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Molecules, Volume 25, Issue 12 (June-2 2020) – 235 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Oxime ligation represents a form of post solid-phase diversification that is highly suited to optimizing antagonists against therapeutically relevant protein–protein interactions (PPIs). Using as examples the tumor susceptibility gene 101 (Tsg101), protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPases), and the polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1), we demonstrate how this technique provides a facile and empirical means of identifying protein–peptide interactions that may substantially increase binding affinities and selectivity. View this paper.
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20 pages, 2195 KiB  
Article
Metabolomics of Myrcia bella Populations in Brazilian Savanna Reveals Strong Influence of Environmental Factors on Its Specialized Metabolism
by Luiz Leonardo Saldanha, Pierre-Marie Allard, Adlin Afzan, Fernanda Pereira de Souza Rosa de Melo, Laurence Marcourt, Emerson Ferreira Queiroz, Wagner Vilegas, Cláudia Maria Furlan, Anne Lígia Dokkedal and Jean-Luc Wolfender
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2954; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122954 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3577
Abstract
Environmental conditions influence specialized plant metabolism. However, many studies aiming to understand these modulations have been conducted with model plants and/or under controlled conditions, thus not reflecting the complex interaction between plants and environment. To fully grasp these interactions, we investigated the specialized [...] Read more.
Environmental conditions influence specialized plant metabolism. However, many studies aiming to understand these modulations have been conducted with model plants and/or under controlled conditions, thus not reflecting the complex interaction between plants and environment. To fully grasp these interactions, we investigated the specialized metabolism and genetic diversity of a native plant in its natural environment. We chose Myrcia bella due to its medicinal interest and occurrence in Brazilian savanna regions with diverse climate and soil conditions. An LC-HRMS-based metabolomics approach was applied to analyze 271 samples harvested across seven regions during the dry and rainy season. Genetic diversity was assessed in a subset of 40 samples using amplified fragment length polymorphism. Meteorological factors including rainfall, temperature, radiation, humidity, and soil nutrient and mineral composition were recorded in each region and correlated with chemical variation through multivariate analysis (MVDA). Marker compounds were selected using a statistically informed molecular network and annotated by dereplication against an in silico database of natural products. The integrated results evidenced different chemotypes, with variation in flavonoid and tannin content mainly linked to soil conditions. Different levels of genetic diversity and distance of populations were found to be correlated with the identified chemotypes. These observations and the proposed analytical workflow contribute to the global understanding of the impact of abiotic factors and genotype on the accumulation of given metabolites and, therefore, could be valuable to guide further medicinal exploration of native species. Full article
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16 pages, 2537 KiB  
Article
The Lipoxin Receptor/FPR2 Agonist BML-111 Protects Mouse Skin Against Ultraviolet B Radiation
by Renata M. Martinez, Victor Fattori, Priscila Saito, Ingrid C. Pinto, Camilla C. A. Rodrigues, Cristina P. B. Melo, Allan J. C. Bussmann, Larissa Staurengo-Ferrari, Julia Rojo Bezerra, Josiane A. Vignoli, Marcela M. Baracat, Sandra R. Georgetti, Waldiceu A Verri Jr. and Rubia Casagrande
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2953; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122953 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3438
Abstract
Excessive exposure to UV, especially UVB, is the most important risk factor for skin cancer and premature skin aging. The identification of the specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators (SPMs) challenged the preexisting paradigm of how inflammation ends. Rather than a passive process, the resolution [...] Read more.
Excessive exposure to UV, especially UVB, is the most important risk factor for skin cancer and premature skin aging. The identification of the specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators (SPMs) challenged the preexisting paradigm of how inflammation ends. Rather than a passive process, the resolution of inflammation relies on the active production of SPMs, such as Lipoxins (Lx), Maresins, protectins, and Resolvins. LXA4 is an SPM that exerts its action through ALX/FPR2 receptor. Stable ALX/FPR2 agonists are required because SPMs can be quickly metabolized within tissues near the site of formation. BML-111 is a commercially available synthetic ALX/FPR2 receptor agonist with analgesic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Based on that, we aimed to determine the effect of BML-111 in a model of UVB-induced skin inflammation in hairless mice. We demonstrated that BML-111 ameliorates the signs of UVB-induced skin inflammation by reducing neutrophil recruitment and mast cell activation. Reduction of these cells by BML-111 led to lower number of sunburn cells formation, decrease in epidermal thickness, collagen degradation, cytokine production (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, TGF, and IL-10), and oxidative stress (observed by an increase in total antioxidant capacity and Nrf2 signaling pathway), indicating that BML-111 might be a promising drug to treat skin disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural and Artificial Photoprotective Agent)
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26 pages, 5650 KiB  
Article
Localization of (+)-Catechin in Picea abies Phloem: Responses to Wounding and Fungal Inoculation
by Tuula Jyske, Katsushi Kuroda, Susanna Keriö, Andrey Pranovich, Riikka Linnakoski, Noriko Hayashi, Dan Aoki and Kazuhiko Fukushima
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2952; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122952 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3162
Abstract
To understand the positional and temporal defense mechanisms of coniferous tree bark at the tissue and cellular levels, the phloem topochemistry and structural properties were examined after artificially induced bark defense reactions. Wounding and fungal inoculation with Endoconidiophora polonica of spruce bark were [...] Read more.
To understand the positional and temporal defense mechanisms of coniferous tree bark at the tissue and cellular levels, the phloem topochemistry and structural properties were examined after artificially induced bark defense reactions. Wounding and fungal inoculation with Endoconidiophora polonica of spruce bark were carried out, and phloem tissues were frequently collected to follow the temporal and spatial progress of chemical and structural responses. The changes in (+)-catechin, (−)-epicatechin, stilbene glucoside, and resin acid distribution, and accumulation patterns within the phloem, were mapped using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (cryo-ToF-SIMS), alongside detailed structural (LM, TEM, SEM) and quantitative chemical microanalyses of the tissues. Our results show that axial phloem parenchyma cells of Norway spruce contain (+)-catechins, the amount of which locally increases in response to fungal inoculation. The preformed, constitutive distribution and accumulation patterns of (+)-catechins closely follow those of stilbene glucosides. Phloem phenolics are not translocated but form a layered defense barrier with oleoresin compounds in response to pathogen attack. Our results suggest that axial phloem parenchyma cells are the primary location for (+)-catechin storage and synthesis in Norway spruce phloem. Chemical mapping of bark defensive metabolites by cryo-ToF-SIMS, in addition to structural and chemical microanalyses of the defense reactions, can provide novel information on the local amplitudes and localizations of chemical and structural defense mechanisms and pathogen–host interactions of trees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tannin Analysis, Chemistry, and Functions)
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15 pages, 3155 KiB  
Article
Mechanochemical Preparation of Pd(II) and Pt(II) Composites with Carbonaceous Materials and Their Application in the Suzuki-Miyaura Reaction at Several Energy Inputs
by Mohamed M.A. Soliman, Andreia F. Peixoto, Ana P.C. Ribeiro, Maximilian N. Kopylovich, Elisabete C.B.A. Alegria and Armando J.L. Pombeiro
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2951; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122951 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2710
Abstract
Pd(II) and Pt(II) composites with activated carbon (AC), graphene oxide, and multiwalled carbon nanotubes were prepared by ball milling and used as catalysts for the Suzuki-Miyaura reaction, under several energy inputs (mechanical grinding, conventional heating, and microwave irradiation). The catalytic composites were characterized [...] Read more.
Pd(II) and Pt(II) composites with activated carbon (AC), graphene oxide, and multiwalled carbon nanotubes were prepared by ball milling and used as catalysts for the Suzuki-Miyaura reaction, under several energy inputs (mechanical grinding, conventional heating, and microwave irradiation). The catalytic composites were characterized by ICP-MS, BET, XPS analyses, TEM, and SEM. The average particle size of the prepared composites was estimated to be in the range of 6–30 nm, while the loadings of Pd and Pt did not significantly affect the surface area of the AC support due to the tendency to agglomerate as observed by the TEM analysis. The Pd/AC composites exhibit high mechanochemical catalytic activity in cross-coupling of bromobenzene and phenylboronic acid with molar yields up to 80% with TON and TOF of 222 and 444 h−1, respectively, achieved with Pd(4.7 wt%)-AC catalyst under the liquid assisted grinding for 0.5 h at ambient conditions, using cyclohexene as an additive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Organometallic Chemistry)
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14 pages, 1659 KiB  
Article
Structure-Activity Relationships for the Anaesthetic and Analgaesic Properties of Aromatic Ring-Substituted Ketamine Esters
by Ivaylo V. Dimitrov, Martyn G. Harvey, Logan J. Voss, James W. Sleigh, Michael J. Bickerdike and William A. Denny
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2950; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122950 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3797
Abstract
A series of benzene ring substituted ketamine N-alkyl esters were prepared from the corresponding substituted norketamines. Few of the latter have been reported since they have not been generally accessible via known routes. We report a new general route to many of [...] Read more.
A series of benzene ring substituted ketamine N-alkyl esters were prepared from the corresponding substituted norketamines. Few of the latter have been reported since they have not been generally accessible via known routes. We report a new general route to many of these norketamines via the Neber (oxime to α-aminoketone) rearrangement of readily available substituted 2-phenycyclohexanones. We explored the use of the substituents Cl, Me, OMe, CF3, and OCF3, with a wide range of lipophilic and electronic properties, at all available benzene ring positions. The 2- and 3-substituted compounds were generally more active than 4-substituted compounds. The most generally acceptable substituent was Cl, while the powerful electron-withdrawing substituents CF3 and OCF3 provided fewer effective analogues. Full article
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18 pages, 2414 KiB  
Article
Properties of Dicationic Disiloxane Ionic Liquids
by Vladimir G. Krasovskiy, Gennady I. Kapustin, Olga B. Gorbatsevich, Lev M. Glukhov, Elena A. Chernikova, Anatoly A. Koroteev and Leonid M. Kustov
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2949; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122949 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2761
Abstract
A number of dicationic ionic liquids with a disiloxane linker between imidazolium cations and bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide anion were synthesized and characterized. Melting points, viscosity, and volatility in a vacuum were measured; the thermal and hydrolytic stability of ionic liquids were also studied. The dependence [...] Read more.
A number of dicationic ionic liquids with a disiloxane linker between imidazolium cations and bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide anion were synthesized and characterized. Melting points, viscosity, and volatility in a vacuum were measured; the thermal and hydrolytic stability of ionic liquids were also studied. The dependence of the properties on the structure of substituents in the cation of the ionic liquid was demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Green Chemistry)
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37 pages, 9207 KiB  
Review
Near-Infrared Spectroscopy in Bio-Applications
by Krzysztof B. Beć, Justyna Grabska and Christian W. Huck
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2948; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122948 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 199 | Viewed by 19734
Abstract
Near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy occupies a specific spot across the field of bioscience and related disciplines. Its characteristics and application potential differs from infrared (IR) or Raman spectroscopy. This vibrational spectroscopy technique elucidates molecular information from the examined sample by measuring absorption bands resulting [...] Read more.
Near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy occupies a specific spot across the field of bioscience and related disciplines. Its characteristics and application potential differs from infrared (IR) or Raman spectroscopy. This vibrational spectroscopy technique elucidates molecular information from the examined sample by measuring absorption bands resulting from overtones and combination excitations. Recent decades brought significant progress in the instrumentation (e.g., miniaturized spectrometers) and spectral analysis methods (e.g., spectral image processing and analysis, quantum chemical calculation of NIR spectra), which made notable impact on its applicability. This review aims to present NIR spectroscopy as a matured technique, yet with great potential for further advances in several directions throughout broadly understood bio-applications. Its practical value is critically assessed and compared with competing techniques. Attention is given to link the bio-application potential of NIR spectroscopy with its fundamental characteristics and principal features of NIR spectra. Full article
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14 pages, 1647 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Growth Medium Strength on Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations of Tannins and Tannin Extracts against E. coli
by Sara Štumpf, Gregor Hostnik, Mateja Primožič, Maja Leitgeb, Juha-Pekka Salminen and Urban Bren
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2947; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122947 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 6550
Abstract
In this study the effect of growth medium strength on the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of different tannins and tannin extracts against Escherichia coli was systematically investigated for the first time. Three pure compounds (vescalagin, castalagin and gallic acid) and five extracts (chestnut, [...] Read more.
In this study the effect of growth medium strength on the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of different tannins and tannin extracts against Escherichia coli was systematically investigated for the first time. Three pure compounds (vescalagin, castalagin and gallic acid) and five extracts (chestnut, quebracho, mimosa, Colistizer and tannic acid) were studied. Broth microdilution was assayed and bacteria were grown using different growth medium strengths varying from half to double the concentration recommended by the producer. MICs were determined using the iodonitrotetrazolium chloride (INT) dye or turbidity measurements. It was observed that MIC values depend on the growth medium strength. With an increase in the growth medium concentration MIC values rose roughly linearly for all samples, while their relative order remained unchanged, indicating that a direct interaction of tannins with growth medium nutrients represents the likely source of their antimicrobial activity. Understanding the effect of growth medium strength can finally yield a plausible explanation for the observed variation in MIC values reported in the scientific literature as well as provide help in planning proper applications of tannins in the livestock production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tannin Analysis, Chemistry, and Functions)
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13 pages, 3070 KiB  
Communication
Hybrid Quinoline-Sulfonamide Complexes (M2+) Derivatives with Antimicrobial Activity
by Dumitrela Diaconu, Violeta Mangalagiu, Dorina Amariucai-Mantu, Vasilichia Antoci, Cristian Levente Giuroiu and Ionel I. Mangalagiu
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2946; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122946 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3661
Abstract
Two new series of hybrid quinoline-sulfonamide complexes (M2+: Zn2+, Cu2+, Co2+ and Cd2+) derivatives (QSC) were designed, synthesized and tested for their antimicrobial activity. The synthesis is straightforward and efficient, involving two [...] Read more.
Two new series of hybrid quinoline-sulfonamide complexes (M2+: Zn2+, Cu2+, Co2+ and Cd2+) derivatives (QSC) were designed, synthesized and tested for their antimicrobial activity. The synthesis is straightforward and efficient, involving two steps: acylation of aminoquinoline followed by complexation with metal acetate (Cu2+, Co2+ and Cd2+) or chloride (Zn2+). The synthesized QSC compounds were characterized by FTIR and NMR spectroscopy and by X-ray diffraction on single crystal. The QSC compounds were preliminary screened for their antibacterial and antifungal activity and the obtained results are very promising. In this respect, the hybrid N-(quinolin-8-yl)-4-chloro-benzenesulfonamide cadmium (II), considered as leading structure for further studies, has an excellent antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC25923 (with a diameters of inhibition zones of 21 mm and a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 19.04 × 10−5 mg/mL), a very good antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli ATCC25922 (with a diameters of inhibition zones of 19 mm and a MIC of 609 × 10−5 mg/mL), and again an excellent antifungal activity against Candida albicans ATCC10231 (with a diameters of inhibition zones of 25 mm and a MIC of 19.04 × 10−5 mg/mL). Full article
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20 pages, 2120 KiB  
Article
Optimising the Hydraulic Retention Time in a Pilot-Scale Microbial Electrolysis Cell to Achieve High Volumetric Treatment Rates Using Concentrated Domestic Wastewater
by Daniel D. Leicester, Jaime M. Amezaga, Andrew Moore and Elizabeth S. Heidrich
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2945; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122945 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 4196
Abstract
Bioelectrochemical systems (BES) have the potential to deliver energy-neutral wastewater treatment. Pilot-scale tests have proven that they can operate at low temperatures with real wastewaters. However, volumetric treatment rates (VTRs) have been low, reducing the ability for this technology to compete with activated [...] Read more.
Bioelectrochemical systems (BES) have the potential to deliver energy-neutral wastewater treatment. Pilot-scale tests have proven that they can operate at low temperatures with real wastewaters. However, volumetric treatment rates (VTRs) have been low, reducing the ability for this technology to compete with activated sludge (AS). This paper describes a pilot-scale microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) operated in continuous flow for 6 months. The reactor was fed return sludge liquor, the concentrated filtrate of anaerobic digestion sludge that has a high chemical oxygen demand (COD). The use of a wastewater with increased soluble organics, along with optimisation of the hydraulic retention time (HRT), resulted in the highest VTR achieved by a pilot-scale MEC treating real wastewater. Peak HRT was 0.5-days, resulting in an average VTR of 3.82 kgCOD/m3∙day and a 55% COD removal efficiency. Finally, using the data obtained, a direct analysis of the potential savings from the reduced loading on AS was then made. Theoretical calculation of the required tank size, with the estimated costs and savings, indicates that the use of an MEC as a return sludge liquor pre-treatment technique could result in an industrially viable system. Full article
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15 pages, 1826 KiB  
Communication
Data and Text Mining Help Identify Key Proteins Involved in the Molecular Mechanisms Shared by SARS-CoV-2 and HIV-1
by Olga Tarasova, Sergey Ivanov, Dmitry A. Filimonov and Vladimir Poroikov
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2944; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122944 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3782
Abstract
Viruses can be spread from one person to another; therefore, they may cause disorders in many people, sometimes leading to epidemics and even pandemics. New, previously unstudied viruses and some specific mutant or recombinant variants of known viruses constantly appear. An example is [...] Read more.
Viruses can be spread from one person to another; therefore, they may cause disorders in many people, sometimes leading to epidemics and even pandemics. New, previously unstudied viruses and some specific mutant or recombinant variants of known viruses constantly appear. An example is a variant of coronaviruses (CoV) causing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), named SARS-CoV-2. Some antiviral drugs, such as remdesivir as well as antiretroviral drugs including darunavir, lopinavir, and ritonavir are suggested to be effective in treating disorders caused by SARS-CoV-2. There are data on the utilization of antiretroviral drugs against SARS-CoV-2. Since there are many studies aimed at the identification of the molecular mechanisms of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection and the development of novel therapeutic approaches against HIV-1, we used HIV-1 for our case study to identify possible molecular pathways shared by SARS-CoV-2 and HIV-1. We applied a text and data mining workflow and identified a list of 46 targets, which can be essential for the development of infections caused by SARS-CoV-2 and HIV-1. We show that SARS-CoV-2 and HIV-1 share some molecular pathways involved in inflammation, immune response, cell cycle regulation. Full article
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15 pages, 1758 KiB  
Article
Tannin-Rich Plants as Natural Manipulators of Rumen Fermentation in the Livestock Industry
by G. M. Fagundes, G. Benetel, K. C. Santos, K. C. Welter, F. A. Melo, J. P. Muir and I. C. S. Bueno
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2943; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122943 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2877
Abstract
Condensed tannins (CTs) are plant anti-herbivore compounds with antimicrobial activity that can be used in ruminant diets as ruminal microbiome manipulators. However, not all CTs from fodder legumes are bioactive due to their wide structural diversity. The aim of our study was to [...] Read more.
Condensed tannins (CTs) are plant anti-herbivore compounds with antimicrobial activity that can be used in ruminant diets as ruminal microbiome manipulators. However, not all CTs from fodder legumes are bioactive due to their wide structural diversity. The aim of our study was to investigate the effect of 10 CT-containing plants (Flemingia macrophylla, Leucaena leucocephala, Stylosanthes guianensis, Gliricidia sepium, Cratylia argentea, Cajanus cajan, Desmodium ovalifolium, Macrotiloma axilare, D. paniculatum, and Lespedeza procumbens) on in vitro fermentation kinetics of Nelore beef cattle. Polyethylene glycol (PEG), a specific CT-binding agent, was added to neutralize condensed tannin. Tifton and alfalfa hay were used as controls lacking CT. The experimental layout included a randomized complete block with factorial design and four blocks. The data were subjected to analysis of variance followed by Duncan’s test to determine differences (p < 0.05) among treatment means. The addition of PEG in browse incubations resulted in increased gas production, fermentation rate, short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) and N-NH3 release. Within our study, Lespedeza procumbens, Desmodium paniculatum, Leucaena leucocephala, Desmodium ovalifolium, and Flemingia macrophylla showed superior bioactivity compared to other species evaluated, suggesting a natural alternative for replacing ionophores to modify ruminal fermentation. Condensed tannins from L. pocumbens, D. paniculatum, L. leucocephala, D. ovalifolium, and F. macrophylla have the potential to modify rumen fermentation in beef cattle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tannin Analysis, Chemistry, and Functions)
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16 pages, 3249 KiB  
Article
Characterization, Classification and Authentication of Turmeric and Curry Samples by Targeted LC-HRMS Polyphenolic and Curcuminoid Profiling and Chemometrics
by Nerea Núñez, Oscar Vidal-Casanella, Sonia Sentellas, Javier Saurina and Oscar Núñez
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2942; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122942 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4154
Abstract
The importance of monitoring bioactive substances as food features to address sample classification and authentication is increasing. In this work, targeted liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) polyphenolic and curcuminoid profiles were evaluated as chemical descriptors to deal with the characterization [...] Read more.
The importance of monitoring bioactive substances as food features to address sample classification and authentication is increasing. In this work, targeted liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) polyphenolic and curcuminoid profiles were evaluated as chemical descriptors to deal with the characterization and classification of turmeric and curry samples. The profiles corresponding to bioactive substances were obtained by TraceFinderTM software using accurate mass databases with 53 and 24 polyphenolic and curcuminoid related compounds, respectively. For that purpose, 21 turmeric and 9 curry samples commercially available were analyzed in triplicate by a simple liquid–solid extraction procedure using dimethyl sulfoxide as extracting solvent. The obtained results demonstrate that the proposed profiles were excellent chemical descriptors for sample characterization and classification by principal component analysis (PCA) and partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA), achieving 100% classification rates. Curcuminoids and some specific phenolic acids such as trans-cinnamic, ferulic and sinapic acids, helped on the discrimination of turmeric samples; polyphenols, in general, were responsible for the curry sample distinction. Besides, the combination of both polyphenolic and curcuminoid profiles was necessary for the simultaneous characterization and classification of turmeric and curry samples. Discrimination among turmeric species such as Curcuma longa vs. Curcuma zedoaria, as well as among different Curcuma longa varieties (Alleppey, Madras and Erode) was also accomplished. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Bioactive Compounds)
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4 pages, 174 KiB  
Editorial
Special Issue “Pharmaceutical Residues in the Environment”
by Jolanta Kumirska
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2941; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122941 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2673
Abstract
Pharmaceuticals, due to their pseudo-persistence and biological activity as well as their extensive use in human and veterinary medicine, are a class of environmental contaminants that is of emerging concern [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Residues in the Environment)
22 pages, 1947 KiB  
Review
Anion and Cation Dynamics in Polyhydroborate Salts: NMR Studies
by Alexander V. Skripov, Alexei V. Soloninin, Olga A. Babanova and Roman V. Skoryunov
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2940; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122940 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4722
Abstract
Polyhydroborate salts represent the important class of energy materials attracting significant recent attention. Some of these salts exhibit promising hydrogen storage properties and/or high ionic conductivities favorable for applications as solid electrolytes in batteries. Two basic types of thermally activated atomic jump motion [...] Read more.
Polyhydroborate salts represent the important class of energy materials attracting significant recent attention. Some of these salts exhibit promising hydrogen storage properties and/or high ionic conductivities favorable for applications as solid electrolytes in batteries. Two basic types of thermally activated atomic jump motion are known to exist in these materials: the reorientational (rotational) motion of complex anions and the translational diffusion of cations or complex anions. The present paper reviews recent progress in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies of both reorientational and diffusive jump motion in polyhydroborate salts. The emphasis is put on sodium and lithium closo-borates exhibiting high ionic conductivity and on borohydride-based systems showing extremely fast reorientational motion down to low temperatures. For these systems, we discuss the effects of order–disorder phase transitions on the parameters of reorientations and diffusive jumps, as well as the mechanism of low-temperature rotational tunneling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Hydrogen Storage Materials for Energy Utilization)
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16 pages, 2804 KiB  
Article
PbS Quantum Dots Decorating TiO2 Nanocrystals: Synthesis, Topology, and Optical Properties of the Colloidal Hybrid Architecture
by Carlo Nazareno Dibenedetto, Teresa Sibillano, Rosaria Brescia, Mirko Prato, Leonardo Triggiani, Cinzia Giannini, Annamaria Panniello, Michela Corricelli, Roberto Comparelli, Chiara Ingrosso, Nicoletta Depalo, Angela Agostiano, Maria Lucia Curri, Marinella Striccoli and Elisabetta Fanizza
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2939; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122939 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3687
Abstract
Fabrication of heterostructures by merging two or more materials in a single object. The domains at the nanoscale represent a viable strategy to purposely address materials’ properties for applications in several fields such as catalysis, biomedicine, and energy conversion. In this case, solution-phase [...] Read more.
Fabrication of heterostructures by merging two or more materials in a single object. The domains at the nanoscale represent a viable strategy to purposely address materials’ properties for applications in several fields such as catalysis, biomedicine, and energy conversion. In this case, solution-phase seeded growth and the hot-injection method are ingeniously combined to fabricate TiO2/PbS heterostructures. The interest in such hybrid nanostructures arises from their absorption properties that make them advantageous candidates as solar cell materials for more efficient solar light harvesting and improved light conversion. Due to the strong lattice mismatch between TiO2 and PbS, the yield of the hybrid structure and the control over its properties are challenging. In this study, a systematic investigation of the heterostructure synthesis as a function of the experimental conditions (such as seeds’ surface chemistry, reaction temperature, and precursor concentration), its topology, structural properties, and optical properties are carried out. The morphological and chemical characterizations confirm the formation of small dots of PbS by decorating the oleylamine surface capped TiO2 nanocrystals under temperature control. Remarkably, structural characterization points out that the formation of heterostructures is accompanied by modification of the crystallinity of the TiO2 domain, which is mainly ascribed to lattice distortion. This result is also confirmed by photoluminescence spectroscopy, which shows intense emission in the visible range. This originated from self-trapped excitons, defects, and trap emissive states. Full article
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12 pages, 1077 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Properties and Weibull Scaling Laws of Unknown Spider Silks
by Gabriele Greco and Nicola M. Pugno
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2938; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122938 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2950
Abstract
Spider silks present extraordinary mechanical properties, which have attracted the attention of material scientists in recent decades. In particular, the strength and the toughness of these protein-based materials outperform the ones of many man-made fibers. Unfortunately, despite the huge interest, there is an [...] Read more.
Spider silks present extraordinary mechanical properties, which have attracted the attention of material scientists in recent decades. In particular, the strength and the toughness of these protein-based materials outperform the ones of many man-made fibers. Unfortunately, despite the huge interest, there is an absence of statistical investigation on the mechanical properties of spider silks and their related size effects due to the length of the fibers. Moreover, several spider silks have never been mechanically tested. Accordingly, in this work, we measured the mechanical properties and computed the Weibull parameters for different spider silks, some of them unknown in the literature. We also measured the mechanical properties at different strain rates for the dragline of the species Cupiennius salei. For the same species, we measured the strength and Weibull parameters at different fiber lengths. In this way, we obtained the spider silk scaling laws directly and according to Weibull’s prediction. Both length and strain rates affect the mechanical properties of spider silk, as rationalized by Weibull’s statistics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silk Fibroin Materials)
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10 pages, 890 KiB  
Communication
Controlling the Size and Pattern Pitch of Ni(OH)2 Nanoclusters Using Dip-Pen Nanolithography to Improve Water Oxidation
by Zorik Shamish, Moshe Zohar, Dror Shamir and Ariela Burg
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2937; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122937 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2445
Abstract
We use dip-pen nanolithography to accurately pattern Ni(OH)2 nanoclusters on a metachemical surface with an exceptionally large surface area. The distance between the nanoclusters can be manipulated to control the oxygen-evolution reaction current and overpotential, thereby improving the efficiency of the water-splitting [...] Read more.
We use dip-pen nanolithography to accurately pattern Ni(OH)2 nanoclusters on a metachemical surface with an exceptionally large surface area. The distance between the nanoclusters can be manipulated to control the oxygen-evolution reaction current and overpotential, thereby improving the efficiency of the water-splitting process while using minute amounts of the catalyst. Full article
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13 pages, 3615 KiB  
Article
Bio-Based Hydrogels Composed of Humic Matter and Pectins of Different Degree of Methyl-Esterification
by Assunta Nuzzo, Pierluigi Mazzei, Davide Savy, Vincenzo Di Meo and Alessandro Piccolo
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2936; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122936 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2419
Abstract
We prepared humo-pectic hydrogels through ionotropic gelation by crosslinking natural pectins of different degree of methyl-esterification with either humic substances (HS) extracted from cow manure compost or humic-like substances (HULIS) from depolymerized lignocellulose biorefinery waste. The hydrogels were characterized by solid-state 13C-NMR [...] Read more.
We prepared humo-pectic hydrogels through ionotropic gelation by crosslinking natural pectins of different degree of methyl-esterification with either humic substances (HS) extracted from cow manure compost or humic-like substances (HULIS) from depolymerized lignocellulose biorefinery waste. The hydrogels were characterized by solid-state 13C-NMR spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, spectroscopic magnetic resonance imaging and rheological analyses. Their ability to work as controlled release systems was tested by following the release kinetics of a previously incorporated model phenolic compound, like phloroglucinol. Our results indicated that the release properties of hydrogels were influenced by the molecular composition of HS and HULIS and by the different degrees of methyl-esterification of pectins. The hydrogel made by the high methoxyl pectin and HS showed the fastest rate of phloroglucinol release, and this was attributed not only to its morphological structure and crosslinking density but also to the least formation of ionic interactions between phloroglucinol and the polysaccharidic chains. Our study suggests that the efficiency of novel humo-pectic hydrogels as sustainable carriers of agroproducts to crops is related to a careful choice of the characteristics of their components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Characterization of Biopolymers and Biobased Bioplastics)
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16 pages, 2361 KiB  
Article
Acetone Prospect as an Additive to Allow the Use of Castor and Sunflower Oils as Drop-In Biofuels in Diesel/Acetone/Vegetable Oil Triple Blends for Application in Diesel Engines
by Laura Aguado-Deblas, Jesus Hidalgo-Carrillo, Felipa M. Bautista, Diego Luna, Carlos Luna, Juan Calero, Alejandro Posadillo, Antonio A. Romero and Rafael Estevez
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2935; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122935 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3883
Abstract
The present paper investigates the feasibility of using acetone (ACE) in triple blends with fossil diesel (D) and straight vegetable oils (SVOs) as alternative fuel for diesel engines. In this respect, ACE is selected as an oxygenated additivedue to its favorable propertiesto be [...] Read more.
The present paper investigates the feasibility of using acetone (ACE) in triple blends with fossil diesel (D) and straight vegetable oils (SVOs) as alternative fuel for diesel engines. In this respect, ACE is selected as an oxygenated additivedue to its favorable propertiesto be mixed with vegetable oils and fossil diesel. In fact, the very low kinematic viscosity allows reduces the high viscosity of SVOs. ACE’s oxygen content, low autoignition temperature, and very low cloud point and pour point values highlight its possibilities as an additive in D/ACE/SVO triple blends. Moreover, ACE can be produced through a renewable biotechnological process, an acetone–butanol–ethanol (ABE) fermentation from cellulosic biomass. The SVOs tested were castor oil (CO), which is not suitable for human consumption, and sunflower oil (SO), used as a standard reference for waste cooking oil. The viscosity measurement of the ACE/SVO double blend was considered crucial to choose the optimum proportion, which better fulfilled the specifications established by European standard EN 590. Moreover, some of the most significant physicochemical properties of D/ACE/SVO triple blends, such as kinematic viscosity, cloud point, pour point, and calorific value, were determined to assess their suitability as fuels. The blends were evaluated in a conventional diesel generator through the study of the following parameters: engine power, smoke emissions, and fuel consumption. Despite the low calorific value of ACE limits its ratio in the mixtures due to engine knocking problems, the experimental results reveal an excellent performance for the blends containing up to 16-18% of ACE and 22-24% of SVO. These blends produce similar engine power as to fossil diesel, but with slightly higher fuel consumption. Considerable reductions in emissions of air pollutants, as well as excellent cold flow properties are also obtained with these triple blends. In summary, the use of these biofuels could achieve a substitution of fossil diesel up to 40%, independently on the SVO employed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Value-Added Agrifood Waste)
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22 pages, 4589 KiB  
Article
Synthesis, Cyclooxygenases Inhibition Activities and Interactions with BSA of N-substituted 1H-pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyridine-1,3(2H)-diones Derivatives
by Edward Krzyżak, Dominika Szkatuła, Benita Wiatrak, Tomasz Gębarowski and Aleksandra Marciniak
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2934; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122934 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2784
Abstract
Inhibition of cyclooxygenase is the way of therapeutic activities for anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals. Serum albumins are the major soluble protein able to bind and transport a variety of exogenous and endogenous ligands, including hydrophobic pharmaceuticals. In this study, a novel N-substituted 1H [...] Read more.
Inhibition of cyclooxygenase is the way of therapeutic activities for anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals. Serum albumins are the major soluble protein able to bind and transport a variety of exogenous and endogenous ligands, including hydrophobic pharmaceuticals. In this study, a novel N-substituted 1H-pyrrolo[3–c]pyridine-1,3(2H)-diones derivatives were synthesized and biologically evaluated for their inhibitory activity against cyclooxygenases and interactions with BSA. In vitro, COX-1 and COX-2 inhibition assays were performed. Interaction with BSA was studied by fluorescence spectroscopy and circular dichroism measurement. The molecular docking study was conducted to understand the binding interaction of compounds in the active site of cyclooxygenases and BSA. The result of the COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitory studies revealed that all the compounds potentially inhibited COX-1 and COX-2. The IC50 value was found similar to meloxicam. The intrinsic fluorescence of BSA was quenched by tested compounds due to the formation of A/E–BSA complex. The results of the experiment and molecular docking confirmed the main interaction forces between studied compounds and BSA were hydrogen bonding and van der Waals force. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medicinal Chemistry)
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10 pages, 886 KiB  
Article
Metabolomic Signature Discriminates Normal Human Cornea from Keratoconus—A Pilot GC/MS Study
by Anna Wojakowska, Monika Pietrowska, Piotr Widlak, Dariusz Dobrowolski, Edward Wylęgała and Dorota Tarnawska
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2933; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122933 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3128
Abstract
The molecular etiology of keratoconus (KC), a pathological condition of the human cornea, remains unclear. The aim of this work was to perform profiling of metabolites and identification of features discriminating this pathology from the normal cornea. The combination of gas chromatography and [...] Read more.
The molecular etiology of keratoconus (KC), a pathological condition of the human cornea, remains unclear. The aim of this work was to perform profiling of metabolites and identification of features discriminating this pathology from the normal cornea. The combination of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC/MS) techniques has been applied for profiling and identification of metabolites in corneal buttons from 6 healthy controls and 7 KC patients. An untargeted GC/MS-based approach allowed the detection of 377 compounds, including 46 identified unique metabolites, whose levels enabled the separation of compared groups of samples in unsupervised hierarchical cluster analysis. There were 13 identified metabolites whose levels differentiated between groups of samples. Downregulation of several carboxylic acids, fatty acids, and steroids was observed in KC when compared to the normal cornea. Metabolic pathways associated with compounds that discriminated both groups were involved in energy production, lipid metabolism, and amino acid metabolism. An observed signature may reflect cellular processes involved in the development of KC pathology, including oxidative stress and inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Analytical Chemistry)
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11 pages, 351 KiB  
Article
Validation of the 2H-SNIF NMR and IRMS Methods for Vinegar and Vinegar Analysis: An International Collaborative Study
by Federica Camin, Marco Simoni, Armin Hermann, Freddy Thomas and Matteo Perini
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2932; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122932 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3278
Abstract
This paper presents the results of a collaborative study involving seven laboratories and concerning two samples of wine vinegar, one of apple vinegar and four of balsamic vinegar. The aim of the study was to define standard deviations of repeatability (sr) and reproducibility [...] Read more.
This paper presents the results of a collaborative study involving seven laboratories and concerning two samples of wine vinegar, one of apple vinegar and four of balsamic vinegar. The aim of the study was to define standard deviations of repeatability (sr) and reproducibility (sR) for vinegar and balsamic vinegar stable isotope ratios of H (D/H), C (δ13C) and O (δ18O), in order to establish them as fully recognized official standards. Acetic acid was extracted and subjected to (D/H)CH3 and δ13C analysis. δ18O analysis was performed on whole samples. The grape must solution remained after distillation of balsamic vinegar was fermented and the resulting ethanol was subjected to (D/H)I, (D/H)II, R and δ13C analysis. The sr and sR were 0.6 ppm and 1.1 ppm for (D/H)CH3, 0.14‰ and 0.25‰ for δ13C of acetic acid, 0.1‰ and 0.17‰ for δ18O of water, 0.19 ppm and 0.64 ppm for ethanol (D/H)I, 1.14 and 1.31 ppm for (D/H)II, 0.09 and 0.11‰ for δ13C of ethanol. These data are in line with those in the literature or reported in corresponding official methods, and sr and sR of balsamic vinegar are in line with those of vinegar and must. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Isotopic Techniques for Food Science)
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29 pages, 2394 KiB  
Review
Green and Sustainable Valorization of Bioactive Phenolic Compounds from Pinus By-Products
by Pedro Ferreira-Santos, Elisa Zanuso, Zlatina Genisheva, Cristina M. R. Rocha and José A. Teixeira
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2931; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122931 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 85 | Viewed by 6888
Abstract
In Europe, pine forests are one of the most extended forests formations, making pine residues and by-products an important source of compounds with high industrial interest as well as for bioenergy production. Moreover, the valorization of lumber industry residues is desirable from a [...] Read more.
In Europe, pine forests are one of the most extended forests formations, making pine residues and by-products an important source of compounds with high industrial interest as well as for bioenergy production. Moreover, the valorization of lumber industry residues is desirable from a circular economy perspective. Different extraction methods and solvents have been used, resulting in extracts with different constituents and consequently with different bioactivities. Recently, emerging and green technologies as ultrasounds, microwaves, supercritical fluids, pressurized liquids, and electric fields have appeared as promising tools for bioactive compounds extraction in alignment with the Green Chemistry principles. Pine extracts have attracted the researchers’ attention because of the positive bioproperties, such as anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-neurodegenerative, antitumoral, cardioprotective, etc., and potential industrial applications as functional foods, food additives as preservatives, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. Phenolic compounds are responsible for many of these bioactivities. However, there is not much information in the literature about the individual phenolic compounds of extracts from the pine species. The present review is about the reutilization of residues and by-products from the pine species, using ecofriendly technologies to obtain added-value bioactive compounds for industrial applications. Full article
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13 pages, 1795 KiB  
Article
Purification of Aqueous Media by Biochars: Feedstock Type Effect on Silver Nanoparticles Removal
by Agnieszka Tomczyk, Katarzyna Szewczuk-Karpisz, Zofia Sokołowska, Milena Kercheva and Emil Dimitrov
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2930; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122930 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2548
Abstract
Due to the harmful effects of nanoparticles in the environment, their effective removal from aqueous media is of great importance. This paper described the research on the silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) sorption on biochars obtained from different feedstock types. The sorbents were produced through [...] Read more.
Due to the harmful effects of nanoparticles in the environment, their effective removal from aqueous media is of great importance. This paper described the research on the silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) sorption on biochars obtained from different feedstock types. The sorbents were produced through pyrolysis (double-barrel method) of the vineyard (BV), paulownia tree (BP), and tobacco (BT). BV exhibited the highest specific surface area, porosity, value of variable surface charge, and content of surface acidic functional groups among the used biochars. The pseudo-second order model best described the obtained adsorption kinetics, whereas the Freundlich model accounted for the registered adsorption data. The Ag-NPs removal was highly efficient in the case of BV, especially in the nanoparticle concentration range 50–500 mg/L. Thus, this biochar can be considered as an ecofriendly, effective, low-cost organic adsorbent, potentially used in the aqueous media purification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Green Chemistry)
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19 pages, 3422 KiB  
Article
The (+)-Brevipolide H Displays Anticancer Activity against Human Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer: The Role of Oxidative Stress and Akt/mTOR/p70S6K-Dependent Pathways in G1 Checkpoint Arrest and Apoptosis
by Yi-Hua Sheng, Wohn-Jenn Leu, Ching-Nung Chen, Jui-Ling Hsu, Ying-Tung Liu, Lih-Ching Hsu, Duen-Ren Hou and Jih-Hwa Guh
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2929; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122929 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2875
Abstract
Because conventional chemotherapy is not sufficiently effective against prostate cancer, various examinations have been performed to identify anticancer activity of naturally occurring components and their mechanisms of action. The (+)-brevipolide H, an α-pyrone-based natural compound, induced potent and long-term anticancer effects in human [...] Read more.
Because conventional chemotherapy is not sufficiently effective against prostate cancer, various examinations have been performed to identify anticancer activity of naturally occurring components and their mechanisms of action. The (+)-brevipolide H, an α-pyrone-based natural compound, induced potent and long-term anticancer effects in human castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) PC-3 cells. Flow cytofluorometric analysis with propidium iodide staining showed (+)-brevipolide H-induced G1 arrest of cell cycle and subsequent apoptosis through induction of caspase cascades. Since Akt/mTOR pathway has been well substantiated in participating in cell cycle progression in G1 phase, its signaling and downstream regulators were examined. Consequently, (+)-brevipolide H inhibited the signaling pathway of Akt/mTOR/p70S6K. The c-Myc inhibition and downregulation of G1 phase cyclins were also attributed to (+)-brevipolide H action. Overexpression of myristoylated Akt significantly rescued mTOR/p70S6K and downstream signaling under (+)-brevipolide H treatment. ROS and Ca2+, two key mediators in regulating intracellular signaling, were determined, showing that (+)-brevipolide H interactively induced ROS production and an increase of intracellular Ca2+ levels. The (+)-Brevipolide H also induced the downregulation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins (Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL) and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, indicating the contribution of mitochondrial dysfunction to apoptosis. In conclusion, the data suggest that (+)-brevipolide H displays anticancer activity through crosstalk between ROS production and intracellular Ca2+ mobilization. In addition, suppression of Akt/mTOR/p70S6K pathway associated with downregulation of G1 phase cyclins contributes to (+)-brevipolide H-mediated anticancer activity, which ultimately causes mitochondrial dysfunction and cell apoptosis. The data also support the biological significance and, possibly, clinically important development of natural product-based anticancer approaches. Full article
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11 pages, 1974 KiB  
Article
Antifungal Agent 4-AN Changes the Genome-Wide Expression Profile, Downregulates Virulence-Associated Genes and Induces Necrosis in Candida albicans Cells
by Aleksandra Martyna, Maciej Masłyk, Monika Janeczko, Elżbieta Kochanowicz, Bartłomiej Gielniewski, Aleksandra Świercz, Oleg M. Demchuk and Konrad Kubiński
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2928; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122928 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2427
Abstract
In the light of the increasing occurrence of antifungal resistance, there is an urgent need to search for new therapeutic strategies to overcome this phenomenon. One of the applied approaches is the synthesis of small-molecule compounds showing antifungal properties. Here we present a [...] Read more.
In the light of the increasing occurrence of antifungal resistance, there is an urgent need to search for new therapeutic strategies to overcome this phenomenon. One of the applied approaches is the synthesis of small-molecule compounds showing antifungal properties. Here we present a continuation of the research on the recently discovered anti-Candida albicans agent 4-AN. Using next generation sequencing and transcriptional analysis, we revealed that the treatment of C. albicans with 4-AN can change the expression profile of a large number of genes. The highest upregulation was observed in the case of genes involved in cell stress, while the highest downregulation was shown for genes coding sugar transporters. Real-time PCR analysis revealed 4-AN mediated reduction of the relative expression of genes engaged in fungal virulence (ALS1, ALS3, BCR1, CPH1, ECE1, EFG1, HWP1, HYR1 and SAP1). The determination of the fractional inhibitory concentration index (FICI) showed that the combination of 4-AN with amphotericin B is synergistic. Finally, flow cytometry analysis revealed that the compound induces mainly necrosis in C. albicans cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medicinal Chemistry)
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26 pages, 1666 KiB  
Review
Sustainable Palm Oil—The Role of Screening and Advanced Analytical Techniques for Geographical Traceability and Authenticity Verification
by Umi Salamah Ramli, Noor Idayu Tahir, Nurul Liyana Rozali, Abrizah Othman, Nor Hayati Muhammad, Syahidah Akmal Muhammad, Azmil Haizam Ahmad Tarmizi, Norfadilah Hashim, Ravigadevi Sambanthamurthi, Rajinder Singh, Mohamad Arif Abd Manaf and Ghulam Kadir Ahmad Parveez
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2927; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122927 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 9426
Abstract
Palm oil production from oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) is vital for the economy of Malaysia. As of late, sustainable production of palm oil has been a key focus due to demand by consumer groups, and important progress has been made in [...] Read more.
Palm oil production from oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) is vital for the economy of Malaysia. As of late, sustainable production of palm oil has been a key focus due to demand by consumer groups, and important progress has been made in establishing standards that promote good agricultural practices that minimize impact on the environment. In line with the industrial goal to build a traceable supply chain, several measures have been implemented to ensure that traceability can be monitored. Although the palm oil supply chain can be highly complex, and achieving full traceability is not an easy task, the industry has to be proactive in developing improved systems that support the existing methods, which rely on recorded information in the supply chain. The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) as the custodian of the palm oil industry in Malaysia has taken the initiative to assess and develop technologies that can ensure authenticity and traceability of palm oil in the major supply chains from the point of harvesting all the way to key downstream applications. This review describes the underlying framework related to palm oil geographical traceability using various state-of-the-art analytical techniques, which are also being explored to address adulteration in the global palm oil supply chain. Full article
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17 pages, 4165 KiB  
Article
DNA Photocleavage in the Near-Infrared Wavelength Range by 2-Quinolinium Dicarbocyanine Dyes
by Effibe O. Ahoulou, Kaitlyn K. Drinkard, Kanchan Basnet, Anna St. Lorenz, Oleh Taratula, Maged Henary and Kathryn B. Grant
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2926; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122926 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3638
Abstract
Here, we report the syntheses of two pentamethine cyanine dyes containing quinolinium rings and substituted with either hydrogen (3) or bromine (4) at the meso carbon. The electron withdrawing bromine atom stabilizes dye 4 in aqueous buffer, allowing complex [...] Read more.
Here, we report the syntheses of two pentamethine cyanine dyes containing quinolinium rings and substituted with either hydrogen (3) or bromine (4) at the meso carbon. The electron withdrawing bromine atom stabilizes dye 4 in aqueous buffer, allowing complex formation to occur between the dye and double-helical DNA. UV–visible, CD, and fluorescence spectra recorded at low DNA concentrations suggest that dye 4 initially binds to the DNA as a high-order aggregate. As the ratio of DNA to dye is increased, the aggregate is converted to monomeric and other low-order dye forms that interact with DNA in a non-intercalative fashion. The brominated dye 4 is relatively unreactive in the dark, but, under 707–759 nm illumination, generates hydroxyl radicals that cleave DNA in high yield (pH 7.0, 22 °C). Dye 4 is also taken up by ES2 ovarian carcinoma cells, where it is non-toxic under dark conditions. Upon irradiation of the ES2 cells at 694 nm, the brominated cyanine reduces cell viability from 100 ± 10% to 14 ± 1%. Our results suggest that 2-quinolinium-based carbocyanine dyes equipped with stabilizing electron withdrawing groups may have the potential to serve as sensitizing agents in long-wavelength phototherapeutic applications. Full article
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18 pages, 2747 KiB  
Article
Protective Effects of Some Grapevine Polyphenols against Naturally Occurring Neuronal Death
by Laura Lossi, Adalberto Merighi, Vittorino Novello and Alessandra Ferrandino
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2925; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122925 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2250
Abstract
The interest in the biological properties of grapevine polyphenols (PPs) in neuroprotection is continuously growing in the hope of finding translational applications. However, there are several concerns about the specificity of action of these molecules that appear to act non-specifically on the permeability [...] Read more.
The interest in the biological properties of grapevine polyphenols (PPs) in neuroprotection is continuously growing in the hope of finding translational applications. However, there are several concerns about the specificity of action of these molecules that appear to act non-specifically on the permeability of cellular membranes. Naturally occurring neuronal death (NOND) during cerebellar maturation is a well characterized postnatal event that is very useful to investigate the death and rescue of neurons. We here aimed to establish a baseline comparative study of the potential to counteract NOND of certain grapevine PPs of interest for the oenology. To do so, we tested ex vivo the neuroprotective activity of peonidin- and malvidin-3-O-glucosides, resveratrol, polydatin, quercetin-3-O-glucoside, (+)-taxifolin, and (+)-catechin. The addition of these molecules (50 μM) to organotypic cultures of mouse cerebellum explanted at postnatal day 7, when NOND reaches a physiological peak, resulted in statistically significant (two-tailed Mann–Whitney test—p < 0.001) reductions of the density of dead cells (propidium iodide+ cells/mm2) except for malvidin-3-O-glucoside. The stilbenes were less effective in reducing cell death (to 51–60%) in comparison to flavanols, (+)-taxifolin and quercetin 3-O-glucoside (to 69–72%). Thus, molecules with a -OH group in ortho position (taxifolin, quercetin 3-O-glucoside, (+)-catechin, and peonidin 3-O-glucoside) have a higher capability to limit death of cerebellar neurons. As NOND is apoptotic, we speculate that PPs act by inhibiting executioner caspase 3. Full article
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