Olive from Olea europaea is native to the Mediterranean region and, both the oil and the fruit are some of the main components of the Mediterranean diet. The main active constituents of olive oil include oleic acid, phenolic constituents, and squalene. The main phenolic compounds, hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein, give extra-virgin olive oil its bitter, pungent taste. The present review focuses on recent works that have analyzed the relationship between the major phenolic compound oleuropein and its pharmacological activities including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenic, anti-cancer activities, antimicrobial activity, antiviral activity, hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic effect.
Mediterranean diet; Olive; Phenolic compound; Oleuropein
The Olive tree (Olea europaea L.), a native of the Mediterranean basin and parts of Asia, is now widely cultivated in many other parts of the world for production of olive oil and table olives. Olive is a rich source of valuable nutrients and bioactives of medicinal and therapeutic interest. Olive fruit contains appreciable concentration, 1–3% of fresh pulp weight, of hydrophilic (phenolic acids, phenolic alchohols, flavonoids and secoiridoids) and lipophilic (cresols) phenolic compounds that are known to possess multiple biological activities such as antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, antihypertensive, antidyslipidemic, cardiotonic, laxative, and antiplatelet. Other important compounds present in olive fruit are pectin, organic acids, and pigments. Virgin olive oil (VOO), extracted mechanically from the fruit, is also very popular for its nutritive and health-promoting potential, especially against cardiovascular disorders due to the presence of high levels of monounsaturates and other valuable minor components such as phenolics, phytosterols, tocopherols, carotenoids, chlorophyll and squalene. The cultivar, area of production, harvest time, and the processing techniques employed are some of the factors shown to influence the composition of olive fruit and olive oil. This review focuses comprehensively on the nutrients and high-value bioactives profile as well as medicinal and functional aspects of different parts of olives and its byproducts. Various factors affecting the composition of this food commodity of medicinal value are also discussed.
Mediterranean diet; high-value components; bioactives; phytochemicals; virgin olive oil; medicinal uses; therapeutic potential
A low incidence of breast cancer in the Mediterranean basin suggests that a high consumption of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) might confer this benefit. While the anti-HER2 oncogene effects of the main ω-9 fatty acid present in EVOO triacylglycerols (i.e., oleic acid) have been recently described, the anti-breast cancer activities of EVOO non-glyceridic constituents -which consist of at least 30 phenolic compounds-, remained to be evaluated.
Semi-preparative HPLC was used to isolate EVOO polyphenols (i.e., tyrosol, hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein). Both the anti-proliferative and the pro-apoptotic effects of EVOO phenolics were evaluated by using MTT-based quantification of metabolically viable cells and ELISA-based detection of histone-associated DNA fragments, respectively. The nature of the interaction between oleuropein aglycone and the anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody trastuzumab (Herceptin™) was mathematically evaluated by the dose-oriented isobologram technique. HER2-specific ELISAs were employed to quantitatively assess both the basal cleavage of the HER2 extracellular domain (ECD) and the expression level of total HER2. The activation status of HER2 was evaluated by immunoblotting procedures using a monoclonal antibody specifically recognizing the tyrosine phosphorylated (Phosphor-Tyr1248) form of HER2.
Among EVOO polyphenols tested, oleuropein aglycone was the most potent EVOO phenolic in decreasing breast cancer cell viability. HER2 gene-amplified SKBR3 cells were ~5-times more sensitive to oleuropein aglycone than HER2-negative MCF-7 cells. Retroviral infection of the HER2 oncogene in MCF-7 cells resulted in a "SKBR3-assimilated" phenotype of hypersensitivity to oleuropein aglycone. An up to 50-fold increase in the efficacy of trastuzumab occurred in the presence of oleuropein aglycone. A preclinical model of acquired autoresistance to trastuzumab (SKBR3/Tzb100 cells) completely recovered trastuzumab sensitivity (> 1,000-fold sensitization) when co-cultured in the presence of oleuropein aglycone. Indeed, the nature of the interaction between oleuropein aglycone and trastuzumab was found to be strongly synergistic in Tzb-resistant SKBR3/Tzb100 cells. Mechanistically, oleuropein aglycone treatment significantly reduced HER2 ECD cleavage and subsequent HER2 auto-phosphorylation, while it dramatically enhanced Tzb-induced down-regulation of HER2 expression.
Olive oil's bitter principle (i.e., oleuropein aglycone) is among the first examples of how selected nutrients from an EVOO-rich "Mediterranean diet" directly regulate HER2-driven breast cancer disease.
Olive oil intake has been shown to induce significant levels of apoptosis in various cancer cells. These anti-cancer properties are thought to be mediated by phenolic compounds present in olive. These beneficial health effects of olive have been attributed, at least in part, to the presence of oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol. In this study, oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, major phenolic compound of olive oil, was studied for its effects on growth in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells using assays for proliferation (MTT assay), cell viability (Guava ViaCount assay), cell apoptosis, cellcycle (flow cytometry). Oleuropein or hydroxytyrosol decreased cell viability, inhibited cell proliferation, and induced cell apoptosis in MCF-7 cells. Result of MTT assay showed that 200 μg/mL of oleuropein or 50 μg/mL of hydroxytyrosol remarkably reduced cell viability of MCF-7 cells. Oleuropein or hydroxytyrosol decrease of the number of MCF-7 cells by inhibiting the rate of cell proliferation and inducing cell apoptosis. Also hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein exhibited statistically significant block of G1 to S phase transition manifested by the increase of cell number in G0/G1 phase.
MCF-7 cells; Oleuropein; Hydroxytyrosol; Apoptosis
After fruit ripening, many fruit-tree species undergo massive natural fruit abscission. Olive (Olea europaea L.) is a stone-fruit with cultivars such as Picual (PIC) and Arbequina (ARB) which differ in mature fruit abscission potential. Ethylene (ET) is associated with abscission, but its role during mature fruit abscission remains largely uncharacterized. The present study investigates the possible roles of ET and polyamine (PA) during mature fruit abscission by modulating genes involved in the ET signalling and biosynthesis pathways in the abscission zone (AZ) of both cultivars. Five ET-related genes (OeACS2, OeACO2, OeCTR1, OeERS1, and OeEIL2) were isolated in the AZ and adjacent cells (AZ–AC), and their expression in various olive organs and during mature fruit abscission, in relation to interactions between ET and PA and the expression induction of these genes, was determined. OeACS2, OeACO2, and OeEIL2 were found to be the only genes that were up-regulated in association with mature fruit abscission. Using the inhibition of ET and PA biosynthesis, it is demonstrated that OeACS2 and OeEIL2 expression are under the negative control of PA while ET induces their expression in AZ–AC. Furthermore, mature fruit abscission depressed nitric oxide (NO) production present mainly in the epidermal cells and xylem of the AZ. Also, NO production was differentially responsive to ET, PA, and different inhibitors. Taken together, the results indicate that PA-dependent ET signalling and biosynthesis pathways participate, at least partially, during mature fruit abscission, and that endogenous NO and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid maintain an inverse correlation, suggesting an antagonistic action of NO and ET in abscission signalling.
Abscission zone; ethylene signalling and biosynthesis; mature fruit abscission; nitric oxide; polyamine
Despite its primary economic importance, genomic information on olive tree is still lacking. 454 pyrosequencing was used to enrich the very few sequence data currently available for the Olea europaea species and to identify genes involved in expression of fruit quality traits.
Fruits of Coratina, a widely cultivated variety characterized by a very high phenolic content, and Tendellone, an oleuropein-lacking natural variant, were used as starting material for monitoring the transcriptome. Four different cDNA libraries were sequenced, respectively at the beginning and at the end of drupe development. A total of 261,485 reads were obtained, for an output of about 58 Mb. Raw sequence data were processed using a four step pipeline procedure and data were stored in a relational database with a web interface.
Massively parallel sequencing of different fruit cDNA collections has provided large scale information about the structure and putative function of gene transcripts accumulated during fruit development. Comparative transcript profiling allowed the identification of differentially expressed genes with potential relevance in regulating the fruit metabolism and phenolic content during ripening.
To assess genotyping with microsatellite-based markers of the olive (Olea europaea L.) for potential application of olive as legal case evidence, with regard to the degree of variability within the Croatian olive genomic pool and to the effectiveness of the chosen set of microsatellite-based markers in revealing olive divergence.
The total of 44 autochthonous Croatian olive specimens were subjected to genotyping with 16 previously described and developed microsatellite-based markers. According to previous morphological analyses, 44 specimens were classified into 30 cultivars with the exception of an additional, previously unassigned specimen.
Genotyping of 44 specimens distinguished a total of 44 different genotype profiles by 16 microsatellite-based loci. Average expected heterozigosity amounted to 0.758, which points to significant diversity of Croatian olives.
Croatian olive genotyping showed strong varietal discrimination up to the single tree and considerable potential application of olive as evidence in investigation of crime, accident, and suicide circumstances.
Widespread in the Mediterranean basin, Olea europaea trees are gaining worldwide popularity for the nutritional and cancer-protective properties of the oil, mechanically extracted from ripe fruits. Fruit development is a physiological process with remarkable impact on the modulation of the biosynthesis of compounds affecting the quality of the drupes as well as the final composition of the olive oil. Proteomics offers the possibility to dig deeper into the major changes during fruit development, including the important phase of ripening, and to classify temporal patterns of protein accumulation occurring during these complex physiological processes.
In this work, we started monitoring the proteome variations associated with olive fruit development by using comparative proteomics coupled to mass spectrometry. Proteins extracted from drupes at three different developmental stages were separated on 2-DE and subjected to image analysis. 247 protein spots were revealed as differentially accumulated. Proteins were identified from a total of 121 spots and discussed in relation to olive drupe metabolic changes occurring during fruit development. In order to evaluate if changes observed at the protein level were consistent with changes of mRNAs, proteomic data produced in the present work were compared with transcriptomic data elaborated during previous studies.
This study identifies a number of proteins responsible for quality traits of cv. Coratina, with particular regard to proteins associated to the metabolism of fatty acids, phenolic and aroma compounds. Proteins involved in fruit photosynthesis have been also identified and their pivotal contribution in oleogenesis has been discussed. To date, this study represents the first characterization of the olive fruit proteome during development, providing new insights into fruit metabolism and oil accumulation process.
Over recent years, several studies have related olive oil ingestion to a low incidence of several diseases, including breast cancer. Hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol are two of the major phenols present in virgin olive oils. Despite the fact that they have been linked to cancer prevention, there is no evidence that clarifies their effect in human breast tumor and non-tumor cells. In the present work, we present hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol’s effects in human breast cell lines. Our results show that hydroxytyrosol acts as a more efficient free radical scavenger than tyrosol, but both fail to affect cell proliferation rates, cell cycle profile or cell apoptosis in human mammary epithelial cells (MCF10A) or breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231 and MCF7). We found that hydroxytyrosol decreases the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) level in MCF10A cells but not in MCF7 or MDA-MB-231 cells while very high amounts of tyrosol is needed to decrease the ROS level in MCF10A cells. Interestingly, hydroxytyrosol prevents oxidative DNA damage in the three breast cell lines. Therefore, our data suggest that simple phenol hydroxytyrosol could contribute to a lower incidence of breast cancer in populations that consume virgin olive oil due to its antioxidant activity and its protection against oxidative DNA damage in mammary cells.
breast cancer; Mediterranean diet; olive oil minor compounds; hydroxytyrosol; tyrosol; phenols; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species; DNA damage
The cultivated olive (Olea europaea L.) is the most agriculturally important species of the Oleaceae family. Although many studies have been performed on plastid polymorphisms to evaluate taxonomy, phylogeny and phylogeography of Olea subspecies, only few polymorphic regions discriminating among the agronomically and economically important olive cultivars have been identified. The objective of this study was to sequence the entire plastome of olive and analyze many potential polymorphic regions to develop new inter-cultivar genetic markers.
The complete plastid genome of the olive cultivar Frantoio was determined by direct sequence analysis using universal and novel PCR primers designed to amplify all overlapping regions. The chloroplast genome of the olive has an organisation and gene order that is conserved among numerous Angiosperm species and do not contain any of the inversions, gene duplications, insertions, inverted repeat expansions and gene/intron losses that have been found in the chloroplast genomes of the genera Jasminum and Menodora, from the same family as Olea.
The annotated sequence was used to evaluate the content of coding genes, the extent, and distribution of repeated and long dispersed sequences and the nucleotide composition pattern. These analyses provided essential information for structural, functional and comparative genomic studies in olive plastids. Furthermore, the alignment of the olive plastome sequence to those of other varieties and species identified 30 new organellar polymorphisms within the cultivated olive.
In addition to identifying mutations that may play a functional role in modifying the metabolism and adaptation of olive cultivars, the new chloroplast markers represent a valuable tool to assess the level of olive intercultivar plastome variation for use in population genetic analysis, phylogenesis, cultivar characterisation and DNA food tracking.
The medicinal properties of the leaves and fruit of Olea Europaea (olive tree) have been known since antiquity. Numerous contemporary studies have linked the Mediterranean diet with increased health. In particular, consumption of olive oil has been associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Increasingly, there has been an interest in the biological properties of polyphenols, which are minor constituents of olive oil. For example, hydroxytyrosol has been shown to be a potent antioxidant and has anti-atherogenic and anti-cancer properties. The overall aim of this study was to provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of action of hydroxytyrosol using genome-wide mRNA-Seq. Initial experiments were aimed at assessing cytotoxicity, apoptosis and cell cycle effects of hydroxytyrosol in various cell lines. The findings indicated a dose-dependent reduction in cell viability in human erythroleukemic K562 and human keratinocytes. When comparing the viability in parental CEM-CCRF and R100 cells (which overexpress the P-glycoprotein pump), it was determined that the R100 cells were more resistant to effects of hydroxytyrosol suggesting efflux by the multi-drug resistance pump. By comparing the uptake of Hoechst 33342 in the two cell lines that had been pretreated with hydroxytyrosol, it was determined that the polyphenol may have P-glycoprotein-modulating activity. Further, initial studies indicated modest radioprotective effects of relatively low doses of hydroxytyrosol in human keratinocytes. Analysis of mRNA sequencing data identified that treatment of keratinocytes with 20 μM hydroxytyrosol results in the upregulation of numerous antioxidant proteins and enzymes, including heme oxygenase-1 (15.46-fold upregulation), glutaredoxin (1.65) and glutathione peroxidase (1.53). This may account for the radioprotective activity of the compound, and reduction in oxidative stress suggests a mechanism for chemoprevention of cancer by hydroxytyrosol. Alteration in the expression of transcription factors may also contribute to the anti-cancer effects described in numerous studies. These include changes in the expression of STAT3, STAT6, SMAD7 and ETS-1. The telomerase subunit TERT was also found to be downregulated in K562 cells. Overall, our findings provide insights into the mechanisms of action of hydroxytyrosol, and more generally, we identify potential gene candidates for further exploration.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12263-011-0249-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Hydroxytyrosol; Olive polyphenol; Olive oil; Radioprotection; mRNA-Seq
Background and Aims
Genetic characterization and phylogenetic analysis of the oldest trees could be a powerful tool both for germplasm collection and for understanding the earliest origins of clonally propagated fruit crops. The olive tree (Olea europaea L.) is a suitable model to study the origin of cultivars due to its long lifespan, resulting in the existence of both centennial and millennial trees across the Mediterranean Basin.
The genetic identity and diversity as well as the phylogenetic relationships among the oldest wild and cultivated olives of southern Spain were evaluated by analysing simple sequence repeat markers. Samples from both the canopy and the roots of each tree were analysed to distinguish which trees were self-rooted and which were grafted. The ancient olives were also put into chronological order to infer the antiquity of traditional olive cultivars.
Only 9·6 % out of 104 a priori cultivated ancient genotypes matched current olive cultivars. The percentage of unidentified genotypes was higher among the oldest olives, which could be because they belong to ancient unknown cultivars or because of possible intra-cultivar variability. Comparing the observed patterns of genetic variation made it possible to distinguish which trees were grafted onto putative wild olives.
This study of ancient olives has been fruitful both for germplasm collection and for enlarging our knowledge about olive domestication. The findings suggest that grafting pre-existing wild olives with olive cultivars was linked to the beginnings of olive growing. Additionally, the low number of genotypes identified in current cultivars points out that the ancient olives from southern Spain constitute a priceless reservoir of genetic diversity.
Olea europaea; wild olives; traditional cultivars; microsatellite markers; intracultivar variability; domestication; in situ conservation
Olea europaea L. is a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean basin with a worldwide economical high impact. Differently from other fruit tree species, little is known about the physiological and molecular basis of the olive fruit development and a few sequences of genes and gene products are available for olive in public databases. This study deals with the identification of large sets of differentially expressed genes in developing olive fruits and the subsequent computational annotation by means of different software.
mRNA from fruits of the cv. Leccino sampled at three different stages [i.e., initial fruit set (stage 1), completed pit hardening (stage 2) and veraison (stage 3)] was used for the identification of differentially expressed genes putatively involved in main processes along fruit development. Four subtractive hybridization libraries were constructed: forward and reverse between stage 1 and 2 (libraries A and B), and 2 and 3 (libraries C and D). All sequenced clones (1,132 in total) were analyzed through BlastX against non-redundant NCBI databases and about 60% of them showed similarity to known proteins. A total of 89 out of 642 differentially expressed unique sequences was further investigated by Real-Time PCR, showing a validation of the SSH results as high as 69%. Library-specific cDNA repertories were annotated according to the three main vocabularies of the gene ontology (GO): cellular component, biological process and molecular function. BlastX analysis, GO terms mapping and annotation analysis were performed using the Blast2GO software, a research tool designed with the main purpose of enabling GO based data mining on sequence sets for which no GO annotation is yet available. Bioinformatic analysis pointed out a significantly different distribution of the annotated sequences for each GO category, when comparing the three fruit developmental stages. The olive fruit-specific transcriptome dataset was used to query all known KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes) metabolic pathways for characterizing and positioning retrieved EST records. The integration of the olive sequence datasets within the MapMan platform for microarray analysis allowed the identification of specific biosynthetic pathways useful for the definition of key functional categories in time course analyses for gene groups.
The bioinformatic annotation of all gene sequences was useful to shed light on metabolic pathways and transcriptional aspects related to carbohydrates, fatty acids, secondary metabolites, transcription factors and hormones as well as response to biotic and abiotic stresses throughout olive drupe development. These results represent a first step toward both functional genomics and systems biology research for understanding the gene functions and regulatory networks in olive fruit growth and ripening.
Olive plant leaves (Olea europaea L.) have been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat diabetes, but there are very limited data examining the effects of olive polyphenols on glucose homeostasis in humans.
To assess the effects of supplementation with olive leaf polyphenols (51.1 mg oleuropein, 9.7 mg hydroxytyrosol per day) on insulin action and cardiovascular risk factors in middle-aged overweight men.
Randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover trial in New Zealand. 46 participants (aged 46.4±5.5 years and BMI 28.0±2.0 kg/m2) were randomized to receive capsules with olive leaf extract (OLE) or placebo for 12 weeks, crossing over to other treatment after a 6-week washout. Primary outcome was insulin sensitivity (Matsuda method). Secondary outcomes included glucose and insulin profiles, cytokines, lipid profile, body composition, 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure, and carotid intima-media thickness.
Treatment evaluations were based on the intention-to-treat principle. All participants took >96% of prescribed capsules. OLE supplementation was associated with a 15% improvement in insulin sensitivity (p = 0.024) compared to placebo. There was also a 28% improvement in pancreatic β-cell responsiveness (p = 0.013). OLE supplementation also led to increased fasting interleukin-6 (p = 0.014), IGFBP-1 (p = 0.024), and IGFBP-2 (p = 0.015) concentrations. There were however, no effects on interleukin-8, TNF-α, ultra-sensitive CRP, lipid profile, ambulatory blood pressure, body composition, carotid intima-media thickness, or liver function.
Supplementation with olive leaf polyphenols for 12 weeks significantly improved insulin sensitivity and pancreatic β-cell secretory capacity in overweight middle-aged men at risk of developing the metabolic syndrome.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry #336317.
Olive breeding programmes are focused on selecting for traits as short juvenile period, plant architecture suited for mechanical harvest, or oil characteristics, including fatty acid composition, phenolic, and volatile compounds to suit new markets. Understanding the molecular basis of these characteristics and improving the efficiency of such breeding programmes require the development of genomic information and tools. However, despite its economic relevance, genomic information on olive or closely related species is still scarce. We have applied Sanger and 454 pyrosequencing technologies to generate close to 2 million reads from 12 cDNA libraries obtained from the Picual, Arbequina, and Lechin de Sevilla cultivars and seedlings from a segregating progeny of a Picual × Arbequina cross. The libraries include fruit mesocarp and seeds at three relevant developmental stages, young stems and leaves, active juvenile and adult buds as well as dormant buds, and juvenile and adult roots. The reads were assembled by library or tissue and then assembled together into 81 020 unigenes with an average size of 496 bases. Here, we report their assembly and their functional annotation.
Olea europaea; 454 pyrosequencing; genomics; Sanger sequencing; transcriptome
Olive (Olea europaea L.) cultivation is rapidly expanding and low quality saline water is often used for irrigation. The molecular basis of salt tolerance in olive, though, has not yet been investigated at a system level. In this study a comparative transcriptomics approach was used as a tool to unravel gene regulatory networks underlying salinity response in olive trees by simulating as much as possible olive growing conditions in the field. Specifically, we investigated the genotype-dependent differences in the transcriptome response of two olive cultivars, a salt-tolerant and a salt-sensitive one.
A 135-day long salinity experiment was conducted using one-year old trees exposed to NaCl stress for 90 days followed by 45 days of post-stress period during the summer. A cDNA library made of olive seedling mRNAs was sequenced and an olive microarray was constructed. Total RNA was extracted from root samples after 15, 45 and 90 days of NaCl-treatment as well as after 15 and 45 days of post-treatment period and used for microarray hybridizations. SAM analysis between the NaCl-stress and the post-stress time course resulted in the identification of 209 and 36 differentially expressed transcripts in the salt–tolerant and salt–sensitive cultivar, respectively. Hierarchical clustering revealed two major, distinct clusters for each cultivar. Despite the limited number of probe sets, transcriptional regulatory networks were constructed for both cultivars while several hierarchically-clustered interacting transcription factor regulators such as JERF and bZIP homologues were identified.
A systems biology approach was used and differentially expressed transcripts as well as regulatory interactions were identified. The comparison of the interactions among transcription factors in olive with those reported for Arabidopsis might indicate similarities in the response of a tree species with Arabidopsis at the transcriptional level under salinity stress.
Olive oil and its minor constituents have been recommended as important dietary therapeutic interventions in preventive medicine. However, a question remains to be addressed: what are the effects of olive oil and its phenolic compounds on obesity-induced cardiac metabolic changes?
Male Wistar rats were divided into two groups (n = 24/group): (C) receiving standard-chow; (Ob) receiving hypercaloric-chow. After 21 days C and Ob groups were divided into four subgroups (n = 6/group):(C) standard-chow and saline; (C-Olive)standard-chow and olive-oil (3.0 g/kg.day); (C-Oleuropein)standard-chow and oleuropein (0.023 mg/kg/day); (C-Cafeic) standard-chow and cafeic-acid (2.66 mg/kg/day); (Ob)receiving hypercaloric-chow and saline;(Ob-Olive) hypercaloric-chow and olive-oil;(Ob-Oleuropein) hypercaloric-chow and oleuropein;(Ob-Cafeic) hypercaloric-chow and cafeic-acid. Treatments were given twice a week during 21 days.
After 42 days, obesity was evidenced in Ob rats from enhanced body-weight, surface-area, and body-mass-index. Energy-expenditure, oxygen consumption(VO2) and fat-oxidation were lower in Ob-group than in C. Despite no morphometric changes, Ob-Olive, Ob-Oleuropein and Ob-Cafeic groups had higher VO2, fat-oxidation, myocardial beta-hydroxyacyl coenzyme-A dehydrogenase and lower respiratory-quotient than Ob. Citrate-synthase was highest in Ob-Olive group. Myocardial lipid-hydroperoxide(LH) and antioxidant enzymes were unaffected by olive-oil and its compounds in obesity condition, whereas LH was lower and total-antioxidant-substances were higher in C-Olive and C-Oleuropein than in C.
The present study demonstrated for the first time that olive-oil, oleuropein and cafeic-acid enhanced fat-oxidation and optimized cardiac energy metabolism in obesity conditions. Olive oil and its phenolic compounds improved myocardial oxidative stress in standard-fed conditions.
Previous studies have shown that acute intake of high-phenol virgin olive oil reduces pro-inflammatory, pro-oxidant and pro-thrombotic markers compared with low phenols virgin olive oil, but it still remains unclear whether effects attributed to its phenolic fraction are exerted at transcriptional level in vivo. To achieve this goal, we aimed at identifying expression changes in genes which could be mediated by virgin olive oil phenol compounds in the human.
Postprandial gene expression microarray analysis was performed on peripheral blood mononuclear cells during postprandial period. Two virgin olive oil-based breakfasts with high (398 ppm) and low (70 ppm) content of phenolic compounds were administered to 20 patients suffering from metabolic syndrome following a double-blinded, randomized, crossover design. To eliminate the potential effect that might exist in their usual dietary habits, all subjects followed a similar low-fat, carbohydrate rich diet during the study period. Microarray analysis identified 98 differentially expressed genes (79 underexpressed and 19 overexpressed) when comparing the intake of phenol-rich olive oil with low-phenol olive oil. Many of these genes seem linked to obesity, dyslipemia and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Among these, several genes seem involved in inflammatory processes mediated by transcription factor NF-κB, activator protein-1 transcription factor complex AP-1, cytokines, mitogen-activated protein kinases MAPKs or arachidonic acid pathways.
This study shows that intake of virgin olive oil based breakfast, which is rich in phenol compounds is able to repress in vivo expression of several pro-inflammatory genes, thereby switching activity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells to a less deleterious inflammatory profile. These results provide at least a partial molecular basis for reduced risk of cardiovascular disease observed in Mediterranean countries, where virgin olive oil represents a main source of dietary fat. Admittedly, other lifestyle factors are also likely to contribute to lowered risk of cardiovascular disease in this region.
Polyphenols or phenolic compounds are groups of secondary metabolites widely distributed in plants and found in olive mill wastewater (OMW). Phenolic compounds as well as OMW extracts were evaluated in vitro for their antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive (Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae). Most of the tested phenols were not effective against the four bacterial strains when tested as single compounds at concentrations of up to 1000 μg mL−1. Hydroxytyrosol at 400 μg mL−1 caused complete growth inhibition of the four strains. Gallic acid was effective at 200, and 400 μg mL−1 against S. aureus, and S. pyogenes, respectively, but not against the gram negative bacteria. An OMW fraction called AntiSolvent was obtained after the addition of ethanol to the crude OMW. HPLC analysis of AntiSolvent fraction revealed that this fraction contains mainly hydroxytyrosol (10.3%), verbascoside (7.4%), and tyrosol (2.6%). The combinations of AntiSolvent/gallic acid were tested using the low minimal inhibitory concentrations which revealed that 50/100–100/100 μg mL−1 caused complete growth inhibition of the four strains. These results suggest that OMW specific fractions augmented with natural phenolic ingredients may be utilized as a source of bioactive compounds to control pathogenic bacteria.
PNA probes for the specific detection of DNA from olive oil samples by microarray technology were developed. The presence of as low as 5% refined hazelnut (Corylus avellana) oil in extra-virgin olive oil (Olea europaea L.) could be detected by using a PNA microarray. A set of two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the Actin gene of Olive was chosen as a model for evaluating the ability of PNA probes for discriminating olive cultivars. Both unmodified and C2-modified PNAs bearing an arginine side-chain were used, the latter showing higher sequence specificity. DNA extracted from leaves of three different cultivars (Ogliarola leccese, Canino and Frantoio) could be easily discriminated using a microarray with unmodified PNA probes, whereas discrimination of DNA from oil samples was more challenging, and could be obtained only by using chiral PNA probes.
PNA; olive oil; hazelnut oil; SNP; cultivar identification; DNA fingerprinting
Self-compatibility of local olive (Olea europaea L.) accessions and of the cultivars “Frantoio” and “Leccino” was investigated in Garda Lake area, northern Italy. Intercompatibility was determined for “Casaliva,” “Frantoio,” and “Leccino,” as well as the effects of foliar Boron applications (0, 262, 525, or 1050 mg·L−1) applied about one week before anthesis on fruit set, shotberry set, and on in vitro pollen germination. Following self-pollination, fruit set was significantly lower and the occurrence of shot berries significantly higher than those obtained by open pollination. No significant effect of controlled cross-pollination over self-pollination on fruit set and shotberry set was detectable. B treatments increased significantly fruit set in “Frantoio” and “Casaliva” but not in “Leccino.” B sprays had no effect on shotberry set, suggesting that these parthenocarpic fruits did not strongly compete for resources allocation and did not take advantage of increased B tissue levels. Foliar B application enhanced in vitro pollen germination, and the optimal level was higher for pollen germination than for fruit set. Our results highlight the importance of olive cross pollination for obtaining satisfactory fruit set and the beneficial effect of B treatments immediately prior to anthesis, possibly by affecting positively the fertilisation process and subsequent plant source-sink relations linked to fruitlet retention.
Olive (Olea europaea L.) is an important source of edible oil which was originated in Near-East region. In this study, two cDNA libraries were constructed from young olive leaves and immature olive fruits for generation of ESTs to discover the novel genes and search the function of unknown genes of olive. The randomly selected 3840 colonies were sequenced for EST collection from both libraries. Readable 2228 sequences for olive leaf and 1506 sequences for olive fruit were assembled into 205 and 69 contigs, respectively, whereas 2478 were singletons. Putative functions of all 2752 differentially expressed unique sequences were designated by gene homology based on BLAST and annotated using BLAST2GO. While 1339 ESTs show no homology to the database, 2024 ESTs have homology (under 80%) with hypothetical proteins, putative proteins, expressed proteins, and unknown proteins in NCBI-GenBank. 635 EST's unique genes sequence have been identified by over 80% homology to known function in other species which were not previously described in Olea family. Only 3.1% of total EST's was shown similarity with olive database existing in NCBI. This generated EST's data and consensus sequences were submitted to NCBI as valuable source for functional genome studies of olive.
Contrary to other Tephritidae, female but also male olive flies, Bactrocera oleae release pheromones during their sexual communication. Alpha-pinene, a common plant volatile found in high amounts in unripe olive fruit and leaves has been detected as one of the major components of the female pheromone. However, possible effects of α-pinene and that of other host volatiles on the mating behavior of the olive fly have not been investigated.
Using wild olive flies, reared on olive fruit for 3 generations in the laboratory, we explored whether exposure of male and female olive flies to α-pinene affects their sexual performance.
Exposure of sexually mature adult olive flies to the aroma of α-pinene significantly increases the mating performance over non-exposed individuals. Interestingly, exposure to α-pinene boosts the mating success of both males and female olive flies.
This is the first report of such an effect on the olive fly, and the first time that a single plant volatile has been reported to induce such a phenomenon on both sexes of a single species. We discuss the possible associated mechanism and provide some practical implications.
The quality of olive oil is influenced by genetic and environmental factors and by the maturation state of drupes, but it is equally affected by technological treatments of the process. This work investigates the possible correlation between olive LOX gene transcript accumulation, evaluated in fruits collected at different stages of maturation, and chemical biomarkers of its activity. During olive fruit ripening, the same genotype harvested from two different farms shows a positive linear trend between LOX relative transcript accumulation and the content of volatile compounds present in the olive oil aroma. Interestingly, a negative linear trend was observed between LOX relative transcript accumulation and the content of volatile compounds present in the olive pastes obtained from olive fruits with and without malaxation. The changes in the olive LOX transcript accumulation reveal its environmental regulation and suggest differential physiological functions for the LOXs.
• Background and Aims Olive cultivars and their wild relatives (oleasters) represent two botanical varieties of Olea europaea subsp. europaea (respectively europaea and sylvestris). Olive cultivars have undergone human selection and their area of diffusion overlaps that of oleasters. Populations of genuine wild olives seem restricted to isolated areas of Mediterranean forests, while most other wild-looking forms of olive may include feral forms that escaped cultivation.
• Methods The genetic structure of wild and cultivated olive tree populations was evaluated by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers at a microscale level in one continental and two insular Italian regions.
• Key Results The observed patterns of genetic variation were able to distinguish wild from cultivated populations and continental from insular regions. Island oleasters were highly similar to each other and were clearly distinguishable from those of continental regions. Ancient cultivated material from one island clustered with the wild plants, while the old plants from the continental region clustered with the cultivated group.
• Conclusions On the basis of these results, we can assume that olive trees have undergone a different selection/domestication process in the insular and mainland regions. The degree of differentiation between oleasters and cultivated trees on the islands suggests that all cultivars have been introduced into these regions from the outside, while the Umbrian cultivars have originated either by selection from local oleasters or by direct introduction from other regions.
Olea europaea; AFLP; genetic diversity; population structure; wild populations