Meroterpenoids from Gongolaria abies-marina against Kinetoplastids: In Vitro Activity and Programmed Cell Death Study

Leishmaniasis and Chagas disease affect millions of people worldwide. The available treatments against these parasitic diseases are limited and display multiple undesired effects. The brown alga belonging to the genus Gongolaria has been previously reported as a source of compounds with different biological activities. In a recent study from our group, Gongolaria abies-marine was proven to present antiamebic activity. Hence, this brown alga could be a promising source of interesting molecules for the development of new antiprotozoal drugs. In this study, four meroterpenoids were isolated and purified from a dichloromethane/ethyl acetate crude extract through a bioguided fractionation process targeting kinetoplastids. Moreover, the in vitro activity and toxicity were evaluated, and the induction of programmed cell death was checked in the most active and less toxic compounds, namely gongolarone B (2), 6Z-1′-methoxyamentadione (3) and 1′-methoxyamentadione (4). These meroterpenoids triggered mitochondrial malfunction, oxidative stress, chromatin condensation and alterations of the tubulin network. Furthermore, a transmission electron microscopy (TEM) image analysis showed that meroterpenoids (2–4) induced the formation of autophagy vacuoles and ER and Golgi complex disorganization. The obtained results demonstrated that the mechanisms of action at the cellular level of these compounds were able to induce autophagy as well as an apoptosis-like process in the treated parasites.

San Nicolás-Hernández, Desirée; Rodríguez-Expósito, Rubén L.; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Bethencourt-Estrella, Carlos J.; Sifaoui, Ines; Salazar-Villatoro, Lizbeth; Omaña-Molina, Maritza; Fernández, José J.; DIAZ MARRERO, ANA RAQUEL ; Piñero, José E.; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob.

Pharmaceuticals, 16(4), 476: 1-20 (2023)

Comparative analysis of mycotoxin, pesticide, and elemental content of Canarian craft and Spanish mainstream beers

The number of craft breweries and the volume of craft beer produced globally is growing exponentially. However, little is known about their differences with mainstream beers regarding mycotoxin profile, pesticide and pollutant residues and elemental composition. Given that beer is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide, it is important to shed light on its toxicological profile. In this study, samples of 23 craft beers and 19 mainstream Spanish beers were collected to perform a comparative analysis including 8 mycotoxins, 225 pesticide residues and 50 POPs, and 50 elements. Mycotoxins were not detected in craft beers, while 100% of mainstream beers presented at least one mycotoxin. In contrast, craft beers contained higher average pesticide residues than their mainstream counterparts, although significant differences were only found in Mepiquat and Metrafenone content. No persistent organic pollutants were detected in any sample. The elemental composition presented differences between the two groups both in the concentration of elements and their hierarchy. In conclusion, the toxicological profile of all beers was safe and is unlikely to constitute a hazard to consumer health. Craft beers present significant differences from their mainstream counterparts in all the dimensions explored.

Alonso-González, Pablo; Parga-Dans, Eva; de las Heras Tranche, Iván; Acosta-Dacal, Andrea Carolina; Rodríguez Hernández, Ángel; Macías Montes, Ana; Zumbado Peña, Manuel; Pérez Luzardo, Octavio.

Toxicology Reports, 10: 389-399 (2023)

Control de la reactividad en plataformas moleculares multifuncionales y su aplicación a la construcción molecular orientada a la diversidad. Éteres propargílicos vinílicos como un caso de estudio

En este tutorial se muestra con el ejemplo de los éteres propargílicos vinílicos, bloques sintéticos multifuncionales, como es posible instrumentalizar la reactividad emergente de la combinación de sus grupos funcionales para el diseño y desarrollo de procesos dominó (cascada) ramificados para la generación de complejidad molecular orientada a la diversidad.

Tejedor, David; García-Tellado, Fernando.

Anales de química 119(1): 18-24 (2023)

Evolutionary genomics of oceanic island radiations

A recurring feature of oceanic archipelagos is the presence of adaptive radiations that generate endemic, species-rich clades that can offer outstanding insight into the links between ecology and evolution. Recent developments in evolutionary genomics have contributed towards solving long-standing questions at this interface. Using a comprehensive literature search, we identify studies spanning 19 oceanic archipelagos and 110 putative adaptive radiations, but find that most of these radiations have not yet been investigated from an evolutionary genomics perspective. Our review reveals different gaps in knowledge related to the lack of implementation of genomic approaches, as well as undersampled taxonomic and geographic areas. Filling those gaps with the required data will help to deepen our understanding of adaptation, speciation, and other evolutionary processes.

Cerca, José; Cotoras, Darko D.; Bieker, Vanessa C.; De-Kayne, Rishi; Vargas, Pablo; Fernández-Mazuecos, Mario; López-Delgado, Julia; White, Oliver; Stervander, Martin; Geneva, Anthony J.; Guevara Andino, Juan Ernesto; Meier, Joana Isabel; Roeble, Lizzie; Brée, Baptiste; Patiño, Jairo; Guayasamin, Juan M.; Torres, María de Lourdes; Valdebenito, Hugo; Castañeda María del Rosario; Chaves, Jaime A.; Jaramillo Díaz, Patricia; Valente, Luis; Knope, Matthew L.; Price, Jonathan P.; Rieseberg, Loren H.; Baldwin, Bruce G.; Emerson, Brent C.; Rivas-Torres, Gonzalo; Gillespie, Rosemary; Martin, Michael D.

Trends in Ecology & Evolution: 1-12 (2023)

Patterns and drivers of beta diversity across geographic scales and lineages in the Macaronesian flora

Aim: How spatial, historical and ecological processes drive diversity patterns remains one of the main foci of island biogeography. We determined how beta diversity varies across spatial scales and among organisms, disentangled the drivers of this variation, and examined how, consequently, biogeographic affinities within and among archipelagos vary among land plants.

Mouton, Lea; Patiño, Jairo; Carine, Mark; Rumsey, Fred; Menezes de Sequeira, Miguel; González-Mancebo, Juana María; de Almeida Gabriel, Rosalina Maria; Hardy, Olivier J.; Sim-Sim, Manuela; Reyes-Betancort, J. Alfredo; Collart, Flavien; Vanderpoorten, Alain.

Journal of biogeography, 0: 1-12 (2023)

Nano-biotechnology in tumour and cancerous disease: A perspective review

In recent years, drug manufacturers and researchers have begun to consider the nanobiotechnology approach to improve the drug delivery system for tumour and cancer diseases. In this article, we review current strategies to improve tumour and cancer drug delivery, which mainly focuses on sustaining biocompatibility, biodistribution, and active targeting. The conventional therapy using cornerstone drugs such as fludarabine, cisplatin etoposide, and paclitaxel has its own challenges especially not being able to discriminate between tumour versus normal cells which eventually led to toxicity and side effects in the patients. In contrast to the conventional approach, nanoparticle-based drug delivery provides target-specific delivery and controlled release of the drug, which provides a better therapeutic window for treatment options by focusing on the eradication of diseased cells via active targeting and sparing normal cells via passive targeting. Additionally, treatment of tumours associated with the brain is hampered by the impermeability of the blood–brain barriers to the drugs, which eventually led to poor survival in the patients. Nanoparticle-based therapy offers superior delivery of drugs to the target by breaching the blood–brain barriers. Herein, we provide an overview of the properties of nanoparticles that are crucial for nanotechnology applications. We address the potential future applications of nanobiotechnology targeting specific or desired areas. In particular, the use of nanomaterials, biostructures, and drug delivery methods for the targeted treatment of tumours and cancer are explored.

Soni, Ambikesh; Bhandari, Manohar Prasad; Tripathi, Gagan Kant; Bundela, Priyavand; Khiriya, Pradeep Kumar; Khare, Purnima Swarup; Kashyap, Manoj Kumar; Dey, Abhijit; Vellingiri, Balachandar; Sundaramurthy, Suresh; Suresh, Arisutha; Pérez de Lastra, José Manuel.

Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine: 1-26 (2023)

Drivers of consumer willingness to pay for sustainable wines: natural, biodynamic, and organic

This study analysed consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for wines with different sustainability features, namely natural, biodynamic, and organic, and explored the drivers of individual preferences for these wines. An online survey was conducted with a sample of 501 Italian regular wine consumers. To elicit WTP for natural, organic, and biodynamic wines, a multiple price list (MPL) was applied. The drivers of consumers’ preferences for the three wines were then investigated by means of a seemingly unrelated regression model (SUR). Results reveal a higher WTP for organic, followed by natural and biodynamic wines. The same core drivers of individual preferences were revealed for the three wine types: wine drinking frequency, naturalness perception, and wine health concerns. Wineries interested in commercialising sustainable wines should develop targeted communication campaigns to increase consumer awareness and understanding of the different sustainable production methods.

Vecchio, Riccardo; Annunziata, Azzurra; Parga-Dans, Eva; Alonso-González, Pablo.

Organic Agriculture: 1-14 (2023)

Therapeutic properties and pharmacological activities of asiaticoside and madecassoside: A review

Centella asiatica is an ethnomedicinal herbaceous species that grows abundantly in tropical and sub-tropical regions of China, India, South-Eastern Asia and Africa. It is a popular nutraceutical that is employed in various forms of clinical and cosmetic treatments. C. asiatica extracts are reported widely in Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine to boost memory, prevent cognitive deficits and improve brain functions. The major bioactive constituents of C. asiatica are the pentacyclic triterpenoid glycosides, asiaticoside and madecassoside, and their corresponding aglycones, asiatic acid and madecassic acid. Asiaticoside and madecassoside have been identified as the marker compounds of C. asiatica in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia and these triterpene compounds offer a wide range of pharmacological properties, including neuroprotective, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, wound healing, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-allergic, anti-depressant, anxiolytic, antifibrotic, antibacterial, anti-arthritic, anti-tumour and immunomodulatory activities. Asiaticoside and madecassoside are also used extensively in treating skin abnormalities, burn injuries, ischaemia, ulcers, asthma, lupus, psoriasis and scleroderma. Besides medicinal applications, these phytocompounds are considered cosmetically beneficial for their role in anti-ageing, skin hydration, collagen synthesis, UV protection and curing scars. Existing reports and experimental studies on these compounds between 2005 and 2022 have been selectively reviewed in this article to provide a comprehensive overview of the numerous therapeutic advantages of asiaticoside and madecassoside and their potential roles in the medical future.

Bandopadhyay, Shinjini; Mandal, Sujata; Ghorai, Mimosa; Kumar Jha, Niraj; Kumar, Manoj; Radha; Ghosh, Arabinda; Proćków, Jarosław; Pérez de Lastra, José Manuel; Dey, Abhijit.

Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine: 1-16 (2023)

Exploring the potential of CRISPR/Cas genome editing for vegetable crop improvement: An overview of challenges and approaches

Vegetables provide many nutrients in the form of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which make them an important part of our diet. Numerous biotic and abiotic stresses can affect crop growth, quality, and yield. Traditional and modern breeding strategies to improve plant traits are slow and resource intensive. Therefore, it is necessary to find new approaches for crop improvement. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR associated 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) is a genome editing tool that can be used to modify targeted genes for desirable traits with greater efficiency and accuracy. By using CRISPR/Cas9 editing to precisely mutate key genes, it is possible to rapidly generate new germplasm resources for the promotion of important agronomic traits. This is made possible by the availability of whole genome sequencing data and information on the function of genes responsible for important traits. In addition, CRISPR/Cas9 systems have revolutionized agriculture, making genome editing more versatile. Currently, genome editing of vegetable crops is limited to a few vegetable varieties (tomato, sweet potato, potato, carrot, squash, eggplant, etc.) due to lack of regeneration protocols and sufficient genome sequencing data. In this article, we summarize recent studies on the application of CRISPR/Cas9 in improving vegetable trait development and the potential for future improvement.

Das, Tuyelee; Anand, Uttpal; Pal, Tarun; Mandal, Sayanti; Kumar, Manoj; Radha; Gopalakrishnan, Abilash Valsala; Pérez de Lastra, José Manuel CSIC; Dey, Abhijit.

Biotechnology and bioengineering, 12(9), 2179: 1-14 (2022)

Importance of Precursor Adaptability in the Assembly of Molecular Organic Cages

Rondelli, Manuel; Hernández Daranas, Antonio; Martín, Tomás.

The Journal of Organic Chemistry, 8: 2113-2121 (2023)