Chemical examination of the methanolic extract of the leaflets of Cycas circinalis L. led to the isolation of one new biflavonoid, (2S, 2″S)-2,3,2″,3″-tetrahydro-4′,4‴-di-O-methylamentoflavone (tetrahydroisoginkgetin; 2), and 15 known compounds, 11 of which are reported for the first time from C. circinalis. Chromatographic separation of the chloroform extract of C. revoluta Thunb. leaflets afforded 12 compounds, seven of which are reported for the first time from this species. The isolated compounds from both species include 14 biflavonoids, three lignans, three flavan-3-ols, two flavone-C-glucosides, two nor-isoprenoids, and one flavanone. This is the first report of NMR and CD data of 2,3,2″,3″-tetrahydro-4′-O-methyl- and 2,3-dihydro-4′-O-methyl-amentoflavone (6) and (7). The effect of O-methylation on the chemical shifts of the neighboring carbons in the 13C NMR spectra of the dihydro- and tetrahydro-amentoflavone skeletons provides a tool to identify the location of the methoxy groups. Compounds 2, 6, and 18 displayed moderate antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus (IC50 values of 3.8, 9.6, and 8.2 μM, respectively) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA; IC50 values of 5.9, 12.5, and 11.5 μM, respectively).
Cycadaceae; Cycas circinalis; Cycas revolute; biflavonoid; lignin; flavan-3-ol; nor-isoprenoid; flavone-C-glucoside; antibacterial activity
Ten new bis-spirolabdane diterpenoids, leonepetaefolins A–E (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) and 15-epi-leonepetaefolins A-E (2, 4, 6, 8, 10), together with eight known labdane diterpenoids (11–18) as well as two known flavonoids apigenin and cirsiliol, were isolated from the leaves of Leonotis nepetaefolia. The structures of the new compounds were determined on the basis of 1D-and 2D-NMR experiments including 1H, 13C, DEPT, 1H-1H COSY, HSQC, HMBC, and NOESY. The absolute configuration of an epimeric mixture of 1 and 2 was determined by X-ray crystallographic analysis. The compounds isolated were evaluated for their binding propensity in several CNS G protein-coupled receptor assays in vitro.
Novel metabolic pathways initiated by the enzymatic action of CYP11A1 on 7DHC (7-dehydrocholesterol), ergosterol, vitamins D3 and D2 were characterized with help of chemical synthesis, UV and mass spectrometry and NMR analyses. The first pathway follows the sequence 7DHC→22(OH)7DHC → 20,22(OH)27DHC → 7DHP (7-dehydropregnenolone), which can further be metabolized by steroidogenic enzymes. The resulting 5,7-dienes can be transformed by UVB to corresponding, biologically active, secosteroids. Action of CYP11A1 on vitamin D3 and D2 produces novel hydroxyderivatives with OH added at positions C17, C20, C22, C23 and C24, some of which can be hydroxylated by CYP27B1 and/or by CYP27A1 and/ or by CYP24A1.The main products of these pathways are biologically active with a potency related to their chemical structure and the target cell type. Main products of CYP11A1-mediated metabolism on vitamin D are non-calcemic and non-toxic at relatively high doses and serve as partial agonists on the vitamin D receptor. New secosteroids are excellent candidates for therapy of fibrosing, inflammatory or hyperproliferative disorders including cancers and psoriasis.
skin; keratinocytes; melanocytes; melanoma cells; dermal fibroblasts; vitamin D; 5,7-dienes
High concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines have been previously observed in the genital fluids of women enrolled in microbicide trials and may explain observed increased HIV transmission in some of these trials. Although the longitudinal nature of these studies allows within-subject comparisons of post-product levels to baseline levels, the fact that the physiologic variations of these cytokines and other markers of immune activation are not fully defined in different populations, makes it difficult to assess changes that can be directly attributed to microbicide use as opposed to other biological and behavioural factors.
Cervicovaginal lavage samples were collected from 30 healthy Caucasian and assayed for concentrations of ten cytokines/chemokines, total protein content and two antimicrobial proteins using a multiplex immunoassay and ELISA. Cellular markers were characterized by flow cytometry on mononuclear cells collected from the endocervix using flocked swabs. Bacterial quantification was performed using quantitative PCR.
Ectopy, menstrual cycle phase, prostate-specific antigen and presence of leucocytes in endocervical cells' supernatant were associated with the concentrations of cyto-/chemokines in cervicovaginal secretions. Approximately 3% of endocervical cells collected were monocytes of which a median of 52% (SD = 17) expressed both CD4 and CCR5 markers. Approximately 1% of the total cells were T-cells with a median of 61% (SD = 10) CD4 and CCR5 expression. Around 5% of the monocytes and 16% of the T-cells expressed the immune activation marker HLA-DR. Higher percentages of T-cells were associated with greater quantities of IL-1RA, GM-CSF and elafin.
We demonstrate the presence of selected soluble and cellular immune activation markers and identify their predictors in the female genital tract of healthy women. Future clinical trials should consider ectopy, sexual activity, menstrual cycle phase and presence of bacterial species as possible confounders when evaluating the possible inflammatory effects of microbicide compounds.
Salvinorin A (SA), the main active component of Salvia Divinorum, is a non-nitrogenous kappa opioid receptor (KOR) agonist. It has been shown to reduce acute pain and to exert potent antinflammatory effects. This study assesses the effects and the mode of action of SA on formalin-induced persistent pain in mice. Specifically, the SA effects on long-term behavioural dysfuctions and changes in neuronal activity occurring at spinal level, after single peripheral formalin injection, have been investigated. Moreover, the involvement of microglial and glial cells in formalin-induced chronic pain condition and in SA-mediated effects has been evaluated.
Formalin induced a significant decrease of mechanical withdrawal threshold at the injected and contralateral paw as well as an increase in the duration and frequency, and a rapid decrease in the onset of evoked activity of the nociceptive neurons 7 days after formalin injection. SA daily treatment significantly reduced mechanical allodynia in KOR and cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) sensitive manner. SA treatment also normalized the spinal evoked activity. SA significantly reduced the formalin-mediated microglia and astrocytes activation and modulated pro and anti-inflammatory mediators in the spinal cord.
SA is effective in reducing formalin-induced mechanical allodynia and spinal neuronal hyperactivity. Our findings suggest that SA reduces glial activation and contributes in the establishment of dysfunctions associated with chronic pain with mechanisms involving KOR and CB1R. SA may provide a new lead compound for developing anti-allodynic agents via KOR and CB1R activation.
Salvinorin A; Formalin injection; Allodynia; Nociceptive spinal neurons; Glial cells
A large number of HIV-1 infections in Africa occur in married couples. The predominant direction of intracouple transmission and the principal external origins of infection remain important issues of debate.
We investigated HIV-1 transmission in 46 HIV-1 concordant positive couples from Dakar, Senegal. Intracouple transmission was confirmed by maximum-likelihood phylogenetic analysis and pairwise distance comparisons of HIV-1 env gp41 sequences from both partners. Standardized interview data were used to deduce the direction as well as the external sources of the intracouple transmissions.
Conservative molecular analyses showed linked viruses in 34 (74%) couples, unlinked viruses in 6 (13%) couples, and indeterminate results for 6 (13%) couples. The interview data corresponded completely with the molecular analyses: all linked couples reported internal transmission and all unlinked couples reported external sources of infection. The majority of linked couples (93%) reported the husband as internal source of infection. These husbands most frequently (82%) reported an occasional sexual relationship as external source of infection. Pairwise comparisons of the CD4 count, antiretroviral therapy status, and the proportion of gp41 ambiguous base pairs within transmission pairs correlated with the reported order of infection events.
In this suburban Senegalese population, a majority of HIV-1 concordant couples showed linked HIV-1 transmission with the husband as likely index partner. Our data emphasize the risk of married women for acquiring HIV-1 as a result of the occasional sexual relationships of their husbands.
Six new labdane diterpenoids, preleosibirone A (1), 13-epi-preleosibirone A (2), isopreleosibirone A (3), leosibirone A (4), leosibirone B (5), and 15-epi-leosibirone B (6), were isolated from the leaves of Leonurus sibiricus. The absolute configurations of 1, 2, 5, and 6 were established by X-ray crystallographic analyses, and leosibirone A (4) was shown to be an artifact of the isolation process.
This paper examines the cost and benefits, both financial and environmental, of two leading forms of solar power generation, grid-tied photovoltaic cells and Dish Stirling Systems, using conventional carbon-based fuel as a benchmark.
First we define how these solar technologies will be implemented and why. Then we delineate a model city and its characteristics, which will be used to test the two methods of solar-powered electric distribution. Then we set the constraining assumptions for each technology, which serve as parameters for our calculations. Finally, we calculate the present value of the total cost of conventional energy needed to power our model city and use this as a benchmark when analyzing both solar models’ benefits and costs.
The preeminent form of distributed electricity generation, grid-tied photovoltaic cells under net-metering, allow individual homeowners a degree of electric self-sufficiency while often turning a profit. However, substantial subsidies are required to make the investment sensible. Meanwhile, large dish Stirling engine installations have a significantly higher potential rate of return, but face a number of pragmatic limitations.
This paper concludes that both technologies are a sensible investment for consumers, but given that the dish Stirling consumer receives 6.37 dollars per watt while the home photovoltaic system consumer receives between 0.9 and 1.70 dollars per watt, the former appears to be a superior option. Despite the large investment, this paper deduces that it is far more feasible to get few strong investors to develop a solar farm of this magnitude, than to get 150,000 households to install photovoltaic arrays in their roofs. Potential implications of the solar farm construction include an environmental impact given the size of land require for this endeavour. However, the positive aspects, which include a large CO2 emission reduction aggregated over the lifespan of the farm, outweigh any minor concerns or potential externalities.
P granules, ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes specific to the cytoplasmic side of the nuclear pores of C. elegans germ cells, are implicated in post-transcriptional control of maternally-transcribed mRNAs. Here we show a relationship in C. elegans of Dicer, the riboendonuclease processing enzyme of the RNA interference and microRNA pathways, with GLH-1, a germline-specific RNA helicase and a constitutive component of P granules. Based on results from GST-pull-downs and immunoprecipitations, GLH-1 binds DCR-1 and this binding does not require RNA. Both GLH-1 protein and glh-1 mRNA levels are reduced in the dcr-1(ok247) null mutant background; conversely, a reduction of DCR-1 protein is observed in the glh-1(gk100) deletion strain. Thus, in the C. elegans germline, DCR-1 and GLH-1 are interdependent. In addition, evidence indicates DCR-1 protein levels, like those of GLH-1, are likely regulated by the Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), KGB-1. In adult germ cells, DCR-1 is found in uniformly-distributed, small puncta both throughout the cytoplasm and the nucleus, on the inner side of nuclear pores, and associated with P granules. In arrested oocytes, GLH-1 and DCR-1 re-localize to cytoplasmic and cortically-distributed RNP granules and are necessary to recruit other components to these complexes. We predict the GLH-1/DCR-1 complex may function in the transport, deposition, or regulation of maternally-transcribed mRNAs and their associated miRNAs.
Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK); KGB-1; Processing bodies; oocyte RNP granules; miRNA pathway
We have synthesized 3β,21-dihydroxypregna-5,7-dien-20-one (21(OH) 7DHP) and used UVB radiation to induce its photoconversion to analogues of vitamin D (pD), lumisterol (pL) and tachysterol (pT). The number and character of the products and the dynamics of the process were dependent on the UVB dose. The main products: pD and pT compounds were characterized by UV absorption, MS and NMR spectroscopy after RP-HPLC chromatography. In addition, formation of multiple oxidized derivatives of the primary products was detected and one of these derivatives was characterized as oxidized 21-hydroxyisotachysterol compound (21(OH)oxy-piT). These newly synthesized compounds inhibited growth of human melanoma cells in a dose dependent manner, with greater or equal potency to calcitriol. 3β,21-Dihydroxy-9β,10α-pregna-5,7-dien-20-one (21(OH)pL) and 21(OH)oxy-piT had higher potency against pigmented melanoma cells, while the EC50 for compounds 21(OH)7DHP and (5Z,7E)-3β,21-dihydroxy-9,10-secopregna-5,7,10(19)-trien-20-one (21(OH)pD) were similar in both pigmented and non-pigmented cells. Moreover, 21(OH)7DHP and its derivatives inhibited proliferation of human epidermal HaCaT keratinocytes, albeit at a lower activity compared to melanoma cells. Importantly, 21(OH)7DHP derivatives strongly inhibited the colony formation of human melanoma cells with 21(OH)pD being the most potent. The potential mechanism of action of newly synthesized compounds was similar to that mediated by 1,25(OH)2D3 and involved ligand-induced translocation of vitamin D receptor into the nucleus. In summary, we have characterized for the first time products of UVB-induced conversion of 21(OH)7DHP and documented that these compounds have selective, inhibitory effects on melanoma cells.
secosteroids; UV radiation; lumisterol; vitamin D; oxidation; SLOS; skin; melanoma
The synthesis and in vitro evaluation of a new series of salvinorin A analogues substituted at the C(2) position with natural amino acids is reported. Compound 12, containing Val, displayed high affinity and full agonist activity at the kappa-opioid receptor. Analogues with bulky and/or aromatic residues were inactive, showing the importance of size and electronegativity of C(2)-substituents for binding affinity of salvinorin A derivatives.
Salvia divinorum; salvinorin B; neoclerodane diterpenoid; natural amino acids; opioid receptor ligands
The prospect of establishing serum metabolomic profiles offers great clinical significance for its potential to detect human lung cancers at clinically asymptomatic stages. Patients with suspicious serum metabolomic profiles may undergo advanced radiological tests that are too expensive to be employed as screening tools for the mass population. As the first step to establishing such profiles, this study investigates correlations between tissue and serum metabolomic profiles for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma (AC) in the lungs of humans. Tissue and serum paired samples from 14 patients (five SCCs and nine ACs), and seven serum samples from healthy controls were analyzed with high-resolution magic angle spinning proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (HRMAS 1HMRS). Tissue samples were subjected to quantitative histological pathology analyses after MRS. Based on pathology results, tissue metabolomic profiles for the evaluated cancer types were established using principal component and canonical analyses on measurable metabolites. The parameters used to construct tissue cancer profiles were then tested with serum spectroscopic results for their ability to differentiate between cancer types and identify cancer from controls. In addition, serum spectroscopic results were also analyzed independent of tissue data. Our results strongly indicate the potential of serum MR spectroscopy to achieve the task of differentiating between the tested human lung cancer types and from controls.
Lung squamous cell carcinoma; Lung adenocarcinoma; Diagnosis; Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy; Magic Angle Spinning; Metabolomics; Blood Serum
This study aims to model the effects of acid and osmotic shifts on the intermediate lag time of Listeria monocytogenes at 10°C in a growth medium. The model was developed from data from a previous study (C. I. A. Belessi, Y. Le Marc, S. I. Merkouri, A. S. Gounadaki, S. Schvartzman, K. Jordan, E. H. Drosinos, and P. N. Skandamis, submitted for publication) on the effects of osmotic and pH shifts on the kinetics of L. monocytogenes. The predictive ability of the model was assessed on new data in milk. The effects of shifts were modeled through the dependence of the parameter h0 (“work to be done” prior to growth) induced on the magnitude of the shift and/or the stringency of the new environmental conditions. For shifts across the boundary, the lag time was found to be affected by the length of time for which the microorganisms were kept at growth-inhibiting conditions. The predicted concentrations of L. monocytogenes in milk were overestimated when the effects of this shift were not taken into account. The model proved to be suitable to describe the effects of osmotic and acid shifts observed both within the growth domain and across the growth boundaries of L. monocytogenes.
A growing body of evidence suggests that the alpha7 neuronal nicotinic receptor (NNR) subtype is an important target for the development of novel therapies to treat schizophrenia, offering the possibility to address not only the positive but also the cognitive and negative symptoms associated with the disease. In order to probe the relationship of alpha7 function to relevant behavioral correlates we employed TC-5619, a novel selective agonist for the alpha7 NNR subtype. TC-5619 binds with very high affinity to the alpha7 subtype and is a potent full agonist. TC-5619 has little or no activity at other nicotinic receptors, including the α4β2, ganglionic (α3β4) and muscle subtypes. The transgenic th(tk−)/th(tk−) mouse model that reflects many of the developmental, anatomical, and multi-transmitter biochemical aspects of schizophrenia was used to assess the antipsychotic effects of TC-5619. In these mice TC-5619 acted both alone and synergistically with the antipsychotic clozapine to correct impaired pre-pulse inhibition (PPI) and social behavior which model positive and negative symptoms, respectively. Antipsychotic and cognitive effects of TC-5619 were also assessed in rats. Similar to the results in the transgenic mice, TC-5619 significantly reversed apomorphine-induced PPI deficits. In a novel object recognition paradigm in rats TC-5619 demonstrated long-lasting enhancement of memory over a wide dose range. These results suggest that alpha7-selective agonists such as TC-5619, either alone or in combination with antipsychotics, could offer a new approach to treating the constellation of symptoms associated with schizophrenia, including cognitive dysfunction.
Nicotinic receptor; Alpha7; Acetylcholine; Cholinergic; Schizophrenia; Antipsychotic
We have designed prodrugs that release NO on metabolism by Glutathione S-Transferases (GST). This design exploits the upregulation of GST in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) cells. O2-(2,4-Dinitrophenyl) 1-[(4-ethoxycarbonyl)piperazin-1-yl] diazen-1-ium-1,2-diolate (JS-K, a member of this class) has potent antileukemic activity. HL-60 myeloid leukemia cells were used for in vitro studies of the combination of JS-K with Daunorubicin (DAUNO), Cytarabine (ARA-C) or Etoposide (ETOP) using the median effect method to determine synergistic, antagonistic, or additive effects. Combinations of JS-K added simultaneously, 2 hours before or 2 hours after the other compounds were used. JS-K and DAUNO were antagonistic in all 3 drug sequences. JS-K and ETOP were also antagonistic but to a lesser degree. JS-K and ARA-C showed strong synergy. The combination index at the 50% fraction affected was 0.37 ± 0.23, 0.24 ± 0.27, and 0.15 ± 0.11 for simultaneous, JS-K first and ARA-C first additions, respectively. JS-K by itself induced DNA strand breaks at relatively high concentrations. However, at submicromolar concentrations, it significantly augmented ARA-C-induced DNA strand breaks. NMR spectroscopy revealed no evidence of chemical interaction between JS-K and the other chemotherapeutic agents. We conclude that ARA-C and JS-K have synergistic anti-leukemic activity and warrant further exploration in combination.
Salvinorin A, the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogen, has gained increasing attention since the κ-opioid receptor (KOR) was identified as its principal molecular target by us (Roth et al, PNAS, 2002). Here we report the design, synthesis and biochemical characterization of novel, irreversible, salvinorin A-derived ligands suitable as active state probes of the KOR. Based on prior substituted cysteine accessibility and molecular modeling studies, C3157.38 was chosen as a potential anchoring point for covalent labeling of salvinorin A-derived ligands. Automated docking of a series of potential covalently-bound ligands suggested that either a haloacetate moiety or other similar electrophilic groups could irreversibly bind with C3157.38. 22-thiocyanatosalvinorin A (RB-64) and 22-chlorosalvinorin A (RB-48) were both found to be extraordinarily potent and selective KOR agonists in vitro and in vivo. As predicted based on molecular modeling studies, RB-64 induced wash-resistant inhibition of binding with a strict requirement for a free cysteine in or near the binding pocket. Mass spectrometry (MS) studies utilizing synthetic KOR peptides and RB-64 supported the hypothesis that the anchoring residue was C3157.38 and suggested one biochemical mechanism for covalent binding. These studies provide direct evidence for the presence of a free cysteine in the agonist-bound state of KOR and provide novel insights into the mechanism by which salvinorin A binds to and activates KOR.
Pregna-5,7-dienes and their hydroxylated derivatives can be formed in vivo when there is a deficiency in 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) Δ-reductase function, e.g., Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS). Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation induces photoconversion of 7-DHC to vitamin D3, lumisterol3 and tachysterol3. Two epimers (20R and 20S) of pregna-5,7-diene-3β,17α,20-triol (4R and 4S, respectively) were synthesized and their UVB photo-conversion products identified as corresponding 9,10-secosteroids with vitamin D-like and tachysterol-like structures, and 5,7-dienes with inverted configuration at C-9 and C-10 (lumisterol-like). The number and character of the products and the dynamics of the process were dependent on the UVB dose. At high UVB doses, the formation of multiple oxidized derivatives of the primary products, and the formation of 5,7,9(11)-triene, were observed. The production of vitamin D-like, tachysterol-like and luminosterol-like derivatives was also observed in human skin treated with 4R and 4S, and subjected to UV irradiation, as shown by RP-HPLC. Newly synthesized compounds inhibited melanoma growth in dose dependent manner, and some of them showed equal or higher potency than 1,25(OH)2D3. In summary, we have characterized for the first time the products of UV induced conversion of pregna-5,7-diene-3β,17α,20-triols and documented that the newly synthesized compounds have antiproliferative properties against melanoma cells.
secosteroids; UV radiation; lumisterol; tachysterol; SLOS; melanoma
Calcitriol (3β,5Z,7E)-9,10-secocholesta-5,7,10(19)-trien-1α,3β,25-triol) is a powerful oncostatic form of vitamin D3 that is of limited clinical utility due to hypercalcemic (toxic) effects. Since the removal of the side chain reduces or eliminates the calcemic activity of vitamin D3, secosteroidal compounds lacking or with a shortened side chain are good candidates for anti-cancer drugs. In addition, 5,7-steroidal dienes without a side chain can be generated in vivo under pathological conditions. A series of androsta- and pregna-5,7-dienes was efficiently synthesized from their respective 3-acetylated 5-en precursors by bromination-dehydrobromination and deacetylation reactions. Ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation was used to generate corresponding 9,10-secosteroids with vitamin D-like structures. Additional products with tachysterol-like (T-like) structures or 5,7-dienes with inverted configuration at C-9 and C-10 (lumisterol, L-like) were also detected. Different doses of UVB resulted in formation of various products. At low doses, previtamin D-, T- or L-like compounds were formed as the main products, while higher doses induced further isomerization, with formation of potentially oxidized derivatives. In summary, we describe dynamic UVB induced conversion of androsta- and pregna-5,7-dienes into vitamin D-like compounds and their rearranged analogues; additionally novel T-like and L-like structures were also produced and characterized. Further biological evaluation of newly synthesized compounds should help to select the best candidate(s) for potential treatment of hyperproliferative diseases including cancer.
To investigate the association between biochemical markers of bone, cartilage, and synovial turnover with the presence and severity of knee osteoarthritis (OA) in men.
176 men aged 59–70 years from the MRC Hertfordshire Cohort were studied. Weightbearing anteroposterior and lateral semiflexed radiographs were taken of both knees. A lifestyle questionnaire including basic demographic details and a questionnaire detailing knee pain was completed. This random sample was stratified based on the Kellgren and Lawrence (K&L) score, and the following biochemical markers were analysed: serum osteocalcin, serum C‐terminal crosslinked telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX‐I), urinary C‐terminal crosslinked telopeptide of type II collagen (CTX‐II), and urinary glucosyl‐galactosyl‐pyridinoline (Glc‐Gal‐Pyd).
Age, body mass index (BMI), social class, smoking, and alcohol consumption were similar across K&L grades. Only one subject had a grade 4 K&L score, and was amalgamated with grade 3 subjects. A strong significant association was found between the presence of knee OA and urinary CTX‐II and urinary Glc‐Gal‐Pyd (p = 0.0001 and p = 0.009), which persisted after adjustment for age and BMI. A significant positive association was also found between urinary CTX‐II and urinary Glc‐Gal‐Pyd and the severity of K&L grade, joint space narrowing, and osteophytes scores, which persisted after adjustment for age and BMI. No associations between the presence and severity of knee OA were found for serum CTX‐I or serum osteocalcin.
Urinary CTX‐II and Glc‐Gal‐Pyd, but not systemic markers of bone turnover, are strongly associated with disease severity and the presence of OA at the tibiofemoral and patellofemoral joints in men.
knee osteoarthritis; biochemical markers; CTX‐II; Glc‐Gal‐Pyd; radiographic osteoarthritis
Aplysinopsins are tryptophan-derived marine natural products isolated from numerous genera of sponges and scleractinian corals, as well as from one sea anemone and one nudibranch. Aplysinopsins are widely distributed in the Pacific, Indonesia, Caribbean, and Mediterranean regions. Up to date, around 30 analogues occurring in Nature have been reported. Natural aplysinopsins differ in the bromination pattern of the indole ring, variation in the structure of the C ring, including the number and position of N-methylation, the presence and configuration of the C-8-C-1′ double bond, and the oxidation state of the 2-aminoimidazoline fragment. Aplysinopsins can also occur in the form of dimers. This review summarizes 30 years’ research on aplysinopsins. The origin, isolation sources, chemistry, bioactivity, and ecological functions of aplysinopsins are comprehensively reviewed.
aplysinopsins; natural source; stereochemistry; bioactivity; ecological functions
Cytochrome P450scc (CYP11A1) can hydroxylate vitamin D3 to produce 20-hydroxyvitamin D3 and other poorly characterized hydroxylated products. The present study aimed to identify all the products of vitamin D3 metabolism by P450scc, as well as the pathways leading to their formation. Besides 20-hydroxyvitamin D3, other major metabolites of vitamin D3 were a dihydroxyvitamin D3 and a trihydroxyvitamin D3 product. The dihydroxyvitamin D3 was clearly identified as 20,23-dihydroxyvitamin D3 by NMR, in contrast to previous reports that postulated hydroxyl groups in positions 20 and 22. NMR of the trihydroxy product identified it as 17α,20,23-trihydroxyvitamin D3. This product could be directly produced by P450scc acting on 20,23-dihydroxyvitamin D3, confirming that hydroxyl groups are present at positions 20 and 23. Three minor products of D3 metabolism by P450scc were identified by MS and by examining their subsequent metabolism by P450scc. These products were 23-hydroxyvitamin D3, 17α-hydroxyvitamin D3 and 17α,20-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and arise from the three P450scc-catalysed hydroxylations occurring in a different order. We conclude that the major pathway of vitamin D3 metabolism by P450scc is: vitamin D3 → 20-hydroxyvitamin D3 → 20,23-dihydroxyvitamin D3 → 17α,20,23-trihydroxyvitamin D3. The major products dissociate from the P450scc active site and accumulate at a concentration well above the P450scc concentration. Our new identification of the major dihydroxyvitamin D3 product as 20,23-dihydroxyvitamin D3, rather than 20,22-dihydroxyvitamin D3, explains why there is no cleavage of the vitamin D3 side chain, unlike the metabolism of cholesterol by P450scc.
CYP11A1; cytochrome P450scc; hydroxyvitamin D3; NMR; vitamin D3
The asymmetric unit of the title compound, C22H26O8, contains two crystallographically independent molecules with closely comparable conformations (r.m.s. overlay = 0.54 Å for 30 non-H atoms). All six-membered rings display chair conformations, with a slight distortion for the lactone ring. The molecules are connected by O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds into chains along , with the independent molecules segregated into separate chains. The two molecules in the asymmetric unit face each other in a head-to-tail fashion, with the furan ring of one molecule turned towards the carboxylic acid terminal of the other molecule.
Novel semisynthetic analogs of salvinorin A, a full agonist having extraordinary affinity as well as selectivity for the κ-opioid receptor (KOR), were obtained in good yields. The derivatives are remarkable for their unusual and unique hemiacetal structure in the salvinorin series of compounds. The formation of the hemiacetal occurs with epimerization at C-12, thus preserving the original configuration of salvinorin A. The dimethyl ester derivative of the hemiacetal was found to have an affinity for both KOR and MOR (μ-opioid receptor).
salvinorin A; KOR ligands; hemiacetal; dual afinity
Since P450scc transforms 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC) to 7-dehydropregnenolone (7DHP) in vitro, we investigated sequential 7DHC metabolism by adrenal glands ex vivo. There was a rapid, time- and dose-dependent metabolism of 7DHC by adrenals from rats, pigs, rabbits and dogs with production of more polar 5,7-dienes as detected by RP-HPLC. Based on retention time (RT), UV spectra and mass spectrometry, we identified the major products common to all tested species as 7DHP, 22-hydroxy-7DHC and 20,22-dihydroxy-7DHC. The involvement of P450scc in adrenal metabolic transformation was confirmed by the inhibition of this process by DL-aminoglutethimide. The metabolism of 7DHC with subsequent production of 7DHP was stimulated by forscolin indicating involvement of cAMP dependent pathways. Additional minor products of 7DHC metabolism that were more polar than 7DHP were identified as 17-hydroxy-7DHP (in pig adrenals but not those of rats) and as pregna-4,7-diene-3,20-dione (7-dehydroprogesterone). Both products represented the major identifiable products of 7DHP metabolism in adrenal glands. Studies with purified enzymes show that StAR protein likely transports 7DHC to the inner mitochondrial membrane, that 7DHC can compete effectively with cholesterol for the substrate binding site on P450scc and that the catalytic efficiency of 3βHSD for 7DHP (Vm/Km) is 40% of that for pregnenolone. Skin mitochondria are capable of transforming 7DHC to 7DHP and the 7DHP is metabolized further by skin extracts. Finally, 7DHP, its photoderivative 20-oxopregnacalciferol, and pregnenolone exhibited biological activity in skin cells including inhibition of proliferation of epidermal keratinocytes and melanocytes, and melanoma cells. These findings define a novel steroidogenic pathway: 7DHC→22(OH)7DHC→20,22(OH)27DHC→7DHP, with potential further metabolism of 7DHP mediated by 3βHSD or CYP17, depending on mammalian species. The 5–7 dienal intermediates of the pathway can be a source of biologically active vitamin D3 derivatives after delivery to or production in the skin, an organ intermittently exposed to solar radiation.
Salvinorin A, a neoclerodane diterpenoid, isolated from the Mexican hallucinogenic plant, Salvia divinorum is a potent kappa-opioid receptor agonist. Its biosynthetic route was studied by NMR and HR-ESI-MS analysis of the products of the incorporation of [1-13C]-glucose, [Me-13C]-methionine, and [1-13C; 3,4-2H2]-1-deoxy-d-xylulose into its structure. The use of cuttings and direct stem injection were unsuccessful, however, incorporation of 13C into salvinorin A was achieved using in vitro sterile culture of microshoots. NMR analysis of salvinorin A (2.7 mg) isolated from 200 microshoots grown in the presence of [1-13C]-glucose established that this pharmacologically important diterpene is biosynthesized via the 1-deoxy-d-xylulose-5-phosphate pathway, instead of the classic mevalonic acid pathway. This was confirmed in plants grown in the presence of [1-13C; 3,4-2H2]-1-deoxy-d-xylulose. In addition, analysis of salvinorin A produced by plants grown in the presence of [Me-13C]-methionine indicates that the methylation of the C-4 carboxyl group is catalyzed by a type III S-adenosyl-l-methionine-dependent O-methyltransferase.
salvinorin A; Salvia divinorum; deoxyxylulose phosphate pathway; 13C-labeling; biosynthesis; retrobiosynthetic NMR analysis