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.
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.
Dominant strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolated from honey bees were evaluated for their γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-producing ability. Out of 24 strains, strain Taj-Apis362 showed the highest GABA-producing ability (1.76 mM) in MRS broth containing 50 mM initial glutamic acid cultured for 60 h. Effects of fermentation parameters, including initial glutamic acid level, culture temperature, initial pH and incubation time on GABA production were investigated via a single parameter optimization strategy. The optimal fermentation condition for GABA production was modeled using response surface methodology (RSM). The results showed that the culture temperature was the most significant factor for GABA production. The optimum conditions for maximum GABA production by Lactobacillus plantarum Taj-Apis362 were an initial glutamic acid concentration of 497.97 mM, culture temperature of 36 °C, initial pH of 5.31 and incubation time of 60 h, which produced 7.15 mM of GABA. The value is comparable with the predicted value of 7.21 mM.
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.
This paper describes an efficient and regioselective method for the synthesis of novel fluorinated spiro-heterocycles in excellent yield by cascade [5+1] double Michael addition reactions. The compounds 7,11-bis(4-fluorophenyl)-2,4-dimethyl- 2,4-diazaspiro[5.5] undecane-1,3,5,9-tetraone (3a) and 2,4-dimethyl-7,11-bis (4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)-2,4-diazaspiro[5.5]undecane-1,3,5,9-tetraone (3b) were characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction, FT-IR and NMR techniques. The optimized geometrical parameters, infrared vibrational frequencies and NMR chemical shifts of the studied compounds have also been calculated using the density functional theory (DFT) method, using Becke-3-Lee-Yang-Parr functional and the 6-311G(d,p) basis set. There is good agreement between the experimentally determined structural parameters, vibrational frequencies and NMR chemical shifts of the studied compounds and those predicted theoretically. The calculated natural atomic charges using NBO method showed higher polarity of 3a compared to 3b.The calculated electronic spectra are also discussed based on the TD-DFT calculations.
Mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation are widely accepted as key hallmarks of obesity-induced skeletal muscle insulin resistance. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the functional roles of an anti-inflammatory compound, celastrol, in mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance induced by antimycin A (AMA) in human skeletal muscle cells. We found that celastrol treatment improved insulin-stimulated glucose uptake activity of AMA-treated cells, apparently via PI3K/Akt pathways, with significant enhancement of mitochondrial activities. Furthermore, celastrol prevented increased levels of cellular oxidative damage where the production of several pro-inflammatory cytokines in cultures cells was greatly reduced. Celastrol significantly increased protein phosphorylation of insulin signaling cascades with amplified expression of AMPK protein and attenuated NF-κB and PKC θ activation in human skeletal muscle treated with AMA. The improvement of insulin signaling pathways by celastrol was also accompanied by augmented GLUT4 protein expression. Taken together, these results suggest that celastrol may be advocated for use as a potential therapeutic molecule to protect against mitochondrial dysfunction-induced insulin resistance in human skeletal muscle cells.
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.
Pogostemon cablin Benth. (patchouli) is an important herb which possesses many therapeutic properties and is widely used in the fragrance industries. In traditional medicinal practices, it is used to treat colds, headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, insect and snake bites. In aromatherapy, patchouli oil is used to relieve depression, stress, calm nerves, control appetite and to improve sexual interest. Till now more than 140 compounds, including terpenoids, phytosterols, flavonoids, organic acids, lignins, alkaloids, glycosides, alcohols, aldehydes have been isolated and identified from patchouli. The main phytochemical compounds are patchouli alcohol, α-patchoulene, β-patchoulene, α-bulnesene, seychellene, norpatchoulenol, pogostone, eugenol and pogostol. Modern studies have revealed several biological activities such as antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, antithrombotic, aphrodisiac, antidepressant, antimutagenic, antiemetic, fibrinolytic and cytotoxic activities. However, some of the traditional uses need to be verified and may require standardizing and authenticating the bioactivity of purified compounds through scientific methods. The aim of the present review is to provide comprehensive knowledge on the phytochemistry and pharmacological activities of essential oil and different plant extracts of patchouli based on the available scientific literature. This information will provide a potential guide in exploring the use of main active compounds of patchouli in various medical fields.
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.
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.
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.
In the current study, changes in secondary metabolite synthesis and the pharmaceutical quality of sabah snake grass leaves and buds were considered in relation to plant age (1 month, 6 months, and 1 year old). The activity of the enzyme chalcone synthase (CHS, EC 126.96.36.199) was measured, as it is a key enzyme for flavonoid production. Significant differences in total flavonoid (TF) production were observed between the three plant growth periods and the different plant parts. The highest contents of TF (6.32 mg/g dry weight [DW]) and total phenolic (TP) (18.21 mg/g DW) were recorded in 6-month-old buds. Among the flavonoids isolated in this study the most important ones based on concentration were from high to low as follows: catechin > quercetin > kaempferol > luteolin. Production of phenolic acids increased from 1 to 6 months, but after 6 months up to 1 year of age, they decreased significantly. The highest contents of caffeic acid (0.307 mg/g DW) and gallic acid (5.96 mg/g DW) were recorded in 1-year and 6-month-old buds, respectively. The lowest and highest activity of CHS was recorded in 1-month and 6-month-old buds with values of 3.6 and 9.5 nkat/mg protein, respectively. These results indicate that the increment in flavonoids and phenolic acids in 6-month-old buds can be attributed to an increase in CHS activity. The highest 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) activity was observed in the extract of 1-year-old buds followed by 6-month-old buds, with 50% of free radical scavenging (IC50) values of 64.6 and 73.5 µg/mL, respectively. Interestingly, a ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay showed a higher activity in 6-month-old buds (488 μM of Fe(II)/g) than in 1-year-old buds (453 μM of Fe(II)/g), in contrast to the DPPH result. Significant correlations (p < 0.05) were observed between CHS enzyme activity and FRAP activity, TF, catechin, and kaempferol content. Extracts of 6-month-old bud exhibited a significant in vitro anticancer activity against HeLa cancer cells with IC50 value of 56.8 µg/mL. These results indicate that early harvesting of snake grass (6-month-old) may yield increased concentrations of secondary metabolites, which are potent antioxidant compounds.
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 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.
The aims of this study were to determine the antioxidant and antiproliferative activity of the following Theobroma cacao plant part methanolic extracts: leaf, bark, husk, fermented and unfermented shell, pith, root, and cherelle. Antioxidant activity was determined using 2,2-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), and Folin-Ciocalteu assays; the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium (MTT) assay was used to determine antiproliferative activity. The root extract had the highest antioxidant activity; its median effective dose (EC50) was 358.3±7.0 µg/mL and total phenolic content was 22.0±1.1 g GAE/100 g extract as compared to the other methanolic plant part extracts. Only the cherelle extract demonstrated 10.4%±1.1% inhibition activity in the lipid peroxidation assay. The MTT assay revealed that the leaf extract had the highest antiproliferative activity against MCF-7 cells [median inhibitory concentration (IC50)=41.4±3.3 µg/mL]. Given the overall high IC50 for the normal liver cell line WRL-68, this study indicates that T. cacao methanolic extracts have a cytotoxic effect in cancer cells, but not in normal cells. Planned future investigations will involve the purification, identification, determination of the mechanisms of action, and molecular assay of T. cacao plant extracts.
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.
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.
New thiosemicarbazide derivatives 2-6 were synthesised by reacting 2-(ethylsulfanyl)benzohydrazide with various aryl isothiocyanates. The cyclisation of compounds 2-6 under reflux conditions in a basic medium (aqueous NaOH, 4 N) yielded compounds 7-11 that contain a 1,2,4-triazole ring. All of the synthesised compounds were screened for their antioxidant activities. Compounds 2, 3, and 7 showed better radical scavenging in a 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay, with IC50 values of 1.08, 0.22, and 0.74 µg/mL, respectively, compared to gallic acid (IC50, 1.2 µg/mL). Compound 3 also showed superior results in a ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay (3054 µM/100 g) compared to those of ascorbic acid (1207 µM/100 g).
Rubus fruticosus L. is a shrub famous for its fruit called blackberry fruit or more commonly blackberry. The fruit has medicinal, cosmetic and nutritive value. It is a concentrated source of valuable nutrients, as well as bioactive constituents of therapeutic interest highlighting its importance as a functional food. Besides use as a fresh fruit, it is also used as ingredient in cooked dishes, salads and bakery products like jams, snacks, desserts, and fruit preserves. R. fruticosus contains vitamins, steroids and lipids in seed oil and minerals, flavonoids, glycosides, terpenes, acids and tannins in aerial parts that possess diverse pharmacological activities such as antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial anti-diabetic, anti-diarrheal, and antiviral. Various agrogeoclimatological factors like cultivar, environmental conditions of the area, agronomic practices employed, harvest time, post-harvest storage and processing techniques all influence the nutritional composition of blackberry fruit. This review focuses on the nutrients and chemical constituents as well as medicinal properties of different parts of R. fruticosus. Various cultivars and their physicochemical characteristics, polyphenolic content and ascorbic acid content are also discussed. The information in the present work will serve as baseline data and may lead to new biomedical applications of R. fruticosus as functional food.