrocarpa seeds on selected cells lines.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a severe fatal immune-augmented disease in cat population. It is caused by FIP virus (FIPV), a virulent mutant strain of Feline Enteric Coronavirus (FECV). Current treatments and prophylactics are not effective. The in vitro antiviral properties of five circular Triple-Helix Forming Oligonucleotide (TFO) RNAs (TFO1 to TFO5), which target the different regions of virulent feline coronavirus (FCoV) strain FIPV WSU 79-1146 genome, were tested in FIPV-infected Crandell-Rees Feline Kidney (CRFK) cells. RT-qPCR results showed that the circular TFO RNAs, except TFO2, inhibit FIPV replication, where the viral genome copy numbers decreased significantly by 5-fold log10 from 10(14) in the virus-inoculated cells to 10(9) in the circular TFO RNAs-transfected cells. Furthermore, the binding of the circular TFO RNA with the targeted viral genome segment was also confirmed using electrophoretic mobility shift assay. The strength of binding kinetics between the TFO RNAs and their target regions was demonstrated by NanoITC assay. In conclusion, the circular TFOs have the potential to be further developed as antiviral agents against FIPV infection.
The effectiveness of Okra gum in sustaining the release of propranolol hydrochloride in a tablet was studied. Okra gum was extracted from the pods of Hibiscus esculentus using acetone as a drying agent. Dried Okra gum was made into powder form and its physical and chemical characteristics such as solubility, pH, moisture content, viscosity, morphology study using SEM, infrared study using FTIR, crystallinity study using XRD, and thermal study using DSC and TGA were carried out. The powder was used in the preparation of tablet using granulation and compression methods. Propranolol hydrochloride was used as a model drug and the activity of Okra gum as a binder was compared by preparing tablets using a synthetic and a semisynthetic binder which are hydroxylmethylpropyl cellulose (HPMC) and sodium alginate, respectively. Evaluation of drug release kinetics that was attained from dissolution studies showed that Okra gum retarded the release up to 24 hours and exhibited the longest release as compared to HPMC and sodium alginate. The tensile and crushing strength of tablets was also evaluated by conducting hardness and friability tests. Okra gum was observed to produce tablets with the highest hardness value and lowest friability. Hence, Okra gum was testified as an effective adjuvant to produce favourable sustained release tablets with strong tensile and crushing strength.
A superoxide dismutase (SOD) gene of Lactococcus lactis M4 was cloned and expressed in a prokaryotic system. Sequence analysis revealed an open reading frame of 621 bp which codes for 206 amino acid residues. Expression of sodA under T7 promoter exhibited a specific activity of 4967 U/mg when induced with 1 mM of isopropyl-β-D-thiogalactopyranoside. The recombinant SOD was purified to homogeneity by immobilised metal affinity chromatography and Superose 12 gel filtration chromatography. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and western blot analyses of the recombinant SOD detected a molecular mass of approximately 27 kDa. However, the SOD was in dimer form as revealed by gel filtration chromatography. The purified recombinant enzyme had a pI of 4.5 and exhibited maximal activity at 25°C and pH 7.2. It was stable up to 45°C. The insensitivity of this lactococcal SOD to cyanide and hydrogen peroxide established that it was a MnSOD. Although it has 98% homology to SOD of L. lactis IL1403, this is the first elucidated structure of lactococcal SOD revealing active sites containing the catalytic manganese coordinated by four ligands (H-27, H-82, D-168, and H-172).
Phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) is an isothiocyanate found in watercress as the glucosinolate (gluconasturtiin). The isothiocyanate is converted from the glucosinolate by intestinal microflora or when contacted with myrosinase during the chopping and mastication of the vegetable. PEITC manifested protection against chemically-induced cancers in various tissues. A potential mechanism of chemoprevention is by modulating the metabolism of carcinogens so as to promote deactivation. The principal objective of this study was to investigate in rats the effect of PEITC on carcinogen-metabolising enzyme systems such as sulfotransferase (SULT), N-acetyltransferase (NAT), glucuronosyl transferase (UDP), and epoxide hydrolase (EH) following exposure to low doses that simulate human dietary intake. Rats were fed for 2 weeks diets supplemented with PEITC at 0.06 µmol/g (low dose, i.e., dietary intake), 0.6 µmol/g (medium dose), and 6.0 µmol/g (high dose), and the enzymes were monitored in rat liver. At the Low dose, no induction of the SULT, NAT, and EH was noted, whereas UDP level was elevated. At the Medium dose, only SULT level was increased, whereas at the High dose marked increase in EH level was observed. It is concluded that PEITC modulates carcinogen-metabolising enzyme systems at doses reflecting human intake thus elucidating the mechanism of its chemoprevention.
The methanolic extracts of 13 accessions of purslane were analyzed for their total phenol content (TPC), total flavonoid contents (TFC), and total carotenoid contents (TCC) and antioxidant activity of extracts was screened using FRAP assay and DPPH radical scavenging methods. The TPC, TFC, and TCC ranged from 0.96 ± 0.04 to 9.12 ± 0.29 mg GAE/g DW, 0.13 ± 0.04 to 1.44 ± 0.08 mg RE/g DW, and 0.52 ± 0.06 to 5.64 ± 0.09 mg (β-carotene equivalent) BCE/g DW, respectively. The DPPH scavenging (IC50) activity varied between 2.52 ± 0.03 mg/mL and 3.29 ± 0.01 mg/mL and FRAP ranged from 7.39 ± 0.08 to 104.2 ± 6.34 μmol TE/g DW. Among all the measured micro- and macrominerals K content was the highest followed by N, Na, Ca, Mg, P, Fe, Zn, and Mn. The overall findings proved that ornamental purslane was richer in antioxidant properties, whereas common purslane possesses more mineral contents than ornamental ones.
Five Malaysian rice (Oryza sativa L.) varieties, MR33, MR52, MR211, MR219, and MR232, were tested in pot culture under different salinity regimes for biochemical response, physiological activity, and grain yield. Three different levels of salt stresses, namely, 4, 8, and 12 dS m(-1), were used in a randomized complete block design with four replications under glass house conditions. The results revealed that the chlorophyll content, proline, sugar content, soluble protein, free amino acid, and yield per plant of all the genotypes were influenced by different salinity levels. The chlorophyll content was observed to decrease with salinity level but the proline increased with salinity levels in all varieties. Reducing sugar and total sugar increased up to 8 dS m(-1) and decreased up to 12 dS m(-1). Nonreducing sugar decreased with increasing the salinity levels in all varieties. Soluble protein and free amino acid also decreased with increasing salinity levels. Cortical cells of MR211 and MR232 did not show cell collapse up to 8 dS m(-1) salinity levels compared to susceptible checks (IR20 and BRRI dhan29). Therefore, considering all parameters, MR211 and MR232 showed better salinity tolerance among the tested varieties. Both cluster and principal component analyses depict the similar results.
2,4',6-Trihydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone was isolated from the ethyl acetate fraction of Phaleria macrocarpa (Scheff.) Boerl. fruits. It was found to inhibit cell proliferation in HT-29 human colon carcinoma cell line but caused little damage to WRL-68 normal human liver and MRC-5 normal human fibroblast lung cell lines. The compound was found to sharply affect the viability of HT-29 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. HT-29 cells treated with the compound showed morphological changes under microscopic examination such as cell shrinkage, membrane blebbing, DNA fragmentation, and the occurrence of apoptotic nuclei. The percentage of early apoptotic, late apoptotic, and dead or necrotic cells was determined by flow cytometry using annexin V-FTIC/PI staining. In addition, flow cytometry showed that, when the HT-29 cells were treated with 115 µM of the compound, it resulted in G0/G1 phase arrest in a time-dependent manner. Western blot revealed an upregulation of PUMA, Bak, Bcl-2, and Mcl-1 proteins suggesting that the compound induced apoptosis in HT-29 cells by regulating these proteins.
Nystatin is a tetraene diene polyene antibiotic showing a broad spectrum of antifungal activity. In the present study, we prepared a nystatin nanocomposite (Nyst-CS-MNP) by loading nystatin (Nyst) on chitosan (CS) coated magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs). The magnetic nanocomposites were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), thermogravimetry analysis (TGA), vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The XRD results showed that the MNPs and nanocomposite are pure magnetite. The FTIR analysis confirmed the binding of CS on the surface of the MNPs and also the loading of Nyst in the nanocomposite. The Nyst drug loading was estimated using UV-Vis instrumentation and showing a 14.9% loading in the nanocomposite. The TEM size image of the MNPs, CS-MNP, and Nyst-CS-MNP was 13, 11, and 8 nm, respectively. The release profile of the Nyst drug from the nanocomposite followed a pseudo-second-order kinetic model. The antimicrobial activity of the as-synthesized Nyst and Nyst-CS-MNP nanocomposite was evaluated using an agar diffusion method and showed enhanced antifungal activity against Candida albicans. In this manner, this study introduces a novel nanocomposite that can decrease fungus activity on-demand for numerous medical applications.