Here you will find the latest news on research, events, activities and new findings at the Institute of Natural Products and Agrobiology.
Laurequinone, a Lead Compound against Leishmania
Among neglected tropical diseases, leishmaniasis is one of the leading causes, not only of deaths but also of disability-adjusted life years. This disease, caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania, triggers different clinical manifestations, with cutaneous, mucocutaneous, and visceral forms. As existing treatments for this parasitosis are not sufficiently effective or safe for the patient, in this work, different sesquiterpenes isolated from the red alga Laurencia johnstonii have been studied for this purpose. The different compounds were tested in vitro against the promastigote and amastigote forms of Leishmania amazonensis. Different assays were also performed, including the measurement of mitochondrial potential, determination of ROS accumulation, and chromatin condensation, among others, focused on the detection of the cell death process known in this type of organism as apoptosis-like. Five compounds were identified that displayed leishmanicidal activity: laurequinone, laurinterol, debromolaurinterol, isolaurinterol, and aplysin, showing IC50 values against promastigotes of 1.87, 34.45, 12.48, 10.09, and 54.13 µM, respectively. Laurequinone was the most potent compound tested and was shown to be more effective than the reference drug miltefosine against promastigotes. Different death mechanism studies carried out showed that laurequinone appears to induce programmed cell death or apoptosis in the parasite studied. The obtained results underline the potential of this sesquiterpene as a novel anti-kinetoplastid therapeutic agent.
García-Davis, Sara; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Bethencourt-Estrella, Carlos J.; San Nicolás-Hernández, Desirée; Viveros-Valdez, Ezequiel; Díaz Marrero, Ana Raquel ; Fernández, José J.; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Piñero, José E.
Advanced Methods for Natural Products Discovery: Bioactivity Screening, Dereplication, Metabolomics Profiling, Genomic Sequencing, Databases and Informatic Tools, and Structure Elucidation
Natural Products (NP) are essential for the discovery of novel drugs and products for numerous biotechnological applications. The NP discovery process is expensive and time-consuming, having as major hurdles dereplication (early identification of known compounds) and structure elucidation, particularly the determination of the absolute configuration of metabolites with stereogenic centers. This review comprehensively focuses on recent technological and instrumental advances, highlighting the development of methods that alleviate these obstacles, paving the way for accelerating NP discovery towards biotechnological applications. Herein, we emphasize the most innovative high-throughput tools and methods for advancing bioactivity screening, NP chemical analysis, dereplication, metabolite profiling, metabolomics, genome sequencing and/or genomics approaches, databases, bioinformatics, chemoinformatics, and three-dimensional NP structure elucidation.
Gaudêncio, Susana P.; Bayram, Engin; Bilela, Lada Lukic; Cueto, Mercedes; DIAZ MARRERO, ANA RAQUEL; Haznedaroglu, Berat Z.; Jimenez, Carlos; Mandalakis, Manolis; Pereira, Florbela; Reyes, Fernando; Tasdemir, Deniz.
Bifurcaria bifurcata extract exerts antioxidant effects on human Caco-2 cells
The present research study investigated the potential protective effect of Bifurcaria bifurcata extract on cell viability and antioxidant defences of cultured human Caco-2 cells submitted to oxidative stress induced by tert-butylhydroperoxide (tert-BOOH). Aqueous extracts were firstly characterized in terms of total phenolic contents. Concentrations of reduced glutathione (GSH) and malondialdehyde (MDA), generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), nitric oxide (NO) production, antioxidant enzymes activities [NADPH quinone dehydrogenase 1 (NQO1) and glutathione S-transferase (GST)], caspase 3/7 activity and gene expression linked to apoptosis, proinflammation and oxidative stress signaling pathways were used as markers of cellular oxidative status. B. bifurcata extract prevented the cytotoxicity, the decrease of GSH, the increase of MDA levels and the ROS generation induced by tert-BOOH. B. bifurcata extract prevented the significant decrease of NQO1 and GST activities, and the significant increase of caspase 3/7 activity induced by tert-BOOH. B. bifurcata extract also caused an over-expression of GSTM2, Nrf2 and AKT1 transcriptors, as well as reduced ERK1, JNK1, Bax, BNIP3, NFκB1, IL-6 and HO-1 gene expressions induced by tert-BOOH suggesting an increase in cellular resistance against oxidative stress. The results of the biomarkers analyzed show that treatment of Caco-2 cells with B. bifurcata extract enhance antioxidant defences, which imply an improved cell response to an oxidative challenge. B. bifurcata extract possesses strong antioxidant properties and may be a potential effective alternative to oxidant agents in the functional food industry.
Martínez, María Aránzazu; Aedo, Hugo; López-Torres, Bernardo; Maximiliano, Jorge Enrique; Martínez-Larrañaga, María Rosa; Anadón, Arturo; Martínez, Marta; Peteiro, César; Cueto, Mercedes; Rubiño, Susana; Hortos, María; Ares, Irma
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