Oxidative stress is an important risk factor contributing to the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. Oxidative stress that results from excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) production accounts for impaired endothelial function, a process which promotes atherosclerotic lesion or fatty streaks formation (foam cells). Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a transcription factor involved in cellular redox homeostasis. Upon exposure to oxidative stress, Nrf2 is dissociated from its inhibitor Keap-1 and translocated into the nucleus, where it results in the transcriptional activation of cell defense genes. Nrf2 has been demonstrated to be involved in the protection against foam cells formation by regulating the expression of antioxidant proteins (HO-1, Prxs, and GPx1), ATP-binding cassette (ABC) efflux transporters (ABCA1 and ABCG1) and scavenger receptors (scavenger receptor class B (CD36), scavenger receptor class A (SR-A) and lectin-type oxidized LDL receptor (LOX-1)). However, Nrf2 has also been reported to exhibit pro-atherogenic effects. A better understanding on the mechanism of Nrf2 in oxidative stress-induced cardiac injury, as well as the regulation of cholesterol uptake and efflux, are required before it can serve as a novel therapeutic target for cardiovascular diseases prevention and treatment.
Elephantopus scaber also known as Elephant's foot (Asteraceae family) has a plethora of traditional applications including dysuria, diarrhea, dysentery, leukemia and cancer. This study aimed to investigate the apoptosis inducing effects of E. scaber and the underlying mechanisms in HCT116 colorectal cell line.
In response to the increased seafood demand from the ever-going human population, aquaculture has become the fastest growing animal food-producing sector. However, the indiscriminate use of antibiotics as a biological control agents for fish pathogens has led to the emergence of antibiotic resistance bacteria. Probiotics are defined as living microbial supplement that exert beneficial effects on hosts as well as improvement of environmental parameters. Probiotics have been proven to be effective in improving the growth, survival and health status of the aquatic livestock. This review aims to highlight the genus Streptomyces can be a good candidate for probiotics in aquaculture. Studies showed that the feed supplemented with Streptomyces could protect fish and shrimp from pathogens as well as increase the growth of the aquatic organisms. Furthermore, the limitations of Streptomyces as probiotics in aquaculture is also highlighted and solutions are discussed to these limitations.
Swietenia macrophylla King is a traditional herb used to treat various diseases including hypertension, diabetes and cancer. Previous study demonstrated its anti-tumor effect but the potential mechanisms have not been clearly defined. The current study was to further investigate the underlying mechanism of ethyl acetate fraction of Swietenia macrophylla (SMEAF)-induced anti-proliferative effect and apoptosis in HCT116 colorectal carcinoma cell.
The aim of this study was to investigate the cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of Nephelium ramboutan-ake (pulasan) rind in selected human cancer cell lines. The crude ethanol extract and fractions (ethyl acetate and aqueous) of N. ramboutan-ake inhibited the growth of HT-29, HCT-116, MDA-MB-231, Ca Ski cells according to MTT assays. The N. ramboutan-ake aqueous fraction (NRAF) was found to exert the greatest cytotoxic effect against HT-29 in a dose-dependent manner. Evidence of apoptotic cell death was revealed by features such as chromatin condensation, nuclear fragmentation and apoptotic body formation. The result from a TUNEL assay strongly suggested that NRAF brings about DNA fragmentation in HT-29 cells. Phosphatidylserine (PS) externalization on the outer leaflet of plasma membranes was detected with annexin V-FITC/PI binding, confirming the early stage of apoptosis. The mitochondrial permeability transition is an important step in the induction of cellular apoptosis, and the results clearly suggested that NRAF led to collapse of mitochondrial transmembrane potential in HT-29 cells. This attenuation of mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm) was accompanied by increased production of ROS and depletion of GSH, an increase of Bax protein expression, and induced-activation of caspase-3/7 and caspase-9. These combined results suggest that NRAF induces mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis.
Loranthus parasiticus, a Chinese folk medicine, has been widely used for the treatment of brain diseases, particularly in southwest China. Hence, the present neuroprotection model was designed to investigate its neuroprotective properties against H(2)O(2)-induced oxidative stress in NG108-15 cells. L. parasiticus aqueous fraction (LPAF), which was selected in the present study, had proved to be the most active fraction among the other tested extracts and fractions in our previous screening. The restoration of depleted intracellular glutathione (GSH), a major endogenous antioxidant, by LPAF was observed after H(2)O(2) insult. Pretreatment with LPAF substantially reduced the production of intracellular reactive oxygen species generated from H(2)O(2). Apoptotic features such as externalization of phosphatidylserine and disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential were significantly attenuated by LPAF. In addition, cell cycle analysis revealed a prominent decrease in the H(2)O(2)-induced sub-G(1) population by LPAF. Moreover, apoptotic morphological analysis by DAPI nuclear staining demonstrated that NG108-15 cells treated with H(2)O(2) exhibited apoptotic features, while such changes were greatly reduced in cells pretreated with LPAF. Taken together, these findings confirmed that LPAF exerts marked neuroprotective activity, which raises the possibility of potential therapeutic application of LPAF for managing oxidative stress-related neurological disorders and supports the traditional use of L. parasiticus in treating brain-related diseases.
Azadirachta indica A. Juss var. siamensis Valeton or commonly known as Siamese neem is one of the most well-known plant in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relaxant effects of A. indica on isolated rat ileum contractions and its potential underlying mechanisms involved. The isometric contractions of ileum segments were investigated in organ baths for spontaneous activity and response to aqueous extract of Siamese neem flower (SNF). The spasmolytic action of the extract was also assessed on contraction induced by acetylcholine and high potassium. Our findings indicate that cumulative concentrations of SNF aqueous extract induced relaxant effect on spontaneous rat ileum contractions. The extract has also suppressed the cumulative concentration response curve for acetylcholine and pottasium ions-induced contraction. The presence and absence of propranol (antagonist of β-adrenergic receptor) and l-Name (antagonist of nitric oxide synthase) in SNF aqeous extract co-treatment demonstrated no significant different in term of contraction activity when compared to SNF extract treatment alone. The treatment of SNF extract caused a significant inhibition in tissue contraction stimulated by accumulation of calcium ions. Our results showed the relaxant effect of SNF aqueous extract on the isolated rat ileum. In short, the SNF aqueous extract exhibited an inhibitory effect on the spontaneous ileum contactions particularly on the contraction stimulated by acetylcholine and high potassium. The observed effect might acted through the modulation of calcium channels. This findings provide a pharmacological basis for the traditional use of SNF for the treatment of gastrointestinal spasms.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are closely linked to cellular oxidative stress and inflammation. This may be resulted from the imbalance generation of reactive oxygen species and its role in promoting inflammation, thereby contributing to endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular complications. Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a transcription factor that plays a significant role in regulating expression of antioxidant and cytoprotective enzymes in response to oxidative stress. Natural products have emerged as a potential source of bioactive compounds which have shown to protect against atherogenesis development by activating Nrf2 signaling. This review aims to provide a comprehensive summary of the published data on the function, regulation and activation of Nrf2 as well as the molecular mechanisms of natural products in regulating Nrf2 signaling. The beneficial effects of using natural bioactive compounds as a promising therapeutic approach for the prevention and treatment of CVDs are reviewed.
A novel Streptomyces, strain MUSC 26(T), was isolated from mangrove soil at Tanjung Lumpur, Malaysia. The bacterium was observed to be Gram-positive and to form grayish yellow aerial and substrate mycelium on ISP 7 agar. A polyphasic approach was used to study the taxonomy of strain MUSC 26(T), which shows a range of phylogenetic and chemotaxonomic properties consistent with those of the members of the genus Streptomyces. The cell wall peptidoglycan was determined to contain LL-diaminopimelic acid. The predominant menaquinones were identified as MK-9 (H8) and MK-9(H6). The polar lipids detected were identified as diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylethanolamine, hydroxyphosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylmethylethanolamine and hydroxyphosphatidylmethylethanolamine. The predominant cellular fatty acids (>10.0 %) were identified as anteiso-C15:0 (31.4 %), iso-C16:0 (16.3 %), iso-C15:0 (13.9 %) and anteiso-C17:0 (12.6 %). The cell wall sugars were found to be galactose, glucose, mannose, ribose and rhamnose. These results suggest that MUSC 26(T) should be placed within the genus Streptomyces. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that closely related strains include Streptomyces qinglanensis 172205(T) (96.5 % sequence similarity), S. sodiiphilus YIM 80305(T) (96.5 %) and S. rimosus subsp. rimosus ATCC 10970(T) (96.4 %). DNA-DNA relatedness values between MUSC 26(T) and closely related type strains ranged from 17.0 ± 2.2 to 33.2 ± 5.3 %. Comparison of BOX-PCR fingerprints indicated MUSC 26(T) presents a unique DNA profile. The DNA G+C content was determined to be 74.6 mol%. Based on this polyphasic study of MUSC 26(T), it is concluded that this strain represents a novel species, for which the name Streptomyces gilvigriseus sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is MUSC 26(T) (=DSMZ 42173(T) = MCCC 1K00504(T)).
Actinobacteria from the unique intertidal ecosystem of the mangroves are known to produce novel, bioactive secondary metabolites. A novel strain known as MUSC 136(T) (=DSM 100712(T) = MCCC 1K01246(T)) which was isolated from Malaysian mangrove forest soil has proven to be no exception. Assessed by a polyphasic approach, its taxonomy showed a range of phylogenetic and chemotaxonomic properties consistent with the genus of Streptomyces. Phylogenetically, highest similarity was to Streptomyces misionensis NBRC 13063(T) (99.6%) along with two other strains (>98.9% sequence similarities). The DNA-DNA relatedness between MUSC 136(T) and these type strains ranged from 22.7 ± 0.5% to 46.5 ± 0.2%. Overall, polyphasic approach studies indicated this strain represents a novel species, for which the name Streptomyces malaysiense sp. nov. is proposed. The potential bioactivities of this strain were explored by means of antioxidant and cytotoxic assays. Intriguingly, MUSC 136(T) exhibited strong antioxidative activities as evaluated by a panel of antioxidant assays. It was also found to possess high cytotoxic effect against HCT-116 cells, which probably mediated through altering p53 protein and intracellular glutathione levels. Chemical analysis of the extract using GC-MS further affirms that the strain produces chemopreventive related metabolites.
Nerolidol (3,7,11-trimethyl-1,6,10-dodecatrien-3-ol) is a naturally occurring sesquiterpene alcohol that is present in various plants with a floral odor. It is synthesized as an intermediate in the production of (3E)-4,8-dimethy-1,3,7-nonatriene (DMNT), a herbivore-induced volatile that protects plants from herbivore damage. Chemically, nerolidol exists in two geometric isomers, a trans and a cis form. The usage of nerolidol is widespread across different industries. It has been widely used in cosmetics (e.g., shampoos and perfumes) and in non-cosmetic products (e.g., detergents and cleansers). In fact, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also permitted the use of nerolidol as a food flavoring agent. The fact that nerolidol is a common ingredient in many products has attracted researchers to explore more medicinal properties of nerolidol that may exert beneficial effect on human health. Therefore, the aim of this review is to compile and consolidate the data on the various pharmacological and biological activities displayed by nerolidol. Furthermore, this review also includes pharmacokinetic and toxicological studies of nerolidol. In summary, the various pharmacological and biological activities demonstrated in this review highlight the prospects of nerolidol as a promising chemical or drug candidate in the field of agriculture and medicine.
Streptomyces pluripotens MUSC 137 was isolated from mangrove soil obtained from Tanjung Lumpur, Pahang, Malaysia. We investigated the phylogenetic, genomic, biochemical, and phenotypic characteristics of this strain. Uniquely adapted microorganisms from mangrove habitats have previously yielded compounds of biopharmaceutical interest. In order to examine the bioactivities possessed by the strain, fermentation extract was prepared through solvent extraction method prior to bioactivities screenings. Antioxidant activity was examined via DPPH assay while the cytotoxic effect was assessed by means of examining the activity of the extract against selected human cancer cell lines, namely colon cancer cells (HCT-116, Caco-2, SW480, and HT-29), breast cancer cell (MCF-7), lung cancer cell (A549), prostate cancer cell (DU145), and cervical cancer cell (Ca Ski). The results revealed MUSC 137 possesses significant antioxidant activity and demonstrates cytotoxic effect against several cancer cell lines tested. The results indicated MCF-7 cells were most susceptible to the extract with the lowest IC50 (61.33 ± 17.10 μg/mL), followed by HCT-116 and A549. Additionally, selective index (SI) showed that MUSC 137 extract was less toxic against normal cell lines when compared to MCF-7 and HCT-116 cells. The extract was further subjected to chemical analysis using GC-MS and revealed the presence of deferoxamine and pyrrolizidines related compounds which may account for the antioxidant and cytotoxic properties observed.
Numerous documented ethnopharmacological properties have been associated with Swietenia macrophylla (Meliaceae), with its seed extract reported to display anti-hypoglycemic activities in diabetic rats. In the present study, three compounds isolated from the seeds of S. macrophylla were tested on a modified ELISA binding assay and showed to possess PPARγ ligand activity. They were corresponded to PPARγ-mediated cellular response, stimulated adipocyte differentiation but produced lower amount of fat droplets compared to a conventional anti-diabetic agent, rosiglitazone. The up-regulation of adipocytes was followed by increased adipocyte-related gene expressions such as adiponectin, adipsin, and PPARγ. The S. macrophylla compounds also promoted cellular glucose uptake via the translocation of GLUT4 glucose transporter.
Gynura procumbens (Lour.) Merr. (Family Asteraceae) is a medicinal plant commonly found in tropical Asia countries such as China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Traditionally, it is widely used in many different countries for the treatment of a wide variety of health ailments such as kidney discomfort, rheumatism, diabetes mellitus, constipation, and hypertension. Based on the traditional uses of G. procumbens, it seems to possess high therapeutic potential for treatment of various diseases making it a target for pharmacological studies aiming to validate and provide scientific evidence for the traditional claims of its efficacy. Although there has been considerable progress in the research on G. procumbens, to date there is no review paper gathering the reported biological activities of G. procumbens. Hence, this review aims to provide an overview of the biological activities of G. procumbens based on reported in vitro and in vivo studies. In brief, G. procumbens has been reported to exhibit antihypertensive, cardioprotective, antihyperglycemic, fertility enhancement, anticancer, antimicrobial, antioxidant, organ protective, and antiinflammatory activity. The commercial applications of G. procumbens have also been summarized in this paper based on existing patents. The data compiled illustrate that G. procumbens is a potential natural source of compounds with various pharmacological actions which can be utilized for the development of novel therapeutic agents.
A Streptomyces strain, MUM256 was isolated from Tanjung Lumpur mangrove soil in Malaysia. Characterization of the strain showed that it has properties consistent with those of the members of the genus Streptomyces. In order to explore the potential bioactivities, extract of the fermented broth culture of MUM256 was prepared with organic solvent extraction method. DPPH and SOD activity were utilized to examine the antioxidant capacity and the results have revealed the potency of MUM256 in superoxide anion scavenging activity in dose-dependent manner. The cytotoxicity of MUM256 extract was determined using cell viability assay against 8 different panels of human cancer cell lines. Among all the tested cancer cells, HCT116 was the most sensitive toward the extract treatment. At the highest concentration of tested extract, the result showed 2.3-, 2.0-, and 1.8-folds higher inhibitory effect against HCT116, HT29, and Caco-2 respectively when compared to normal cell line. This result has demonstrated that MUM256 extract was selectively cytotoxic toward colon cancer cell lines. In order to determine the constituents responsible for its bioactivities, the extract was then subjected to chemical analysis using GC-MS. The analysis resulted in the identification of chemical constituents including phenolic and pyrrolopyrazine compounds which may responsible for antioxidant and anticancer activities observed. Based on the findings of this study, the presence of bioactive constituents in MUM256 extract could be a potential source for the development of antioxidative and chemopreventive agents.
Loranthus parasiticus Merr (L. parasiticus) is a member of Loranthaceae family and is an important medicinal plant with a long history of Chinese traditional use. L. parasiticus, also known as Sang Ji Sheng (in Chinese), benalu teh (in Malay) and baso-kisei (in Japanese), is a semiparasitic plant, which is mostly distributed in the southern and southwestern regions of China. This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the ethnomedicinal use, phytochemistry and pharmacological activity of L. parasiticus and to highlight the needs for further investigation and greater global development of the plant's medicinal properties. To date, pharmacological studies have demonstrated significant biological activities, which support the traditional use of the plant as a neuroprotective, tranquilizing, anticancer, immunomodulatory, antiviral, diuretic and hypotensive agent. In addition, studies have identified antioxidative, antimutagenic, antiviral, antihepatotoxic and antinephrotoxic activity. The key bioactive constituents in L. parasiticus include coriaria lactone comprised of sesquiterpene lactones: coriamyrtin, tutin, corianin, and coriatin. In addition, two proanthocyanidins, namely, AC trimer and (+)-catechin, have been recently discovered as novel to L. parasiticus. L. parasiticus usefulness as a medicinal plant with current widespread traditional use warrants further research, clinical trials and product development to fully exploit its medicinal value.
Swietenia macrophylla King (Meliaceae) is an endangered and medicinally important plant indigenous to tropical and subtropical regions of the World. S. macrophylla has been widely used in folk medicine to treat various diseases. The review reveals that limonoids and its derivatives are the major constituents of S. macrophylla. There are several data in the literature indicating a great variety of pharmacological activities of S. macrophylla, which exhibits antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant effects, antimutagenic, anticancer, antitumor and antidiabetic activities. Various other activities like anti-nociceptive, hypolipidemic, antidiarrhoeal, anti-infective, antiviral, antimalarial, acaricidal, antifeedant and heavy metal phytoremediation activity have also been reported. In view of the immense medicinal importance of S. macrophylla, this review aimed at compiling all currently available information on its ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry and biological activities of S. macrophylla, showing its importance.
Epimedium (family Berberidaceae), commonly known as Horny Goat Weed or Yin Yang Huo, is commonly used as a tonic, aphrodisiac, anti-rheumatic and anti-cancer agent in traditional herbal formulations in Asian countries such as China, Japan, and Korea. The major bioactive compounds present within this plant include icariin, icaritin and icariside II. Although it is best known for its aphrodisiac properties, scientific and pharmacological studies suggest it possesses broad therapeutic capabilities, especially for enhancing reproductive function and osteoprotective, neuroprotective, cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory and immunoprotective effects. In recent years, there has been great interest in scientific investigation of the purported anti-cancer properties of icariin and its derivatives. Data from in vitro and in vivo studies suggests these compounds demonstrate anti-cancer activity against a wide range of cancer cells which occurs through various mechanisms such as apoptosis, cell cycle modulation, anti-angiogenesis, anti-metastasis and immunomodulation. Of note, they are efficient at targeting cancer stem cells and drug-resistant cancer cells. These are highly desirable properties to be emulated in the development of novel anti-cancer drugs in combatting the emergence of drug resistance and overcoming the limited efficacy of current standard treatment. This review aims to summarize the anti-cancer mechanisms of icariin and its derivatives with reference to the published literature. The currently utilized applications of icariin and its derivatives in cancer treatment are explored with reference to existing patents. Based on the data compiled, icariin and its derivatives are shown to be compounds with tremendous potential for the development of new anti-cancer drugs.
The utilization of zebrafish in biomedical research is very common in the research world nowadays. Today, it has emerged as a favored vertebrate organism for the research in science of reproduction. There is a significant growth in amount numbers of scientific literature pertaining to research discoveries in reproductive sciences in zebrafish. It has implied the importance of zebrafish in this particular field of research. In essence, the current available literature has covered from the very specific brain region or neurons of zebrafish, which are responsible for reproductive regulation, until the gonadal level of the animal. The discoveries and findings have proven that this small animal is sharing a very close/similar reproductive system with mammals. More interestingly, the behavioral characteristics and along with the establishment of animal courtship behavior categorization in zebrafish have laid an even stronger foundation and firmer reason on the suitability of zebrafish utilization in research of reproductive sciences. In view of the immense importance of this small animal for the development of reproductive sciences, this review aimed at compiling and describing the proximate close similarity of reproductive regulation on zebrafish and human along with factors contributing to the infertility, showing its versatility and its potential usage for fertility research.