Category: Chemistry

Highly Efficient Photolabile Protecting Groups with Intramolecular Energy Transfer

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The light sensitivity of photolabile protecting groups of the nitrophenylpropoxycarbonyl (NPPOC) type was enhanced by up to a factor of 25. This was achieved by covalently linking the protecting group to a sensitizer with a much better absorptivity and the ability to transfer its electronic excitation to the protecting group (see scheme).


Synthesis and Pharmacological Effects of Diosgenin–Betulinic Acid Conjugates

The target diosgenin–betulinic acid conjugates are reported to investigate their ability to enhance and modify the pharmacological effects of their components. The detailed synthetic procedure that includes copper(I)-catalyzed Huisgen 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition (click reaction), and palladium-catalyzed debenzylation by hydrogenolysis is described together with the results of cytotoxicity screening tests. Palladium-catalyzed debenzylation reaction of benzyl ester intermediates was the key step in this synthetic procedure due to the simultaneous presence of a 1,4-disubstituted 1,2,3-triazole ring in the molecule that was a competing coordination site for the palladium catalyst. High pressure (130 kPa) palladium-catalyzed procedure represented a successful synthetic step yielding the required products. The conjugate  buy Pregabalin Lyrica uk v 7 showed selective cytotoxicity in human T-lymphoblastic leukemia (CEM) cancer cells (IC50 = 6.5 ± 1.1 µM), in contrast to the conjugate  can you buy gabapentin online reddit 8 showing no cytotoxicity, and diosgenin ( 1), an adaptogen, for which a potential to be active on central nervous system was calculated in silico. In addition,  5 showed medium multifarious cytotoxicity in human T-lymphoblastic leukemia (CEM), human cervical cancer (HeLa), and human colon cancer (HCT 116). Betulinic acid (2) and the intermediates 3 and 4 showed no cytotoxicity in the tested cancer cell lines. The experimental data obtained are supplemented by and compared with the in silico calculated physico-chemical and absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) parameters of these compounds.

Diosgenin, (3β,25R)-spirost-5-en-3-ol, is a steroid sapogenin part of the saponin dioscin found in the tubers of Dioscorea zingiberensis C. H. Wright or Trigonella foenum-graecum L. and in numbers of legumes. Diosgenin is a widely used precursor in the synthesis of sexual hormones, peroral contraceptives and other steroids in the pharmaceutical industry. It is an adaptogen, displaying non-steroidogenic activity along with other beneficial effects. Diosgenin is unable to bind metal ions, and therefore, the change made from more traditional cholesterol/cholesterylamine system to diosgenin could influence the overall conformation of the bivalent structures, modifying the metal ions chelating properties. Saponins are always species formed from an aglycone and several monosaccharide units, the presence of which increases the solubility of saponins in natural aqueous media. Diosgenin is not metabolized in the human body, and it is considered to represent a safe natural drug. It has also been investigated for treating hyperglycemia, hypercholesterolemia, hypertriacylglycerolemia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Betulinic acid, 3β-hydroxylup-20(29)-en-28-oic acid, is a pharmacologically perspective triterpenoid plant product with a broad spectrum of effects, e.g., antitumor, anti-HIV, cytostatic, and anti-inflammatory. It can be obtained from the bark of Betula pendula Roth, widely distributed in Europe, and from a number of subtropical and tropical plants. (Molecules. 2020 Aug; 25(15): 3546.)

Mitocanic Di- and Triterpenoid Rhodamine B Conjugates

The combination of the “correct” triterpenoid, the “correct” spacer and rhodamine B (RhoB) seems to be decisive for the ability of the conjugate to accumulate in mitochondria. So far, several triterpenoid rhodamine B conjugates have been prepared and screened for their cytotoxic activity. To obtain cytotoxic compounds with EC50 values in a low nano-molar range combined with good tumor/non-tumor selectivity, the Rho B unit has to be attached via an amine spacer to the terpenoid skeleton. To avoid spirolactamization, secondary amines have to be used. First results indicate that a homopiperazinyl spacer is superior to a piperazinyl spacer. Hybrids derived from maslinic acid or tormentic acid are superior to those from oleanolic, ursolic, glycyrrhetinic or euscaphic acid. Thus, a tormentic acid-derived RhoB conjugate 32, holding a homopiperazinyl spacer can be regarded, at present, as the most promising candidate for further biological studies.

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Mitochondrial membranes of malignant cells hold an increased membrane potential compared to non–malignant cells. This effect fosters the accumulation of cationic molecules, hence inducing high selectivity for mitocans holding a (more or less) lipophilic cation such as a rhodamine scaffold. The same effect applies for triphenylphosphonium cations and to a small extent for quaternary ammonium ions, zwitterionic N-oxides and triterpenes substituted with BODIPYs or a safirinium moiety [67].
To date, hybrid molecules have been prepared from oleanolic acid (OA, Figure 2), ursolic acid (UA), glycyrrhetinic acid (GA), betulinic acid (BA), maslinic acid (MA), augustic acid (AU), 11-keto-β-boswellic acid (KBA), asiatic acid (AA), tormentic acid (TA) and euscaphic acid (EA).
OA-derived RhoB conjugates appear to be superior to analog UA-derived compounds in the majority of cases with respect to their cytotoxicity. Although AKBA-derived derivatives have good cytotoxicity properties, they were found to be less cytotoxic compared to other triterpene carboxylic acid derivatives, but they often showed better tumor cell/non-tumor cell selectivity. So far, the best cytotoxicity properties have been found for MA-, EA- and TA-derived derivatives. These allowed the transition to compounds of nano-molar activity, while many other triterpene carboxylic acid derivatives were cytotoxic only on a micro-molar concentration range. MA- derived derivatives seem to be approximately equivalent to EA-derived compounds. They are currently only surpassed in many tumor cell lines only by the analogous derivatives from TA. From results available so far, it can be concluded that compounds holding a homopiperazinyl spacer are superior to those with a piperazinyl spacer. This underlines the importance of the spacer for obtaining good cytotoxicity properties. (Molecules. 2020 Nov; 25(22): 5443.)

Coenzyme Q10 Analogues: Benefits and Challenges for Therapeutics

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 or ubiquinone) is a mobile proton and electron carrier of the mitochondrial respiratory chain with antioxidant properties widely used as an antiaging health supplement and to relieve the symptoms of many pathological conditions associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. Even though the hegemony of CoQ10 in the context of antioxidant-based treatments is undeniable, the future primacy of this quinone is hindered by the promising features of its numerous analogues. Despite the unimpeachable performance of CoQ10 therapies, problems associated with their administration and intraorganismal delivery has led clinicians and scientists to search for alternative derivative molecules. Over the past few years, a wide variety of CoQ10 analogues with improved properties have been developed. These analogues conserve the antioxidant features of CoQ10 but present upgraded characteristics such as water solubility or enhanced mitochondrial accumulation. Moreover, recent studies have proven that some of these analogues might even outperform CoQ10 in the treatment of certain specific diseases. The aim of this review is to provide detailed information about these Coenzyme Q10 analogues, as well as their functionality and medical applications.

Overall, the beneficial effects of CoQ10 on human health and disease treatment are well known. However, there is growing interest among the scientific community for CoQ10 analogues and their presumably optimized performance in antioxidant therapies. In this review we have outlined the chemical improvements that successfully enhance CoQ10 bioavailability: shortening of its isoprenoid chain (idebenone and short chain CoQ analogues); addition of specific radicals to promote its mitochondrial accumulation (mitoquinone); modification of natural analogs to boost their antioxidant effect (plastoquinone); modification of the quinone ring (C6 modifications); and introduction of changes on its isoprenoid chain (decylubiquinone) to diversify its biology, its hybridization with other antioxidants and to enhance its potency (EPI-743). Taken together, these synthetic CoQ10 analogues open the door to new and improved therapies for conditions ranging from mitochondrial diseases to cancer. (Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Feb; 10(2): 236.)

Lactoferrin coated or conjugated nanomaterials as an active targeting approach in nanomedicine

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A successful drug delivery to a specific site relies on two essential factors including; efficient entrapment of the drug within the carrier and successful delivery of drug- loaded nanocarrier to the target site without opsonisation or drug release in the circulation before reaching the organ of interest. Lactoferrin (LF) is a glycoprotein belonging to the transferrin (TF) family which can bind to TF receptors (TFRs) and LF membrane internalization receptors (LFRs) highly expressed on the cell surface of both highly proliferating cancer cells and blood brain barrier (BBB), which in turn can facilitate its accessibility to the cell nucleus. This merit could be exploited to develop actively targeted drug delivery systems that can easily cross the BBB or internalize into tumor cells. In this review, the most recent advances of utilizing LF as an active targeting ligand for different types of nanocarriers including: inorganic nanoparticles, dendrimers, synthetic biodegradable polymers, lipid nanocarriers, natural polymers, and nanoemulstions will be highlighted. Collectively, LF seems to be a promising targeting ligand in the field of nanomedicine. (International Journal of Biological Macromolecules., Volume 167, 15 January 2021, Pages 1527-1543.)

Properties of octenyl succinic anhydride (OSA) modified starches and their application in low fat mayonnaise

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Wheat starch (WS), corn starch (CS), waxy corn starch (WCS), potato starch (PS), sweet potato (SP), rice starch (RS) and kidney bean (KB) were modified using octenyl succinic anhydride (OSA) and evaluated for various properties. Degree of substitution (DS) showed significant increase with increase in amylose (AM) content. OSA modified starches showed higher paste viscosities compared to their native counterparts. OSA groups acted majorly on the surface and caused some superficial pores, but crystalline pattern was not significantly altered for all starches. OSA modified starches were used in preparing low fat mayonnaise by substituting 75% fat. OSA modified starches enhanced the emulsifying properties of mayonnaise. Mayonnaises prepared using OSA modified starches were evaluated for phase separation, brightness (L*), color index (dE), and rheological parameters (G′ and G″). Mayonnaises prepared using OSA modified starches showed higher G’ and exhibited gel like structure. Fat substituted (FS) mayonnaise was preferred over full fat (FF) mayonnaise by the consumers. No significant effect of fat substitution was observed on particle size and phase separation for all mayonnaise samples. (International Journal of Biological Macromolecules.,Volume 131, 15 June 2019, Pages 147-157.)

A Novel Antimicrobial-Phytochemical Conjugate With Antimicrobial Activity Against Streptococcus uberis, Enterococcus faecium, and Enterococcus faecalis

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Antimicrobial resistance is one of the major threats to human and animal health. An effective strategy to reduce and/or delay antimicrobial resistance is to use combination therapies. Research in our laboratory has been focused on combination therapies of antimicrobials and phytochemicals and development of antimicrobial-phytochemical conjugates. In this study, we report the synthesis and antimicrobial activity of a novel sulfamethoxazole-gallic acid conjugate compound (Hybrid 1). Hybrid 1 not only showed much stronger activity than sulfamethoxazole towards Streptococcus uberis 19436, Enterococcus faecium 700221, and Enterococcus faecalis 29212, which were purchased from American Type Culture Collection (ATCC), but also exhibited a promising antimicrobial effect against two E. faecalis clinical isolates, one of which was multidrug-resistant. Further studies are warranted to establish the in vivo antimicrobial activity for Hybrid 1 and develop more potent sulfamethoxazole-gallic acid-based antimicrobial conjugates using hybrid 1 as a lead compound. (Front Pharmacol. 2019 Nov 28;10:1405.)

A Phytochemical-Based Copolymer Derived from Coriolus versicolor Polysaccharopeptides for Gene Delivery

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Coriolus versicolor is an herb widely used for cancer treatment in traditional Chinese medicine. Its active ingredients, polysaccharopeptides (PSP), have been used for adjuvant therapies in cancer treatment. This study conjugates Coriolus versicolor PSP with poly(ethylenimine) (PEI) to generate a PSP-PEI copolymer for gene transfer. After PEI conjugation, both the pH buffering capacity and DNA compaction ability of PSP are significantly increased. Compared with that of PSP, the transfection efficiency of PSP-PEI is 10 to 20-fold higher in vitro. This is a proof-of-concept study reporting the direct use of bioactive phytochemicals from traditional Chinese medicine for gene vector development. The promising performance of PSP-PEI raises the possibility that bioactive herbal ingredients can be further developed as a multi-therapeutic gene carrier for tackling cancers.

C. versicolor PSP are water-soluble substances having a dark brown colour and characteristic odour. Their polysaccharide moieties are highly complex, consisting of glucose molecules linked with different sugar units (e.g., galactose, mannose, arabinose, and xylose); whereas the peptide moieties contain a large amount of aspartic acid and glutamic acid, with acidic and neutral amino acids (such as leucine, glycine, alanine, threonine, serine, glutamic acid, valine and aspartic acid) accounting for 70% of all kinds of amino acids present. PEI is a cationic aziridine polymer that exists as a polycation showing high pH buffering capacity over a broad range of pH values. Previous studies have revealed that the transfection efficiency and cytotoxicity of PEI are positively related to the molecular weight of PEI. As the aim of PEI incorporation in this study is to enhance the positive charge density of PSP, LMW PEI (e.g., PEI 0.8K) is adopted because it can serve the purpose and is less toxic than its high-molecular-weight counterparts. During synthesis, 1,1′-carbonyldiimidazole (CDI), which activates the hydroxyl groups of PSP to form active imidazolyl carbamate intermediates, is used as a coupling agent. The intermediates are subsequently attacked by the primary amine groups of PEI to form PSP-PEI, with imidazole being released as a byproduct. (Molecules. 2018 Sep 6;23(9):2273.)