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1.  Neuroprotective Effects of Germinated Brown Rice against Hydrogen Peroxide Induced Cell Death in Human SH-SY5Y Cells 
The neuroprotective and antioxidative effects of germinated brown rice (GBR), brown rice (BR) and commercially available γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) against cell death induced by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells have been investigated. Results show that GBR suppressed H2O2-mediated cytotoxicity and induced G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest in SH-SY5Y cells. Moreover, GBR reduced mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and prevented phosphatidylserine (PS) translocation in SH-SY5Y cells, key features of apoptosis, and subsequent cell death. GBR exhibited better neuroprotective and antioxidative activities as compared to BR and GABA. These results indicate that GBR possesses high antioxidative activities and suppressed cell death in SH-SY5Y cells by blocking the cell cycle re-entry and apoptotic mechanisms. Therefore, GBR could be developed as a value added functional food to prevent neurodegenerative diseases caused by oxidative stress and apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC3431823  PMID: 22949825
germinated brown rice; γ-aminobutyric acid; hydrogen peroxide; neuroprotective; SH-SY5Y cell death
2.  One Step Synthesis of NiO Nanoparticles via Solid-State Thermal Decomposition at Low-Temperature of Novel Aqua(2,9-dimethyl-1,10-phenanthroline)NiCl2 Complex 
[NiCl2(C14H12N2)(H2O)] complex has been synthesized from nickel chloride hexahydrate (NiCl2·6H2O) and 2,9-dimethyl-1,10-phenanthroline (dmphen) as N,N-bidentate ligand. The synthesized complex was characterized by elemental analysis, infrared (IR) spectroscopy, ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy and differential thermal/thermogravimetric analysis (TG/DTA). The complex was further confirmed by single crystal X-ray diffraction (XRD) as triclinic with space group P-1. The desired complex, subjected to thermal decomposition at low temperature of 400 ºC in an open atmosphere, revealed a novel and facile synthesis of pure NiO nanoparticles with uniform spherical particle; the structure of the NiO nanoparticles product was elucidated on the basis of Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), UV-vis spectroscopy, TG/DTA, XRD, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDXS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).
PMCID: PMC3876087  PMID: 24351867
nickel(II) complex; thermal decomposition; 2,9-dimethyl-1,10-phenanthroline; nanoparticles
3.  The Anti-Fasciolasis Properties of Silver Nanoparticles Produced by Trichoderma harzianum and Their Improvement of the Anti-Fasciolasis Drug Triclabendazole 
Recently, new strains of Fasciola demonstrated drug resistance, which increased the need for new drugs or improvement of the present drugs. Nanotechnology is expected to open some new opportunities to fight and prevent diseases using an atomic scale tailoring of materials. The ability to uncover the structure and function of biosystems at the nanoscale, stimulates research leading to improvement in biology, biotechnology, medicine and healthcare. The size of nanomaterials is similar to that of most biological molecules and structures; therefore, nanomaterials can be useful for both in vivo and in vitro biomedical research and applications. Therefore, this work aimed to isolate fungal strains from Taif soil samples, which have the ability to synthesize silver nanoparticles. The fungus Trichoderma harzianum, when challenged with silver nitrate solution, accumulated silver nanoparticles (AgNBs) on the surface of its cell wall in 72 h. These nanoparticles, dislodged by ultrasonication, showed an absorption peak at 420 nm in a UV-visible spectrum, corresponding to the plasmon resonance of silver nanoparticles. The transmission electron micrographs of dislodged nanoparticles in aqueous solution showed the production of reasonably monodisperse silver nanoparticles (average particle size: 4.66 nm) by the fungus. The percentage of non hatching eggs treated with the Triclabendazole drug was 69.67%, while this percentage increased to 89.67% in combination with drug and AgNPs.
PMCID: PMC3856041  PMID: 24196355
egg hatching; Fasciola; silver nanoparticle; Triclabendazole; Trichoderma
4.  A Review of Microsatellite Markers and Their Applications in Rice Breeding Programs to Improve Blast Disease Resistance 
Over the last few decades, the use of molecular markers has played an increasing role in rice breeding and genetics. Of the different types of molecular markers, microsatellites have been utilized most extensively, because they can be readily amplified by PCR and the large amount of allelic variation at each locus. Microsatellites are also known as simple sequence repeats (SSR), and they are typically composed of 1–6 nucleotide repeats. These markers are abundant, distributed throughout the genome and are highly polymorphic compared with other genetic markers, as well as being species-specific and co-dominant. For these reasons, they have become increasingly important genetic markers in rice breeding programs. The evolution of new biotypes of pests and diseases as well as the pressures of climate change pose serious challenges to rice breeders, who would like to increase rice production by introducing resistance to multiple biotic and abiotic stresses. Recent advances in rice genomics have now made it possible to identify and map a number of genes through linkage to existing DNA markers. Among the more noteworthy examples of genes that have been tightly linked to molecular markers in rice are those that confer resistance or tolerance to blast. Therefore, in combination with conventional breeding approaches, marker-assisted selection (MAS) can be used to monitor the presence or lack of these genes in breeding populations. For example, marker-assisted backcross breeding has been used to integrate important genes with significant biological effects into a number of commonly grown rice varieties. The use of cost-effective, finely mapped microsatellite markers and MAS strategies should provide opportunities for breeders to develop high-yield, blast resistance rice cultivars. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge concerning the linkage of microsatellite markers to rice blast resistance genes, as well as to explore the use of MAS in rice breeding programs aimed at improving blast resistance in this species. We also discuss the various advantages, disadvantages and uses of microsatellite markers relative to other molecular marker types.
PMCID: PMC3856076  PMID: 24240810
simple sequence repeats; marker development and application; blast resistance; marker assisted selection; rice breeding
5.  Analysis of Gln223Agr Polymorphism of Leptin Receptor Gene in Type II Diabetic Mellitus Subjects among Malaysians 
Leptin is known as the adipose peptide hormone. It plays an important role in the regulation of body fat and inhibits food intake by its action. Moreover, it is believed that leptin level deductions might be the cause of obesity and may play an important role in the development of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), as well as in cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The Leptin Receptor (LEPR) gene and its polymorphisms have not been extensively studied in relation to the T2DM and its complications in various populations. In this study, we have determined the association of Gln223Agr loci of LEPR gene in three ethnic groups of Malaysia, namely: Malays, Chinese and Indians. A total of 284 T2DM subjects and 281 healthy individuals were recruited based on International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria. Genomic DNA was extracted from the buccal specimens of the subjects. The commercial polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method was carried out by proper restriction enzyme MSP I to both amplify and digest the Gln223Agr polymorphism. The p-value among the three studied races was 0.057, 0.011 and 0.095, respectively. The values such as age, WHR, FPG, HbA1C, LDL, HDL, Chol and Family History were significantly different among the subjects with Gln223Agr polymorphism of LEPR (p < 0.05).
PMCID: PMC3794830  PMID: 24051404
leptin receptor; polymorphism; type 2 diabetes mellitus; Malaysia; restriction enzyme
6.  Gold-Coated Iron Composite Nanospheres Targeted the Detection of Escherichia coli 
We report the preparation and characterization of spherical core-shell structured Fe3O4–Au magnetic nanoparticles, modified with two component self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) consisting of 3–mercaptophenylboronic acid (3–MBA) and 1–decanethiol (1–DT). The rapid and room temperature synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles was achieved using the hydroxylamine reduction of HAuCl4 on the surface of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)-immobilized iron (magnetite Fe3O4) nanoparticles in the presence of an aqueous solution of hexadecyltrimetylammonium bromide (CTAB) as a dispersant. The reduction of gold on the surface of Fe3O4 nanoparticles exhibits a uniform, highly stable, and narrow particle size distribution of Fe3O4–Au nanoparticles with an average diameter of 9 ± 2 nm. The saturation magnetization value for the resulting nanoparticles was found to be 15 emu/g at 298 K. Subsequent surface modification with SAMs against glucoside moieties on the surface of bacteria provided effective magnetic separation. Comparison of the bacteria capturing efficiency, by means of different molecular recognition agents 3–MBA, 1–DT and the mixed monolayer of 3–MBA and 1–DT was presented. The best capturing efficiency of E. coli was achieved with the mixed monolayer of 3–MBA and 1–DT-modified nanoparticles. Molecular specificity and selectivity were also demonstrated by comparing the surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectrum of E. coli-nanoparticle conjugates with bacterial growth media.
PMCID: PMC3634437  PMID: 23507756
magnetic gold nanoparticle; SERS; immunomagnetic separation; E. coli; surface functionalisation of particles
7.  Analysis of MTHFR and MTRR Gene Polymorphisms in Iranian Ventricular Septal Defect Subjects 
Ventricular septal defect (VSD) is one of the most common types of congenital heart defects (CHD). There are vivid multifactorial causes for VSD in which both genetic and environmental risk factors are consequential in the development of CHD. Methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) are two of the key regulatory enzymes involved in the metabolic pathway of homocysteine. Genes involved in homocysteine/folate metabolism may play an important role in CHDs. In this study; we determined the association of A66G and C524T polymorphisms of the MTRR gene and C677T polymorphism of the MTHFR gene in Iranian VSD subjects. A total of 123 children with VSDs and 125 healthy children were included in this study. Genomic DNA was extracted from the buccal cells of all the subjects. The restriction fragment length polymorphism polymerase chain reaction (PCR-RFLP) method was carried out to amplify the A66G and C524T polymorphism of MTRR and C677T polymorphism of MTHFR genes digested with Hinf1, Xho1 and Nde1 enzymes, respectively. The genotype frequencies of CC, CT and TT of MTRR gene among the studied cases were 43.1%, 40.7% and 16.3%, respectively, compared to 52.8%, 43.2% and 4.0%, respectively among the controls. For the MTRR A66G gene polymorphism, the genotypes frequencies of AA, AG and GG among the cases were 33.3%, 43.9% and 22.8%, respectively, while the frequencies were 49.6%, 42.4% and 8.0%, respectively, among control subjects. The frequencies for CC and CT genotypes of the MTHFR gene were 51.2% and 48.8%, respectively, in VSD patients compared to 56.8% and 43.2% respectively, in control subjects. Apart from MTHFR C677T polymorphism, significant differences were noticed (p < 0.05) in C524T and A66G polymorphisms of the MTRR gene between cases and control subjects.
PMCID: PMC3588012  PMID: 23358257
MTHFR; MTRR; polymorphism; congenital heart disease; ventricular septal defect
8.  Synthesis and Characterization of the Inclusion Complex of β-cyclodextrin and Azomethine 
A β-cyclodextrin (β-Cyd) inclusion complex containing azomethine as a guest was prepared by kneading method with aliquot addition of ethanol. The product was characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer, 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (1H NMR) and Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA), which proves the formation of the inclusion complex where the benzyl part of azomethine has been encapsulated by the hydrophobic cavity of β-Cyd. The interaction of β-Cyd and azomethine was also analyzed by means of spectrometry by UV-Vis spectrophotometer to determine the formation constant. The formation constant was calculated by using a modified Benesi-Hildebrand equation at 25 °C. The apparent formation constant obtained was 1.29 × 104 L/mol. Besides that, the stoichiometry ratio was also determined to be 1:1 for the inclusion complex of β-Cyd with azomethine.
PMCID: PMC3588064  PMID: 23434664
β-cyclodextrin; azomethine; Schiff bases; inclusion complex
9.  Flavonoid Biosynthesis Genes Putatively Identified in the Aromatic Plant Polygonum minus via Expressed Sequences Tag (EST) Analysis 
P. minus is an aromatic plant, the leaf of which is widely used as a food additive and in the perfume industry. The leaf also accumulates secondary metabolites that act as active ingredients such as flavonoid. Due to limited genomic and transcriptomic data, the biosynthetic pathway of flavonoids is currently unclear. Identification of candidate genes involved in the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway will significantly contribute to understanding the biosynthesis of active compounds. We have constructed a standard cDNA library from P. minus leaves, and two normalized full-length enriched cDNA libraries were constructed from stem and root organs in order to create a gene resource for the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, especially flavonoid biosynthesis. Thus, large-scale sequencing of P. minus cDNA libraries identified 4196 expressed sequences tags (ESTs) which were deposited in dbEST in the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI). From the three constructed cDNA libraries, 11 ESTs encoding seven genes were mapped to the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway. Finally, three flavonoid biosynthetic pathway-related ESTs chalcone synthase, CHS (JG745304), flavonol synthase, FLS (JG705819) and leucoanthocyanidin dioxygenase, LDOX (JG745247) were selected for further examination by quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) in different P. minus organs. Expression was detected in leaf, stem and root. Gene expression studies have been initiated in order to better understand the underlying physiological processes.
PMCID: PMC3317681  PMID: 22489118
cDNA library; expressed sequence tags; flavonoid biosynthesis; Polygonum minus; quantitative real-time PCR
10.  Elaeis oleifera Genomic-SSR Markers: Exploitation in Oil Palm Germplasm Diversity and Cross-Amplification in Arecaceae 
Species-specific simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers are favored for genetic studies and marker-assisted selection (MAS) breeding for oil palm genetic improvement. This report characterizes 20 SSR markers from an Elaeis oleifera genomic library (gSSR). Characterization of the repeat type in 2000 sequences revealed a high percentage of di-nucleotides (63.6%), followed by tri-nucleotides (24.2%). Primer pairs were successfully designed for 394 of the E. oleifera gSSRs. Subsequent analysis showed the ability of the 20 selected E. oleifera gSSR markers to reveal genetic diversity in the genus Elaeis. The average Polymorphism Information Content (PIC) value for the SSRs was 0.402, with the tri-repeats showing the highest average PIC (0.626). Low values of observed heterozygosity (Ho) (0.164) and highly positive fixation indices (Fis) in the E. oleifera germplasm collection, compared to the E. guineensis, indicated an excess of homozygosity in E. oleifera. The transferability of the markers to closely related palms, Elaeis guineensis, Cocos nucifera and ornamental palms is also reported. Sequencing the amplicons of three selected E. oleifera gSSRs across both species and palm taxa revealed variations in the repeat-units. The study showed the potential of E. oleifera gSSR markers to reveal genetic diversity in the genus Elaeis. The markers are also a valuable genetic resource for studying E. oleifera and other genus in the Arecaceae family.
PMCID: PMC3344202  PMID: 22605966
simple sequence repeat (SSR); Elaeis oleifera; genomic library; transferability
11.  Expression of Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid (TRPV) Channels in Different Passages of Articular Chondrocytes 
Ion channels play important roles in chondrocyte mechanotransduction. The transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV) subfamily of ion channels consists of six members. TRPV1-4 are temperature sensitive calcium-permeable, relatively non-selective cation channels whereas TRPV5 and TRPV6 show high selectivity for calcium over other cations. In this study we investigated the effect of time in culture and passage number on the expression of TRPV4, TRPV5 and TRPV6 in articular chondrocytes isolated from equine metacarpophalangeal joints. Polyclonal antibodies raised against TRPV4, TRPV5 and TRPV6 were used to compare the expression of these channels in lysates from first expansion chondrocytes (P0) and cells from passages 1–3 (P1, P2 and P3) by western blotting. TRPV4, TRPV5 and TRPV6 were expressed in all passages examined. Immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence confirmed the presence of these channels in sections of formalin fixed articular cartilage and monolayer cultures of methanol fixed P2 chondrocytes. TRPV5 and TRPV6 were upregulated with time and passage in culture suggesting that a shift in the phenotype of the cells in monolayer culture alters the expression of these channels. In conclusion, several TRPV channels are likely to be involved in calcium signaling and homeostasis in chondrocytes.
PMCID: PMC3344224  PMID: 22605988
cartilage; chondrocyte; culture; passage; mechanotransduction; immunohistochemistry; immunofluorescence; dedifferentiation; TRPV4; TRPV5; TRPV6
12.  In Vitro Inhibition of Histamine Release Behavior of Cetirizine Intercalated into Zn/Al- and Mg/Al-Layered Double Hydroxides 
The intercalation of cetirizine into two types of layered double hydroxides, Zn/Al and Mg/Al, has been investigated by the ion exchange method to form CTZAN and CTMAN nanocomposites, respectively. The basal spacing of the nanocomposites were expanded to 31.9 Å for CTZAN and 31.2 Å for CTMAN, suggesting that cetirizine anion was intercalated into Layered double hydroxides (LDHs) and arranged in a tilted bilayer fashion. A Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) study supported the formation of both the nanocomposites, and the intercalated cetirizine is thermally more stable than its counterpart in free state. The loading of cetirizine in the nanocomposite was estimated to be about 57.2% for CTZAN and 60.7% CTMAN. The cetirizine release from the nanocomposites show sustained release manner and the release rate of cetirizine from CTZAN and CTMAN nanocomposites at pH 7.4 is remarkably lower than that at pH 4.8, presumably due to the different release mechanism. The inhibition of histamine release from RBL2H3 cells by the free cetirizine is higher than the intercalated cetirizine both in CTZAN and CTMAN nanocomposites. The viability in human Chang liver cells at 1000 μg/mL for CTZAN and CTMAN nanocomposites are 74.5 and 91.9%, respectively.
PMCID: PMC3382767  PMID: 22754339
(Zn/Al, Mg/Al)-layered double hydroxides; cetirizine; nanocomposite; controlled release; RBL2H3 cell; human Chang liver cells
13.  Synthesis and Characterization of Hybrid Materials Consisting of n-octadecyltriethoxysilane by Using n-Hexadecylamine as Surfactant and Q0 and T0 Cross-Linkers 
Novel hybrid xerogel materials were synthesized by a sol-gel procedure. n-octadecyltriethoxysilane was co-condensed with and without different cross-linkers using Q0 and T0 mono-functionalized organosilanes in the presence of n-hexadecylamine with different hydroxyl silica functional groups at the surface. These polymer networks have shown new properties, for example, a high degree of cross-linking and hydrolysis. Two different synthesis steps were carried out: simple self-assembly followed by sol-gel transition and precipitation of homogenous sols. Due to the lack of solubility of these materials, the compositions of the new materials were determined by infrared spectroscopy, 13C and 29Si CP/MAS NMR spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy.
PMCID: PMC3382804  PMID: 22754364
sol-gel; solid state NMR; cross-linkers; stationary phases
14.  Simple and Rapid Molecular Techniques for Identification of Amylose Levels in Rice Varieties 
The polymorphisms of Waxy (Wx) microsatellite and G-T single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the Wx gene region were analyzed using simplified techniques in fifteen rice varieties. A rapid and reliable electrophoresis method, MetaPhor agarose gel electrophoresis (MAGE), was effectively employed as an alternative to polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) for separating Wx microsatellite alleles. The amplified products containing the Wx microsatellite ranged from 100 to 130 bp in length. Five Wx microsatellite alleles, namely (CT)10, (CT)11, (CT)16, (CT)17, and (CT)18 were identified. Of these, (CT)11 and (CT)17 were the predominant classes among the tested varieties. All varieties with an apparent amylose content higher than 24% were associated with the shorter repeat alleles; (CT)10 and (CT)11, while varieties with 24% or less amylose were associated with the longer repeat alleles. All varieties with intermediate and high amylose content had the sequence AGGTATA at the 5′-leader intron splice site, while varieties with low amylose content had the sequence AGTTATA. The G-T polymorphism was further verified by the PCR-AccI cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (CAPS) method, in which only genotypes containing the AGGTATA sequence were cleaved by AccI. Hence, varieties with desirable amylose levels can be developed rapidly using the Wx microsatellite and G-T SNP, along with MAGE.
PMCID: PMC3382826  PMID: 22754356
amylose content; MetaPhor agarose gel electrophoresis; microsatellite; rice; single-nucleotide polymorphism; Waxy gene
15.  Effects of Brown Rice and White Rice on Expression of Xenobiotic Metabolism Genes in Type 2 Diabetic Rats 
Xenobiotics constantly influence biological systems through several means of interaction. These interactions are disturbed in type 2 diabetes, with implications for disease outcome. We aimed to study the implications of such disturbances on type 2 diabetes and rice consumption, the results of which could affect management of the disease in developing countries. In a type 2 diabetic rat model induced through a combination of high fat diet and low dose streptozotocin injection, up-regulation of xenobiotic metabolism genes in the diabetic untreated group was observed. Xenobiotic metabolism genes were upregulated more in the white rice (WR) group than the diabetic untreated group while the brown rice (BR) group showed significantly lower expression values, though not as effective as metformin, which gave values closer to the normal non-diabetic group. The fold changes in expression in the WR group compared to the BR group for Cyp2D4, Cyp3A1, Cyp4A1, Cyp2B1, Cyp2E1, Cyp2C11, UGT2B1, ALDH1A1 and Cyp2C6 were 2.6, 2, 1.5, 4, 2.8, 1.5, 1.8, 3 and 5, respectively. Our results suggest that WR may upregulate these genes in type 2 diabetes more than BR, potentially causing faster drug metabolism, less drug efficacy and more toxicity. These results may have profound implications for rice eating populations, constituting half the world’s population.
PMCID: PMC3430253  PMID: 22942722
rice; drug biotransformation; gene expression; cytochrome P450
16.  Antioxidant Property Enhancement of Sweet Potato Flour under Simulated Gastrointestinal pH 
Sweet potato is known to be rich in healthful antioxidants, but the stability of its antioxidant properties under gastrointestinal pH is very much unknown. Hence, this study aimed to evaluate the changes in antioxidant properties (total contents of phenolics and flavonoids as well as antioxidant activity) of sweet potato flour (SPF) under simulated gastrointestinal pH conditions. It was found that the yield of SPF crude phenolic extract increased from 0.29 to 3.22 g/100 g SPF upon subjection to gastrointestinal pH conditions (p < 0.05). Also elevated significantly were the total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC) and antioxidant activity of SPF (p < 0.05). In summary, the antioxidant properties of SPF were enhanced under gastrointestinal pH conditions, suggesting that SPF might possess a considerable amount of bound phenolic and other antioxidative compounds. The antioxidant properties of SPF are largely influenced by pH and thus might be enhanced during the in vivo digestive process.
PMCID: PMC3430278  PMID: 22942747
sweet potato flour; antioxidant activity; phenolic content; flavonoid content; simulated gastrointestinal pH
17.  Evaluation of Antioxidant Properties and Mineral Composition of Purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) at Different Growth Stages 
The main objective of this research was to appraise the changes in mineral content and antioxidant attributes of Portulaca oleracea over different growth stages. The antioxidant activity was measured using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays. The iodine titration method was used to determine the ascorbic acid content (AAC). DPPH scavenging (IC50) capacity ranged from 1.30 ± 0.04 to 1.71 ± 0.04 mg/mL, while the ascorbic acid equivalent antioxidant activity (AEAC) values were 229.5 ± 7.9 to 319.3 ± 8.7 mg AA/100 g, total phenol content (TPC) varied from 174.5 ± 8.5 to 348.5 ± 7.9 mg GAE/100 g. AAC 60.5 ± 2.1 to 86.5 ± 3.9 mg/100 g and FRAP 1.8 ± 0.1 to 4.3 ± 0.1 mg GAE/g. There was good correlation between the results of TPC and AEAC, and between IC50 and FRAP assays (r2 > 0.9). The concentrations of Ca, Mg, K, Fe and Zn increased with plant maturity. Calcium (Ca) was negatively correlated with sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl), but positively correlated with magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn). Portulaca olerecea cultivars could be used as a source of minerals and antioxidants, especially for functional food and nutraceutical applications.
PMCID: PMC3431857  PMID: 22949859
antioxidant; ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP); ascorbic acid content (AAC); mineral composition; purslane
18.  Effects of White Rice, Brown Rice and Germinated Brown Rice on Antioxidant Status of Type 2 Diabetic Rats 
Oxidative stress is implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic complications, and can be increased by diet like white rice (WR). Though brown rice (BR) and germinated brown rice (GBR) have high antioxidant potentials as a result of their bioactive compounds, reports of their effects on oxidative stress-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes are lacking. We hypothesized therefore that if BR and GBR were to improve antioxidant status, they would be better for rice consuming populations instead of the commonly consumed WR that is known to promote oxidative stress. This will then provide further reasons why less consumption of WR should be encouraged. We studied the effects of GBR on antioxidant status in type 2 diabetic rats, induced using a high-fat diet and streptozotocin injection, and also evaluated the effects of WR, BR and GBR on catalase and superoxide dismutase genes. As dietary components, BR and GBR improved glycemia and kidney hydroxyl radical scavenging activities, and prevented the deterioration of total antioxidant status in type 2 diabetic rats. Similarly, GBR preserved liver enzymes, as well as serum creatinine. There seem to be evidence that upregulation of superoxide dismutase gene may likely be an underlying mechanism for antioxidant effects of BR and GBR. Our results provide insight into the effects of different rice types on antioxidant status in type 2 diabetes. The results also suggest that WR consumption, contrary to BR and GBR, may worsen antioxidant status that may lead to more damage by free radicals. From the data so far, the antioxidant effects of BR and GBR are worth studying further especially on a long term to determine their effects on development of oxidative stress-related problems, which WR consumption predisposes to.
PMCID: PMC3497306  PMID: 23202932
antioxidants; diabetes; electron spin resonance; germinated brown rice; white rice; nutrigenomics
19.  Chemical Composition and Biological Activities of the Essential Oils from Three Melaleuca Species Grown in Tunisia 
The chemical composition of the essential oils of Melaleuca armillaris Sm., Melaleuca styphelioides Sm. and Melaleuca acuminata F. Muell., collected in Tunisia, was studied by means of GC and GC-MS analysis. In all, 46 compounds were identified, 38 for M. armillaris, 20 for M. acuminata and eight for M. styphelioides, respectively. The presence of a sesquiterpenic fraction (52.2%) characterized the oil from M. armillaris; M. sthypheliodes oil was rich in methyl eugenol, a phenolic compound (91.1%), while M. acuminata oil is mainly constituted by oxygenated monoterpenoids (95.6%). The essential oils were evaluated for their in vitro potentially phytotoxic activity against germination and initial radicle growth of Raphanus sativus L., Lepidium sativum L., Sinapis arvensis L., Triticum durum L. and Phalaris canariensis L. seeds. The radicle elongation of five seeds was inhibited at the highest doses tested, while germination of all seeds was not affected. Moreover, the essential oils showed low antimicrobial activity against eight selected microorganisms.
PMCID: PMC3546708  PMID: 23443119
Melaleuca acuminata; Melaleuca armillaris; Melaleuca styphelioides; phytotoxic activity; antimicrobial activity
20.  Actinopyga lecanora Hydrolysates as Natural Antibacterial Agents 
Actinopyga lecanora, a type of sea cucumber commonly known as stone fish with relatively high protein content, was explored as raw material for bioactive peptides production. Six proteolytic enzymes, namely alcalase, papain, pepsin, trypsin, bromelain and flavourzyme were used to hydrolyze A. lecanora at different times and their respective degrees of hydrolysis (DH) were calculated. Subsequently, antibacterial activity of the A. lecanora hydrolysates, against some common pathogenic Gram positive bacteria (Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Pseudomonas sp.) were evaluated. Papain hydrolysis showed the highest DH value (89.44%), followed by alcalase hydrolysis (83.35%). Bromelain hydrolysate after one and seven hours of hydrolysis exhibited the highest antibacterial activities against Pseudomonas sp., P. aeruginosa and E. coli at 51.85%, 30.07% and 30.45%, respectively compared to the other hydrolysates. Protein hydrolysate generated by papain after 8 h hydrolysis showed maximum antibacterial activity against S. aureus at 20.19%. The potent hydrolysates were further fractionated using RP-HPLC and antibacterial activity of the collected fractions from each hydrolysate were evaluated, wherein among them only three fractions from the bromelain hydrolysates exhibited inhibitory activities against Pseudomonas sp., P. aeruginosa and E. coli at 24%, 25.5% and 27.1%, respectively and one fraction of papain hydrolysate showed antibacterial activity of 33.1% against S. aureus. The evaluation of the relationship between DH and antibacterial activities of papain and bromelain hydrolysates revealed a meaningful correlation of four and six order functions.
PMCID: PMC3546722  PMID: 23222684
Actinopyga lecanora; bioactive peptides; antibacterial activity; proteolytic enzyme
21.  Phase Transformations of α-Alumina Made from Waste Aluminum via a Precipitation Technique 
We report on a recycling project in which α-Al2O3 was produced from aluminum cans because no such work has been reported in literature. Heated aluminum cans were mixed with 8.0 M of H2SO4 solution to form an Al2(SO4)3 solution. The Al2(SO4)3 salt was contained in a white semi-liquid solution with excess H2SO4; some unreacted aluminum pieces were also present. The solution was filtered and mixed with ethanol in a ratio of 2:3, to form a white solid of Al2(SO4)3·18H2O. The Al2(SO4)3·18H2O was calcined in an electrical furnace for 3 h at temperatures of 400–1400 °C. The heating and cooling rates were 10 °C/min. XRD was used to investigate the phase changes at different temperatures and XRF was used to determine the elemental composition in the alumina produced. A series of different alumina compositions, made by repeated dehydration and desulfonation of the Al2(SO4)3·18H2O, is reported. All transitional alumina phases produced at low temperatures were converted to α-Al2O3 at high temperatures. The X-ray diffraction results indicated that the α-Al2O3 phase was realized when the calcination temperature was at 1200 °C or higher.
PMCID: PMC3546723  PMID: 23222685
precipitation; calcinations; phase transformations; α-alumina
22.  KCNQ1 Haplotypes Associate with Type 2 Diabetes in Malaysian Chinese Subjects 
The aim of this study was to investigate the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and haplotypes of potassium voltage-gated channel, KQT-like subfamily, member 1 (KCNQ1) with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Malaysian Chinese subjects. The KCNQ1 SNPs rs2237892, rs2283228 and rs2237895 were genotyped in 300 T2D patients and 230 control subjects without diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Two logistic regression models of analysis were applied, the first adjusted for age and gender while the second adjusted for age, gender and body mass index. The additive genetic analysis showed that adjusting for body mass index (BMI) even strengthened association of rs2237892, rs2283228 and rs2237895 with T2D (OR = 2.0, P = 5.1 × 10−5; OR = 1.9, P = 5.2 × 10−5; OR = 1.9, P = 7.8 × 10−5, respectively). The haplotype TCA containing the allele of rs2237892 (T), rs2283228 (C) and rs2237895 (A) was highly protective against T2D (Second model; OR = 0.17, P = 3.7 × 10−11). The KCNQ1 rs2237892 (TT), and the protective haplotype (TCA) were associated with higher beta-cell function (HOMA-B) in normal subjects (P = 0.0002; 0.014, respectively). This study found that KCNQ1 SNPs was associated with T2D susceptibility in Malaysian Chinese subjects. In addition, certain KCNQ1 haplotypes were strongly associated with T2D.
PMCID: PMC3189745  PMID: 22016621
KCNQ1; SNPs; haplotype; diplotyps; type 2 diabetes
23.  Model Free Approach for Non-Isothermal Decomposition of Un-Irradiated and γ-Irradiated Silver Acetate: New Route for Synthesis of Ag2O Nanoparticles 
Kinetic studies for the non-isothermal decomposition of unirradiated and γ-irradiated silver acetate with 103 kGy total γ-ray doses were carried out in air. The results showed that the decomposition proceeds in one major step in the temperature range of (180–270 °C) with the formation of Ag2O as solid residue. The non-isothermal data for un-irradiated and γ-irradiated silver acetate were analyzed using Flynn-Wall-Ozawa (FWO) and nonlinear Vyazovkin (VYZ) iso-conversional methods. These free models on the investigated data showed a systematic dependence of Ea on α indicating a simple decomposition process. No significant changes in the thermal decomposition behavior of silver acetate were recorded as a result of γ-irradiation. Calcinations of γ-irradiated silver acetate (CH3COOAg) at 200 °C for 2 hours only led to the formation of pure Ag2O mono-dispersed nanoparticles. X-ray diffraction, FTIR and SEM techniques were employed for characterization of the synthesized nanoparticles.
PMCID: PMC2956112  PMID: 20957112
non-isothermal decomposition; γ-irradiation; silver oxide; nanoparticles
24.  Preparation, GIAO NMR Calculations and Acidic Properties of Some Novel 4,5-dihydro-1H-1,2,4-triazol-5-one Derivatives with Their Antioxidant Activities 
Six novel 3-alkyl(aryl)-4-(p-nitrobenzoylamino)-4,5-dihydro-1H-1,2,4-triazol-5- ones (2a-f) were synthesized by the reactions of 3-alkyl(aryl)-4-amino-4,5-dihydro-1H- 1,2,4-triazol-5-ones (1a-f) with p-nitrobenzoyl chloride and characterized by elemental analyses and IR, 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR and UV spectral data. The newly synthesized compounds 2 were titrated potentiometrically with tetrabutylammonium hydroxide in four non-aqueous solvents such as acetone, isopropyl alcohol, tert-butyl alcohol and N,N-dimethylformamide, and the half-neutralization potential values and the corresponding pKa values were determined for all cases. Thus, the effects of solvents and molecular structure upon acidity were investigated. In addition, isotropic 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic shielding constants of compounds 2 were obtained by the gauge-including-atomic-orbital (GIAO) method at the B3LYP density functional level. The geometry of each compound has been optimized using the 6-311G basis set. Theoretical values were compared to the experimental data. Furthermore, these new compounds and five recently reported 3-alkyl-4-(2-furoylamino)-4,5-dihydro-1H-1,2,4-triazol-5-ones (3a–c,e,f) were screened for their antioxidant activities.
PMCID: PMC2635600  PMID: 19325716
4,5-Dihydro-1H-1,2,4-triazol-5-ones; Acylation; Density functional calculations; GIAO; Antioxidant activity; pKa; Potentiometric titrations

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