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Molecules, Volume 28, Issue 13 (July-1 2023) – 406 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Cysteine redox chemistry is widely used in nature to direct protein assembly, and in recent years it has inspired chemists to design self-assembling peptides too. In this concise review, we describe the progress in the field focusing on the recent advancements that make use of Cys thiol–disulfide redox chemistry to modulate hydrogelation of various peptide classes. View this paper
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23 pages, 3455 KiB  
Article
Quality Marker Discovery and Quality Evaluation of Eucommia ulmoides Pollen Using UPLC-QTOF-MS Combined with a DPPH-HPLC Antioxidant Activity Screening Method
by Fengqian Guo, Yichun Yang, Yu Duan, Chun Li, Huimin Gao, Hongyu Liu, Qiping Cui, Zhongyuan Guo, Xiaoqian Liu and Zhimin Wang
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5288; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135288 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1221
Abstract
Pollen, as an important component of Eucommia ulmoides (EUP), is rich in nutrients and is receiving increasing attention. At present, there are no reports on research related to the chemical composition and quality standards of EUP, and there are significant quality differences and [...] Read more.
Pollen, as an important component of Eucommia ulmoides (EUP), is rich in nutrients and is receiving increasing attention. At present, there are no reports on research related to the chemical composition and quality standards of EUP, and there are significant quality differences and counterfeit phenomena in the market. This study used a UPLC-QTOF-MS system to identify 49 chemical components in EUP for the first time. In the second step, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH)-HPLC antioxidant activity screening technology was used to identify the main active components of EUP, quercetin-3-O-sophoroside (QSH), quercetin-3-O-sambubioside (QSB), and quercetin 3-O-neohesperidoside (QNH), and their purification, preparation, and structure identification were carried out. Third, molecular docking was used to predict the activity of these components. Fourth, the intracellular ROS generation model of RAW264.7 induced by H2O2 was used to verify and evaluate the activity of candidate active ingredients to determine their feasibility as Q-markers. Finally, a quality control method for EUP was constructed using the three selected components as Q-markers. The identification of chemical components and the discovery, prediction, and confirmation of characteristic Q-markers in EUP provide important references for better research on EUP and the effective evaluation and control of its quality. This approach provides a new model for the quality control of novel foods or dietary supplements. Full article
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14 pages, 3695 KiB  
Article
Effect of Linker Elongation on the VGSC Affinity and Anticonvulsant Activity among 4-Alkyl-5-aryl-1,2,4-triazole-3-thione Derivatives
by Kinga Paruch, Barbara Kaproń, Jarogniew J. Łuszczki, Agata Paneth and Tomasz Plech
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5287; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135287 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 999
Abstract
The main aim of the current project was to investigate the effect of the linker size in 4-alkyl-5-aryl-1,2,4-triazole-3-thione derivatives, known as a group of antiepileptic drug candidates, on their affinity towards voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs). The rationale of the study was based both [...] Read more.
The main aim of the current project was to investigate the effect of the linker size in 4-alkyl-5-aryl-1,2,4-triazole-3-thione derivatives, known as a group of antiepileptic drug candidates, on their affinity towards voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs). The rationale of the study was based both on the SAR observations and docking simulations of the interactions between the designed ligands and the binding site of human VGSC. HYDE docking scores, which describe hydrogen bonding, desolvation, and hydrophobic effects, obtained for 5-[(3-chlorophenyl)ethyl]-4-butyl/hexyl-1,2,4-triazole-3-thiones, justified their beneficial sodium channel blocking activity. The results of docking simulations were verified using a radioligand binding assay with [3H]batrachotoxin. Unexpectedly, although the investigated triazole-based compounds acted as VGSC ligands, their affinities were lower than those of the respective analogs containing shorter alkyl linkers. Since numerous sodium channel blockers are recognized as antiepileptic agents, the obtained 1,2,4-triazole derivatives were examined for antiepileptic potential using an experimental model of tonic–clonic seizures in mice. Median effective doses (ED50) of the compounds examined in MES test reached 96.6 ± 14.8 mg/kg, while their median toxic doses (TD50), obtained in the rotarod test, were even as high as 710.5 ± 47.4 mg/kg. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in the Treatment of CNS Disorders: From In Silico to In Vivo)
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14 pages, 1115 KiB  
Article
Optimization of the Extraction Conditions of Bioactive Compounds from Ocimum basilicum Leaves Using Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction via a Sonotrode
by Carolina Aloisio, María del Carmen Razola-Díaz, María José Aznar-Ramos, Marcela R. Longhi, Alfonsina E. Andreatta and Vito Verardo
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5286; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135286 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1093
Abstract
Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) leaves are rich in bioactive compounds that present therapeutic benefits for human health. Ultrasonic-assisted extraction (UAE) is frequently used to obtain phenolic compounds from plants/herbal sources. However, few works have developed multi-variable studies to find the optimal conditions [...] Read more.
Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) leaves are rich in bioactive compounds that present therapeutic benefits for human health. Ultrasonic-assisted extraction (UAE) is frequently used to obtain phenolic compounds from plants/herbal sources. However, few works have developed multi-variable studies to find the optimal conditions to extract the maximum amount of compounds, especially when applied to UAE via a sonotrode. The purpose of this work was to perform a multi-variable study by employing a Box–Behnken design to collect the highest active compound content from Ocimum basilicum leaves. The efficacy of the design was endorsed by ANOVA. The studied parameters for UAE via a sonotrode were the ethanol/water ratio, amplitude, and time. The analyzed responses were the rosmarinic acid, the sum of phenolic acids, and the sum of phenolic compounds content. The optimal conditions were found to be 50% ethanol/water, 50% amplitude, and 5 min. Twenty bioactive compounds were identified by HPLC-ESI-TOF-MS when the extract was collected by applying the optimal conditions. Ocimum basilicum may be appreciated as a valuable source of important bioactive substances for pharmaceutical use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analyses and Applications of Phenolic Compounds in Food)
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27 pages, 4281 KiB  
Article
In Vitro Bioaccessibility Assessment of Phenolic Compounds from Encapsulated Grape Pomace Extract by Ionic Gelation
by Josipa Martinović, Jasmina Lukinac, Marko Jukić, Rita Ambrus, Mirela Planinić, Gordana Šelo, Ana-Marija Klarić, Gabriela Perković and Ana Bucić-Kojić
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5285; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135285 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1224
Abstract
Grape pomace is a by-product of winemaking characterized by a rich chemical composition from which phenolics stand out. Phenolics are health-promoting agents, and their beneficial effects depend on their bioaccessibility, which is influenced by gastrointestinal digestion. The effect of encapsulating phenol-rich grape pomace [...] Read more.
Grape pomace is a by-product of winemaking characterized by a rich chemical composition from which phenolics stand out. Phenolics are health-promoting agents, and their beneficial effects depend on their bioaccessibility, which is influenced by gastrointestinal digestion. The effect of encapsulating phenol-rich grape pomace extract (PRE) with sodium alginate (SA), a mixture of SA with gelatin (SA-GEL), and SA with chitosan (SA-CHIT) on the bioaccessibility index (BI) of phenolics during simulated digestion in vitro was studied. A total of 27 individual phenolic compounds (IPCs) were quantified by UHPLC. The addition of a second coating to SA improved the encapsulation efficiency (EE), and the highest EE was obtained for SA-CHIT microbeads (56.25%). Encapsulation affected the physicochemical properties (size, shape and texture, morphology, crystallinity) of the produced microbeads, which influenced the delivery of phenolics to the intestine and their BI. Thus, SA-GEL microbeads had the largest size parameters, as confirmed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and the highest BI for total phenolic compounds and IPCs (gallic acid, 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid and o-coumaric acid, epicatechin, and gallocatechin gallate) ranged from 96.20 to 1011.3%. The results suggest that encapsulated PRE has great potential to be used as a functional ingredient in products for oral administration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Delivery Systems of Bioactive Compounds)
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26 pages, 4199 KiB  
Article
Mechanochemical Studies on Coupling of Hydrazines and Hydrazine Amides with Phenolic and Furanyl Aldehydes—Hydrazones with Antileishmanial and Antibacterial Activities
by Anna Kapusterynska, Christian Bijani, Damian Paliwoda, Laure Vendier, Valérie Bourdon, Nicolas Imbert, Sandrine Cojean, Philippe Marie Loiseau, Deborah Recchia, Viola Camilla Scoffone, Giulia Degiacomi, Abdul Akhir, Deepanshi Saxena, Sidharth Chopra, Vira Lubenets and Michel Baltas
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5284; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135284 - 07 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1382
Abstract
Hydrazone compounds represent an important area of research that includes, among others, synthetic approaches and biological studies. A series of 17 hydrazones have been synthesized by mechanochemical means. The fragments chosen were phenolic and furanyl aldehydes coupled with 12 heterocyclic hydrazines or hydrazinamides. [...] Read more.
Hydrazone compounds represent an important area of research that includes, among others, synthetic approaches and biological studies. A series of 17 hydrazones have been synthesized by mechanochemical means. The fragments chosen were phenolic and furanyl aldehydes coupled with 12 heterocyclic hydrazines or hydrazinamides. All compounds can be obtained quantitatively when operating on a planetary ball mill and a maximum reaction time of 180 min (6 cycles of 30 min each). Complete spectroscopic analyses of hydrazones revealed eight compounds (35, 811, 16) present in one geometric form, six compounds (1, 2, 1315) present in two isomeric forms, and three compounds (6, 7, 12) where one rotation is restricted giving rise to two different forms. The single crystal X-ray structure of one of the hydrazones bearing the isoniazid fragment (8) indicates a crystal lattice consisting of two symmetry-independent molecules with different geometries. All compounds obtained were tested for anti-infectious and antibacterial activities. Four compounds (1, 3, 5 and 8) showed good activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and one (7) was very potent against Staphylococcus aureus. Most interesting, this series of compounds displayed very promising antileishmanial activity. Among all, compound 9 exhibited an IC50 value of 0.3 µM on the Leishmania donovani intramacrophage amastigote in vitro model and a good selectivity index, better than miltefosine, making it worth evaluating in vivo. Full article
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13 pages, 568 KiB  
Perspective
Review Insights on Salivary Proteomics Biomarkers in Oral Cancer Detection and Diagnosis
by Vidhya Rekha Umapathy, Prabhu Manickam Natarajan and Bhuminathan Swamikannu
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5283; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135283 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1895
Abstract
Early detection is crucial for the treatment and prognosis of oral cancer, a potentially lethal condition. Tumor markers are abnormal biological byproducts produced by malignant cells that may be found and analyzed in a variety of bodily fluids, including saliva. Early detection and [...] Read more.
Early detection is crucial for the treatment and prognosis of oral cancer, a potentially lethal condition. Tumor markers are abnormal biological byproducts produced by malignant cells that may be found and analyzed in a variety of bodily fluids, including saliva. Early detection and appropriate treatment can increase cure rates to 80–90% and considerably improve quality of life by reducing the need for costly, incapacitating medicines. Salivary diagnostics has drawn the interest of many researchers and has been proven to be an effective tool for both medication monitoring and the diagnosis of several systemic diseases. Since researchers are now searching for biomarkers in saliva, an accessible bodily fluid, for noninvasive diagnosis of oral cancer, measuring tumor markers in saliva is an interesting alternative to blood testing for early identification, post-treatment monitoring, and monitoring high-risk lesions. New molecular markers for oral cancer detection, treatment, and prognosis have been found as a result of developments in the fields of molecular biology and salivary proteomics. The numerous salivary tumor biomarkers and how they relate to oral cancer and pre-cancer are covered in this article. We are optimistic that salivary protein biomarkers may one day be discovered for the clinical detection of oral cancer because of the rapid advancement of proteomic technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biophysical Chemistry)
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19 pages, 5378 KiB  
Article
Anti-α-Glucosidase, SAR Analysis, and Mechanism Investigation of Indolo[1,2-b]isoquinoline Derivatives
by Mengyue Li, Lin Li, Li Lu, Xuetao Xu, Jinhui Hu and Jin-Bao Peng
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5282; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135282 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 962
Abstract
To find potential α-glucosidase inhibitors, indolo[1,2-b]isoquinoline derivatives (120) were screened for their α-glucosidase inhibitory effects. All derivatives presented potential α-glucosidase inhibitory effects with IC50 values of 3.44 ± 0.36~41.24 ± 0.26 μM compared to the positive control acarbose [...] Read more.
To find potential α-glucosidase inhibitors, indolo[1,2-b]isoquinoline derivatives (120) were screened for their α-glucosidase inhibitory effects. All derivatives presented potential α-glucosidase inhibitory effects with IC50 values of 3.44 ± 0.36~41.24 ± 0.26 μM compared to the positive control acarbose (IC50 value: 640.57 ± 5.13 μM). In particular, compound 11 displayed the strongest anti-α-glucosidase activity, being ~186 times stronger than acarbose. Kinetic studies found that compounds 9, 11, 13, 18, and 19 were all reversible mix-type inhibitors. The 3D fluorescence spectra and CD spectra results revealed that the interaction between compounds 9, 11, 13, 18, and 19 and α-glucosidase changed the conformational changes of α-glucosidase. Molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation results indicated the interaction between compounds and α-glucosidase. In addition, cell cytotoxicity and drug-like properties of compound 11 were also investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
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16 pages, 4487 KiB  
Article
Conversion of a Single-Frequency X-Band EPR Spectrometer into a Broadband Multi-Frequency 0.1–18 GHz Instrument for Analysis of Complex Molecular Spin Hamiltonians
by Wilfred R. Hagen
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5281; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135281 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1258
Abstract
A broadband EPR spectrometer is an instrument that can be tuned to many microwave frequencies over several octaves. Its purpose is the collection of multi-frequency data, whose global analysis affords interpretation of complex spectra by means of deconvolution of frequency-dependent and frequency-independent interaction [...] Read more.
A broadband EPR spectrometer is an instrument that can be tuned to many microwave frequencies over several octaves. Its purpose is the collection of multi-frequency data, whose global analysis affords interpretation of complex spectra by means of deconvolution of frequency-dependent and frequency-independent interaction terms. Such spectra are commonly encountered, for example, from transition-metal complexes and metalloproteins. In a series of previous papers, I have described the development of broadband EPR spectrometers around a vector network analyzer. The present study reports on my endeavor to start from an existing X-band spectrometer and to reversibly re-build it into a broadband machine, in a quest to drastically reduce design effort, building costs, and operational complexity, thus bringing broadband EPR within easy reach of a wide range of researchers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied EPR Spectroscopy)
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14 pages, 2641 KiB  
Article
Structural Characterization and Immunobiological Activity of Polysaccharides from Astragalus Oyster Mushroom
by Qiuxia Meng, Yu Niu, Rongrong Wang, Wei Niu and Lizhen Zhang
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5280; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135280 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1097
Abstract
When added to mushroom growing substrates, edible and medicinal herbs affect the mushrooms’ nutritional and medicinal value. In this study, polysaccharides (P0OP-I and P15OP-I) were extracted and purified from oyster mushrooms grown on substrates supplemented with 0% and 15% [...] Read more.
When added to mushroom growing substrates, edible and medicinal herbs affect the mushrooms’ nutritional and medicinal value. In this study, polysaccharides (P0OP-I and P15OP-I) were extracted and purified from oyster mushrooms grown on substrates supplemented with 0% and 15% Astragalus roots (P0 and P15), respectively, and their chemical structure and immunobiological activities were compared. P15OP-I and P0OP-I were extracted using ultrasound-assisted hot water and deproteinized with the Sevage method, depigmented with 30% H2O2, desalted with dialysis, and purified using DEAE-52 cellulose and Sephadex G-100 dextran column chromatography. The molecular weight of P0OP-I and P15OP-I was 21,706.96 and 20,172.65 Da, respectively. Both were composed of monosaccharides D-mannose, galacturonic acid, D-glucose, D-galactose, and L-arabinose but in different molar ratios, and both were connected by a pyranoside linkage. P15OP-I consisted of higher contents of mannose, glucose, galactose and arabinose and lower content of galacturonic acid as compared to P0OP-I. Both P0OP-I and P15OP-I induced NO and TNF-α production but did not show cytotoxic effect or induce ROS generation in RAW264.7 cells. P15OP-I showed a stronger ability to promote NO and TNF-α production relative to P0OP-I. In vitro experiments showed that the immunomodulatory activity of P0OP-I and P15OP-I in RAW264.7 macrophages were mediated by the JNK/MAPK, Erk/MAPK, and NF-κB signaling pathways. The results would be helpful for elucidation of the health promoting mechanism of Astragalus oyster mushrooms as a source of neutraceuticals. Full article
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10 pages, 2022 KiB  
Article
Activity Enhancement of Ferrierite in Dimethyl Ether Carbonylation Reactions through Recrystallization with Sodium Oleate
by Jiangang Lv, Long Chen, Chong Chen, Yunzheng Wang, Di Wang, Huaqian Sun and Weimin Yang
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5279; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135279 - 07 Jul 2023
Viewed by 854
Abstract
Methyl acetate (MA) has a wide range of applications as an important industrial chemical. Traditional MOR zeolite for carbonylation of DME to MA accumulated carbon easily because of a 12-membered ring (12 MR) channel. In this work, we innovatively developed the method of [...] Read more.
Methyl acetate (MA) has a wide range of applications as an important industrial chemical. Traditional MOR zeolite for carbonylation of DME to MA accumulated carbon easily because of a 12-membered ring (12 MR) channel. In this work, we innovatively developed the method of recrystallization ferrierite (FER) zeolite using special chelating ligand sodium oleate which can affect ions other than alkali metals. The characterization results of N2 adsorption, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) show that hydrothermal recrystallization of ferrierite using sodium oleate resulted in a higher Si/Al ratio, a bigger specific surface area and a larger number of Brønsted acid sites in the eight MR channels, which was more efficient in the reaction of carbonylation of dimethyl ether than ordinary alkali treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Catalysis: Homogeneous and Heterogeneous)
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11 pages, 1045 KiB  
Article
Polyoxygenated Stigmastane-Type Steroids from Vernonia kotschyana Sch. Bip. ex Walp. and Their Chemophenetic Significance
by Nadine Tseme Wandji, Gabin Thierry M. Bitchagno, Isabelle Mawabo Kamga, Joseph Tchamgoue, Celine Nguefeu Nkenfou, Bruno Ndjakou Lenta, Norbert Sewald and Simeon Fogue Kouam
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5278; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135278 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 751
Abstract
Four polyoxygenated stigmastanes (14) alongside known analogues (78) and flavonoids (56) were isolated from a dichloromethane/methanol (1:1, v/v) extract of the whole plant of Vernonia kotschyana Sch. Bip. [...] Read more.
Four polyoxygenated stigmastanes (14) alongside known analogues (78) and flavonoids (56) were isolated from a dichloromethane/methanol (1:1, v/v) extract of the whole plant of Vernonia kotschyana Sch. Bip. ex Walp. (Asteraceae). Their structures were determined by means of spectroscopic and spectrometric analysis. The relative stereochemistry of the new compounds was established and confirmed via biosynthesis evidence and cyclization of 1 under acidic conditions. A plausible biosynthetic pathway to the new compounds and the chemophenetic significance of the isolated constituents were also discussed. The crude extract, fractions, and compounds (13) were assessed for their antibacterial activity against five highly prevalent bacterial strains. The fractions and compounds showed low to moderate activity with minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) > 125 µg/mL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Discovery, Isolation, and Mechanisms of Bioactive Natural Products)
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14 pages, 16910 KiB  
Article
Protopine Alleviates Dextran Sodium Sulfate-Induced Ulcerative Colitis by Improving Intestinal Barrier Function and Regulating Intestinal Microbiota
by Meishan Yue, Jialu Huang, Xiaolan Ma, Peng Huang, Yisong Liu and Jianguo Zeng
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5277; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135277 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1172
Abstract
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and its pathogenesis is related to intestinal mucosal barrier damage and gut microbiota imbalance. Protopine (PRO), an isoquinoline alkaloid, is one of the main anti-inflammatory ingredients of traditional Chinese medicine Macleaya cordata (Willd.) [...] Read more.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and its pathogenesis is related to intestinal mucosal barrier damage and gut microbiota imbalance. Protopine (PRO), an isoquinoline alkaloid, is one of the main anti-inflammatory ingredients of traditional Chinese medicine Macleaya cordata (Willd.) R. Br. This study investigated the effects of PRO on the intestinal mucosal barrier and gut microbiota in dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis mice. C57BL/6J mice were treated with 3% DSS in drinking water to induce acute colitis, while PRO was administered orally once daily for 7 days. The results showed that PRO administration significantly alleviated the symptoms of DSS-induced colitis in mice and inhibited the expression of inflammation-related genes. In addition, PRO restored the integrity of the intestinal barrier in colitis mice by restoring colonic mucin secretion and promoting the expression of tight junction proteins. Furthermore, PRO alleviated the DSS-induced gut microbiota dysbiosis by decreasing the abundance of Proteobacteria, Escherichia-Shigella and Enterococcus, as well as enhancing the abundance of beneficial bacteria, such as Firmicutes and Akkermansia. These findings suggested that PRO effectively alleviated DSS-induced ulcerative colitis by suppressing the expression of inflammation-related genes, maintaining the intestinal mucosal barrier and regulating the intestinal microbiota. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Veterinary Drugs—2nd Edition)
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14 pages, 2836 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Gas–Particle Partitioning of Glyoxal and Methylglyoxal in the Summertime Atmosphere at the Foot and Top of Mount Hua
by Weining Qi, Yifan Zhang, Minxia Shen, Lu Li, Wenting Dai, Yukun Chen, Yali Liu, Xiao Guo, Yue Cao, Xin Wang, Yingkun Jiang and Jianjun Li
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5276; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135276 - 07 Jul 2023
Viewed by 886
Abstract
Glyoxal and methylglyoxal are important volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere. The gas–particle partitioning of these carbonyl compounds makes significant contributions to O3 formation. In this study, both the gas- and particle-phase glyoxal and methylglyoxal concentrations at the foot and top of [...] Read more.
Glyoxal and methylglyoxal are important volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere. The gas–particle partitioning of these carbonyl compounds makes significant contributions to O3 formation. In this study, both the gas- and particle-phase glyoxal and methylglyoxal concentrations at the foot and top of Mount Hua were determined simultaneously. The results showed that the gaseous-phase glyoxal and methylglyoxal concentrations at the top were higher than those at the foot of the mountain. However, the concentrations for the particle phase showed the opposite trend. The average theoretical values of the gas–particle partitioning coefficients of the glyoxal and methylglyoxal concentrations (4.57 × 10−10 and 9.63 × 10−10 m3 μg−1, respectively) were lower than the observed values (3.79 × 10−3 and 6.79 × 10−3 m3 μg−1, respectively). The effective Henry’s law constants (eff.KH) of the glyoxal and methylglyoxal were in the order of 108 to 109 mol/kgH2O/atm, and they were lower at the foot than they were at the top. The particle/gas ratios (P/G ratios) of the glyoxal and methylglyoxal were 0.039 and 0.055, respectively, indicating more glyoxal and methylglyoxal existed in the gas phase. The factors influencing the partitioning coefficients of the glyoxal and methylglyoxal were positively correlated with the relative humidity (RH) and negatively correlated with the PM2.5 value. Moreover, the partitioning coefficient of the glyoxal and methylglyoxal was more significant at the top than at the foot of Mount Hua. Full article
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19 pages, 7686 KiB  
Article
Systematic Study of Paeonol/Madecassoside Co-Delivery Nanoemulsion Transdermal Delivery System for Enhancing Barrier Repair and Anti-Inflammatory Efficacy
by Wangwang Lu, Dan Luo, Dan Chen, Shuting Zhang, Xuan Chen, Hong Zhou, Qian Liu, Siyuan Chen and Wei Liu
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5275; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135275 - 07 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1538
Abstract
Sensitive skin is defined as skin with low tolerance and high reactivity. Natural products, such as paeoniflorin and madecassoside, have unique skin care functionality. However, because they are hampered by the skin barrier, paeoniflorin and madecassoside have difficulty penetrating the stratum corneum, resulting [...] Read more.
Sensitive skin is defined as skin with low tolerance and high reactivity. Natural products, such as paeoniflorin and madecassoside, have unique skin care functionality. However, because they are hampered by the skin barrier, paeoniflorin and madecassoside have difficulty penetrating the stratum corneum, resulting in weakened skin barrier repair and anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, there is a lack of detailed studies on the efficacy of paeonol and madecassic in human skin, especially in 3D skin models and clinical trials. To overcome the low transdermal delivery issue, we developed nanoemulsions (PM-NEs) loaded with paeonol and madecassoside to improve their delivery efficiency and promote sensitive skin repair and anti-inflammation effects. Furthermore, systematic evaluations of the efficacy in cell line models, 3D skin models, and clinical trials were conducted. The PM-NEs effectively improved the efficacy of paeonol and madecassoside glucoside transdermal penetration and retention and enhanced cellular uptake. Cellular assays and 3D epidermal models showed that the PM-NEs significantly promoted the secretion of filamentous protein, aquaporin 3, Claudin-1, and hyaluronic acid, and considerably inhibited the secretion of interleukin 1α, interleukin 6, tumor necrosis factor-α, and prostaglandin E2 compared to free components. Notably, clinical trial data showed that the PM-NEs significantly reduced transepidermal water loss, a* values, erythropoietin, the amount of non-inflammatory acne, and the amount of inflammatory acne in the facial skin. Three levels of systematic studies suggest that co-delivery of paeoniflorin and madecassoside via nanoemulsions is a promising strategy to improve topical delivery efficiency and anti-inflammatory repair efficacy in sensitive skin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Delivery Effects of Nanocarriers)
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12 pages, 57764 KiB  
Article
Bilayer Hydrogel Composed of Elastin-Mimetic Polypeptides as a Bio-Actuator with Bidirectional and Reversible Bending Behaviors
by Rui Kamada, Hiromitsu Miyazaki, Jose Isagani B. Janairo, Yoshiro Chuman and Kazuyasu Sakaguchi
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5274; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135274 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1194
Abstract
Biologically derived hydrogels have attracted attention as promising polymers for use in biomedical applications because of their high biocompatibility, biodegradability, and low toxicity. Elastin-mimetic polypeptides (EMPs), which contain a repeated amino acid sequence derived from the hydrophobic domain of tropoelastin, exhibit reversible phase [...] Read more.
Biologically derived hydrogels have attracted attention as promising polymers for use in biomedical applications because of their high biocompatibility, biodegradability, and low toxicity. Elastin-mimetic polypeptides (EMPs), which contain a repeated amino acid sequence derived from the hydrophobic domain of tropoelastin, exhibit reversible phase transition behavior, and thus, represent an interesting starting point for the development of biologically derived hydrogels. In this study, we succeeded in developing functional EMP-conjugated hydrogels that displayed temperature-responsive swelling/shrinking properties. The EMP-conjugated hydrogels were prepared through the polymerization of acrylated EMP with acrylamide. The EMP hydrogel swelled and shrank in response to temperature changes, and the swelling/shrinking capacity of the EMP hydrogels could be controlled by altering either the amount of EMP or the salt concentration in the buffer. The EMP hydrogels were able to select a uniform component of EMPs with a desired and specific repeat number of the EMP sequence, which could control the swelling/shrinking property of the EMP hydrogel. Moreover, we developed a smart hydrogel actuator based on EMP crosslinked hydrogels and non-crosslinked hydrogels that exhibited bidirectional curvature behavior in response to changes in temperature. These thermally responsive EMP hydrogels have potential use as bio-actuators for a number of biomedical applications. Full article
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22 pages, 5240 KiB  
Article
In Silico Studies of Novel Vemurafenib Derivatives as BRAF Kinase Inhibitors
by Teresa Żołek, Adam Mazurek and Ireneusz P. Grudzinski
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5273; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135273 - 07 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1365
Abstract
BRAF inhibitors have improved the treatment of advanced or metastatic melanoma in patients that harbor a BRAFT1799A mutation. Because of new insights into the role of aberrant glycosylation in drug resistance, we designed and studied three novel vemurafenib derivatives possessing pentose-associated aliphatic [...] Read more.
BRAF inhibitors have improved the treatment of advanced or metastatic melanoma in patients that harbor a BRAFT1799A mutation. Because of new insights into the role of aberrant glycosylation in drug resistance, we designed and studied three novel vemurafenib derivatives possessing pentose-associated aliphatic ligands—methyl-, ethyl-, and isopropyl-ketopentose moieties—as potent BRAFV600E kinase inhibitors. The geometries of these derivatives were optimized using the density functional theory method. Molecular dynamic simulations were performed to find interactions between the ligands and BRAFV600E kinase. Virtual screening was performed to assess the fate of derivatives and their systemic toxicity, genotoxicity, and carcinogenicity. The computational mapping of the studied ligand–BRAFV600E complexes indicated that the central pyrrole and pyridine rings of derivatives were located within the hydrophobic ATP-binding site of the BRAFV600E protein kinase, while the pentose ring and alkyl chains were mainly included in hydrogen bonding interactions. The isopropyl-ketopentose derivative was found to bind the BRAFV600E oncoprotein with more favorable energy interaction than vemurafenib. ADME-TOX in silico studies showed that the derivatives possessed some desirable pharmacokinetic and toxicologic properties. The present results open a new avenue to study the carbohydrate derivatives of vemurafenib as potent BRAFV600E kinase inhibitors to treat melanoma. Full article
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16 pages, 1672 KiB  
Review
A Review: Blue Fluorescent Zinc (II) Complexes for OLEDs—A Last Five-Year Recap
by Thompho Jason Rashamuse, Reagan Lehlogonolo Mohlala, Elena Mabel Coyanis and Nomampondo Penelope Magwa
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5272; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135272 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1368
Abstract
Blue emissions in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are essential for their application in solid-state lighting and full-colour flat panel displays. On the other hand, high-power blue emitters are still uncommon, especially those that can achieve the Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage (CIE, X, Y) [...] Read more.
Blue emissions in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are essential for their application in solid-state lighting and full-colour flat panel displays. On the other hand, high-power blue emitters are still uncommon, especially those that can achieve the Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage (CIE, X, Y) coordinates of (0.14, 0.08) in the National Television System Committee (NTSC) blue standard and have high external quantum efficiencies (EQE) of more than 5% because their molecular design presents an enormous challenge. Therefore, creating effective, stable, pure, and deep blue fluorescent materials is vital. Here, it is addressed how useful blue fluorescent Zn (II) complexes are for making organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Utilizing Zn (II) complexes is appealing because of their favourable luminous characteristics, acceptance and mobility, and affordability. This mini-review article aims to provide an overview of Zn (II) complexes that emit blue fluorescent light and have been reported since 2018, while highlighting the unique qualities that make them appropriate OLED materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Organometallic Chemistry)
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16 pages, 9747 KiB  
Article
Formononetin Inhibits Mast Cell Degranulation to Ameliorate Compound 48/80-Induced Pseudoallergic Reactions
by Zi-Wen Zhou, Xue-Yan Zhu, Shu-Ying Li, Si-En Lin, Yu-Han Zhu, Kunmei Ji and Jia-Jie Chen
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5271; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135271 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1438
Abstract
Formononetin (FNT) is a plant-derived isoflavone natural product with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-allergic properties. We showed previously that FNT inhibits immunoglobulin E (IgE)-dependent mast cell (MC) activation, but the effect of FNT on IgE-independent MC activation is yet unknown. Our aim was to [...] Read more.
Formononetin (FNT) is a plant-derived isoflavone natural product with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-allergic properties. We showed previously that FNT inhibits immunoglobulin E (IgE)-dependent mast cell (MC) activation, but the effect of FNT on IgE-independent MC activation is yet unknown. Our aim was to investigate the effects and possible mechanisms of action of FNT on IgE-independent MC activation and pseudoallergic inflammation. We studied the effects of FNT on MC degranulation in vitro with a cell culture model using compound C48/80 to stimulate either mouse bone marrow-derived mast cells (BMMCs) or RBL-2H3 cells. We subsequently measured β-hexosaminase and histamine release, the expression of inflammatory factors, cell morphological changes, and changes in NF-κB signaling. We also studied the effects of FNT in several in vivo murine models of allergic reaction: C48/80-mediated passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA), active systemic anaphylaxis (ASA), and 2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNCB)-induced atopic dermatitis (AD). The results showed that FNT inhibited IgE-independent degranulation of MCs, evaluated by a decrease in the release of β-hexosaminase and histamine and a decreased expression of inflammatory factors. Additionally, FNT reduced cytomorphological elongation and F-actin reorganization and attenuated NF-κB p65 phosphorylation and NF-κB-dependent promoter activity. Moreover, the administration of FNT alleviated pseudoallergic responses in vivo in mouse models of C48/80-stimulated PCA and ASA, and DNCB-induced AD. In conclusion, we suggest that FNT may be a novel anti-allergic drug with great potential to alleviate pseudoallergic responses via the inhibition of IgE-independent MC degranulation and NF-κB signaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
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21 pages, 1406 KiB  
Review
Are There Prevalent Sex Differences in Psychostimulant Use Disorder? A Focus on the Potential Therapeutic Efficacy of Atypical Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors
by Melinda Hersey, Mattingly K. Bartole, Claire S. Jones, Amy Hauck Newman and Gianluigi Tanda
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5270; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135270 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1694
Abstract
Psychostimulant use disorders (PSUD) affect a growing number of men and women and exert sizable public health and economic burdens on our global society. Notably, there are some sex differences in the onset of dependence, relapse rates, and treatment success with PSUD observed [...] Read more.
Psychostimulant use disorders (PSUD) affect a growing number of men and women and exert sizable public health and economic burdens on our global society. Notably, there are some sex differences in the onset of dependence, relapse rates, and treatment success with PSUD observed in preclinical and clinical studies. The subtle sex differences observed in the behavioral aspects of PSUD may be associated with differences in the neurochemistry of the dopaminergic system between sexes. Preclinically, psychostimulants have been shown to increase synaptic dopamine (DA) levels and may downregulate the dopamine transporter (DAT). This effect is greatest in females during the high estradiol phase of the estrous cycle. Interestingly, women have been shown to be more likely to begin drug use at younger ages and report higher levels of desire to use cocaine than males. Even though there is currently no FDA-approved medication, modafinil, a DAT inhibitor approved for use in the treatment of narcolepsy and sleep disorders, has shown promise in the treatment of PSUD among specific populations of affected individuals. In this review, we highlight the therapeutic potential of modafinil and other atypical DAT inhibitors focusing on the lack of sex differences in the actions of these agents. Full article
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11 pages, 3133 KiB  
Article
Excited State Kinetics of Benzo[a]pyrene Is Affected by Oxygen and DNA
by Yunxia Han, Xueli Wang, Xiaoxiao He, Menghui Jia, Haifeng Pan and Jinquan Chen
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5269; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135269 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1070
Abstract
Benzo[a]pyrene is a widespread environmental pollutant and a strong carcinogen. It is important to understand its bio-toxicity and degradation mechanism. Herein, we studied the excited state dynamics of benzo[a]pyrene by using time-resolved fluorescence and transient absorption spectroscopic techniques. For the first time, it [...] Read more.
Benzo[a]pyrene is a widespread environmental pollutant and a strong carcinogen. It is important to understand its bio-toxicity and degradation mechanism. Herein, we studied the excited state dynamics of benzo[a]pyrene by using time-resolved fluorescence and transient absorption spectroscopic techniques. For the first time, it is identified that benzo[a]pyrene in its singlet excited state could react with oxygen, resulting in fluorescence quenching. Additionally, effective intersystem crossing can occur from its singlet state to the triplet state. Furthermore, the interaction between the excited benzo[a]pyrene and ct-DNA can be observed directly and charge transfer between benzo[a]pyrene and ct-DNA may be the reason. These results lay a foundation for further understanding of the carcinogenic mechanism of benzo[a]pyrene and provide insight into the photo-degradation mechanism of this molecule. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Chemistry)
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20 pages, 4503 KiB  
Article
Experimental and Theoretical Estimations of Atrazine’s Adsorption in Mangosteen-Peel-Derived Nanoporous Carbons
by Juan Matos, Claudia P. Amézquita-Marroquín, Johan D. Lozano, Jhon Zapata-Rivera, Liliana Giraldo, Po S. Poon and Juan C. Moreno-Piraján
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5268; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135268 - 07 Jul 2023
Viewed by 907
Abstract
Nanoporous carbons were prepared via chemical and physical activation from mangosteen-peel-derived chars. The removal of atrazine was studied due to the bifunctionality of the N groups. Pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order, and intraparticle pore diffusion kinetic models were analyzed. Adsorption isotherms were also analyzed according to [...] Read more.
Nanoporous carbons were prepared via chemical and physical activation from mangosteen-peel-derived chars. The removal of atrazine was studied due to the bifunctionality of the N groups. Pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order, and intraparticle pore diffusion kinetic models were analyzed. Adsorption isotherms were also analyzed according to the Langmuir and Freundlich models. The obtained results were compared against two commercially activated carbons with comparable surface chemistry and porosimetry. The highest uptake was found for carbons with higher content of basic surface groups. The role of the oxygen-containing groups in the removal of atrazine was estimated experimentally using the surface density. The results were compared with the adsorption energy of atrazine theoretically estimated on pristine and functionalized graphene with different oxygen groups using periodic DFT methods. The energy of adsorption followed the same trend observed experimentally, namely the more basic the pH, the more favored the adsorption of atrazine. Micropores played an important role in the uptake of atrazine at low concentrations, but the presence of mesoporous was also required to inhibit the pore mass diffusion limitations. The present work contributes to the understanding of the interactions between triazine-based pollutants and the surface functional groups on nanoporous carbons in the liquid–solid interface. Full article
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10 pages, 2861 KiB  
Brief Report
Functionally Active Microheterogeneous Systems for Elastomer Fire- and Heat-Protective Materials
by Victor F. Kablov, Oksana M. Novopoltseva, Daria A. Kryukova, Natalia A. Keibal, Vladimir Burmistrov and Vladimir G. Kochetkov
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5267; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135267 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 759
Abstract
Elastomeric materials are utilized for the short-term protection of products and structures operating under extreme conditions in the aerospace, marine, and oil and gas industries. This research aims to study the influence of functionally active structures on the physical, mechanical, thermophysical, and fire- [...] Read more.
Elastomeric materials are utilized for the short-term protection of products and structures operating under extreme conditions in the aerospace, marine, and oil and gas industries. This research aims to study the influence of functionally active structures on the physical, mechanical, thermophysical, and fire- and heat-protective characteristics of elastomer compositions. The physical and mechanical properties of elastomer samples were determined using Shimazu AG-Xplus, while morphological research into microheterogeneous systems and coke structures was carried out on a scanning electronic microscope, Versa 3D. Differential thermal and thermogravimetric analyses of the samples were conducted on derivatograph Q-1500D. The presence of aluminosilicate microspheres, carbon microfibers, and a phosphor–nitrogen–organic modifier as part of the aforementioned structures contributes to the appearance of a synergetic effect, which results in an increase in the heat-protective properties of a material due to the enhancement in coke strength and intensification of material carbonization processes. The results indicate an 8–17% increase in the heating time of the unheated surface of a sample and a decrease in its linear burning speed by 6–17% compared to known analogues. In conclusion, microspheres compensate for the negative impact of microfibers on the density and thermal conductivity of a composition. Full article
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14 pages, 651 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Steaming and Drying of Black Sesame Seeds for Nine Cycles Using Grey-Correlation Analysis Based on Variation-Coefficient Weight
by Yongqing Zhang, Jiaojiao Wang, Huihui Tan, Xinyue Lu, Deguo Wang and Quanzeng Wei
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5266; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135266 - 07 Jul 2023
Viewed by 926
Abstract
This study aimed to improve the steaming process of black sesame seeds. A comprehensive evaluation was conducted using the grey-correlation method based on the variation-coefficient weight to observe the treatments of normal-pressure (NPS) and high-pressure (HPS) steaming (with/without soaking in water) for nine [...] Read more.
This study aimed to improve the steaming process of black sesame seeds. A comprehensive evaluation was conducted using the grey-correlation method based on the variation-coefficient weight to observe the treatments of normal-pressure (NPS) and high-pressure (HPS) steaming (with/without soaking in water) for nine cycles. Their effects on the contents of water, protein, fat, ash, melanin, sesamin, and sesamolin of black sesame seeds, as well as the sensory score of the black sesame pill, were determined. We found that with varied steaming methods and increased steaming cycles, the contents of the nutritional and functional components of black sesame seeds and the sensory score of the black sesame pill differed. The results of the variation-coefficient method showed that water, protein, fat, ash, melanin, sesamin, sesamolin, and sensory score had different effects on the quality of black sesame seeds with weighting factors of 34.4%, 5.3%, 12.5%, 11.3%, 13.9%, 11.3%, 7.8%, and 3.5%, respectively. The results of two-factor analysis of variance without repeated observations indicated that the grey-correlation degree of HPS was the largest among the different steaming treatments, and the following sequence was HPS after soaking in water (SNPS), NPS, and SNPS. There was no significant difference between NPS and SNPS (p < 0.05). Moreover, with increased cycles, the value of the grey-correlation degree increased. The comprehensive score of the procedure repeated nine times was significantly higher than other cycles (p < 0.05). The results of the grey-correlation degree and grade analysis showed that the best steaming process of black sesame seeds was HPS for nine cycles, followed by HPS for eight cycles and NPS after soaking in water (SNPS) for nine cycles. These findings could provide a scientific basis for replacing SNPS with HPS to simplify steaming and realize the parametric steaming of black sesame seeds, and thus, ensure the quality of black-sesame products. Full article
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12 pages, 1664 KiB  
Article
Characterization of the Synergistic Antioxidant Activity of Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) and Kaempferol
by Qiang Zhang, Junkun Pan, Hui Liu and Zhonggao Jiao
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5265; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135265 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1049
Abstract
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and kaempferol exhibit cellular antioxidant activity; however, their interactive effects in terms of antioxidant actions and underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, their cytoprotective effects were examined against 2,2-azobis (2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride solution (ABAP)-induced oxidative stress in HepG2 cells. The [...] Read more.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and kaempferol exhibit cellular antioxidant activity; however, their interactive effects in terms of antioxidant actions and underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, their cytoprotective effects were examined against 2,2-azobis (2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride solution (ABAP)-induced oxidative stress in HepG2 cells. The results showed that the median effective dose (EC50) of the EGCG and kaempferol (6:1.5, c/c) combination was 3.4 ± 0.1 μg/mL, with a combination index (CIavg) value of 0.54, which represented a significant synergistic effect. Further experiments proved that the combined pretreatment with EGCG and kaempferol exerted protective effects by suppressing reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, upregulating cellular antioxidant enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px)) in a dose-dependent manner. The mechanism of synergistic antioxidant effects of EGCG combined with kaempferol may be due to the up-regulation of higher antioxidant enzyme activities that improve the antioxidant capacities and balance the cell oxidative stress. The synergistic antioxidant effect of EGCG and kaempferol can provide a theoretical basis for the development of formulas of functional food ingredients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional and Bioactive Properties of Foods and Natural Products)
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18 pages, 3546 KiB  
Review
Hemostasis Strategies and Recent Advances in Nanomaterials for Hemostasis
by Jian Du, Jingzhong Wang, Tao Xu, Hai Yao, Lili Yu and Da Huang
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5264; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135264 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3817
Abstract
The development of materials that effectively stop bleeding and prevent wound adhesion is essential in both military and medical fields. However, traditional hemostasis methods, such as cautery, tourniquets, and gauze, have limitations. In recent years, new nanomaterials have gained popularity in medical and [...] Read more.
The development of materials that effectively stop bleeding and prevent wound adhesion is essential in both military and medical fields. However, traditional hemostasis methods, such as cautery, tourniquets, and gauze, have limitations. In recent years, new nanomaterials have gained popularity in medical and health fields due to their unique microstructural advantages. Compared to traditional materials, nanomaterials offer better adhesion, versatility, and improved bioavailability of traditional medicines. Nanomaterials also possess advantages such as a high degree and stability, self-degradation, fewer side effects, and improved wound healing, which make them ideal for the development of new hemostatic materials. Our review provides an overview of the currently used hemostatic strategies and materials, followed by a review of the cutting-edge nanomaterials for hemostasis, including nanoparticles and nanocomposite hydrogels. The paper also briefly describes the challenges faced by the application of nanomaterials for hemostasis and the prospects for their future development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Self-Assembly in Interfacial Chemistry)
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15 pages, 3675 KiB  
Article
Antioxidant and ACE-Inhibitory Activity of Protein Hydrolysates Produced from Atlantic Sea Cucumber (Cucumaria frondosa)
by Tharindu R. L. Senadheera, Abul Hossain, Deepika Dave and Fereidoon Shahidi
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5263; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135263 - 07 Jul 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1055
Abstract
Atlantic sea cucumber is a benthic marine echinoderm found in Northwest Atlantic waters and is harvested mainly for its body wall. The body wall, along with internal organs and aquaphyrangeal bulb/flower, is a rich source of proteins, where the latter parts are often [...] Read more.
Atlantic sea cucumber is a benthic marine echinoderm found in Northwest Atlantic waters and is harvested mainly for its body wall. The body wall, along with internal organs and aquaphyrangeal bulb/flower, is a rich source of proteins, where the latter parts are often considered as processing discards. The objective of this research was to produce protein hydrolysates from sea cucumber tissues (body wall, flower, and internal organs) with bioactive properties associated with antioxidants, DNA and LDL cholesterol oxidation inhibition, and angiotensin-I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory effects. The protein hydrolysates were prepared using food-grade commercial enzymes, namely Alcalase, Corolase, and Flavourzyme, individually and in combination, and found that the combination of enzymes exhibited stronger antioxidant potential than the individual enzymes, as well as their untreated counterparts. Similar trends were also observed for the DNA and LDL cholesterol oxidation inhibition and ACE-inhibitory properties of sea cucumber protein hydrolysates, mainly those that were prepared from the flower. Thus, the findings of this study revealed potential applications of sea cucumber-derived protein hydrolysates in functional foods, nutraceuticals, and dietary supplements, as well as natural therapeutics. Full article
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12 pages, 7752 KiB  
Article
Theoretical Study on the Photoemission Performance of a Transmission Mode In0.15Ga0.85As Photocathode in the Near-Infrared Region
by Huan Wang, Jiajun Linghu, Pengfei Zou, Xuezhi Wang, Hao Shen and Bingru Hai
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5262; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135262 - 07 Jul 2023
Viewed by 786
Abstract
Benefiting from a high quantum efficiency, low thermal emittance, and large absorption coefficient, InxGa1−xAs is an excellent group III–V compound for negative electron affinity (NEA) photocathodes. As the emission layer, InxGa1−xAs, where x = 0.15, [...] Read more.
Benefiting from a high quantum efficiency, low thermal emittance, and large absorption coefficient, InxGa1−xAs is an excellent group III–V compound for negative electron affinity (NEA) photocathodes. As the emission layer, InxGa1−xAs, where x = 0.15, has the optimal performance for detection in the near-infrared (NIR) region. Herein, an NEA In0.15Ga0.85As photocathode with Al0.63Ga0.37As as the buffer layer is designed in the form of a transmission mode module. The electronic band structures and optical properties of In0.15Ga0.85As and Al0.63Ga0.37As are calculated based on density functional theory. The time response characteristics of the In0.15Ga0.85As photocathode have been fully investigated by changing the photoelectron diffusion coefficient, the interface recombination velocity, and the thickness of the emission layer. Our results demonstrate that the response time of the In0.15Ga0.85As photocathode can be reduced to 6.1 ps with an incident wavelength of 1064 nm. The quantum efficiency of the In0.15Ga0.85As photocathode is simulated by taking into account multilayer optical thin film theory. The results indicate that a high quantum efficiency can be obtained by parameter optimization of the emission layer. This paper provides significant theoretical support for the applications of semiconductor photocathodes in the near-infrared region, especially for the study of ultrafast responses in the photoemission process. Full article
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17 pages, 2008 KiB  
Article
Tannins Can Have Direct Interactions with Anthelmintics: Investigations by Isothermal Titration Calorimetry
by Mimosa Sillanpää, Marica T. Engström, Petri Tähtinen, Rebecca J. Green, Jarmo Käpylä, Anu Näreaho and Maarit Karonen
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5261; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135261 - 07 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1123
Abstract
Plant tannins are known for their anthelmintic and antiparasitic activities and have been increasingly studied to battle the ever-growing problem of anthelmintic resistance. While tannins have been shown to exhibit these activities on their own, one approach would be to use them as [...] Read more.
Plant tannins are known for their anthelmintic and antiparasitic activities and have been increasingly studied to battle the ever-growing problem of anthelmintic resistance. While tannins have been shown to exhibit these activities on their own, one approach would be to use them as complementary nutrients alongside commercial anthelmintics. So far, research on the interactions between tannins and anthelmintics is limited, and few studies have reported both synergistic and antagonistic effects depending on the type of tannin and the method used. These interactions could either strengthen or weaken the efficacy of commercial anthelmintics, especially if tannin-rich diets are combined with anthelmintics used as oral drenches. To study these interactions, a series of hydrolysable tannins (HTs) was selected, and their direct interactions with thiabendazole (TBZ) were evaluated by isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), which allowed the detection of the exothermic interaction but also the roles and significances of different structural features of HTs in these interactions. Our results show that HTs can have a direct interaction with the benzimidazole anthelmintic TBZ and that the interaction is strengthened by increasing the number of free galloyl groups and the overall molecular flexibility of HTs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
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16 pages, 3269 KiB  
Article
Effect of Molecular Weight on Phase Equilibrium in the Polystyrene–Poly(methyl methacrylate) System
by Anatoly E. Chalykh and Uliana V. Nikulova
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5259; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135259 - 07 Jul 2023
Viewed by 958
Abstract
Data on the solubility of oligomer polystyrene (PS) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) of various molecular weights have been obtained. The binodal and spinodal curves of the phase state diagram with the upper critical solution temperature (UCST) are constructed through simulation within the framework [...] Read more.
Data on the solubility of oligomer polystyrene (PS) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) of various molecular weights have been obtained. The binodal and spinodal curves of the phase state diagram with the upper critical solution temperature (UCST) are constructed through simulation within the framework of the Flory–Huggins theory. The influence of the molecular weight of polymers on the contribution to their mixing has been compared, and correlation curves have been plotted. The interaction parameters were calculated and the mixing thermodynamics of the components was evaluated. The largest contribution was made by the entropy component. Also, it has been shown using IR spectroscopy that there is no interaction between the functional groups of polystyrene and poly(methyl methacrylate) in a homogeneous mixture. Full article
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16 pages, 5047 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Analysis of 34 Edible Flowers by the Determination of Nutritional Composition and Antioxidant Capacity Planted in Yunnan Province China
by Xing-Kai Zhang, Guan-Hua Cao, Yue Bi, Xiao-Hai Liu, Hong-Mei Yin, Jia-Fang Zuo, Wen Xu, Hong-Dong Li, Sen He and Xu-Hong Zhou
Molecules 2023, 28(13), 5260; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28135260 - 06 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1196
Abstract
The main purpose of this study was to reveal the nutritional value and antioxidant activity of 34 edible flowers that grew in Yunnan Province, China, through a comprehensive assessment of their nutritional composition and antioxidant indices. The results showed that sample A3 of [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this study was to reveal the nutritional value and antioxidant activity of 34 edible flowers that grew in Yunnan Province, China, through a comprehensive assessment of their nutritional composition and antioxidant indices. The results showed that sample A3 of Asteraceae flowers had the highest total flavonoid content, with a value of 8.53%, and the maximum contents of vitamin C and reducing sugars were from Rosaceae sample R1 and Gentianaceae sample G3, with values of 143.80 mg/100 g and 7.82%, respectively. Samples R2 and R3 of Rosaceae were the top two flowers in terms of comprehensive nutritional quality. In addition, the antioxidant capacity of Rosaceae samples was evidently better than that of three others, in which Sample R1 had the maximum values in hydroxyl radical (·OH) scavenging and superoxide anion radical (·O2) scavenging rates, and samples R2 and R3 showed a high total antioxidant capacity and 2,2-diphenyl-1-pyridylhydrazine (DPPH) scavenging rate, respectively. Taken together, there were significant differences in the nutrient contents and antioxidant properties of these 34 flowers, and the comprehensive quality of Rosaceae samples was generally better than the other three families. This study provides references for 34 edible flowers to be used as dietary supplements and important sources of natural antioxidants. Full article
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