Flavonoids, one of the major groups of secondary metabolites, play important roles in the physiology, ecology and defence of plants. Their wide range of activities is the result of their structural diversity that encompasses a variety of functional group substitutions including hydroxylations. The aromatic hydroxylation at position 6 of flavonols is of particular interest, since it is catalyzed by a 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase (ODD), rather than a cytochrome P450-dependent monooxygenase. ODDs catalyze a variety of enzymatic reactions implicated in secondary metabolite biosynthesis.
A cDNA fragment encoding an ODD involved in the 6-hydroxylation of partially methylated flavonols, flavonol 6-hydroxylase (F6H), was isolated and characterized from Chrysosplenium americanum using internal peptide sequence information obtained from the native plant protein. This novel clone was functionally expressed in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic expression systems and exhibited ODD activity. The cofactor and cosubstrate requirements of the recombinant proteins are typical for ODDs, and the recombinant enzymes utilize 3,7,4'-trimethylquercetin as the preferred substrate. The genomic region encoding this enzyme possesses two introns at conserved locations for this class of enzymes and is present as a single copy in the C. americanum genome.
Recombinant F6H has been functionally expressed and characterized at the molecular level. The results demonstrate that its cofactor dependence, physicochemical characteristics and substrate preference compare well with the native enzyme. The N-terminal region of this protein is believed to play a significant role in catalysis and may explain the difference in the position specificity of the 6-hydroxylation reaction.
Flavonoids are widely distributed in the plant kingdom and show various biological activities. The bioavailability of flavonoids in biological samples has conventionally been quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, but with these analytical techniques it is difficult to estimate the subcellular localization of flavonoids in intact cells. In this study, we attempted to examine the localization of flavonoids in cultured cells using a confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscope and mouse hepatoma Hepa-1c1c7 cells. Five flavonol aglycones showed autofluorescence in the cells under the conditions (Ex. 488 nm to Em. 515–535 nm), whereas three flavonol glycosides and eight compounds belonging to other flavonoid subclasses, i.e., flavones, flavanones, and catechins, did not. The autofluorescence of galangin and kaempferol appeared stronger in the nucleus than cytoplasm, suggesting that they are incorporated into the cells and accumulated in the nucleus. The proposed method provided evidence that flavonol aglycones are incorporated into, and accumulated in the nucleus of, hepatocytes.
Cellular uptake; Flavonoid; Fluorescence microscope; Hepatocytes; Kaempferol
Flavonoids are synthesized by phenylpropanoid pathway. They are known to participate in large number of physiological and biochemical processes in plants. Parthenocarpy and male sterility has earlier been reported by silencing chalcone synthase (CHS) encoding gene. Silencing of CHS has blocked the synthesis of most of useful flavonoids including flavan-3-ols and flavonols. Also, these studies could not identify whether parthenocarpy/male sterility were due to lack of flavan-3-ols or flavonols or both. Flavonol synthase (FLS) is an important enzyme of flavonoid pathway that catalyzes the formation of flavonols. In this article, we propose a novel strategy towards the generation of seedless or less-seeded fruits by downregulation of flavonol biosynthesis in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum cv Xanthi) through post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) of FLS encoding mRNA. The FLS silenced lines were observed for 20-80% reduction in FLS encoding gene expression and 25–93% reduction in flavonol (quercetin) content. Interestingly, these FLS silenced tobacco lines also showed reduction in their anthocyanidins content. While the content of flavan-3-ols (catechin, epi-catechin and epi-gallocatechin) was found to be increased in FLS silenced lines. The delayed flowering in FLS silenced lines could be due to decrease in level of indole acetic acid (IAA) at apical region of their shoots. Furthermore, the pollen germination was hampered and pollens were unable to produce functional pollen tube in FLS silenced tobacco lines. Pods of FLS silenced lines contained significantly less number of seeds. The in vitro and in vivo studies where 1 µM quercetin was supplied to germination media, documented the restoration of normal pollen germination and pollen tube growth. This finding identified the role of flavonols particularly quercetin in pollen germination as well as in the regulation of plant fertility. Results also suggest a novel approach towards generation of seedless/less-seeded fruits via PTGS of FLS encoding gene in plants.
The coordinated activity of different flavonoid biosynthesis genes in Arabidopsis thaliana results in tissue-specific accumulation of flavonols, anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins (PAs). These compounds possess diverse functions in plants including light-attenuation and oxidative stress protection. Flavonoids accumulate in a stimulus- and/or development-dependent manner in specific parts of the plant. PAs accumulate in the seed coat (testa).
We describe the biological material and the preparation of total RNA for the AtGenExpress developmental silique and seed series. AtGenExpress ATH1 GeneChip expression data from the different stages were reanalyzed and verified using quantitative real time PCR (qPCR). We observed organ-specific transcript accumulation of specific flavonoid biosynthetic genes consistent with previously published data and our PA compound accumulation data. In addition, we investigated the regulation of PA accumulation in developing A. thaliana seeds by correlating gene expression patterns of specific flavonoid biosynthesis genes with different seed embryonic developmental stages and organs and present two useful marker genes for isolated valve and replum organs, as well as one seed-specific marker.
Potential caveats of array-based expression data are discussed based on comparisons with qPCR data. Results from ATH1 microarray and qPCR experiments revealed a shift in gene activity from general flavonoid biosynthesis at early stages of seed development to PA synthesis at late (mature) stages of embryogenesis. The examined PA accumulation-associated genes, including biosynthetic and regulatory genes, were found to be exclusively expressed in immature seeds. Accumulation of PAs initiates at the early heart stage of silique and seed development. Our findings provide new insights for further studies targeting the PA pathway in seeds.
Understanding the regulation of the flavonoid pathway is important for maximising the nutritional value of crop plants and possibly enhancing their resistance towards pathogens. The flavonoid 3'5'-hydroxylase (F3'5'H) enzyme functions at an important branch point between flavonol and anthocyanin synthesis, as is evident from studies in petunia (Petunia hybrida), and potato (Solanum tuberosum). The present work involves the identification and characterisation of a F3'5'H gene from tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), and the examination of its putative role in flavonoid metabolism.
The cloned and sequenced tomato F3'5'H gene was named CYP75A31. The gene was inserted into the pYeDP60 expression vector and the corresponding protein produced in yeast for functional characterisation. Several putative substrates for F3'5'H were tested in vitro using enzyme assays on microsome preparations. The results showed that two hydroxylation steps occurred. Expression of the CYP75A31 gene was also tested in vivo, in various parts of the vegetative tomato plant, along with other key genes of the flavonoid pathway using real-time PCR. A clear response to nitrogen depletion was shown for CYP75A31 and all other genes tested. The content of rutin and kaempferol-3-rutinoside was found to increase as a response to nitrogen depletion in most parts of the plant, however the growth conditions used in this study did not lead to accumulation of anthocyanins.
CYP75A31 (NCBI accession number GQ904194), encodes a flavonoid 3'5'-hydroxylase, which accepts flavones, flavanones, dihydroflavonols and flavonols as substrates. The expression of the CYP75A31 gene was found to increase in response to nitrogen deprivation, in accordance with other genes in the phenylpropanoid pathway, as expected for a gene involved in flavonoid metabolism.
Flavonoids are specialized compounds widely distributed and with diverse functions throughout the plant kingdom and with several benefits for human health. In particular, flavonols, synthesized by flavonol synthase (FLS), protect plants against UV-B radiation and are essential for male fertility in maize and other plants. We have recently characterized a UV-B inducible ZmFLS1, corresponding to the first to be described in monocot plants. Interestingly, the new assembly of the B73 maize genome revealed the presence of a second putative FLS gene (ZmFLS2), with very high identity with ZmFLS1. ZmFLSs expression was analyzed in different maize tissues, and by combining electrophoretic mobility shift assays and transient expression experiments, we show that both genes are direct targets of anthocyanin (C1/PL1 + R/B) and 3-deoxy flavonoid (P1) transcriptional regulators. ZmFLS expression analyses show higher levels of both transcripts in high altitude landraces than inbred lines, and both genes are regulated by UV-B radiation in all lines analyzed. Moreover, the high sequence conservation of the ZmFLS promoters between maize lines suggests that the differences observed in ZmFLS expression are due to allelic variations in the transcription factors that regulate their activities. Finally, we generated pFLS1::FLS1-RFP transgenic plants and analyzed ZmFLS1 expression in different maize tissues; we found that this enzyme is localized in the ER and the perinuclear region.
UV-B; duplication; grasses; natural variation; maize
Anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, and flavonols are the three major classes of flavonoid compounds found in grape berry tissues. Several viticultural practices increase flavonoid content in the fruit, but the underlying genetic mechanisms responsible for these changes have not been completely deciphered. The impact of post-veraison sunlight exposure on anthocyanin and flavonol accumulation in grape berry skin and its relation to the expression of different transcriptional regulators known to be involved in flavonoid synthesis was studied. Treatments consisting of removing or moving aside the basal leaves which shade berry clusters were applied. Shading did not affect sugar accumulation or gene expression of HEXOSE TRANSPORTER 1, although in the leaf removal treatment, these events were retarded during the first weeks of ripening. Flavonols were the most drastically reduced flavonoids following shading and leaf removal treatments, related to the reduced expression of FLAVONOL SYNTHASE 4 and its putative transcriptional regulator MYB12. Anthocyanin accumulation and the expression of CHS2, LDOX, OMT, UFGT, MYBA1, and MYB5a genes were also affected. Other regulatory genes were less affected or not affected at all by these treatments. Non-transcriptional control mechanisms for flavonoid synthesis are also suggested, especially during the initial stages of ripening. Although berries from the leaf removal treatment received more light than shaded fruits, malvidin-3-glucoside and total flavonol content was reduced compared with the treatment without leaf removal. This work reveals that flavonol-related gene expression responds rapidly to field changes in light levels, as shown by the treatment in which shaded fruits were exposed to light in the late stages of ripening. Taken together, this study establishes MYB-specific responsiveness for the effect of sun exposure and sugar transport on flavonoid synthesis.
bHLH; flavonoids; grape; leaf removal; MYB12; PAR; sugar; source; sink; WDR
Ginkgo biloba leaves and their extracts are one of the most widely used herbal products and/or dietary supplements in the world. A systematic study of the phenolic compounds is necessary to establish quality parameters. A modified LC-DAD-ESI/MS method was used to obtain chromatographic profiles for the flavonoids and terpene lactones of Ginkgo biloba leaves. The method was used to identify 45 glycosylated flavonols and flavones, 3 flavonol aglycones, catechin, 10 biflavones, a dihydroxybenzoic acid, and 4 terpene lactones in an aqueous methanol extract of the leaves. The extracted G. biloba leaf products contained the same flavonoids as the raw leaves except for the lack of biflavones. The detected glycosylated flavonol contents were equal to or more than 0.0008% of the dry plant material. This is the first report of the presence of more than 20 of these flavonoids in G. biloba.
Ginkgo biloba; flavonoids; terpene lactones; LC-DAD-ESI/MS identification; chromatographic flavonoid profile
Background: Plant natural products typically contain regiospecific modifications in their side chains that lead to different bioactivities.
Results: Only 3-O-methylated flavonols enhance IL-1β production in THP-1 cells costimulated with the Toll-like receptor 2 agonist Pam3CSK4.
Conclusion: Regiospecific methylation of flavonols controls their bioactivity as immunomodulators.
Significance: This study provides a platform to explore the use of regiospecific-modified natural products as novel immunomodulators.
It is now recognized that innate immunity to intestinal microflora plays a significant role in mediating immune health, and modulation of microbial sensing may underpin the impact of plant natural products in the diet or when used as nutraceuticals. In this context, we have examined five classes of plant-derived flavonoids (flavonols, flavones, flavanones, catechins, and cyanidin) for their ability to regulate cytokine release induced by the Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) agonist Pam3CSK4. We found that the flavonols selectively co-stimulated IL-1β secretion but had no impact on the secretion of IL-6. Importantly, this costimulation of TLR2-induced cytokine secretion was dependent on regiospecific methylation of the flavonol scaffold with a rank order of quercetin-3,4′-dimethylether > quercetin-3-methylether > casticin. The mechanism underpinning this costimulation did not involve enhanced inflammasome activation. In contrast, the methylated flavonols enhanced IL-1β gene expression through transcriptional regulation, involving mechanisms that operate downstream of the initial NF-κB and STAT1 activation events. These studies demonstrate an exquisite level of control of scaffold bioactivity by regiospecific methylation, with important implications for understanding how natural products affect innate immunity and for their development as novel immunomodulators for clinical use.
Interleukin; Natural Products; Signaling; Small Molecules; Toll-like Receptors (TLR); IL-1β; Plant Natural Products; TLR Signaling; Methylated Flavonols
Herba epimedii (Epimedium), a traditional Chinese medicine, has been widely used as a kidney tonic and antirheumatic medicine for thousands of years. The bioactive components in herba epimedii are mainly prenylated flavonol glycosides, end-products of the flavonoid pathway. Epimedium species are also used as garden plants due to the colorful flowers and leaves. Many R2R3-MYB transcription factors (TFs) have been identified to regulate the flavonoid and anthocyanin biosynthetic pathways. However, little is known about the R2R3-MYB TFs involved in regulation of the flavonoid pathway in Epimedium. Here, we reported the isolation and functional characterization of the first R2R3-MYB TF (EsMYBA1) from Epimedium sagittatum (Sieb. Et Zucc.) Maxim. Conserved domains and phylogenetic analysis showed that EsMYBA1 belonged to the subgroup 6 clade (anthocyanin-related MYB clade) of R2R3-MYB family, which includes Arabidopsis AtPAP1, apple MdMYB10 and legume MtLAP1. EsMYBA1 was preferentially expressed in leaves, especially in red leaves that contain higher content of anthocyanin. Alternative splicing of EsMYBA1 resulted in three transcripts and two of them encoded a MYB-related protein. Yeast two-hybrid and transient luciferase expression assay showed that EsMYBA1 can interact with several bHLH regulators of the flavonoid pathway and activate the promoters of dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) and anthocyanidin synthase (ANS). In both transgenic tobacco and Arabidopsis, overexpression of EsMYBA1 induced strong anthocyanin accumulation in reproductive and/or vegetative tissues via up-regulation of the main flavonoid-related genes. Furthermore, transient expression of EsMYBA1 in E. sagittatum leaves by Agrobacterium infiltration also induced anthocyanin accumulation in the wounded area. This first functional characterization of R2R3-MYB TFs in Epimedium species will promote further studies of the flavonoid biosynthesis and regulation in medicinal plants.
Phenylpropanoids, particularly flavonoids have been recently suggested as playing primary antioxidant functions in the responses of plants to a wide range of abiotic stresses. Furthermore, flavonoids are effective endogenous regulators of auxin movement, thus behaving as developmental regulators. Flavonoids are capable of controlling the development of individual organs and the whole-plant; and, hence, to contribute to stress-induced morphogenic responses of plants. The significance of flavonoids as scavengers of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in humans has been recently questioned, based on the observation that the flavonoid concentration in plasma and most tissues is too low to effectively reduce ROS. Instead, flavonoids may play key roles as signaling molecules in mammals, through their ability to interact with a wide range of protein kinases, including mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), that supersede key steps of cell growth and differentiation. Here we discuss about the relative significance of flavonoids as reducing agents and signaling molecules in plants and humans. We show that structural features conferring ROS-scavenger ability to flavonoids are also required to effectively control developmental processes in eukaryotic cells.
auxin movement; chloroplast flavonoids; dihydroxy B-ring-substituted flavonoids; MAPK; nuclear flavonoids; reactive oxygen species (ROS); signaling molecules
Flavonols, phenylalanine-derived secondary metabolites, have protective and regulatory functions in plants. In Arabidopsis thaliana, they are consecutively glycosylated at their 3-OH and 7-OH groups. UGT78D1 and UGT78D2 are the major flavonol 3-O-glycosyltransferases in Arabidopsis leaves. The ugt78d1 ugt78d2 double mutant, which was strongly compromised in the initial 3-O-glycosylation, showed a severe and specific repression of flavonol biosynthesis, retaining only one-third of the wild-type level. This metabolic phenotype was associated with a repressed transcription of several flavonol biosynthetic genes including the committed step chalcone synthase [(CHS) or TRANSPARENT TESTA 4 (TT4)]. Furthermore, the committed step of the upstream, general phenylpropanoid pathway, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), was down-regulated in its enzyme activity and in the transcription of the flavonol-related PAL1 and PAL2. However, a complete blocking of flavonoid biosynthesis at CHS released PAL inhibition in a tt4 ugt78d1 ugt78d2 line. PAL activity was even enhanced in the flavonol synthase 1 mutant, which compromises the final formation of flavonol aglycones. The dependence of the PAL feedback inhibition on flavonols was confirmed by chemical complementation of tt4 ugt78d1 ugt78d2 using naringenin, a downstream flavonoid intermediate, which restored the PAL repression. Although aglycones were not analytically detectable, this study provides genetic evidence for a novel, flavonol-dependent feedback inhibition of the flavonol biosynthetic pathway and PAL. It was conditioned by the compromised flavonol-3-O-conjugation and a decrease in flavonol content, yet dependent on a residual, flavonol synthase 1 (FLS1)-related capacity to form flavonol aglycones. Thus, this regulation would not react to a reduced metabolic flux into flavonol biosynthesis, but it might prevent the accumulation of non-glycosylated, toxic flavonols.
Feedback inhibition; flavonoids; flavonols; flavonol synthase; phenylalanine ammonia-lyase; phenylpropanoids; UDP-carbohydrate-dependent glycosyltransferase
Epimedium sagittatum (Sieb. et Zucc.) Maxim, a popular traditional Chinese medicinal plant, has been widely used for treating sexual dysfunction and osteoporosis in China. The main bioactive components in herba epimedii are prenylated flavonol glycosides, which are end products of a branch of the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway. The MYB transcription factors (TF) act as activators or repressors to regulate the flavonoid pathway. In this study, 13 full-length cDNA clones of R2R3-MYB TFs from E. sagittatum (designated as EsMYB1 to EsMYB13) were isolated and characterized. Sequence similarity and phylogenetic analysis placed nine R2R3-MYB members of E. sagittatum into five subgroups of the Arabidopsis R2R3-MYB family, while four members were not clustered into a defined subgroup. The number and length of introns from Epimedium R2R3-MYB genes varied significantly, but intron positions and phases were well conserved. Expression patterns of Epimedium R2R3-MYB genes in various tissues showed diverse. Finally, it is suggested that five Epimedium R2R3-MYB genes may be involved in regulating the flavonoid pathway and could be used as valuable candidate genes for metabolic engineering studies in future. Sequence information of 13 R2R3-MYB genes discovered here will also provide an entry point into the overview of whole R2R3-MYB family in Epimedium.
Epimedium; medicinal plant; flavonoid pathway; MYB; transcription factor
Flavonoids are one of the major plant pigments for flower colour. Not only coloured anthocyanins, but also co-pigment flavones or flavonols, accumulate in flowers. To study the regulation of early flavonoid biosynthesis, two R2R3-MYB transcription factors, GtMYBP3 and GtMYBP4, were identified from the petals of Japanese gentian (Gentiana triflora). Phylogenetic analysis showed that these two proteins belong to the subgroup 7 clade (flavonol-specific MYB), which includes Arabidopsis AtMYB12, grapevine VvMYBF1, and tomato SlMYB12. Gt
MYBP3 and Gt
MYBP4 transcripts were detected specifically in young petals and correlated with the profiles of flavone accumulation. Transient expression assays showed that GtMYBP3 and GtMYBP4 enhanced the promoter activities of early biosynthetic genes, including flavone synthase II (FNSII) and flavonoid 3′-hydroxylase (F3′H), but not the late biosynthetic gene, flavonoid 3′,5′-hydroxylase (F3′5′H). GtMYBP3 also enhanced the promoter activity of the chalcone synthase (CHS) gene. In transgenic Arabidopsis, overexpression of Gt
MYBP3 and Gt
MYBP4 activated the expression of endogenous flavonol biosynthesis genes and led to increased flavonol accumulation in seedlings. In transgenic tobacco petals, overexpression of Gt
MYBP3 and Gt
MYBP4 caused decreased anthocyanin levels, resulting in pale flower colours. Gt
MYBP4-expressing transgenic tobacco flowers also showed increased flavonols. As far as is known, this is the first functional characterization of R2R3-MYB transcription factors regulating early flavonoid biosynthesis in petals.
Early flavonoid biosynthesis; flavone; flower colour; Japanese gentian; R2R3-MYB; transcription factor
Flavonol glucosides constitute the second group of secondary metabolites that accumulate in Crocus sativus stigmas. To date there are no reports of functionally characterized flavonoid glucosyltransferases in C. sativus, despite the importance of these compounds as antioxidant agents. Moreover, their bitter taste makes them excellent candidates for consideration as potential organoleptic agents of saffron spice, the dry stigmas of C. sativus.
Using degenerate primers designed to match the plant secondary product glucosyltransferase (PSPG) box we cloned a full length cDNA encoding CsGT45 from C. sativus stigmas. This protein showed homology with flavonoid glucosyltransferases. In vitro reactions showed that CsGT45 catalyses the transfer of glucose from UDP_glucose to kaempferol and quercetin. Kaempferol is the unique flavonol present in C. sativus stigmas and the levels of its glucosides changed during stigma development, and these changes, are correlated with the expression levels of CsGT45 during these developmental stages.
Findings presented here suggest that CsGT45 is an active enzyme that plays a role in the formation of flavonoid glucosides in C. sativus.
The flavonoid pathway is a long-standing and important tool for plant genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology. Numerous flavonoid mutants have been identified in Arabidopsis over the past several decades in a variety of ecotypes. Here we present an analysis of Arabidopsis lines of ecotype Columbia carrying T-DNA insertions in genes encoding enzymes of the central flavonoid pathway. We also provide a comprehensive summary of various mutant alleles for these structural genes that have been described in the literature to date in a wide variety of ecotypes.
The confirmed knockout lines present easily-scorable phenotypes due to altered pigmentation of the seed coat (or testa). Knockouts for seven alleles for six flavonoid biosynthetic genes were confirmed by PCR and characterized by UPLC for altered flavonol content.
Seven mutant lines for six genes of the central flavonoid pathway were characterized in ecotype, Columbia. These lines represent a useful resource for integrating biochemical and physiological studies with genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic data, much of which has been, and continues to be, generated in the Columbia background.
Arabidopsis; Ecotype; Insertional inactivation lines; Flavonoid; Transparent testa
The Lc petunia system, which displays enhanced, light-induced vegetative pigmentation, was used to investigate how high light affects anthocyanin biosynthesis, and to assess the effects of anthocyanin pigmentation upon photosynthesis. Lc petunia plants displayed intense purple anthocyanin pigmentation throughout the leaves and stems when grown under high-light conditions, yet remain acyanic when grown under shade conditions. The coloured phenotypes matched with an accumulation of anthocyanins and flavonols, as well as the activation of the early and late flavonoid biosynthetic genes required for flavonol and anthocyanin production. Pigmentation in Lc petunia only occurred under conditions which normally induce a modest amount of anthocyanin to accumulate in wild-type Mitchell petunia [Petunia axillaris×(Petunia axillaris×Petunia hybrida cv. ‘Rose of Heaven’)]. Anthocyanin pigmentation in Lc petunia leaves appears to screen underlying photosynthetic tissues, increasing light saturation and light compensation points, without reducing the maximal photosynthetic assimilation rate (Amax). In the Lc petunia system, where the bHLH factor Leaf colour is constitutively expressed, expression of the bHLH (Lc) and WD40 (An11) components of the anthocyanin regulatory system were not limited, suggesting that the high-light-induced anthocyanin pigmentation is regulated by endogenous MYB transcription factors.
Anthocyanin; bHLH; flavonol; Lc; Leaf colour; light; MYB; photosynthesis; vegetative pigmentation
Antioxidants play an important role to protect damage caused by oxidative stress (OS). Plants having phenolic contents are reported to possess antioxidant properties. The present study was designed to investigate the antioxidant properties and phenolic contents (total phenols, flavonoids, flavonols and proanthrocyanidins) of methanolic extracts from Morus alba (locally named as Tut and commonly known as white mulberry) stem barks (TSB), root bark (TRB), leaves (TL) and fruits (TF) to make a statistical correlation between phenolic contents and antioxidant potential.
The antioxidant activities and phenolic contents of methanolic extractives were evaluated by in vitro standard method using spectrophotometer. The antioxidant activities were determined by total antioxidant capacity, DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazine) radical scavenging assay, hydroxyl radical scavenging assay, ferrous reducing antioxidant capacity and lipid peroxidation inhibition assay methods.
Among the extracts, TSB showed the highest antioxidant activity followed by TRB, TF and TL. Based on DPPH and hydroxyl radical scavenging activity, the TSB extract was the most effective one with IC50 37.75 and 58.90 μg/mL, followed by TRB, TF and TL with IC50 40.20 and 102.03; 175.01 and 114.63 and 220.23 and 234.63 μg/mL, respectively. The TSB extract had the most potent inhibitory activity against lipid peroxidation with IC50 145.31 μg/mL. In addition, the reducing capacity on ferrous ion was in the following order: TSB > TRB > TL > TF. The content of phenolics, flavonoids, flavonols and proanthocyanidins of TSB was found to be higher than other extractives.
The results indicate high correlation and regression (p-value <0 .001) between phenolic contents and antioxidant potentials of the extracts, hence the Tut plant could serve as effective free radical inhibitor or scavenger which may be a good candidate for pharmaceutical plant-based products. However, further exploration is necessary for effective use in both modern and traditional system of medicines.
Morus alba; Moraceae; Oxidative stress; Antioxidant; Correlation and regression
FLOWER FLAVONOID TRANSPORTER (FFT) encodes a multidrug and toxin efflux family transporter in Arabidopsis thaliana. FFT (AtDTX35) is highly transcribed in floral tissues, the transcript being localized to epidermal guard cells, including those of the anthers, stigma, siliques and nectaries. Mutant analysis demonstrates that the absence of FFT transcript affects flavonoid levels in the plant and that the altered flavonoid metabolism has wide-ranging consequences. Root growth, seed development and germination, and pollen development, release and viability are all affected. Spectrometry of mutant versus wild-type flowers shows altered levels of a glycosylated flavonol whereas anthocyanin seems unlikely to be the substrate as previously speculated. Thus, as well as adding FFT to the incompletely described flavonoid transport network, it is found that correct reproductive development in Arabidopsis is perturbed when this particular transporter is missing.
Anther; fertility; flavonoid; MATE transporter; nectary; pollen
The genes MYB11, MYB12 and MYB111 share significant structural similarity and form subgroup 7 of the Arabidopsis thaliana R2R3-MYB gene family. To determine the regulatory potential of these three transcription factors, we used a combination of genetic, functional genomics and metabolite analysis approaches. MYB11, MYB12 and MYB111 show a high degree of functional similarity and display very similar target gene specificity for several genes of flavonoid biosynthesis, including CHALCONE SYNTHASE, CHALCONE ISOMERASE, FLAVANONE 3-HYDROXYLASE and FLAVONOL SYNTHASE1. Seedlings of the triple mutant myb11 myb12 myb111, which genetically lack a complete subgroup of R2R3-MYB genes, do not form flavonols while the accumulation of anthocyanins is not affected. In developing seedlings, MYB11, MYB12 and MYB111 act in an additive manner due to their differential spatial activity; MYB12 controls flavonol biosynthesis mainly in the root, while MYB111 controls flavonol biosynthesis primarily in cotyledons. We identified and confirmed additional target genes of the R2R3-MYB subgroup 7 factors, including the UDP-glycosyltransferases UGT91A1 and UGT84A1, and we demonstrate that the accumulation of distinct and structurally identified flavonol glycosides in seedlings correlates with the expression domains of the different R2R3-MYB factors. Therefore, we refer to these genes as PFG1–3 for ‘PRODUCTION OF FLAVONOL GLYCOSIDES’.
flavonoid biosynthesis; R2R3-MYB; PRODUCTION OF FLAVONOL GLYCOSIDES; gene regulation; Arabidopsis
Flavonoids, a group of compounds mainly derived from vegetables and herbal medicines, share a chemical resemblance to estrogen, and indeed some of which have been used as estrogen substitutes. In searching for possible functions of flavonoids, the neuroprotective effect in brain could lead to novel treatment, or prevention, for neurodegenerative diseases. Here, different subclasses of flavonoids were analyzed for its inductive role in neurite outgrowth of cultured PC12 cells. Amongst the tested flavonoids, a flavonol aglycone, isorhamnetin that was isolated mainly from the leaves of Ginkgo biloba L. showed robust induction in the expression of neurofilament, a protein marker for neurite outgrowth, of cultured PC12 cells. Although isorhamnetin by itself did not show significant inductive effect on neurite outgrowth of cultured PC12 cells, the application of isorhamnetin potentiated the nerve growth factor- (NGF-)induced neurite outgrowth. In parallel, the expression of neurofilaments was markedly increased in the cotreatment of NGF and isorhamnetin in the cultures. The identification of these neurite-promoting flavonoids could be very useful in finding potential drugs, or food supplements, for treating various neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and depression.
Proanthocyanidins (PAs) are products of the flavonoid pathway, which also leads to the production of anthocyanins and flavonols. Many flavonoids have antioxidant properties and may have beneficial effects for human health. PAs are found in the seeds and fruits of many plants. In apple fruit (Malus × domestica Borkh.), the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway is most active in the skin, with the flavan-3-ols, catechin, and epicatechin acting as the initiating units for the synthesis of PA polymers. This study examined the genes involved in the production of PAs in three apple cultivars: two heritage apple cultivars, Hetlina and Devonshire Quarrenden, and a commercial cultivar, Royal Gala. HPLC analysis shows that tree-ripe fruit from Hetlina and Devonshire Quarrenden had a higher phenolic content than Royal Gala. Epicatechin and catechin biosynthesis is under the control of the biosynthetic enzymes anthocyanidin reductase (ANR) and leucoanthocyanidin reductase (LAR1), respectively. Counter-intuitively, real-time quantitative PCR analysis showed that the expression levels of Royal Gala LAR1 and ANR were significantly higher than those of both Devonshire Quarrenden and Hetlina. This suggests that a compensatory feedback mechanism may be active, whereby low concentrations of PAs may induce higher expression of gene transcripts. Further investigation is required into the regulation of these key enzymes in apple.
Abbreviations:ANOVAanalysis of varianceANRanthocyanidin reductaseDADdiode array detectorDAFBdays after full bloomDFRdihydroflavonol reductaseLARleucoanthocyanidin reductaseLC-MSliquid chromatography/mass spectrometryPAproanthocyanidinqPCRreal-time quantitative PCR
anthocyanidin reductase; apple; catechin; epicatechin; flavonoid; leucoanthocyanidin reductase; proanthocyanidin biosynthesis; regulation; tannin
Vascular endothelial dysfunction induced by oxidative stress has been demonstrated to be the initiation step of atherosclerosis (AS), and flavonoids may play an important role in AS prevention and therapy. Twenty-three flavonoids categorized into flavones, flavonols, isoflavones, and flavanones, all with 4-oxo-pyronenucleus, were examined for what structural characteristics are required for the inhibitory effects on endothelial dysfunction induced by oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL). Human vascular endothelial cells EA.hy926 were pretreated with different 4-oxo-flavonoids for 2 hs, and then exposed to oxLDL for another 24 hs. Cell viability and the level of malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide (NO) and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) were measured, respectively. Then, correlation analysis and paired comparison were used to analyze the structure–activity relationships. Significant correlations were observed between the number of −OH moieties in total or in B-ring and the inhibitory effectson endothelial dysfunction. Furthermore, 3′,4′-ortho-dihydroxyl on B-ring, 3-hydroxyl on C-ring and 2,3-double bondwere correlated closely to the inhibitory effects of flavonolson cell viability decrease and lipid peroxidation. 5,7-meta-dihydroxyl group on A-ring was crucial for the anti-inflammatory effects of flavones and isoflavones in endothelial cells. Moreover, the substituted position of B-ring on C3 rather than C2 was important for NO release. Additionally, hydroxylation at C6 position significantly attenuated the inhibitory effects of 4-oxo-flavonoids on endothelial dysfunction. Our findings indicated that the effective agents in inhibiting endothelial dysfunction include myricetin, quercetin, luteolin, apigenin, genistein and daidzein. Our work might provide some evidence for AS prevention and a strategy for the design of novel AS preventive agents.
flavonoids; endothelial dysfunction; oxidized low-density lipoprotein; structure-activity analysis; atherosclerosis; reactive oxygen species
The antioxidant activities of the methanol extracts from the wood and pericarp of Caesalpinia decapetala (Roth) Alston (Caesalpiniaceae) were assessed in efforts to validate the herb. The antioxidant activity of the plant has been studied using its ability to scavenger DPPH, superoxide radicals, and nitric oxide radical along with its ability to inhibit lipid peroxidation. The antioxidant activity and phenolic content of the pericarp as determined by the DPPH, superoxide radical, nitric oxide radical, total phenols, the flavonoids, and total flavonols were higher than that of the wood. Analysis of plant extracts revealed a high amount of polyphenols and flavonoids suggesting a possible role of these phytoconstituents in the antioxidant property. Moreover, the results were observed in a concentration and dose dependent manner. Studies clearly indicate that the C. decapetala has significant antioxidant activity.
Caesalpinia decapetala; antioxidant activity; free radical scavenger
In a previous study, anthocyanin levels in potato plants were increased by manipulating genes connected with the flavonoid biosynthesis pathway. However, starch content and tuber yield were dramatically reduced in the transgenic plants, which over-expressed dihydroflavonol reductase (DFR).
Transgenic plants over-expressing dihydroflavonol reductase (DFR) were subsequently transformed with the cDNA coding for the glycosyltransferase (UGT) of Solanum sogarandinum in order to obtain plants with a high anthocyanin content without reducing tuber yield and quality. Based on enzyme studies, the recombinant UGT is a 7-O-glycosyltransferase whose natural substrates include both anthocyanidins and flavonols such as kaempferol and quercetin. In the super-transformed plants, tuber production was much higher than in the original transgenic plants bearing only the transgene coding for DFR, and was almost the same as in the control plants. The anthocyanin level was lower than in the initial plants, but still higher than in the control plants. Unexpectedly, the super-transformed plants also produced large amounts of kaempferol, chlorogenic acid, isochlorogenic acid, sinapic acid and proanthocyanins.
In plants over-expressing both the transgene for DFR and the transgene for UGT, the synthesis of phenolic acids was diverted away from the anthocyanin branch. This represents a novel approach to manipulating phenolic acids synthesis in plants.