Aluminum toxicity is widely considered as the most important limiting factor for plants growing in acid sulfate soils. A study was conducted in laboratory and in field to ameliorate Al toxicity using plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB), ground magnesium limestone (GML) and ground basalt. Five-day-old rice seedlings were inoculated by Bacillus sp., Stenotrophomonas maltophila, Burkholderia thailandensis and Burkholderia seminalis and grown for 21 days in Hoagland solution (pH 4.0) at various Al concentrations (0, 50 and 100 μM). Toxicity symptoms in root and leaf were studied using scanning electron microscope. In the field, biofertilizer (PGPB), GML and basalt were applied (4 t·ha-1 each). Results showed that Al severely affected the growth of rice. At high concentrations, the root surface was ruptured, leading to cell collapse; however, no damages were observed in the PGPB inoculated seedlings. After 21 days of inoculation, solution pH increased to >6.0, while the control treatment remained same. Field study showed that the highest rice growth and yield were obtained in the bio-fertilizer and GML treatments. This study showed that Al toxicity was reduced by PGPB via production of organic acids that were able to chelate the Al and the production of polysaccharides that increased solution pH. The release of phytohormones further enhanced rice growth that resulted in yield increase.
An Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method was applied to introduce the luciferase reporter gene under the control of the CaMV35S promoter in the pGreen0049 binary vector into strawberry cv. Camarosa. The in vitro regeneration system of strawberry leaves to be used in the transformation was optimized using different TDZ concentrations in MS medium. TDZ at 16 µM showed the highest percentage (100%) of shoot formation and the highest mean number of shoots (24) produced per explant. Studies on the effects of different antibiotics, namely timentin, cefotaxime, carbenicillin and ampicillin, on shoot regeneration of strawberry leaf explants showed the best shoot regeneration in the presence of 300 mg/L timentin and 150 mg/L cefotaxime. Assessment of the different factors affecting Agrobacterium mediated-transformation of strawberry with the luciferase gene showed the highest efficiency of putative transformant production (86%) in the treatment with no preculture, bacterial OD600 of 0.6 and the addition of 150 mg/L cefotaxime in the pre-selection and selection media. The presence of the luciferase gene in the plant genome was verified by the luciferase reporter gene assay, nested PCR amplification and dot blot of genomic DNA isolated from the young leaves of each putatively transformed plantlet.
The crude methanol extracts and fractions of the root and stem barks of Dillenia serrata Thunb. showed 64% to 73% inhibition on the production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in lipopolysaccharide-induced human whole blood using a radioimmunoassay technique. Three triterpenoids isolated from the root bark of the plant, koetjapic (1), 3-oxoolean-12-en-30-oic (2), and betulinic (3) acids, exhibited significant concentration-dependent inhibitory effects on PGE2 production with IC50 values of 1.05, 1.54, and 2.59 μM, respectively, as compared with the positive control, indomethacin (IC50 = 0.45 μM). Quantification of compounds 1 and 3 in the methanol extracts and fractions were carried out by using a validated reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) method. The ethyl acetate fraction of the stem bark showed the highest content of both compound 1 (15.1%) and compound 3 (52.8%). The strong inhibition of the extracts and fractions on cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzymatic activity was due to the presence of their major constituents, especially koetjapic and betulinic acids.
Curcumin has poor in vivo absorption and bioavailability, highlighting a need for new curcumin analogues with better characteristics in these aspects. The aim of this study is to determine the anti-cancer properties of four selected curcumin analogues, on the cytotoxicity, proliferative and apoptotic effects on androgen-independent human prostate cancer cells (PC-3 and DU 145). Initial cytotoxicity screening showed MS17 has the highest cell inhibitory effect, with EC50 values of 4.4 ± 0.3 and 4.1 ± 0.8 µM, followed by MS13 (7.5 ± 0.1 and 7.4 ± 2.6 µM), MS49 (14.5 ± 1.2 and 12.3 ± 2.3 µM) and MS40E (28.0 ± 7.8 and 30.3 ± 1.9 µM) for PC-3 and DU 145 cells, respectively. Time-dependent analysis also revealed that MS13 and MS17 displayed a greater anti-proliferative effect than the other compounds. MS17 was chosen based on the high selectivity index value for further analysis on the morphological and biochemical hallmarks of apoptosis. Fluorescence microscopy analysis revealed apoptotic changes in both treated prostate cancer cells. Relative caspase-3 activity increased significantly at 48 h in PC-3 and 12 h in DU 145 cells. Highest enrichment of free nucleosomes was noted at 48 h after treatment with MS17. In conclusion, MS17 demonstrated anti-proliferative effect and induces apoptosis in a time and dose-dependent manner suggesting its potential for development as an anti-cancer agent for androgen-independent prostate cancer.
Silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs), the most popular nanoparticles, possess unique properties. Achillea biebersteinii is a plant of the Asteraceae family rich in active antitumor components. The aim of this research was the characterization and investigation of the cytotoxic properties of Ag-NPs synthesized using A. biebersteinii flower extract, on a human breast cancer cell line. The Ag-NPs were synthesized after approximately 180 min of reaction at 40 °C, then they were characterized by UV-visible spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The anti-apoptosis effect of Ag-NPs on the MCF-7 cell line was investigated by MTT assay, DAPI and acridine orange staining and caspase activity. The transcriptional expression of bax, bcl-2, caspase-3, -8 and -9 were also evaluated by RT-PCR. The TEM images revealed that the Ag-NPs morphology had a different shape. The DLS indicated that the average hydrodynamic diameter of the biosynthesized Ag-NPs was around 12 nm. By UV-visible spectroscopy the strongest absorbance peak was observed at 460 nm. The FTIR results also showed interaction between the plant extract and Ag-NPs due to the similarity in the peak patterns. The EDS results showed that Ag-NPs display an absorption peak at 3 keV, indicating the presence of the element silver. The Ag-NPs caused a dose-dependent decrease in cell viability, fragmentation in nucleic acid, inhibited the proliferation and induction of apoptosis on MCF-7 by suppressing specific cell cycle genes, and simulation programmed cell dead genes. Further investigation is required to establish the potential of this novel and promising approach in cancer therapy.
Some chalcones have been designed and synthesized using Claisen-Schmidt reactions as inhibitors of the ferredoxin and ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase interaction to pursue a new selective antimalaria agent. The synthesized compounds exhibited inhibition interactions between PfFd-PfFNR in the range of 10.94%-50%. The three strongest inhibition activities were shown by (E)-1-(4-aminophenyl)-3-(4-methoxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-one (50%), (E)-1-(4-aminophenyl)-3-(2,4-dimethoxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-one (38.16%), and (E)-1-(4-aminophenyl)-3-(2,3-dimethoxyphenyl)prop-2-en-1-one (31.58%). From the docking experiments we established that the amino group of the methoxyamino chlacone derivatives plays an important role in the inhibition activity by electrostatic interaction through salt bridges and that it forms more stable and better affinity complexes with FNR than with Fd.
The aims of this study were to examine the bioactive component(s) responsible for the anticoagulant activity of M. malabathricum Linn. leaf hot water crude extract via bioassay-guided fractionation and to evaluate the effect of bioactive component(s) on the intrinsic blood coagulation pathway. The active anticoagulant fraction of F3 was subjected to a series of chromatographic separation and spectroscopic analyses. Furthermore, the effect of the bioactive component(s) on the intrinsic blood coagulation pathway was studied through immediate and time incubation mixing studies. Through Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT) assay-guided fractionation, Subfraction B was considered the most potent anticoagulant fraction. Characterisation of Subfraction B indicated that anticoagulant activity could partly be due to the presence of cinnamic acid and a cinnamic acid derivative. APTT assays for both the immediate and time incubation mixing were corrected back into normal clotting time range (35.4-56.3 s). In conclusion, cinnamic acid and cinnamic acid derivative from Subfraction B were the first such compounds to be discovered from M. malabathricum Linn. leaf hot water crude extract that possess anticoagulant activity. This active anticoagulant Subfraction B prolonged blood clotting time by causing factor(s) deficiency in the intrinsic blood coagulation pathway.
The study was designed to evaluate the cardioprotective effects of the standardized aqueous and 80% ethanol extracts of Labisia pumila var. alata (LPva) in isoproterenol (ISO)-induced myocardial infarction (MI) in rats. The extracts were administered to Wistar rats orally for 28 days with three doses (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg of body weight) prior to ISO (85 mg/kg)-induced MI in two doses on day 29 and 30. The sera and hearts were collected for biochemical and histopathological analysis after the rats were sacrificed 48 h after the first induction. The main components of the extracts, gallic acid, alkylresorcinols and flavonoids were identified and quantitatively analyzed in the extracts by using a validated reversed phase HPLC method. The extracts showed significant protective effects as pretreated rats showed a significant dose-dependent decrease (p < 0.05) in cardiac enzyme activities, i.e., cardiac troponin I (cTnI), creatine kinase MB isoenzyme (CK-MB), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST), when compared with ISO-control rats. There were significant rises (p < 0.05) in the activity of oxidase enzymes, i.e., glutathione peroxide (GPx), catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) of the pretreated rats, when compared with ISO-control group. Histopathological examination showed an improvement in membrane cell integrity in pre-treated rats compared to untreated rats. The major components of LPva extracts can be used as their biomarkers and contributed to the cardioprotective effects against ISO-induced MI rats.
Formation of biofilms is a major factor for nosocomial infections associated with methicillin-resistance Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This study was carried out to determine the ability of a fraction, F-10, derived from the plant Duabanga grandiflora to inhibit MRSA biofilm formation. Inhibition of biofilm production and microtiter attachment assays were employed to study the anti-biofilm activity of F-10, while latex agglutination test was performed to study the influence of F-10 on penicillin-binding protein 2a (PBP2a) level in MRSA biofilm. PBP2a is a protein that confers resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics. The results showed that, F-10 at minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC, 0.75 mg/mL) inhibited biofilm production by 66.10%; inhibited cell-surface attachment by more than 95%; and a reduced PBP2a level in the MRSA biofilm was observed. Although ampicilin was more effective in inhibiting biofilm production (MIC of 0.05 mg/mL, 84.49%) compared to F-10, the antibiotic was less effective in preventing cell-surface attachment. A higher level of PBP2a was detected in ampicillin-treated MRSA showing the development of further resistance in these colonies. This study has shown that F-10 possesses anti-biofilm activity, which can be attributed to its ability to reduce cell-surface attachment and attenuate the level of PBP2a that we postulated to play a crucial role in mediating biofilm formation.
A series of novel dimethoxyindanone embedded spiropyrrolidines were synthesized in ionic liquid, [bmim]Br and were evaluated for their inhibitory activities towards cholinesterases. Among the spiropyrrolidines, compound 4f exhibited the most potent activity with an IC50 value of 1.57 µM against acethylcholinesterase (AChE). Molecular docking simulation for the most active compound was employed with the aim of disclosing its binding mechanism to the active site of AChE receptor.
The anticorrosion ability of a synthesized coumarin, namely 2-(coumarin-4-yloxy)acetohydrazide (EFCI), for mild steel (MS) in 1 M hydrochloric acid solution has been studied using a weight loss method. The effect of temperature on the corrosion rate was investigated, and some thermodynamic parameters were calculated. The results indicated that inhibition efficiencies were enhanced with an increase in concentration of inhibitor and decreased with a rise in temperature. The IE value reaches 94.7% at the highest used concentration of the new eco-friendly inhibitor. The adsorption of inhibitor on MS surface was found to obey a Langmuir adsorption isotherm. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was performed on inhibited and uninhibited mild steel samples to characterize the surface. The Density Function theory (DFT) was employed for quantum-chemical calculations such as EHOMO (highest occupied molecular orbital energy), ELUMO (lowest unoccupied molecular orbital energy) and μ (dipole moment), and the obtained results were found to be consistent with the experimental findings. The synthesized inhibitor was characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopic studies.
Varied pharmacological responses have been reported for mitragynine in the literature, but no supportive scientific explanations have been given for this. These studies have been undertaken without a sufficient understanding of the physicochemical properties of mitragynine. In this work a UV spectrophotometer approach and HPLC-UV method were employed to ascertain the physicochemical properties of mitragynine. The pKa of mitragynine measured by conventional UV (8.11 ± 0.11) was in agreement with the microplate reader determination (8.08 ± 0.04). Mitragynine is a lipophilic alkaloid, as indicated by a logP value of 1.73. Mitragynine had poor solubility in water and basic media, and conversely in acidic environments, but it is acid labile. In an in vitro dissolution the total drug release was higher for the simulated gastric fluid but was prolonged and incomplete for the simulated intestinal fluid. The hydrophobicity, poor water solubility, high variability of drug release in simulated biological fluids and acid degradable characteristics of mitragynine probably explain the large variability of its pharmacological responses reported in the literature. The determined physicochemical properties of mitragynine will provide a basis for developing a suitable formulation to further improve its solubility, stability and oral absorption for better assessment of this compound in preclinical studies.
The present study reports the synthesis of various new derivatives based on 5-aryl-2-bromo-3-hexylthiophene with moderate-to-good yields via a palladium-catalyzed Suzuki cross-coupling reaction. This coupling method involved the reaction of 2,5-dibromo-3-hexylthiophene with several arylboronic acids in order to synthesize corresponding thiophene derivatives under controlled and optimal reaction conditions. The different substituents (CH3, OCH3, Cl, F etc.) present on arylboronic acids are found to have significant electronic effects on the overall properties of new products. The synthesized thiophene molecules were studied for their haemolytic, biofilm inhibition and anti-thrombolytic activities, and almost all products showed potentially good properties. The compound 2-bromo-5-(3-chloro-4-fluorophenyl)-3-hexylthiophenein particular exhibited the highest values for haemolytic and bio-film inhibition activities among all newly synthesized derivatives. In addition, the compound 2-bromo-3-hexyl-5-(4-iodophenyl)thiophene also showed high anti-thrombolytic activity, suggesting the potential medicinal applications of these newly synthesized compounds.
In vitro and in vivo studies of the activity of Phaleria macrocarpa Boerl (Thymelaeaceae) leaves against the therapeutic target for hypercholesterolemia were done using the HDL receptor (SR-BI) and hypercholesterolemia-induced Sprague Dawley rats. The in vitro study showed that the active fraction (CF6) obtained from the ethyl acetate extract (EMD) and its component 2',6',4-trihydroxy-4'-methoxybenzophenone increased the SR-BI expression by 95% and 60%, respectively. The in vivo study has proven the effect of EMD at 0.5 g/kgbw dosage in reducing the total cholesterol level by 224.9% and increasing the HDL cholesterol level by 157% compared to the cholesterol group. In the toxicity study, serum glutamate oxalate transaminase (SGOT) and serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) activity were observed to be at normal levels. The liver histology also proved no toxicity and abnormalities in any of the treatment groups, so it can be categorized as non-toxic to the rat liver. The findings taken together show that P. macrocarpa leaves are safe and suitable as an alternative control and prevention treatment for hypercholesterolemia in Sprague Dawley rats.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.