Polymer supported dichlorophosphate (PEG-OPOCl(2)) is an efficient green catalyst for the electrophilic substitution reaction of indole with aromatic aldehydes, in neat condition, to afford an excellent yield of bis(indolyl) methanes with short reaction time, at room temperature. The synthesized compounds and their anti-cancer activity are evaluated.
Ventricular septal defect (VSD) is one of the most common types of congenital heart defects (CHD). There are vivid multifactorial causes for VSD in which both genetic and environmental risk factors are consequential in the development of CHD. Methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) are two of the key regulatory enzymes involved in the metabolic pathway of homocysteine. Genes involved in homocysteine/folate metabolism may play an important role in CHDs. In this study; we determined the association of A66G and C524T polymorphisms of the MTRR gene and C677T polymorphism of the MTHFR gene in Iranian VSD subjects. A total of 123 children with VSDs and 125 healthy children were included in this study. Genomic DNA was extracted from the buccal cells of all the subjects. The restriction fragment length polymorphism polymerase chain reaction (PCR-RFLP) method was carried out to amplify the A66G and C524T polymorphism of MTRR and C677T polymorphism of MTHFR genes digested with Hinf1, Xho1 and Nde1 enzymes, respectively. The genotype frequencies of CC, CT and TT of MTRR gene among the studied cases were 43.1%, 40.7% and 16.3%, respectively, compared to 52.8%, 43.2% and 4.0%, respectively among the controls. For the MTRR A66G gene polymorphism, the genotypes frequencies of AA, AG and GG among the cases were 33.3%, 43.9% and 22.8%, respectively, while the frequencies were 49.6%, 42.4% and 8.0%, respectively, among control subjects. The frequencies for CC and CT genotypes of the MTHFR gene were 51.2% and 48.8%, respectively, in VSD patients compared to 56.8% and 43.2% respectively, in control subjects. Apart from MTHFR C677T polymorphism, significant differences were noticed (p < 0.05) in C524T and A66G polymorphisms of the MTRR gene between cases and control subjects.
Gelam honey exerts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities and is thought to have potent effects in reducing infections and healing wounds. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of intravenously-injected Gelam honey in protecting organs from lethal doses of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Six groups of rabbits (N = 6) were used in this study. Two groups acted as controls and received only saline and no LPS injections. For the test groups, 1 mL honey (500 mg/kg in saline) was intravenously injected into two groups (treated), while saline (1 mL) was injected into the other two groups (untreated); after 1 h, all four test groups were intravenously-injected with LPS (0.5 mg/kg). Eight hours after the LPS injection, blood and organs were collected from three groups (one from each treatment stream) and blood parameters were measured and biochemical tests, histopathology, and myeloperoxidase assessment were performed. For survival rate tests, rabbits from the remaining three groups were monitored over a 2-week period. Treatment with honey showed protective effects on organs through the improvement of organ blood parameters, reduced infiltration of neutrophils, and decreased myeloperoxidase activity. Honey-treated rabbits also showed reduced mortality after LPS injection compared with untreated rabbits. Honey may have a therapeutic effect in protecting organs during inflammatory diseases.
The polymorphisms of Waxy (Wx) microsatellite and G-T single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the Wx gene region were analyzed using simplified techniques in fifteen rice varieties. A rapid and reliable electrophoresis method, MetaPhor agarose gel electrophoresis (MAGE), was effectively employed as an alternative to polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) for separating Wx microsatellite alleles. The amplified products containing the Wx microsatellite ranged from 100 to 130 bp in length. Five Wx microsatellite alleles, namely (CT)(10), (CT)(11), (CT)(16), (CT)(17), and (CT)(18) were identified. Of these, (CT)(11) and (CT)(17) were the predominant classes among the tested varieties. All varieties with an apparent amylose content higher than 24% were associated with the shorter repeat alleles; (CT)(10) and (CT)(11), while varieties with 24% or less amylose were associated with the longer repeat alleles. All varieties with intermediate and high amylose content had the sequence AGGTATA at the 5'-leader intron splice site, while varieties with low amylose content had the sequence AGTTATA. The G-T polymorphism was further verified by the PCR-AccI cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (CAPS) method, in which only genotypes containing the AGGTATA sequence were cleaved by AccI. Hence, varieties with desirable amylose levels can be developed rapidly using the Wx microsatellite and G-T SNP, along with MAGE.
l-glutamaic acid is the principal excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and an important intermediate in metabolism. In the present study, lactic acid bacteria (218) were isolated from six different fermented foods as potent sources of glutamic acid producers. The presumptive bacteria were tested for their ability to synthesize glutamic acid. Out of the 35 strains showing this capability, strain MNZ was determined as the highest glutamic-acid producer. Identification tests including 16S rRNA gene sequencing and sugar assimilation ability identified the strain MNZ as Lactobacillus plantarum. The characteristics of this microorganism related to its glutamic acid-producing ability, growth rate, glucose consumption and pH profile were studied. Results revealed that glutamic acid was formed inside the cell and excreted into the extracellular medium. Glutamic acid production was found to be growth-associated and glucose significantly enhanced glutamic acid production (1.032 mmol/L) compared to other carbon sources. A concentration of 0.7% ammonium nitrate as a nitrogen source effectively enhanced glutamic acid production. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report of glutamic acid production by lactic acid bacteria. The results of this study can be further applied for developing functional foods enriched in glutamic acid and subsequently γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) as a bioactive compound.
Studies related to the engineering of calcium binding sites of CGTase are limited. The calcium binding regions that are known for thermostability function were subjected to site-directed mutagenesis in this study. The starting gene-protein is a variant of CGTase Bacillus sp. G1, reported earlier and denoted as "parent CGTase" herein. Four CGTase variants (S182G, S182E, N132R and N28R) were constructed. The two variants with a mutation at residue 182, located adjacent to the Ca-I site and the active site cleft, possessed an enhanced thermostability characteristic. The activity half-life of variant S182G at 60 °C was increased to 94 min, while the parent CGTase was only 22 min. This improvement may be attributed to the formation of a shorter α-helix and the alleviation of unfavorable steric strains by glycine at the corresponding region. For the variant S182E, an extra ionic interaction at the A/B domain interface increased the half-life to 31 min, yet it reduced CGTase activity. The introduction of an ionic interaction at the Ca-I site via the mutation N132R disrupted CGTase catalytic activity. Conversely, the variant N28R, which has an additional ionic interaction at the Ca-II site, displayed increased cyclization activity. However, thermostability was not affected.
The intercalation of cetirizine into two types of layered double hydroxides, Zn/Al and Mg/Al, has been investigated by the ion exchange method to form CTZAN and CTMAN nanocomposites, respectively. The basal spacing of the nanocomposites were expanded to 31.9 Å for CTZAN and 31.2 Å for CTMAN, suggesting that cetirizine anion was intercalated into Layered double hydroxides (LDHs) and arranged in a tilted bilayer fashion. A Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) study supported the formation of both the nanocomposites, and the intercalated cetirizine is thermally more stable than its counterpart in free state. The loading of cetirizine in the nanocomposite was estimated to be about 57.2% for CTZAN and 60.7% CTMAN. The cetirizine release from the nanocomposites show sustained release manner and the release rate of cetirizine from CTZAN and CTMAN nanocomposites at pH 7.4 is remarkably lower than that at pH 4.8, presumably due to the different release mechanism. The inhibition of histamine release from RBL2H3 cells by the free cetirizine is higher than the intercalated cetirizine both in CTZAN and CTMAN nanocomposites. The viability in human Chang liver cells at 1000 μg/mL for CTZAN and CTMAN nanocomposites are 74.5 and 91.9%, respectively.
In this work, poly(lactic acid) (PLA) a fully biodegradable thermoplastic polymer matrix was melt blended with three different epoxidized palm oil (EPO). The aim of this research was to enhance the flexibility, mechanical and thermal properties of PLA. The blends were prepared at various EPO contents of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 wt% and characterized. The SEM analysis evidenced successful modification on the neat PLA brittle morphology. Tensile tests indicate that the addition of 1 wt% EPO is sufficient to improve the strength and flexibility compared to neat PLA. Additionally, the flexural and impact properties were also enhanced. Further, DSC analysis showed that the addition of EPO results in a decrease in T(g), which implies an increase in the PLA chain mobility. In the presence of 1 wt% EPO, TGA results revealed significant increase in the thermal stability by 27%. Among the three EPOs used, EPO(3) showed the best mechanical and thermal properties compared to the other EPO's, with an optimum loading of 1 wt%. Conclusively, EPO showed a promising outcome to overcome the brittleness and improve the overall properties of neat PLA, thus can be considered as a potential plasticizer.
CdTe film was deposited using the electrophoretic deposition technique onto an ITO glass at various bath temperatures. Four batch film compositions were used by mixing 1 to 4 wt% concentration of CdTe powder with 10 mL of a solution of methanol and toluene. X-ray Diffraction analysis showed that the films exhibited polycrystalline nature of zinc-blende structure with the (111) orientation as the most prominent peak. From the Atomic Force Microscopy, the thickness and surface roughness of the CdTe film increased with the increase of CdTe concentration. The optical energy band gap of film decreased with the increase of CdTe concentration, and with the increase of isothermal bath temperature. The film thickness increased with respect to the increase of CdTe concentration and bath temperature, and following, the numerical expression for the film thickness with respect to these two variables has been established.
In the present study, we aimed to preincubate MCF-10A cells with pioglitazone and/or serum-rich growth media and to determine adhesive and non-adhesive interactions of the preincubated MCF-10A cells with BT-474 cells. For this purpose, the MCF-10A cells were preincubated with pioglitazone and/or serum-rich growth media, at appropriate concentrations, for 1 week. The MCF-10A cells preincubated with pioglitazone and/or serum-rich growth media were then co-cultured adhesively and non-adhesively with BT-474 cells for another week. Co-culture of BT-474 cells with the preincubated MCF-10A cells, both adhesively and non-adhesively, reduced the growth of the cancer cells. The inhibitory effect of the preincubated MCF-10A cells against the growth of BT-474 cells was likely produced by increasing levels of soluble factors secreted by the preincubated MCF-10A cells into the conditioned medium, as immunoassayed by ELISA. However, only an elevated level of a soluble factor distinguished the conditioned medium collected from the MCF-10A cells preincubated with pioglitazone and serum-rich growth medium than that with pioglitazone alone. This finding was further confirmed by the induction of the soluble factor transcript expression in the preincubated MCF-10A cells, as determined using real-time PCR, for the above phenomenon. Furthermore, modification of the MCF-10A cells through preincubation did not change the morphology of the cells, indicating that the preincubated cells may potentially be injected into mammary fat pads to reduce cancer growth in patients or to be used for others cell-mediated therapy.
A total of 60 products of traditional herbal medicine (THM) in various dosage forms of herbal preparation were analyzed to determine selected trace elements (i.e., Zn, Mn, Cu, Cd, and Se) using ICP-MS. Thirty types of both Chinese and Malay THMs were chosen to represent each population. The closed vessel acid microwave digestion method, using CEM MARS 5, was employed for the extraction of the selected trace elements. The digestion method applied was validated by using certified reference material from the Trace Element in Spinach Leaves (SRM1570a). The recoveries of all elements were found to be in the range of 85.3%-98.9%. The results indicated that Zn, Mn, Cu, Cd and Se have their own trends of concentrations in all samples studied. The daily intake concentrations of the elements were in the following order: Mn > Zn > Cu > Se > Cd. Concentrations of all five elements were found to be dominant in Chinese THMs. The essentiality of the selected trace elements was also assessed, based on the recommended daily allowance (RDA), adequate intake (AI) and the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) for trace elements as reference. The concentrations of all elements studied were below the RDA, AI and USP values, which fall within the essential concentration range, except for cadmium.
Plant regeneration and somatic embryogenesis through interspecific hybridization among different Carica species were studied for the development of a papaya ringspot virus-resistant variety. The maximum fruit sets were recorded from the cross of the native variety C. papaya cv. Shahi with the wild species C. cauliflora. The highest hybrid embryos were recorded at 90 days after pollination and the embryos were aborted at 150 days after pollination. The immature hybrid embryos were used for plant regeneration and somatic embryogenesis. The 90-day-old hybrid embryos from the cross of C. papaya cv. Shahi × C. cauliflora showed the highest percentage of germination, as well as plant regeneration on growth regulators free culture medium after 7 days pre-incubation on half-strength MS medium supplemented with 0.2 mg/L BAP, 0.5 mg/L NAA and 60 g/L sucrose. The 90-day-old hybrid embryos from the cross of C. papaya cv. Shahi × C. cauliflora produced maximum callus, as well as somatic embryos when cultured on half-strength MS medium containing 5 mg/L 2,4-D, 100 mg/L glutamine, 100 mg/L casein hydrolysate and 60 g/L sucrose. The somatic embryos were transferred into half-strength MS medium containing 0.5 mg/L BAP and 0.2 mg/L NAA and 60 g/L sucrose for maturation. The highest number of regenerated plants per hybrid embryo (10.33) was recorded from the cross of C. papaya cv. Shahi × C. cauliflora. Isoenzyme and dendrogram cluster analysis using UPGMA of the regenerated F(1) plantlets confirmed the presence of the hybrid plantlets.
The rapid and green formation of spherical and dendritic silver nanostructures based on microwave irradiation time was investigated. Silver nanoparticles were successfully fabricated by reduction of Ag(+) in a water medium and using polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) as the stabilizing agent and without the use of any other reducing agent, and were compared with those synthesized by conventional heating method. UV-vis absorption spectrometry, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) and photon correlation spectroscopy (PCS) measurements, indicated that increasing the irradiation time enhanced the concentration of silver nanoparticles and slightly increased the particle size. There was a lack of large silver nanoparticles at a high concentration, but interestingly, the formation and growth of silver dendrite nanostructures appeared. Compared to conventional heating methods, the silver nanoparticle suspension produced by irradiated microwaves was more stable over a six-month period in aqueous solution without any signs of precipitation.
Recent environmental problems and societal concerns associated with the disposal of petroleum based plastics throughout the world have triggered renewed efforts to develop new biodegradable products compatible with our environment. This article describes the preparation, characterization and biodegradation study of poly(lactic acid)/layered double hydroxide (PLA/LDH) nanocomposites from PLA and stearate-Zn(3)Al LDH. A solution casting method was used to prepare PLA/stearate-Zn(3)Al LDH nanocomposites. The anionic clay Zn(3)Al LDH was firstly prepared by co-precipitation method from a nitrate salt solution at pH 7.0 and then modified by stearate anions through an ion exchange reaction. This modification increased the basal spacing of the synthetic clay from 8.83 Å to 40.10 Å. The morphology and properties of the prepared PLA/stearate-Zn(3)Al LDH nanocomposites were studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscope (TEM), scanning electron microscope (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), tensile tests as well as biodegradation studies. From the XRD analysis and TEM observation, the stearate-Zn(3)Al LDH lost its ordered stacking-structure and was greatly exfoliated in the PLA matrix. Tensile test results of PLA/stearate-Zn(3)Al LDH nanocomposites showed that the presence of around 1.0-3.0 wt % of the stearate-Zn(3)Al LDH in the PLA drastically improved its elongation at break. The biodegradation studies demonstrated a significant biodegradation rate improvement of PLA in the presence of stearate-Zn(3)Al LDH nanolayers. This effect can be caused by the catalytic role of the stearate groups in the biodegradation mechanism leading to much faster disintegration of nanocomposites than pure PLA.
A systematic set of borotellurite glasses doped with manganese (1-x) [(B(2)O(3))(0.3)(TeO(2))(0.7)]-xMnO, with x = 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 and 0.4 mol%, were successfully synthesized by using a conventional melt and quench-casting technique. In this study, the remelting effect of the glass samples on their microstructure was investigated through density measurement and FT-IR spectra and evaluated by XRD techniques. Initial experimental results from XRD evaluation show that there are two distinct phases of glassy and crystallite microstructure due to the existence of peaks in the sample. The different physical behaviors of the studied glasses were closely related to the concentration of manganese in each phase. FTIR spectra revealed that the addition of manganese oxide contributes the transformation of TeO(4) trigonal bipyramids with bridging oxygen (BO) to TeO(3) trigonal pyramids with non-bridging oxygen (NBO).
The effect of foliar application of salicylic acid (SA) at different concentrations (10-3 M and 10-5 M) was investigated on the production of secondary metabolites (flavonoids), chalcone synthase (CHS) activity, antioxidant activity and anticancer activity (against breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) in two varieties of Malaysian ginger, namely Halia Bentong and Halia Bara. The results of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed that application of SA induced the synthesis of anthocyanin and fisetin in both varieties. Anthocyanin and fisetin were not detected in the control plants. Accordingly, the concentrations of some flavonoids (rutin and apigenin) decreased significantly in plants treated with different concentrations of SA. The present study showed that SA enhanced the chalcone synthase (CHS) enzyme activity (involving flavonoid synthesis) and recorded the highest activity value of 5.77 nkat /mg protein in Halia Bara with the 10-5 M SA treatment. As the SA concentration was decreased from 10-3 M to 10-5 M, the free radical scavenging power (FRAP) increased about 23% in Halia Bentong and 10.6% in Halia Bara. At a concentration of 350 μg mL-1, the DPPH antioxidant activity recorded the highest value of 58.30%-72.90% with the 10-5 M SA treatment followed by the 10-3 M SA (52.14%-63.66%) treatment. The lowest value was recorded in the untreated control plants (42.5%-46.7%). These results indicate that SA can act not only as an inducer but also as an inhibitor of secondary metabolites. Meanwhile, the highest anticancer activity against MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines was observed for H. Bara extracts treated with 10-5 M SA with values of 61.53 and 59.88%, respectively. The results suggest that the high anticancer activity in these varieties may be related to the high concentration of potent anticancer components including fisetin and anthocyanin. The results thus indicate that the synthesis of flavonoids in ginger can be increased by foliar application of SA in a controlled environment and that the anticancer activity in young ginger extracts could be improved.
Attempts to produce colloidal platinum nanoparticles by using steady absorption spectra with various chemical-based reduction methods often resulted in the fast disappearance of the absorption maxima leaving reduced platinum nanoparticles with little information on their optical properties. We synthesized colloidal platinum nanoparticles in an aqueous solution of polyvinyl pyrrolidone by gamma radiolytic reduction method, which produced steady absorption spectra of fully reduced and highly pure platinum nanoparticles free from by-product impurities or reducing agent contamination. The average particle size was found to be in the range of 3.4–5.3 nm and decreased with increasing dose due to the domination of nucleation over ion association in the formation of metal nanoparticles by the gamma radiolytic reduction method. The platinum nanoparticles exhibit optical absorption spectra with two absorption peaks centered at about 216 and 264 nm and the peaks blue shifted to lower wavelengths with decreasing particle size. The absorption spectra of platinum nanoparticles were also calculated using quantum mechanical treatment and coincidently a good agreement was obtained between the calculated and measured absorption peaks at various particle sizes. This indicates that the 216 and 264-nm absorption peaks of platinum nanoparticles conceivably originated from the intra-band transitions of conduction electrons of (n = 5, l = 2) and (n = 6, l = 0) energy states respectively to higher energy states. The absorption energies, i.e., conduction band energies of platinum nanoparticles derived from the absorption peaks increased with increasing dose and decreased with increasing particle size.
Calcium borate nanoparticles have been synthesized by a thermal treatment method via facile co-precipitation. Differences of annealing temperature and annealing time and their effects on crystal structure, particle size, size distribution and thermal stability of nanoparticles were investigated. The formation of calcium borate compound was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and Thermogravimetry (TGA). The XRD patterns revealed that the co-precipitated samples annealed at 700 °C for 3 h annealing time formed an amorphous structure and the transformation into a crystalline structure only occurred after 5 h annealing time. It was found that the samples annealed at 900 °C are mostly metaborate (CaB(2)O(4)) nanoparticles and tetraborate (CaB(4)O(7)) nanoparticles only observed at 970 °C, which was confirmed by FTIR. The TEM images indicated that with increasing the annealing time and temperature, the average particle size increases. TGA analysis confirmed the thermal stability of the annealed samples at higher temperatures.
A randomized complete block design was used to characterize the relationship between production of total phenolics, flavonoids, ascorbic acid, carbohydrate content, leaf gas exchange, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), soluble protein, invertase and antioxidant enzyme activities (ascorbate peroxidase (APX), catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) in Labisia pumila Benth var. alata under four levels of potassium fertilization experiments (0, 90, 180 and 270 kg K/ha) conducted for 12 weeks. It was found that the production of total phenolics, flavonoids, ascorbic acid and carbohydrate content was affected by the interaction between potassium fertilization and plant parts. As the potassium fertilization levels increased from 0 to 270 kg K/ha, the production of soluble protein and PAL activity increased steadily. At the highest potassium fertilization (270 kg K/ha) L. pumila exhibited significantly higher net photosynthesis (A), stomatal conductance (g(s)), intercellular CO(2) (C(i)), apparent quantum yield (ξ) and lower dark respiration rates (R(d)), compared to the other treatments. It was found that the production of total phenolics, flavonoids and ascorbic acid are also higher under 270 kg K/ha compared to 180, 90 and 0 kg K/ha. Furthermore, from the present study, the invertase activity was also found to be higher in 270 kg K/ha treatment. The antioxidant enzyme activities (APX, CAT and SOD) were lower under high potassium fertilization (270 kg K/ha) and have a significant negative correlation with total phenolics and flavonoid production. From this study, it was observed that the up-regulation of leaf gas exchange and downregulation of APX, CAT and SOD activities under high supplementation of potassium fertilizer enhanced the carbohydrate content that simultaneously increased the production of L. pumila secondary metabolites, thus increasing the health promoting effects of this plant.
Hematologic malignancies constitute about 9% of all new cases of cancers as reported via the GLOBOCAN series by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2008. So far, the conventional therapeutic and surgical approaches to cancer therapy have not been able to curtail the rising incidence of cancers, including hematological malignancies, worldwide. The last decade has witnessed great research interest in biological activities of phenolic compounds that include anticancer, anti-oxidation and anti-inflammation, among other things. A large number of anticancer agents combat cancer through cell cycle arrest, induction of apoptosis and differentiation, as well as through inhibition of cell growth and proliferation, or a combination of two or more of these mechanisms. Various phenolic compounds from different sources have been reported to be promising anticancer agents by acting through one of these mechanisms. Honey, which has a long history of human consumption both for medicinal and nutritional uses, contains a variety of phenolic compounds such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, coumarins and tannins. This paper presents a review on the molecular mechanisms of the anti-leukemic activity of various phenolic compounds on cell cycle, cell growth and proliferation and apoptosis, and it advocates that more studies should be conducted to determine the potential role of honey in both chemoprevention and chemotherapy in leukemia.