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Principles and Applications
The Science and Meaning of Touch

Abstract

Natural compound tetrandrine was reported to inhibit the proliferation of T cells by inhibiting activation of NF-κB. Chemically, isotetrandrine differs from tetrandrine only in the stereochemistry at the chiral centers. The present study aimed to compare their anti-proliferation effects on human T cells with a focus on NF-κB. The IC50 values of tetrandrine against MOLT-4 cells, MOLT-4/DNR cells, and concanavalin A-activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells of healthy subjects and dialysis patients were 4.43 ± 0.22, 3.62 ± 0.22, 1.91 ± 0.22 and 3.03 ± 0.28 μM, respectively. Whereas, the IC50 values of isotetrandrine against the above immune cells were 2.19 ± 0.27, 2.28 ± 0.33, 1.29 ± 0.14 and 1.55 ± 0.26 μM, respectively. The inhibitory effect of isotetrandrine against the proliferation of T cells was stronger than that of tetrandrine significantly (p < 0.05). Molecular mechanism investigation showed that 10 μM of isotetrandrine largely decreased the expression of p-NF-κB and NF-κB in both MOLT-4 and MOLT-4/DNR T cells (p < 0.05), whereas 10 μM of tetrandrine slightly inhibited the phosphorylation of p-NF-κB with little influence on the expression of NF-κB. Taken together, absolute configurations of tetrandrine and isotetrandrine are suggested to influence on their anti-proliferation effects in human T cells via different regulation of NF-κB.

Abstract

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive type of brain cancer with a median survival of only 15 months. To complement standard treatments including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, it is essential to understand the contribution of the GBM tumor microenvironment. Brain macrophages and microglia particularly contribute to tumor angiogenesis, a major hallmark of GBM. ADAM8, a metalloprotease-disintegrin strongly expressed in tumor cells and associated immune cells of GBMs, is related to angiogenesis and correlates with poor clinical prognosis. However, the specific contribution of ADAM8 to GBM tumorigenesis remains elusive. Knockdown of ADAM8 in U87 glioma cells led to significantly decreased angiogenesis and tumor volumes of these cells after stereotactic injection into striate body of mice. We found that the angiogenic potential of ADAM8 in GBM cells and in primary macrophages is mediated by the regulation of osteopontin (OPN), an important inducer of tumor angiogenesis. By in vitro cell signaling analyses, we demonstrate that ADAM8 regulates OPN via JAK/STAT3 pathway in U87 cells and in primary macrophages. As ADAM8 is a dispensable protease for physiological homeostasis, we conclude that ADAM8 could be a tractable target to modulate angiogenesis in GBM with minor side-effects.

Abstract

Cancer recurrence presents a huge challenge in cancer patient management. Immune escape is a key mechanism of cancer progression and metastatic dissemination. CD25 is expressed in regulatory T (Treg) cells including tumor-infiltrating Treg cells (TI-Tregs). These cells specially activate and reinforce immune escape mechanism of cancers. The suppression of CD25/IL-2 interaction would be useful against Treg cells activation and ultimately immune escape of cancer. Here, software, web servers and databases were used, at which in silico designed small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), de novo designed peptides and virtual screened small molecules against CD25 were introduced for the prospect of eliminating cancer immune escape and obtaining successful treatment. We obtained siRNAs with low off-target effects. Further, small molecules based on the binding homology search in ligand and receptor similarity were introduced. Finally, the critical amino acids on CD25 were targeted by a de novo designed peptide with disulfide bond. Hence we introduced computational-based antagonists to lay a foundation for further in vitro and in vivo studies.

Abstract

The Aerva plants are exceptionally rich in phytochemicals and possess therapeutics potential. Phytochemical screening shows that Aerva persica (Burm.f.) Merr. contains highest contents i.e., total phenolics, flavonoids, flavonols, tannins, alkaloids, carbohydrates, anthraquinones and glycosides. In-vitro antibacterial and enzymatic (carbonic anhydrase) inhibition studies on methanol extracts of A. persica indicated the presence of biological active constituents within chloroform soluble portions. Investigation in the pure constituents on the chloroform portions of A. persica accomplished by column chromatography, NMR and MS analysis. The bioguided isolation yields four chemical constituents of coumaronochromone family, namely aervin (1-4). These pure chemical entities (1-4) showed significant antibacterial activity in the range of 60.05–79.21 µg/ml against various bacterial strains using ampicillin and ciprofloxacin as standard drugs. The compounds 1-4 showed promising carbonic anhydrase inhibition with IC50 values of 19.01, 18.24, 18.65 and 12.92 µM, respectively, using standard inhibitor acetazolamide. First-principles calculations revealed comprehensive intramolecular charge transfer in the studied compounds 1-4. The spatial distribution of highest occupied and lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals, ionization potential, molecular electrostatic potential and Hirshfeld analysis revealed that these coumaronochromone compounds would be proficient biological active compounds. These pure constituents may be used as a new pharmacophore to treat leaukomia, epilepsy, glaucoma and cystic fibrosis.

Abstract

From an EtOAc-soluble fraction of the stem barks of Swintonia floribunda (Anacardiaceae), decumbic anhydride (1) and four known compounds 25 were isolated. Their chemical structures were elucidated based on the spectroscopic data interpretation. The GIAO-DFT calculation of 13C NMR chemical shifts was carried out to clarify the structure of 1. The absolute configuration of 1 was assigned based on the Cotton effects in its ECD spectrum. Compound 1 showed potent tyrosinase inhibitory activity with an IC50 value of 52.2 μM.

Abstract

Tissue factor (TF) which plays a key role in hemostasis and thrombosis appears to be an attractive target and medicinal plants having alkaloids inhibition TF activity benefit to cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim of study is to explore further knowledge about alkaloids and TF. TF procoagulant activities were determined by the simplified chromogenic assay and their mRNA expression were then examined by reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction. Besides, the potential of TF/FVIIa binding with four representative alkaloids were analyzed by molecular docking. The results indicated that these isoquinoline alkaloids with various structures had a different effect on suppression of TF activity. Molecular docking showed four alkaloids including l-corydalmine, berberine, jatrorrhizine, and tetrahydropalmatine were stably posed in the active binding pocket of TF/FVIIa. The SARs analysis showed the structural difference including planar, quaternary nitrogen, and the peripheral functional groups at C-8, C-9, C-10, have strong effect on inhibition of TF activity, which provided effective methods to modify isoquinoline alkaloids for inhibiting TF activity. This study provides a further evidence for the cardiovascular protection of isoquinoline alkaloids, and has physiological significance in the clinical challenge to use isoquinoline alkaloids or their potential analogs in the treatment of CVD.

Abstract

Cistus x incanus L. is a Mediterranean evergreen shrub used in folk medicine for the treatment of inflammatory disorders but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We therefore investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of an ethyl acetate fraction (EAF) from C. x incanus L. leaves on lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activated RAW 264.7 macrophages. HPLC analysis revealed myricetin and quercetin derivatives to be the major compounds in EAF; EAF up to 1 µM of total phenolic content, was not cytotoxic and inhibited the mRNA expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) (p < 0.05) and the production of prostaglandins E2 (PGE2) (p < 0.05). Meanwhile, EAF triggered the mRNA expression of interleukin-10 (IL-10) and elicited the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), as well as the expression of its main target gene, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) (p < 0.05). These data indicate that EAF attenuates experimental inflammation via the inhibition of proinflammatory mediators and at least in part, by the activation of Nrf2/HO-1 pathway. These effects are likely due to myricetin and quercetin derivatives but the role of other, less abundant components cannot be excluded. Further studies to confirm the relevance of our findings in animal models and to highlight the relative contribution of each component to the anti-inflammatory activity of EAF should be conducted.