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Leonova, T.; Popova, V.; Tsarev, A.; Henning, C.; Antonova, K.; Rogovskaya, N.; Vikhnina, M.; Baldensperger, T.; Soboleva, A.; Dinastia, E.; Dorn, M.; Shiroglasova, O.; Grishina, T.; Balcke, G. U.; Ihling, C.; Smolikova, G.; Medvedev, S.; Zhukov, V. A.; Babakov, V.; Tikhonovich, I. A.; Glomb, M. A.; Bilova, T.; Frolov, A. Does Protein Glycation Impact on the Drought-Related Changes in Metabolism and Nutritional Properties of Mature Pea (Pisum sativum L.) Seeds? Int J Mol Sci 21, 567, (2020) DOI: 10.3390/ijms21020567

Protein glycation is usually referred to as an array of non-enzymatic post-translational modifications formed by reducing sugars and carbonyl products of their degradation. The resulting advanced glycation end products (AGEs) represent a heterogeneous group of covalent adducts, known for their pro-inflammatory effects in mammals, and impacting on pathogenesis of metabolic diseases and ageing. In plants, AGEs are the markers of tissue ageing and response to environmental stressors, the most prominent of which is drought. Although water deficit enhances protein glycation in leaves, its effect on seed glycation profiles is still unknown. Moreover, the effect of drought on biological activities of seed protein in mammalian systems is still unstudied with respect to glycation. Therefore, here we address the effects of a short-term drought on the patterns of seed protein-bound AGEs and accompanying alterations in pro-inflammatory properties of seed protein in the context of seed metabolome dynamics. A short-term drought, simulated as polyethylene glycol-induced osmotic stress and applied at the stage of seed filling, resulted in the dramatic suppression of primary seed metabolism, although the secondary metabolome was minimally affected. This was accompanied with significant suppression of NF-kB activation in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells after a treatment with protein hydrolyzates, isolated from the mature seeds of drought-treated plants. This effect could not be attributed to formation of known AGEs. Most likely, the prospective anti-inflammatory effect of short-term drought is related to antioxidant effect of unknown secondary metabolite protein adducts, or down-regulation of unknown plant-specific AGEs due to suppression of energy metabolism during seed filling.
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da Silva, I. C. V.; de Oliveira, P. F.; Barbosa, G. M.; Wessjohann, L. A.; Cardozo-Filho, L.; Holandino, C.; Muzitano, M. F.; Leal, I. C. R. Passiflora mucronata leaves extracts obtained from different methodologies: a phytochemical study based on cytotoxic and apoptosis activities of triterpenes and phytosterols constituents Braz J Pharm Sci (2020) DOI: 10.1590/s2175-97902019000417666

Cancer is one of the most prevalent diseases worldwide and the natural products could be a source of bioactive compounds. Passiflora mucronata (PM) belongs to a very known vegetal genus, although, there are no studies about cytotoxic activity or isolated compounds. Different extracts from PM were obtained by liquid-liquid partition (P), Soxhlet (Sox) and supercritical fluid (SFE1-5) extraction techniques, being compared concerning their yields, chemical profile and cytotoxicity. The Sox extracts showed the highest yields (6.03%: hexane; 2.51%: dichloromethane) followed by SFE (from 4.34 to 1.63%) and partitions (1.06 and 2.26%). The hexane partition (HP) showed the best cytotoxic activity against K562 cell line (IC50 = 18.72 µg.mL-1). From HP, the following compounds were identified and analysed its cytotoxic activities: β-amyrin (IC50 = 3.92 µg.mL-1), β-sitosterol (IC50 = 3.37 µg.mL-1), stigmasterol (IC50 = 3.31 µg.mL-1) and oleanolic acid. Stigmasterol induced about 75% of K562 total apoptosis. The compounds were tested against MA-104 cell line and the selective index (SI) attributed (SI >10 for all compounds). This indicates good selectivity to K562 cell line at the expense of MA-104. This is the first time, identifying those compounds to PM .

Zoufal, V.; Mairinger, S.; Krohn, M.; Wanek, T.; Filip, T.; Sauberer, M.; Stanek, J.; Kuntner, C.; Pahnke, J.; Langer, O. Measurement of cerebral ABCC1 transport activity in wild-type and APP/PS1-21 mice with positron emission tomography J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 40, 954-965, (2020) DOI: 10.1177/0271678X19854541

Previous data suggest a possible link between multidrug resistance-associated protein 1 (ABCC1) and brain clearance of beta-amyloid (Aβ). We used PET with 6-bromo-7-[11C]methylpurine ([11C]BMP) to measure cerebral ABCC1 transport activity in a beta-amyloidosis mouse model (APP/PS1-21) and in wild-type mice aged 50 and 170 days, without and with pretreatment with the ABCC1 inhibitor MK571. One hundred seventy days-old-animals additionally underwent [11C]PiB PET scans to measure Aβ load. While baseline [11C]BMP PET scans detected no differences in the elimination slope of radioactivity washout from the brain (kelim) between APP/PS1-21 and wild-type mice of both age groups, PET scans after MK571 pretreatment revealed significantly higher kelim values in APP/PS1-21 mice than in wild-type mice aged 170 days, suggesting increased ABCC1 activity. The observed increase in kelim occurred across all investigated brain regions and was independent of the presence of Aβ plaques measured with [11C]PiB. Western blot analysis revealed a trend towards increased whole brain ABCC1 levels in 170 days-old-APP/PS1-21 mice versus wild-type mice and a significant positive correlation between ABCC1 levels and kelim. Our data point to an upregulation of ABCC1 in APP/PS1-21 mice, which may be related to an induction of ABCC1 in astrocytes as a protective mechanism against oxidative stress.

Zoufal, V.; Wanek, T.; Krohn, M.; Mairinger, S.; Filip, T.; Sauberer, M.; Stanek, J.; Pekar, T.; Bauer, M.; Pahnke, J.; Langer, O. Age dependency of cerebral P-glycoprotein function in wild-type and APPPS1 mice measured with PET J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 40, 150-162, (2020) DOI: 10.1177/0271678X18806640

P-glycoprotein (P-gp, ABCB1) is an efflux transporter at the blood–brain barrier (BBB), which mediates clearance of beta-amyloid (Aβ) from brain into blood. We used (R)-[11C]verapamil PET in combination with partial P-gp inhibition with tariquidar to measure cerebral P-gp function in a beta-amyloidosis mouse model (APPtg) and in control mice at three different ages (50, 200 and 380 days). Following tariquidar pre-treatment (4 mg/kg), whole brain-to-plasma radioactivity concentration ratios (Kp,brain) were significantly higher in APPtg than in wild-type mice aged 50 days, pointing to decreased cerebral P-gp function. Moreover, we found an age-dependent decrease in cerebral P-gp function in both wild-type and APPtg mice of up to −50%. Alterations in P-gp function were more pronounced in Aβ-rich brain regions (hippocampus, cortex) than in a control region with negligible Aβ load (cerebellum). PET results were confirmed by immunohistochemical staining of P-gp in brain microvessels. Our results confirm previous findings of reduced P-gp function in Alzheimer’s disease mouse models and show that our PET protocol possesses adequate sensitivity to measure these functional changes in vivo. Our PET protocol may find use in clinical studies to test the efficacy of drugs to induce P-gp function at the human BBB to enhance Aβ clearance.

Smolikova, G.; Shiroglazova, O.; Vinogradova, G.; Leppyanen, I.; Dinastiya, E.; Yakovleva, O.; Dolgikh, E.; Titova, G.; Frolov, A.; Medvedev, S. Comparative analysis of the plastid conversion, photochemical activity and chlorophyll degradation in developing embryos of green-seeded and yellow-seeded pea (Pisum sativum) cultivars Funct Plant Biol 47, 409-424, (2020) DOI: 10.1071/FP19270

Developing seeds of some higher plants are photosynthetically active and contain chlorophylls (Chl), which are typically destroyed at the late stages of seed maturation. However, in some crop plant cultivars, degradation of embryonic Chl remains incomplete, and mature seeds preserve green colour, as it is known for green-seeded cultivars of pea (Pisum sativum L.). The residual Chl compromise seed quality and represent a severe challenge for farmers. Hence, comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms, underlying incomplete Chl degradation is required for maintaining sustainable agriculture. Therefore, here we address dynamics of plastid conversion and photochemical activity alterations, accompanying degradation of Chl in embryos of yellow- and green-seeded cultivars Frisson and Rondo respectively. The yellow-seeded cultivar demonstrated higher rate of Chl degradation at later maturation stage, accompanied with termination of photochemical activity, seed dehydration and conversion of green plastids into amyloplasts. In agreement with this, expression of genes encoding enzymes of Chl degradation was lower in the green seeded cultivar, with the major differences in the levels of Chl b reductase (NYC1) and pheophytinase (PPH) transcripts. Thus, the difference between yellow and green seeds can be attributed to incomplete Chl degradation in the latter at the end of maturation period.

Tabassum, N.; Eschen‐Lippold, L.; Athmer, B.; Baruah, M.; Brode, M.; Maldonado‐Bonilla, L. D.; Hoehenwarter, W.; Hause, G.; Scheel, D.; Lee, J. Phosphorylation‐dependent control of an RNA granule‐localized protein that fine‐tunes defence gene expression at a post‐transcriptional level Plant J 101, 1023-1039, (2020) DOI: 10.1111/tpj.14573

Mitogen‐activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are key signalling modules of plant defence responses to pathogen‐associated molecular patterns (PAMPs, e.g. bacterial flg22 peptide). The Tandem Zinc Finger Protein 9 (TZF9) is an RNA‐binding protein that is phosphorylated by two PAMP‐responsive MAPKs, MPK3 and MPK6. We mapped the major phosphosites in TZF9 and showed their importance for controlling in vitro RNA‐binding activity, in vivo flg22‐induced rapid disappearance of TZF9‐labelled processing body‐like structures and TZF9 protein turnover. Microarray analysis showed a strong discordance between transcriptome (total mRNA) and translatome (polysome‐associated mRNA) in the tzf9 mutant, with more mRNAs associated to ribosomes in the absence of TZF9. This suggests that TZF9 may sequester and inhibit translation of subsets of mRNAs. Fittingly, TZF9 physically interacts with poly(A)‐binding protein 2 (PAB2), a hallmark constituent of stress granules – a site for stress‐induced translational stalling/arrest. TZF9 even promotes stress granule assembly in the absence of stress. Hence, MAPKs may control defence gene expression post‐transcriptionally through release from translation arrest within TZF9‐PAB2‐containing RNA granules or perturbing PAB2 functions in translation control (e.g. in the mRNA closed‐loop model of translation).

Tchatchouang Noulala, C. G.; Fotso, G. W.; Rennert, R.; Lenta, B. N.; Sewald, N.; Arnold, N.; Happi, E. N.; Ngadjui, B. T. Mesomeric form of quaternary indoloquinazoline alkaloid and other constituents from the Cameroonian Rutaceae Araliopsis soyauxii Engl. Biochem Syst Ecol 91, 104050, (2020) DOI: 10.1016/j.bse.2020.104050

A mesomeric form of quaternary indoloquinazoline alkaloid, soyauxinium chloride (1) was obtained through the chemical investigation of stem bark and roots of Araliopsis soyauxii Engl. [syn. Vepris soyauxii (Engl.) Mziray] (Rutaceae) together with fifteen known compounds, including three furoquinoline alkaloids, three 2-quinolones, two limonoids, two triterpenes, two steroids, a coumarin, an acridone alkaloid, and a flavonoid glycoside. Their structures were established by comprehensive spectroscopic and spectrometric analyses (1D and 2D NMR, ESI-HR-MS) and by comparison with previously reported data. 13C NMR data of araliopsinine are also reported here for the first time. The isolated compounds were screened in vitro for their effects on the viability of two different human cancer cell lines, namely prostate PC-3 adenocarcinoma cells and colorectal HT-29 adenocarcinoma cells. However, none of the tested compounds exhibited strong anti-proliferative or cytotoxic activities, to either prostate PC-3 cells or colon HT-29 cells. At 100 μM, the furoquinoline maculine showed a slightly increased anti-proliferative effect, however, exclusively on HT-29 cells. The chemotaxonomic significance of the isolated compounds has also been discussed.

Möhle, L.; Schwarzová, B.; Krohn, M.; Stefan, S. M.; Pahnke, J. Using a qPCR device to screen for modulators of ABC transporter activity: A step-by-step protocol J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods 104, 106882, (2020) DOI: 10.1016/j.vascn.2020.106882

IntroductionAdenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are transmembrane proteins which actively transport a large variety of substrates across biological membranes. ABC transporter overexpression can be the underlying cause of multidrug resistance in oncology. Moreover, it has been revealed that increased ABCC1 transporter activity can ameliorate behavioural changes and Aβ pathology in a rodent model of Alzheimer's disease and it is currently tested in AD patients.MethodsFinding substances that modulate ABC transporter activity (inhibitors and activators) is of high relevance and thus, different methods have been developed to screen for potential modulators. For this purpose, we have developed a cell-based assay to measure the kinetics of ABCC1-mediated efflux of a fluorescent dye using a common qPCR device (Agilent AriaMx).ResultsWe validated the specificity of our method with vanadate and benzbromarone controls. Furthermore, we provide a step-by-step protocol including statistical analysis of the resulting data and suggestions how to modify the protocol specifically to screen for activators of ABCC1.DiscussionOur approach is biologically more relevant than cell-free assays. The continuous detection of kinetics allows for a more precise quantification compared with assays with single end-point measurements.

Gladchuk, A.; Shumilina, J.; Kusnetsova, A.; Bureiko, K.; Billig, S.; Tsarev, A.; Alexandrova, I.; Leonova, L.; Zhukov, V. A.; Tikhonovich, I. A.; Birkemeyer, C.; Podolskaya, E.; Frolov, A. High-Throughput Fingerprinting of Rhizobial Free Fatty Acids by Chemical Thin-Film Deposition and Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry Methods Protoc 3, 36, (2020) DOI: 10.3390/mps3020036

Fatty acids (FAs) represent an important class of metabolites, impacting on membrane building blocks and signaling compounds in cellular regulatory networks. In nature, prokaryotes are characterized with the most impressing FA structural diversity and the highest relative content of free fatty acids (FFAs). In this context, nitrogen-fixing bacteria (order Rhizobiales), the symbionts of legumes, are particularly interesting. Indeed, the FA profiles influence the structure of rhizobial nodulation factors, required for successful infection of plant root. Although FA patterns can be assessed by gas chromatography—(GC-) and liquid chromatography—mass spectrometry (LC-MS), sample preparation for these methods is time-consuming and quantification suffers from compromised sensitivity, low stability of derivatives and artifacts. In contrast, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) represents an excellent platform for high-efficient metabolite fingerprinting, also applicable to FFAs. Therefore, here we propose a simple and straightforward protocol for high-throughput relative quantification of FFAs in rhizobia by combination of Langmuir technology and MALDI-TOF-MS featuring a high sensitivity, accuracy and precision of quantification. We describe a step-by-step procedure comprising rhizobia culturing, pre-cleaning, extraction, sample preparation, mass spectrometric analysis, data processing and post-processing. As a case study, a comparison of the FFA metabolomes of two rhizobia species—Rhizobium leguminosarum and Sinorhizobium meliloti, demonstrates the analytical potential of the protocol.

Holzmeyer, L.; Hartig, A.-K.; Franke, K.; Brandt, W.; Muellner-Riehl, A. N.; Wessjohann, L. A.; Schnitzler, J. Evaluation of plant sources for antiinfective lead compound discovery by correlating phylogenetic, spatial, and bioactivity data Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 117, 12444-12451, (2020) DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1915277117

The continued high rates of using antibiotics in healthcare and livestock, without sufficient new compounds reaching the market, has led to a dramatic increase in antimicrobial resistance, with multidrug-resistant bacteria emerging as a major public health threat worldwide. Because the vast majority of antiinfectives are natural products or have originated from them, we assessed the predictive power of plant molecular phylogenies and species distribution modeling in the search for clades and areas which promise to provide a higher probability of delivering new antiinfective compound leads. Our approach enables taxonomically and spatially targeted bioprospecting and supports the battle against the global antimicrobial crisis.

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