Publications by authors named "Yuntao Dai"

31 Publications

Differential Metabolomics and Network Pharmacology Analysis of Silkworm Biotransformation between Mulberry Leaves and Silkworm Droppings.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2021 29;2021:8819538. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

Cancer Institute of Integrated Tradition Chinese and Western Medicine, Zhejiang Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tongde Hospital of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310012, China.

Silkworm droppings are the product of mulberry leaves digested by silkworm intestines, which are an important medicinal resource in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The contents of total fat, fat acids, crude protein, amino acids, and secondary metabolites of obtained mulberry leaves and silkworm droppings were analyzed by HPLC, GC-MS, and UHPLC-Q-TOF MS. The target genes and enriched pathways related to significantly changed compositions between mulberry leaves and silkworm droppings were analyzed by network pharmacology. High unsaturated C18 : 3 fatty acids were transformed to low unsaturated C18 : 1 from mulberry leaves to silkworm droppings. Only lysine and 17 mini-peptides had significantly higher content in silkworm droppings than in mulberry leaves. There were 36 common target genes or the different compounds between mulberry leaves and silkworm droppings. The main pathways of mulberry leaf were enriched in antivirus and anticancer properties, while the pathways of silkworm droppings were enriched in hormone regulation and signal transduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/8819538DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8263261PMC
June 2021

The combination of UHPLC-HRMS and molecular networking improving discovery efficiency of chemical components in Chinese Classical Formula.

Chin Med 2021 Jul 2;16(1):50. Epub 2021 Jul 2.

Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, 100700, China.

Background: It is essential to identify the chemical components for the quality control methods establishment of Chinese Classical Formula (CCF). However, CCF are complex mixture of several herbal medicines with huge number of different compounds and they are not equal to the combination of chemical components from each herb due to particular formula ratio and preparation techniques. Therefore, it is time-consuming to identify compounds in a CCF by analyzing the LC-MS/MS data one by one, especially for unknown components.

Methods: An ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography-linear ion trap-orbitrap high resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC-LTQ-Orbitrap-MS/MS) approach was developed to comprehensively profile and characterize multi-components in CCF with Erdong decoction composed of eight herbal medicines as an example. Then the MS data of Erdong decoction was analyzed by MS/MS-based molecular networking and these compounds with similar structures were connected to each other into a cluster in the network map. Then the unknown compounds connected to known compounds in a cluster of the network map were identified due to their similar structures.

Results: Based on the clusters of the molecular networking, 113 compounds were rapidly tentative identification from Erdong decoction for the first time in the negative mode, which including steroidal saponins, triterpenoid saponins, flavonoid O-glycosides and flavonoid C-glycosides. In addition, 10 alkaloids were tentatively identified in the positive mode from Nelumbinis folium by comparison with literatures.

Conclusion: MS/MS-based molecular networking technique is very useful for the rapid identification of components in CCF. In Erdong decoction, this method was very suitable for the identification of major steroidal saponins, triterpenoid saponins, and flavonoid C-glycosides.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13020-021-00459-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8254261PMC
July 2021

Research on Characteristic of Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria Based on Multiscale Entropy.

Comput Math Methods Med 2021 25;2021:6691356. Epub 2021 May 25.

College of Mathematical Sciences, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin 150001, China.

Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) is a common skin disease which symptom is local pruritus and pain. In medicine, researchers take a certain point that the brain is the control center of CSU, but in previous experiments, the researchers found that cerebellum also had a certain effect on CSU. In order to find out the influence of CSU in the brain and cerebellum, we collected the brain resting-state fMRI data from 40 healthy controls and 32 CSU patients and used DPABI to preprocess. We calculated the entropy values of five scales by using multiscale entropy (MSE) and the average entropy values of two groups' BOLD signals; 15 regions with significant differences were found which not only had a more detailed impact in the brain but also had an impact in the cerebellum, such as precentral gyrus, lenticular putamen, and vermis of cerebellum. In addition, we found that compared with the healthy controls, the entropy values of CSU patients showed two trends which need further study. The advantage of our experiment is that the multiscale entropy value is used to get more influence regions of CSU in the brain and cerebellum. The results of this paper may provide some help for the pathological study of CSU.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/6691356DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8172304PMC
May 2021

Quality Markers for Astragali Radix and Its Products Based on Process Analysis.

Front Pharmacol 2020 18;11:554777. Epub 2020 Dec 18.

Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.

Due to the complex nature of traditional medicines, quality control methods need to cover two aspects: compliance of raw materials with quality standards and process control. Astragali radix (AR), the roots of Bunge, was selected in this study as an example of a widely used traditional medicine in various formulations. Astragaloside IV (AG IV) and calycosin 7--β-D-glucoside (CG) are used as the markers for the quality control of AR and its products in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia. However, in the raw materials, malic acid esters of the CG and acetate esters of the astragaloside are easily decomposed into CG and AG IV during storage and processing of AR to make extracts for various preparations. The thermal stability of the isoflavonoids and astragalosides in decoction was studied. The level of CG and astragalosides (AG I/AG II/AG IV) was strongly affected by prolonged heat during processing, while calycosin was stable in the conditions. Also the major astragalosides in AR could fully converted into AG IV which eventually reaches a stable level under certain conditions. With calycosin and AG IV as marker components, practical, reproducible, and precise methods were established and applied to the quality analysis of AR from its raw materials to its intermediates and products. This study demonstrates that a full chemical profiles analysis of the whole manufacturing process (from "raw materials-intermediates/extracts-final product") is important to identify quality markers (Q-markers) and even to establish proper analysis methods for traditional Chinese medicine products.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.554777DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7775524PMC
December 2020

Correction to: Guizhi-Shaoyao-Zhimu decoction attenuates rheumatoid arthritis partially by reversing inflammation-immune system imbalance.

J Transl Med 2020 Sep 29;18(1):372. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, 100700, China.

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via the original article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-020-02536-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7525966PMC
September 2020

Detection and risk assessments of multi-pesticides in 1771 cultivated herbal medicines by LC/MS-MS and GC/MS-MS.

Chemosphere 2021 Jan 7;262:127477. Epub 2020 Aug 7.

Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, 100700, PR China. Electronic address:

Focus on the safety of herbal medicines has mainly been directed towards the presence of intrinsic toxicity, as found in the cases of renal and hepatic dysfunction caused by aristolochic acids. However, contamination from extrinsic hazards may impart an even greater reduction in their safety and efficacy. This study reveals that pesticides were present in the majority (88%) of a comprehensive cross-section (n = 1771) of herbal medicine samples. Alarmingly, more than half (59%) contained pesticides over the European Pharmacopoeia (EP) limit, and 43% of them contained 35 varieties of banned, extremely toxic pesticides, eight of which were detected at levels over 500 times higher than the default Maximum Residue Limit (MRL). DDTs, carbofuran, and mevinphos were confirmed as being among the most risk-inducing pesticides by three different risk assessment methods, reported to produce carcinogenic, genotoxic, reproductive, and developmental effects, in addition to carrying nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity. In light of these findings, and withstanding that extrinsic hazards can be controlled unlike intrinsic toxicity, the authors here strongly recommend the application of herbal medicine quality-control measures and solutions to safeguard against a neglected but certainly potentially serious health risk posed to the majority of the global population that consumes herbal medicines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.127477DOI Listing
January 2021

Natural deep eutectic characteristics of honey improve the bioactivity and safety of traditional medicines.

J Ethnopharmacol 2020 Mar 16;250:112460. Epub 2019 Dec 16.

Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Nanxiaojie 16, Dongzhimennei Ave, 100700, Beijing, China.

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Honey, an important additive with natural deep eutectic solvent (NADES) characteristics, has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years.

Aim Of The Study: We investigated the quality-improving effects of honey on Astragali Radix (Mikvetch Root) (RA) as an example.

Materials And Methods: Decoctions of raw RA, fried RA, honey-fried RA, and a man-made- honey-fried RA were prepared and compared in cell-based bioactivity tests, chemical composition tests, as well as a bioavailability test with calycosin-7-O-β-D-glucoside.

Results: The addition of honey increased the concentrations of active compounds and their oral bioavailability, provided protection against acetylation, and consequently increased their bioactivity. These changes were also observed when a pure NADES-mimicking honey was used.

Conclusion: Our findings provide a potential explanation as to why honey has long been used as traditional medicine additives and rationalize the application of honey and honey-like substance in producing pharmaceuticals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2019.112460DOI Listing
March 2020

Quality marker identification based on standard decoction of differently processed materials of Ephedrae Herba.

J Ethnopharmacol 2019 Jun 18;237:47-54. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: The quality control of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a scientific problem and an industrial issue, which hampers the development of evidence based TCM. The concept of quality markers (Q-markers) is proposed and has been applied to the quality evaluation of TCM based on its clinical efficacy. However, more specific methods are needed to put this idea into practice. The standard decoction is a representative of decoction used in clinical practice and it can be used for the discovery of Q-markers related to the clinical efficacy of TCM.

Aim Of The Study: In this study, a systemic strategy was established to discover Q-markers related to the clinical efficacy of TCM Ephedrae Herba (EH), dried stem of Ephedra sinica Stapf. The different processed materials of EH have different clinical applications, though originating from the same medicinal herb.

Materials And Methods: The standard decoction of each of the processed materials was prepared and a HNMR metabolomics approach and total polysaccharide analysis were used to identify potential Q-markers related to the different clinical applications of EH. Correlation analysis was made of the measured biological activity and the holistic chemical profile.

Results: The results showed that total polysaccharides and alkaloids were Q-markers for EH preparations.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the standard decoction is a reasonable research objective to explore chemical markers that correlate with the clinical efficacy of TCM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2019.03.025DOI Listing
June 2019

A Practical Quality Control Method for Saponins Without UV Absorption by UPLC-QDA.

Front Pharmacol 2018 11;9:1377. Epub 2018 Dec 11.

Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.

Saponins are a class of important active ingredients. Analysis of saponin-containing herbal medicines is a major challenge for the quality control of medicinal herbs in companies. Taking the medicine Astragali radix (AR) as an example, it has been shown that the existing evaporative light scattering detection (ELSD) methods of astragaloside IV (AG IV) has the disadvantages of time-consuming sample preparation and low sensitivity. The universality of ELSD results in an inapplicable fingerprint with huge signals from primary compounds and smaller signals from saponins. The purpose of this study was to provide a practical and comprehensive method for the quality control of the astragalosides in AR. A simple sample preparation method with sonication extraction and ammonia hydrolyzation was established, which shortens the preparation time from around 2 days to less than 2 h. A UPLC-QDA method with the SIM mode was established for the quantification of AG IV in AR. Methanol extract was subjected to UPLC-QDA for fingerprinting analysis, and the common peaks were assigned simultaneously with the QDA. The results showed that with the newly established method, the preparation time for a set of samples was less than 90 min. The fingerprints can simultaneously detect both saponins and flavonoids in AR. This simple, rapid, and comprehensive UPLC-QDA method is suitable for quality assessment of RA and its products in companies, and also provides references for the quality control of other saponin ingredients without UV absorption.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01377DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6298191PMC
December 2018

Major achievements of evidence-based traditional Chinese medicine in treating major diseases.

Biochem Pharmacol 2017 09 19;139:94-104. Epub 2017 Jun 19.

Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing. Electronic address:

A long history of use and extensive documentation of the clinical practices of traditional Chinese medicine resulted in a considerable number of classical preparations, which are still widely used. This heritage of our ancestors provides a unique resource for drug discovery. Already, a number of important drugs have been developed from traditional medicines, which in fact form the core of Western pharmacotherapy. Therefore, this article discusses the differences in drug development between traditional medicine and Western medicine. Moreover, the article uses the discovery of artemisinin as an example that illustrates the "bedside-bench-bedside" approach to drug discovery to explain that the middle way for drug development is to take advantage of the best features of these two distinct systems and compensate for certain weaknesses in each. This article also summarizes evidence-based traditional medicines and discusses quality control and quality assessment, the crucial steps in botanical drug development. Herbgenomics may provide effective tools to clarify the molecular mechanism of traditional medicines in the botanical drug development. The totality-of-the-evidence approach used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for botanical products provides the directions on how to perform quality control from the field throughout the entire production process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2017.06.123DOI Listing
September 2017

Improving the Concentrations of the Active Components in the Herbal Tea Ingredient, Uraria crinita: The Effect of Post-harvest Oven-drying Processing.

Sci Rep 2017 01 12;7:38763. Epub 2017 Jan 12.

Department of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chinese Medicine Resources, China Medical University, Taiwan.

Uraria crinita is widely used as a popular folk drink; however, little is known about how the post-harvest operations affect the chemical composition and bioactivity of UC. We assessed three drying methods (Oven-drying, Air-drying, Sun-drying), as well as the Oven-drying temperature using metabolomics approaches and bioactivity assays. The samples processed at 40 degree show a greater effect on the levels of estrogen receptor-alpha activity and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 activity, anti-oxidative activity, and cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition compared with the other samples. A multivariate analysis showed a clear separation between the 40 degree Oven-dried samples and the other samples, which is consistent with the results of bioactivity assay. These results are ascribed to at least two-fold increase in the concentrations of flavonoids, spatholosineside A and triterpenoids in the oven-dried samples compared with the other groups. The proposed Oven-drying method at 40 degree results in an improved quality of UC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep38763DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5227699PMC
January 2017

A Novel Hybrid Firefly Algorithm for Global Optimization.

PLoS One 2016;11(9):e0163230. Epub 2016 Sep 29.

College of Science, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin, China.

Global optimization is challenging to solve due to its nonlinearity and multimodality. Traditional algorithms such as the gradient-based methods often struggle to deal with such problems and one of the current trends is to use metaheuristic algorithms. In this paper, a novel hybrid population-based global optimization algorithm, called hybrid firefly algorithm (HFA), is proposed by combining the advantages of both the firefly algorithm (FA) and differential evolution (DE). FA and DE are executed in parallel to promote information sharing among the population and thus enhance searching efficiency. In order to evaluate the performance and efficiency of the proposed algorithm, a diverse set of selected benchmark functions are employed and these functions fall into two groups: unimodal and multimodal. The experimental results show better performance of the proposed algorithm compared to the original version of the firefly algorithm (FA), differential evolution (DE) and particle swarm optimization (PSO) in the sense of avoiding local minima and increasing the convergence rate.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0163230PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5042447PMC
September 2016

Guizhi-Shaoyao-Zhimu decoction attenuates rheumatoid arthritis partially by reversing inflammation-immune system imbalance.

J Transl Med 2016 06 8;14(1):165. Epub 2016 Jun 8.

Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, 100700, China.

Background: Guizhi-Shaoyao-Zhimu decoction (GSZD) has been extensively used for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) therapy. Marked therapeutic efficacy of GSZD acting on RA has been demonstrated in several long-term clinical trials without any significant side effects. However, its pharmacological mechanisms remain unclear due to a lack of appropriate scientific methodology.

Methods: GSZD's mechanisms of action were investigated using an integrative approach that combined drug target prediction, network analysis, and experimental validation.

Results: A total of 77 putative targets were identified for 165 assessed chemical components of GSZD. After calculating the topological features of the nodes and edges in the created drug-target network, we identified a candidate GSZD-targeted signal axis that contained interactions between two putative GSZD targets [histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) and heat shock protein 90 kDa alpha, class A member 1 (HSP90AA1)] and three known RA-related targets [NFKB2; inhibitor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells, kinase beta (IKBKB); and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α)]. This signal axis could connect different functional modules that are significantly associated with various RA-related signaling pathways, including T/B cell receptor, Toll-like receptor, NF-kappa B and TNF pathways, as well as osteoclast differentiation. Furthermore, the therapeutic effects and putative molecular mechanisms of GSZD's actions on RA were experimentally validated in vitro and in vivo.

Conclusions: GSZD may partially attenuate RA by reversing inflammation-immune system imbalance and regulating the HDAC1-HSP90AA1-NFKB2-IKBKB-TNF-α signaling axis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-016-0921-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4898408PMC
June 2016

Application of natural deep eutectic solvents to the extraction of anthocyanins from Catharanthus roseus with high extractability and stability replacing conventional organic solvents.

J Chromatogr A 2016 Feb 16;1434:50-6. Epub 2016 Jan 16.

Natural Products Laboratory, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, Sylviusweg, 2333 BE Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) have attracted a great deal of attention in recent times as promising green media. They are generally composed of neutral, acidic or basic compounds that form liquids of high viscosity when mixed in certain molar ratio. Despite their potential, viscosity and acid or basic nature of some ingredients may affect the extraction capacity and stabilizing ability of the target compounds. To investigate these effects, extraction with a series of NADES was employed for the analysis of anthocyanins in flower petals of Catharanthus roseus in combination with HPLC-DAD-based metabolic profiling. Along with the extraction yields of anthocyanins their stability in NADES was also studied. Multivariate data analysis indicates that the lactic acid-glucose (LGH), and 1,2-propanediol-choline chloride (PCH) NADES present a similar extraction power for anthocyanins as conventional organic solvents. Furthermore, among the NADES employed, LGH exhibits an at least three times higher stabilizing capacity for cyanidins than acidified ethanol, which facilitates their extraction and analysis process. Comparing NADES to the conventional organic solvents, in addition to their reduced environmental impact, they proved to provide higher stability for anthocyanins, and therefore have a great potential as possible alternatives to those organic solvents in health related areas such as food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2016.01.037DOI Listing
February 2016

Tailoring properties of natural deep eutectic solvents with water to facilitate their applications.

Food Chem 2015 Nov 3;187:14-9. Epub 2015 Apr 3.

Natural Products Laboratory, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, 2333 BE Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Previously it was demonstrated that natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) are promising green solvents for the extraction of natural products. However, despite their potential, an obvious disadvantage of NADES is the high viscosity. Here we explored the dilution effect on the structures and physicochemical properties of NADES and their improvements of applications using quercetin and carthamin. The results of FT-IR and (1)H NMR experiments demonstrated that there are intensive H-bonding interactions between the two components of NADES and dilution with water caused the interactions weaken gradually and even disappeared completely at around 50% (v/v) water addition. A small amount of water could reduce the viscosity of NADES to the range of water and increase the conductivity by up to 100 times for some NADES. This study provides the basis for modulating NADES in a controllable way for their applications in food processing, enzyme reactions, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.03.123DOI Listing
November 2015

Enhanced expression of DNA polymerase eta contributes to cisplatin resistance of ovarian cancer stem cells.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2015 Apr 23;112(14):4411-6. Epub 2015 Mar 23.

Department of Radiology, Comprehensive Cancer Center,

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) with enhanced tumorigenicity and chemoresistance are believed to be responsible for treatment failure and tumor relapse in ovarian cancer patients. However, it is still unclear how CSCs survive DNA-damaging agent treatment. Here, we report an elevated expression of DNA polymerase η (Pol η) in ovarian CSCs isolated from both ovarian cancer cell lines and primary tumors, indicating that CSCs may have intrinsically enhanced translesion DNA synthesis (TLS). Down-regulation of Pol η blocked cisplatin-induced CSC enrichment both in vitro and in vivo through the enhancement of cisplatin-induced apoptosis in CSCs, indicating that Pol η-mediated TLS contributes to the survival of CSCs upon cisplatin treatment. Furthermore, our data demonstrated a depletion of miR-93 in ovarian CSCs. Enforced expression of miR-93 in ovarian CSCs reduced Pol η expression and increased their sensitivity to cisplatin. Taken together, our data suggest that ovarian CSCs have intrinsically enhanced Pol η-mediated TLS, allowing CSCs to survive cisplatin treatment, leading to tumor relapse. Targeting Pol η, probably through enhancement of miR-93 expression, might be exploited as a strategy to increase the efficacy of cisplatin treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1421365112DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4394248PMC
April 2015

Ant colony optimization algorithm for continuous domains based on position distribution model of ant colony foraging.

ScientificWorldJournal 2014 11;2014:428539. Epub 2014 May 11.

College of Automation, Harbin Engineering University, 145 Nantong Street, Heilongjiang 150001, China.

Ant colony optimization algorithm for continuous domains is a major research direction for ant colony optimization algorithm. In this paper, we propose a distribution model of ant colony foraging, through analysis of the relationship between the position distribution and food source in the process of ant colony foraging. We design a continuous domain optimization algorithm based on the model and give the form of solution for the algorithm, the distribution model of pheromone, the update rules of ant colony position, and the processing method of constraint condition. Algorithm performance against a set of test trials was unconstrained optimization test functions and a set of optimization test functions, and test results of other algorithms are compared and analyzed to verify the correctness and effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/428539DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4037618PMC
February 2015

Natural deep eutectic solvents providing enhanced stability of natural colorants from safflower (Carthamus tinctorius).

Food Chem 2014 Sep 10;159:116-21. Epub 2014 Mar 10.

Natural Products Laboratory, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, 2333 BE Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

A certain combination of natural products in the solid state becomes liquid, so called natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES). Recently, they have been considered promising new green solvents for foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals due to their unique solvent power which can dissolve many non-water-soluble compounds and their low toxicity. However, in addition to the features as solvents, the stabilisation ability of NADES for compounds is important for their further applications. In the study, the stability analysis demonstrates that natural pigments from safflower are more stable in sugar-based NADES than in water or 40% ethanol solution. Notably, the stabilisation capacity of NADES can be adjusted by reducing water content with increasing viscosity. The strong stabilisation ability is due to the formation of strong hydrogen bonding interactions between solutes and NADES molecules. The stabilising ability of NADES for phenolic compounds shows great promise for their applications in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.02.155DOI Listing
September 2014

Ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents in natural products research: mixtures of solids as extraction solvents.

J Nat Prod 2013 Nov 4;76(11):2162-73. Epub 2013 Nov 4.

Natural Products Laboratory, Institute of Biology, Leiden University , 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.

Mixtures of solid chemicals may become liquid under certain conditions. These liquids are characterized by the formation of strong ionic (ionic liquids) or hydrogen bonds (deep eutectic solvents). Due to their extremely low vapor pressure, they are now widely used in polymer chemistry and synthetic organic chemistry, yet little attention has been paid to their use as extraction solvents of natural products. This review summarizes the preparation of ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents with natural product components and recent progress in their applications to the extraction and analysis of natural products as well as the recovery of extracted compounds from their extracts. Additionally, various factors affecting extraction features of ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents, as well as potential useful technologies including microwave and ultrasound to increase the extraction efficiency, are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/np400051wDOI Listing
November 2013

Investigation of the chemomarkers correlated with flower colour in different organs of Catharanthus roseus using NMR-based metabolomics.

Phytochem Anal 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):66-74. Epub 2013 Oct 21.

Natural Products Laboratory, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, 2300 RA, Leiden, The Netherlands; Plant Biotechnology Research Center, Fudan-SJTU-Nottingham Plant Biotechnology R&D Center, School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China.

Introduction: Flower colour is a complex phenomenon that involves a wide range of secondary metabolites of flowers, for example phenolics and carotenoids as well as co-pigments. Biosynthesis of these metabolites, though, occurs through complicated pathways in many other plant organs. The analysis of the metabolic profile of leaves, stems and roots, for example, therefore may allow the identification of chemomarkers related to the final expression of flower colour.

Objective: To investigate the metabolic profile of leaves, stems, roots and flowers of Catharanthus roseus and the possible correlation with four flower colours (orange, pink, purple and red).

Methods: (1) H-NMR and multivariate data analysis were used to characterise the metabolites in the organs.

Results: The results showed that flower colour is characterised by a special pattern of metabolites such as anthocyanins, flavonoids, organic acids and sugars. The leaves, stems and roots also exhibit differences in their metabolic profiles according to the flower colour. Plants with orange flowers featured a relatively high level of kaempferol analogues in all organs except roots. Red-flowered plants showed a high level of malic acid, fumaric acid and asparagine in both flowers and leaves, and purple and pink flowering plants exhibited high levels of sucrose, glucose and 2,3-dihydroxy benzoic acid. High concentrations of quercetin analogues were detected in flowers and leaves of purple-flowered plants.

Conclusions: There is a correlation between the metabolites specifically associated to the expression of different flower colours and the metabolite profile of other plant organs and it is therefore possible to predict the flower colours by detecting specific metabolites in leaves, stems or roots. This may have interesting application in the plant breeding industry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pca.2464DOI Listing
August 2014

Collection and trade of wild-harvested orchids in Nepal.

J Ethnobiol Ethnomed 2013 Aug 31;9(1):64. Epub 2013 Aug 31.

Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Sylviusweg 72, P,O, Box 9517, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background: Wild orchids are illegally harvested and traded in Nepal for use in local traditional medicine, horticulture, and international trade. This study aims to: 1) identify the diversity of species of wild orchids in trade in Nepal; 2) study the chain of commercialization from collector to client and/or export; 3) map traditional knowledge and medicinal use of orchids; and 4) integrate the collected data to propose a more sustainable approach to orchid conservation in Nepal.

Methods: Trade, species diversity, and traditional use of wild-harvested orchids were documented during field surveys of markets and through interviews. Trade volumes and approximate income were estimated based on surveys and current market prices. Orchid material samples were identified to species level using a combination of morphology and DNA barcoding.

Results: Orchid trade is a long tradition, and illegal export to China, India and Hong Kong is rife. Estimates show that 9.4 tons of wild orchids were illegally traded from the study sites during 2008/2009. A total of 60 species of wild orchids were reported to be used in traditional medicinal practices to cure at least 38 different ailments, including energizers, aphrodisiacs and treatments of burnt skin, fractured or dislocated bones, headaches, fever and wounds. DNA barcoding successfully identified orchid material to species level that remained sterile after culturing.

Conclusions: Collection of wild orchids was found to be widespread in Nepal, but illegal trade is threatening many species in the wild. Establishment of small-scale sustainable orchid breeding enterprises could be a valuable alternative for the production of medicinal orchids for local communities. Critically endangered species should be placed on CITES Appendix I to provide extra protection to those species. DNA barcoding is an effective method for species identification and monitoring of illegal cross-border trade.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1746-4269-9-64DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3846542PMC
August 2013

Insulin growth factor signaling is regulated by microRNA-486, an underexpressed microRNA in lung cancer.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2013 Sep 26;110(37):15043-8. Epub 2013 Aug 26.

Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics and Division of Hematology, Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small 19- to 24-nt noncoding RNAs that have the capacity to regulate fundamental biological processes essential for cancer initiation and progression. In cancer, miRNAs may function as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. Here, we conducted global profiling for miRNAs in a cohort of stage 1 nonsmall cell lung cancers (n = 81) and determined that miR-486 was the most down-regulated miRNA in tumors compared with adjacent uninvolved lung tissues, suggesting that miR-486 loss may be important in lung cancer development. We report that miR-486 directly targets components of insulin growth factor (IGF) signaling including insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), IGF1 receptor (IGF1R), and phosphoinositide-3-kinase, regulatory subunit 1 (alpha) (PIK3R1, or p85a) and functions as a potent tumor suppressor of lung cancer both in vitro and in vivo. Our findings support the role for miR-486 loss in lung cancer and suggest a potential biological link to p53.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1307107110DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3773758PMC
September 2013

Natural deep eutectic solvents as a new extraction media for phenolic metabolites in Carthamus tinctorius L.

Anal Chem 2013 Jul 11;85(13):6272-8. Epub 2013 Jun 11.

Natural Products Laboratory, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.

Developing green solvents with low toxicity and cost is an important issue for the biochemical industry. Synthetic ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents have received considerable attention due to their negligible volatility at room temperature, high solubilization ability, and tunable selectivity. However, the potential toxicity of the synthetic ionic liquids and the solid state at room temperature of most deep eutectic solvents hamper their application as extraction solvents. In this study, a wide range of recently discovered natural ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents (NADES) composed of natural compounds were investigated for the extraction of phenolic compounds of diverse polarity. Safflower was selected as a case study because its aromatic pigments cover a wide range of polarities. Many advantageous features of NADES (such as their sustainability, biodegradability combined with acceptable pharmaceutical toxicity profiles, and their high solubilization power of both polar and nonpolar compounds) suggest their potential as green solvents for extraction. Experiments with different NADES and multivariate data analysis demonstrated that the extractability of both polar and less polar metabolites was greater with NADES than conventional solvents. The water content in NADES proved to have the biggest effect on the yield of phenolic compounds. Most major phenolic compounds were recovered from NADES with a yield between 75% and 97%. This study reveals the potential of NADES for applications involving the extraction of bioactive compounds from natural sources.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ac400432pDOI Listing
July 2013

Natural deep eutectic solvents as new potential media for green technology.

Anal Chim Acta 2013 Mar 9;766:61-8. Epub 2013 Jan 9.

Natural Products Laboratory, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.

Developing new green solvents is one of the key subjects in Green Chemistry. Ionic liquids (ILs) and deep eutectic solvents, thus, have been paid great attention to replace current harsh organic solvents and have been applied to many chemical processing such as extraction and synthesis. However, current ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents have still limitations to be applied to a real chemical industry due to toxicity against human and environment and high cost of ILs and solid state of most deep eutectic solvents at room temperature. Recently we discovered that many plant abundant primary metabolites changed their state from solid to liquid when they were mixed in proper ratio. This finding made us hypothesize that natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) play a role as alternative media to water in living organisms and tested a wide range of natural products, which resulted in discovery of over 100 NADES from nature. In order to prove deep eutectic feature the interaction between the molecules was investigated by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. All the tested NADES show clear hydrogen bonding between components. As next step physical properties of NADES such as water activity, density, viscosity, polarity and thermal properties were measured as well as the effect of water on the physical properties. In the last stage the novel NADES were applied to the solubilization of wide range of biomolecules such as non-water soluble bioactive natural products, gluten, starch, and DNA. In most cases the solubility of the biomolecules evaluated in this study was greatly higher than water. Based on the results the novel NADES may be expected as potential green solvents at room temperature in diverse fields of chemistry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2012.12.019DOI Listing
March 2013

Metabolic fingerprinting by 1HNMR for discrimination of the two species used as Radix Bupleuri.

Planta Med 2012 Jun 26;78(9):926-33. Epub 2012 Apr 26.

Center of Modern Research for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, People's Republic of China.

Radix Bupleuri is a traditional Chinese medicine harvested from two Bupleurum species (B. chinense and B. scorzonerifolium). It is widely used and is sourced from different regions of China. 1H NMR spectroscopy and multivariate data analysis were applied to 67 Radix Bupleuri samples to discriminate the two species, and explore the influences of habitat and culture method on the quality of Radix Bupleuri based on their metabolomics profiles. Metabolites responsible for the differences between the two species were higher levels of arginine, citric acid, sucrose, saikosaponin b1/b2 analogs, volatile oil with an (E)-2-olefin aldehyde fragment, and fatty acids in B. scoreonerifolium, and more saikosaponin a/c/d analogs in B. chinense. The variances of two cultivation areas were observed due to the higher amount of saikosaponins a/c/d in samples from Shaanxi and lipidsin samples from Shanxi. No obvious difference was detected between cultivars and wild type. 1HNMR metabolomics can simultaneously detect saikosaponins and hydrocarbon aldehydes, and also differentiate the two main saikosaponin skeletons, making it a suitable tool for the species discrimination and quality evaluation of Radix Bupleuri.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0031-1298496DOI Listing
June 2012

Are natural deep eutectic solvents the missing link in understanding cellular metabolism and physiology?

Plant Physiol 2011 Aug 15;156(4):1701-5. Epub 2011 Jun 15.

Natural Products Laboratory, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.111.178426DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3149944PMC
August 2011

Hypoxia promotes growth of stem cells in dental follicle cell populations.

J Biomed Sci Eng 2011 1;4(6):454-461. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA.

Adult stem cells (ASC) have been found in many tissues and are of great therapeutic potential due to their capability of differentiation. However, ASC comprise only a small fraction of the tissues. In order to use ASC for therapeutic purposes, it is important to obtain relatively pure stem cells in large quantities. Current methods for stem cell purification are mainly based on marker-dependent cell sorting techniques, which have various technical difficulties. In this study, we have attempted to develop novel conditions to favor the growth of the dental follicle stem cells (DFSC) such that the resultant cell populations are enriched in stem cells. Specifically, a heterogeneous dental follicle cell (H-DFC) population containing stem cells and homogenous non-stem cell dental follicle cell population were cultured at 1% or 5% hypoxic conditions. Only the heterogeneous population could increase proliferation in the hypoxic condition whereas the homogenous DFC did not change their proliferation rate. In addition, when the resultant cells from the heterogonous population were subjected to differentiation, they appeared to have a higher capacity of adipogenesis and osteogenesis as compared to the controls grown in the normal atmosphere (normoxic condition). These hypoxia-treated cells also express higher levels of some stem cell markers. Together, these data suggest that stem cells are enriched by culturing the heterogeneous cell populations in a reduced O(2) condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jbise.2011.46057DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3327300PMC
June 2011

Diversification and evolution of the avirulence gene AVR-Pita1 in field isolates of Magnaporthe oryzae.

Fungal Genet Biol 2010 Dec 16;47(12):973-80. Epub 2010 Aug 16.

Department of Plant Pathology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA.

Rice blast disease is the single most destructive plant disease that threatens stable rice production worldwide. Race-specific resistance to the rice blast pathogen has not been durable and the mechanism by which the resistance is overcome remains largely unknown. Here we report the molecular mechanisms of diversification and the instability of the avirulence gene AVR-Pita1 in field strains of Magnaporthe oryzae interacting with the host resistance gene Pi-ta and triggering race-specific resistance. Two-base-pair insertions resulting in frame-shift mutations and partial and complete deletions of AVR-Pita1 were identified in virulent isolates. Moreover, a total of 38 AVR-Pita1 haplotypes encoding 27 AVR-Pita1 variants were identified among 151 avirulent isolates. Most DNA sequence variation was found to occur in the exon region resulting in amino acid substitution. These findings demonstrate that AVR-Pita1 is under positive selection and mutations of AVR-Pita1 are responsible for defeating race-specific resistance in nature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fgb.2010.08.003DOI Listing
December 2010

2-D RP/RPLC method to separate components in Fructus schisandrae chinensis.

J Sep Sci 2010 Mar;33(4-5):564-9

Key Lab of Separation Science for Analytical Chemistry, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian, P. R. China.

An off-line 2-D RP/RPLC method was developed to separate components in extracts of Fructus schisandrae chinensis, which is a traditional Chinese medicine. In this method, Click beta-CD stationary phase was proposed for constructing 2-D RP/RPLC system combined with C18 column. Beta-CD column showed great potential to separate compounds in traditional Chinese medicines under RP mode. Collected fractions from Click beta-CD column used in first dimension were resolved into many additional components, indicating that the 2-D LC system based on Click beta-CD and C18 phases is orthogonal. The mobile phase was same on both columns. This 2-D LC method facilitates us not only to separate components that cannot be resolved by unidimensional chromatography, but also to achieve much more efficient detection of minor sample components.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jssc.200900563DOI Listing
March 2010

Metabolomics study on the anti-depression effect of xiaoyaosan on rat model of chronic unpredictable mild stress.

J Ethnopharmacol 2010 Mar 14;128(2):482-9. Epub 2010 Jan 14.

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, School of Pharmacognosy, Shanxi University, Wucheng Road 92, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030006, China.

Ethnopharmacology: Xiaoyaosan, a famous Chinese prescription, composed of Poria (Poria cocos (Schw.) Wolf), Radix Paeoniae Alba (Paeonia lactiflora Pall.), Radix Glycyrrhizae (Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch.), Radix Bupleuri (Bupleurum chinense DC.), Radix Angelicae Sinensis (Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels), Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae (Atractylodes macrocephala Koidz.), Herba Menthae (Mentha haplocalyx Briq.), and Rhizoma Zingiberis Recens (Zingiber officinale Rosc.), has been widely used in the clinic for treating mental disorders. Behavior and biochemical analyses indicate xiaoyaosan has obvious anti-depression activity. However, there is no report on the effects of xiaoyaosan using a metabolomics approach.

Aim Of The Study: A urinary metabolomics method was applied to evaluate the efficacy of xiaoyaosan on rat model of chronic unpredictable mild stress.

Material And Methods: Rats were divided into 6 groups and drugs were administered during the 21-day model building period. Urine was measured using GC-MS, processed with XCMS and Microsoft Excel and analyzed by SIMCA-P and SPASS software. Variable importance in projection statistics and loading plot were used to find biomarker ions.

Results: Clear separation between model and each drug group was achieved. High dose group of xiaoyaosan was much closer to control group than middle dose group and amitriptyline group. The time-dependent recovery tendency in high dose group was obtained.

Conclusions: In term of anti-depression effect, high dose xiaoyaosan was the most effective and amitriptyline equaled middle dose xiaoyaosan as shown by metabolomics strategy and behavior tests. Some common and characteristic metabolites on the anti-depression of xiaoyaosan and amitriptyline were obtained. The work showed metabolomics is a valuable tool in studying the efficacy and potential biomarkers of therapeutic effect of complex prescriptions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2010.01.016DOI Listing
March 2010
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