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Farag, M. A.; Baky, M. H.; Morgan, I.; Khalifa, M. R.; Rennert, R.; Mohamed, O. G.; El-Sayed, M. M.; Porzel, A.; Wessjohann, L. A.; Ramadan, N. S.; Comparison of Balanites aegyptiaca parts: metabolome providing insights into plant health benefits and valorization purposes as analyzed using multiplex GC-MS, LC-MS, NMR-based metabolomics, and molecular networking RSC Adv. 13, 21471-21493, (2023) DOI: 10.1039/d3ra03141a

Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Delile (Zygophyllaceae), also known as the desert date, is an edible fruit-producing tree popular for its nutritional and several health benefits. In this study, multi-targeted comparative metabolic profiling and fingerprinting approaches were conducted for the assessment of the nutrient primary and secondary metabolite heterogeneity in different parts, such as leaves, stems, seeds, unripe, and ripe fruits of B. aegyptiaca using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC-MS), and gas chromatography mass-spectrometry (GC-MS) based metabolomics coupled to multivariate analyses and in relation to its cytotoxic activities. NMR-based metabolomic study identified and quantified 15 major primary and secondary metabolites belonging to alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, sugars, and amino and fatty acids. Principal component analysis (PCA) of the NMR dataset revealed α-glucose, sucrose, and isorhamnetin as markers for fruit and stem and unsaturated fatty acids for predominated seeds. Orthogonal projections to latent structure discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) revealed trigonelline as a major distinctive metabolite in the immature fruit and isorhamnetin as a major distinct marker in the mature fruit. UPLC-MS/MS analysis using feature-based molecular networks revealed diverse chemical classes viz. steroidal saponins, N-containing metabolites, phenolics, fatty acids, and lipids as the constitutive metabolome in Balanites. Gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) profiling of primary metabolites led to the detection of 135 peaks belonging to sugars, fatty acids/esters, amino acids, nitrogenous, and organic acids. Monosaccharides were detected at much higher levels in ripe fruit and disaccharides in predominate unripe fruits, whereas B. aegyptiaca vegetative parts (leaves and stem) were rich in amino acids and fatty acids. The antidiabetic compounds, viz, nicotinic acid, and trigonelline, were detected in all parts especially unripe fruit in addition to the sugar alcohol D-pinitol for the first time providing novel evidence for B. aegyptiaca use in diabetes. In vitro cytotoxic activity revealed the potential efficacy of immature fruit and seeds as cytotoxic agents against human prostate cancer (PC3) and human colorectal cancer (HCT-116) cell lines. Collectively, such detailed profiling of parts provides novel evidence for B. aegyptiaca medicinal uses.

Mittersteiner, M.; Pereira, G. S.; Silva, Y.; Wessjohann, L. A.; Bonacorso, H. G.; Martins, M. A. P.; Zanatta, N.; Substituent-driven selective N-/O-alkylation of 4-(trihalomethyl)pyrimidin-2(1H)-ones using brominated enones J. Org. Chem. 87, 4590-4602, (2022) DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.1c02919

The selective N- or O-alkylation of 4-(trihalomethyl)-pyrimidin-2(1H)-ones, using 5-bromo enones/enaminones as alkylating agents, is reported. It was found that the selectivity toward the N-or O-regioisomer is driven by the substituent present at the 6-position of the pyrimidine ring, thus enabling the preparation of each isomer as the sole product, in 60−95% yields. Subsequent cyclocondensation of the enaminone moiety with nitrogen dinucleophiles led to pyrimidine−azole conjugates in 55−83% yields.

Mittersteiner, M.; Pereira, G. S.; Wessjohann, L. A.; Bonacorso, H. G.; Martins, M. A. P.; Zanatta, N.; Chemoselective O-alkylation of 4-(trifluoromethyl)pyrimidin-2(1H)-ones using 4-(iodomethyl)pyrimidines ACS Omega 7, 18930-18939, (2022) DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.2c01925

This study reports two strategies for preparing O-alkyl derivatives of 6-substituted-4-(trifluoromethyl)pyrimidin-(1H)-ones: a linear protocol of alkylation,using a CCC-building block followed by [3 + 3]-type cyclocondensation with 2-methylisothiourea sulfate and a convergent protocol based on direct alkylation, using 4-(iodomethyl)-2-(methylthio)-6-(trihalomethyl)pyrimidines. It was found that thecyclocondensation strategy is not feasible; thus, the direct chemoselective O-alkylationwas performed, and 18 derivatives of the targeted pyrimidines were obtained in 70−98%yields. The structure of the products was unambiguously determined via single crystal X-ray analyses and two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance experiments.

Zanatta, N.; Mittersteiner, M.; Aquino, E. C.; Budragchaa, T.; Wessjohann, L. A.; Bonacorso, H. G.; Martins, M. A. P.; Synthesis of methylene-bridged trifluoromethyl azoles using 5-(1,2,3-Triazol-1-yl)enones Synthesis 54, 439-450, (2022) DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1719837

A protocol for synthesizing triazole-containing pyrazolines and pyrazoles selectively using trifluoromethylated 5-(1,2,3-triazol-1-yl)enones as starting materials, is reported. The selectivity of the reaction was controlled by the nature of the hydrazine or derivative used: free hydrazines furnished the 1,5-regiosiomer exclusively in yields up to 98%, whereas protected hydrazines provided the 1,3-regioisomer in yields up to 77%. To demonstrate the synthetic versatility of the triazole-based enone, reactions with other unsymmetrical dinucleophiles (hydroxylamine hydrochloride and S-methyl isothiourea sulfates) allowed the selective preparation of triazole-containing isoxazoline and pyrimidine rings.

Zabel, S.; Brandt, W.; Porzel, A.; Athmer, B.; Bennewitz, S.; Schäfer, P.; Kortbeek, R. W. J.; Bleeker, P. M.; Tissier, A.; A single cytochrome P450 oxidase from Solanum habrochaites sequentially oxidizes 7-epi-zingiberene to derivatives toxic to whiteflies and various microorganisms Plant J. 105, 1309-1325, (2021) DOI: 10.1111/tpj.15113

Secretions from glandular trichomes potentially protect plants against a variety of aggressors. In the tomato clade of the Solanum genus, glandular trichomes of wild species produce a rich source of chemical diversity at the leaf surface. Previously, 7-epi-zingiberene produced in several accessions of Solanum habrochaites was found to confer resistance to whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci) and other insect pests. Here, we report the identification and characterisation of 9-hydroxy-zingiberene (9HZ) and 9-hydroxy-10,11-epoxyzingiberene (9H10epoZ), two derivatives of 7-epi-zingiberene produced in glandular trichomes of S. habrochaites LA2167. Using a combination of transcriptomics and genetics, we identified a gene coding for a cytochrome P450 oxygenase, ShCYP71D184, that is highly expressed in trichomes and co-segregates with the presence of the zingiberene derivatives. Transient expression assays in Nicotiana benthamiana showed that ShCYP71D184 carries out two successive oxidations to generate 9HZ and 9H10epoZ. Bioactivity assays showed that 9-hydroxy-10,11-epoxyzingiberene in particular exhibits substantial toxicity against B. tabaci and various microorganisms including Phytophthora infestans and Botrytis cinerea. Our work shows that trichome secretions from wild tomato species can provide protection against a wide variety of organisms. In addition, the availability of the genes encoding the enzymes for the pathway of 7-epi-zingiberene derivatives makes it possible to introduce this trait in cultivated tomato by precision breeding.

Nugraha, A. S.; Untari, L. F.; Laub, A.; Porzel, A.; Franke, K.; Wessjohann, L. A.; Anthelmintic and antimicrobial activities of three new depsides and ten known depsides and phenols from Indonesian lichen: Parmelia cetrata Ach. Nat. Prod. Res. 35, 5001-5010, (2021) DOI: 10.1080/14786419.2020.1761361

An extensive phytochemical study of a foliose lichen from Indonesia, Parmelia cetrata, resulted in the successful isolation of 13 phenol and depside derivatives (1–13) including the previously unreported depsides 3′-hydroxyl-5′-pentylphenyl 2,4-dihydroxyl-6-methylbenzoate (7), 3′-hydroxyl-5′-propylphenyl 2,4-dihydroxyl-6-methylbenzoate (8) and 3′-hydroxyl-5′-methylphenyl 2-hydroxyl-4-methoxyl-6-propylbenzoate (9). The anti-infective activity of isolated compounds was evaluated against the gram-negative bacterium Aliivibrio fischeri and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. 2,4-Dihydroxyl-6-pentylbenzoate (5) and lecanoric acid (6) induced growth inhibition of A. fischeri with inhibition values of 49% and 100% at a concentration of 100 µM, respectively. The antibacterial activity might be due to their free carboxyl group. A phenolic group at C4 also contributed to the antimicrobial activity of the depsides as shown for compounds 7 and 8, which caused 89% and 96% growth inhibition at 100 µM, respectively. Lecanoric acid (6) in addition possesses significant anthelmintic effects causing 80% mortality of C. elegans at 100 µg/mL.

Zabel, S.; Brandt, W.; Porzel, A.; Athmer, B.; Kortbeek, R. W. J.; Bleeker, P. M.; Tissier, A.; Two novel 7-epi-zingiberene derivatives with biological activity from Solanum habrochaites are produced by a single cytochrome P450 monooxygenase bioRxiv (2020) DOI: 10.1101/2020.04.21.052571

Secretions from glandular trichomes potentially protect the plant against a variety of aggressors. In the tomato genus, wild species constitute a rich source of chemical diversity produced at the leaf surface by glandular trichomes. Previously, 7-epi-zingiberene produced in several accessions of Solanum habrochaites was found to confer resistance to whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci) and other insect pests. Here, we identify two derivatives of 7-epi-zingiberene from S. habrochaites that had not been reported as yet. We identified them as 9-hydroxy-zingiberene and 9-hydroxy-10,11-epoxyzingiberene. Using a combination of genetics and transcriptomics we identified a single cytochrome P450 oxygenase, ShCYP71D184 that carries out two successive oxidations to generate the two sesquiterpenoids. Bioactivity assays showed that only 9-hydroxy-10,11-epoxyzingiberene exhibits substantial toxicity against B. tabaci. In addition, both 9-hydroxy-zingiberene and 9-hydroxy-10,11-epoxyzingiberene display substantial growth inhibitory activities against a range of microorganisms, including Bacillus subtilis, Phytophtora infestans and Botrytis cinerea. Our work shows that trichome secretions from wild tomato species can provide protection against a wide variety of organisms. In addition, the availability of the genes encoding the enzymes for the pathway of 7-epi-zingiberene derivatives makes it possible to introduce this trait in cultivated tomato by precision breeding.

Steinbeck, C.; Koepler, O.; Bach, F.; Herres-Pawlis, S.; Jung, N.; Liermann, J. C.; Neumann, S.; Razum, M.; Baldauf, C.; Biedermann, F.; Bocklitz, T. W.; Boehm, F.; Broda, F.; Czodrowski, P.; Engel, T.; Hicks, M. G.; Kast, S. M.; Kettner, C.; Koch, W.; Lanza, G.; Link, A.; Mata, R. A.; Nagel, W. E.; Porzel, A.; Schlörer, N.; Schulze, T.; Weinig, H.-G.; Wenzel, W.; Wessjohann, L. A.; Wulle, S.; NFDI4Chem - Towards a National Research Data Infrastructure for Chemistry in Germany Res. Ideas Outcomes 6, e55852, (2020) DOI: 10.3897/rio.6.e55852

The vision of NFDI4Chem is the digitalisation of all key steps in chemical research to support scientists in their efforts to collect, store, process, analyse, disclose and re-use research data. Measures to promote Open Science and Research Data Management (RDM) in agreement with the FAIR data principles are fundamental aims of NFDI4Chem to serve the chemistry community with a holistic concept for access to research data. To this end, the overarching objective is the development and maintenance of a national research data infrastructure for the research domain of chemistry in Germany, and to enable innovative and easy to use services and novel scientific approaches based on re-use of research data. NFDI4Chem intends to represent all disciplines of chemistry in academia. We aim to collaborate closely with thematically related consortia. In the initial phase, NFDI4Chem focuses on data related to molecules and reactions including data for their experimental and theoretical characterisation.This overarching goal is achieved by working towards a number of key objectives:Key Objective 1: Establish a virtual environment of federated repositories for storing, disclosing, searching and re-using research data across distributed data sources. Connect existing data repositories and, based on a requirements analysis, establish domain-specific research data repositories for the national research community, and link them to international repositories.Key Objective 2: Initiate international community processes to establish minimum information (MI) standards for data and machine-readable metadata as well as open data standards in key areas of chemistry. Identify and recommend open data standards in key areas of chemistry, in order to support the FAIR principles for research data. Finally, develop standards, if there is a lack.Key Objective 3: Foster cultural and digital change towards Smart Laboratory Environments by promoting the use of digital tools in all stages of research and promote subsequent Research Data Management (RDM) at all levels of academia, beginning in undergraduate studies curricula.Key Objective 4: Engage with the chemistry community in Germany through a wide range of measures to create awareness for and foster the adoption of FAIR data management. Initiate processes to integrate RDM and data science into curricula. Offer a wide range of training opportunities for researchers.Key Objective 5: Explore synergies with other consortia and promote cross-cutting development within the NFDI.Key Objective 6: Provide a legally reliable framework of policies and guidelines for FAIR and open RDM.

Stark, P.; Zab, C.; Porzel, A.; Franke, K.; Rizzo, P.; Wessjohann, L. A.; PSYCHE—A Valuable Experiment in Plant NMR-Metabolomics Molecules 25, 5125, (2020) DOI: 10.3390/molecules25215125

1H-NMR is a very reproducible spectroscopic method and, therefore, a powerful tool for the metabolomic analysis of biological samples. However, due to the high complexity of natural samples, such as plant extracts, the evaluation of spectra is difficult because of signal overlap. The new NMR “Pure Shift” methods improve spectral resolution by suppressing homonuclear coupling and turning multiplets into singlets. The PSYCHE (Pure Shift yielded by Chirp excitation) and the Zangger–Sterk pulse sequence were tested. The parameters of the more suitable PSYCHE experiment were optimized, and the extracts of 21 Hypericum species were measured. Different evaluation criteria were used to compare the suitability of the PSYCHE experiment with conventional 1H-NMR. The relationship between the integral of a signal and the related bin value established by linear regression demonstrates an equal representation of the integrals in binned PSYCHE spectra compared to conventional 1H-NMR. Using multivariate data analysis based on both techniques reveals comparable results. The obtained data demonstrate that Pure Shift spectra can support the evaluation of conventional 1H-NMR experiments.

Schnabel, A.; Cotinguiba, F.; Athmer, B.; Yang, C.; Westermann, B.; Schaks, A.; Porzel, A.; Brandt, W.; Schumacher, F.; Vogt, T.; A piperic acid CoA ligase produces a putative precursor of piperine, the pungent principle from black pepper fruits Plant J. 102, 569-581, (2020) DOI: 10.1111/tpj.14652

Black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) is known for the high content of piperine, a cinnamoyl amide derivative regarded as largely responsible for the pungent taste of this widely used spice. Despite its long history and worldwide use, the biosynthesis of piperine and related amides has been enigmatic up to now. In this report we describe a specific piperic acid CoA ligase from immature green fruits of P. nigrum. The corresponding enzyme was cloned and functionally expressed in E. coli. The recombinant enzyme displays a high specificity for piperic acid and does not accept the structurally related feruperic acid characterized by a similar C‐2 extension of the general C6‐C3 phenylpropanoid structure. The enzyme is also inactive with the standard set of hydroxycinnamic acids tested including caffeic acid, 4‐coumaric acid, ferulic acid, and sinapic acid. Substrate specificity is corroborated by in silico modeling which suggests a perfect fit of the substrate piperic acid to the active site of the piperic acid CoA ligase. The CoA ligase gene shows highest expression levels in immature green fruits, is also expressed in leaves and flowers, but not in roots. Virus‐induced gene silencing provided some preliminary indications that the production of piperoyl‐CoA is required for the biosynthesis of piperine in black pepper fruits.
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