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α-Glucosidase enzyme inhibitory effects and ursolic and oleanolic acid contents of fourteen Anatolian Salvia species.

During the last decade, ursolic and oleanolic acids have been of considerable interest because of their α-glucosidase inhibitory activities and potential effects for treatment of type 2 diabetes. A simple and sensitive reversed-phase HPLC method was developed for the simultaneous determination of ursolic acid and oleanolic acid. The optimal mobile phase was selected as 85% acetonitrile solution. The limit of detection of the method for ursolic acid and oleanolic acid were 14 ng mL and 13 ng mL, respectively. The method showed good precision and accuracy with intra-day and inter-day variations of 0.54% and 7.33% for ursolic acid, intra-day and inter-day variations of 0.51% and 5.26% for oleanolic acid, and overall recoveries of 97.8% and 98.5% for ursolic acid and oleanolic acid, respectively. Application of the method to determine the ursolic acid and oleanolic acid contents in the Salvia species revealed both compounds, with varying amounts between 0.21-9.76 mg g ursolic acid and 0.20-12.7 mg g oleanolic acid, respectively, among 14 Salvia species analyzed. Additionally, the plant extracts were analyzed for their inhibitory activities on α-glucosidase. According to the results of this assay, the extracts showed considerable activity on α-glucosidase with IC values from 17.6 to 173 μg mL. A strong negative correlation was detected between the amounts of both acids and IC values of extracts. Anatolian Salvia species have great potential as functional plants in the management of diabetes.

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Phytochemical Study of the Ecuadorian Species (Benth.) Epling and High Antifungal Activity of Carnosol against .

The plant (Benth.) Epling (family Lamiaceae) is endemic to Ecuador. In the present study, we report some major non-volatile secondary metabolites from the leaves and the chemistry of the essential oil distilled from the flowers. The main identified compounds were carnosol, viridiflorol, ursolic acid, oleanolic acid, chrysothol, and 5-hydroxy-4′,7-dimethoxy flavone. Their structures were determined by X-ray diffraction and NMR and MS techniques. The essential oil showed a chemical composition similar to that distilled from the leaves, but with some qualitative and quantitative differences regarding several minor compounds. The main constituents (>4%) were: δ-3-carene (24.23%), eudesm-7(11)-en-4-ol (13.02%), thujopsan-2-α-ol (11.90%), β-pinene (7.96%), valerianol (5.19%), and co-eluting limonene and β-phellandrene (4.47%). The volatile fraction was also submitted to enantioselective analysis on a β-cyclodextrin column, obtaining the separation and identification of the enantiomers for α-thujene, β-pinene, sabinene, α-phellandrene, limonene and β-phellandrene. Furthermore, the anti-fungal activity of non-volatile secondary metabolites was tested in vitro, with carnosol resulting in being very active against the “blast disease” caused by the fungus .

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Increased synthesis of a new oleanane-type saponin in hairy roots of marigold (Calendula officinalis) after treatment with jasmonic acid.

Native plant of marigold (Calendula officinalis L.) synthesizes oleanolic acid saponins classified as glucosides or glucuronides according to the first residue in sugar chain bound to C-3 hydroxyl group. Hairy root culture, obtained by transformation with Agrobacterium rhizogenes strain 15834, exhibit a potent ability of synthesis of oleanolic acid glycosides. The HPLC profile of saponin fraction obtained from C. officinalis hairy roots treated with plant stress hormone, jasmonic acid, showed the 10-times increase of the content of one particular compound, determined by NMR and MALDI TOF as a new bisdesmoside saponin, 3-O-β-d-glucuronopyranosyl-28-O-β-d-galactopyranosyl-oleanolic acid. Such a diglycoside does not occur in native C. officinalis plant. It is a glucuronide, whereas in the native plant glucuronides are mainly accumulated in flowers, while glucosides are the most abundant saponins in roots. Thus, our results revealed that the pathways of saponin biosynthesis, particularly reactions of glycosylation, are altered in C. officinalis hairy root culture.

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SYNTHESIS OF IMIDAZO[2,1-b][1,3,4]THIADIAZOLE DERIVATIVES AS POSSIBLE BIOLOGICALLY ACTIVE AGENTS.

A series of 2-(4-methylbenzyl)-5,6-substituted-imidazo[2,1-b][1,3,4]thiadiazole derivatives were synthesized, characterized and evaluated for antiproliferative activity and cancer chemopreventive activity. Results showed that molecules with formyl and thiocyanate substiments at the 5 position exhibited an increase in activity against the full panel of 60 human tumor cell lines at a minimum of five concentrations at 10-fold dilutions. Derivative 22 displayed significant in vino anticancer activity against colon cancer (MID GI₅₀ = 0.75 μM). The cancer chemopreventive effect of 19 (IC₅₀ = 489 nM) was almost equipotent to standard oleanolic acid (IC₅₀ = 449 nM).

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A tandem array of UDP-glycosyltransferases from the UGT73C subfamily glycosylate sapogenins, forming a spectrum of mono- and bisdesmosidic saponins.

This study identifies six UGT73Cs all able to glucosylate sapogenins at positions 3 and/or 28 which demonstrates that B. vulgaris has a much richer arsenal of UGTs involved in saponin biosynthesis than initially anticipated. The wild cruciferous plant Barbarea vulgaris is resistant to some insects due to accumulation of two monodesmosidic triterpenoid saponins, oleanolic acid 3-O-β-cellobioside and hederagenin 3-O-β-cellobioside. Insect resistance depends on the structure of the sapogenin aglycone and the glycosylation pattern. The B. vulgaris saponin profile is complex with at least 49 saponin-like metabolites, derived from eight sapogenins and including up to five monosaccharide units. Two B. vulgaris UDP-glycosyltransferases, UGT73C11 and UGT73C13, O-glucosylate sapogenins at positions 3 and 28, forming mainly 3-O-β-D-glucosides. The aim of this study was to identify UGTs responsible for the diverse saponin oligoglycoside moieties observed in B. vulgaris. Twenty UGT genes from the insect resistant genotype were selected and heterologously expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana and/or Escherichia coli. The extracts were screened for their ability to glycosylate sapogenins (oleanolic acid, hederagenin), the hormone 24-epibrassinolide and sapogenin monoglucosides (hederagenin and oleanolic acid 3-O-β-D-glucosides). Six UGTs from the UGT73C subfamily were able to glucosylate both sapogenins and both monoglucosides at positions 3 and/or 28. Some UGTs formed bisdesmosidic saponins efficiently. At least four UGT73C genes were localized in a tandem array with UGT73C11 and possibly UGT73C13. This organization most likely reflects duplication events followed by sub- and neofunctionalization. Indeed, signs of positive selection on several amino acid sites were identified and modelled to be localized on the UGT protein surface. This tandem array is proposed to initiate higher order bisdesmosidic glycosylation of B. vulgaris saponins, leading to the recently discovered saponin structural diversity, however, not directly to known cellobiosidic saponins.

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The Effects of Plant-Derived Oleanolic Acid on Selected Parameters of Glucose Homeostasis in a Diet-Induced Pre-Diabetic Rat Model.

Prolonged exposure to high energy diets has been implicated in the development of pre-diabetes, a long-lasting condition that precedes type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). A combination of pharmacological and dietary interventions is used to prevent the progression of pre-diabetes to T2DM. However, poor patient compliance leads to negligence of the dietary intervention and thus reduced drug efficiency. Oleanolic acid (OA) has been reported to possess anti-diabetic effects in type 1 diabetic rats. However, the effects of this compound on pre-diabetes have not yet been established. Consequently, this study sought to evaluate the effects OA on a diet-induced pre-diabetes rat model. Pre-diabetic male Sprague Dawley rats were treated with OA in both the presence and absence of dietary intervention for a period of 12 weeks. The administration of OA with and without dietary intervention resulted in significantly improved glucose homeostasis through reduced caloric intake, body weights, plasma ghrelin concentration and glycated haemoglobin by comparison to the pre-diabetic control. These results suggest that OA may be used to manage pre-diabetes as it was able to restore glucose homeostasis and prevented the progression to overt type 2 diabetes.

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A Novel Multifunctional C-23 Oxidase, CYP714E19, Is Involved in Asiaticoside Biosynthesis.

Centella asiatica is widely used as a medicinal plant due to accumulation of the ursane-type triterpene saponins asiaticoside and madecassoside. The molecular structure of both compounds suggests that they are biosynthesized from α-amyrin via three hydroxylations, and respective cytochrome P450-dependent monooxygenases (P450 enzymes) oxidizing the C-28 and C-2α positions have been reported. However, a third enzyme hydroxylating C-23 remained elusive. We previously identified 40,064 unique sequences in the transcriptome of C. asiatica elicited by methyl jasmonate (Kim et al., 2017), and among them now found 149 unigenes encoding putative P450 enzymes. In this set, 23 full-length cDNAs were recognized, 13 of which belonged to P450 subfamilies previously implicated in secondary metabolism. Four of these genes were highly expressed in response to jasmonate treatment, especially in leaves, in accordance with the accumulation patterns of asiaticoside. The functions of these candidate genes were tested using heterologous expression in yeast cells. GC-MS analysis revealed that yeast expressing only the oxidosqualene synthase CaDDS produced the asiaticoside precursor α-amyrin (along with its isomer β-amyrin), while yeast co-expressing CaDDS and CYP716A83 also contained ursolic acid along with oleanolic acid. This P450 enzyme thus acts as a multifunctional triterpenoid C-28 oxidase converting amyrins into corresponding triterpenoid acids. Finally, yeast strains co-expressing CaDDS, CYP716A83 and CYP714E19 produced hederagenin and 23-hydroxyursolic acid, showing that CYP714E19 is a multifunctional triterpenoid oxidase catalyzing the C-23 hydroxylation of oleanolic acid and ursolic acid. Overall, our results demonstrate that CaDDS, CYP716A83 and CYP714E19 are C. asiatica enzymes catalyzing consecutive steps in asiaticoside biosynthesis.

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An LC-MS/MS method for quantification of demethylzeylasteral, a novel immunosuppressive agent in rat plasma and the application to a pharmacokinetic study.

In this study, a sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method was developed and validated for the quantification of demethylzeylasteral in rat plasma. Electrospray ionization was operated in the negative ion mode while demethylzeylasteral and oleanolic acid (internal standard) were measured by selected reaction monitoring (demethylzeylasteral: m/z 479.2 → 436.0; oleanolic acid: m/z 454.9 → 407.2). This LC-MS/MS method had good selectivity, sensitivity, accuracy and precision. The pharmacokinetic profiles of demethylzeylasteral were subsequently examined in Wistar rats after oral or intravenous administration.

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Cytotoxic Compounds from (R.Br.).

Mixtures of ursolic acid () and oleanolic acid () (1:1 and 1:2), oleanolic acid (), squalene (), chlorophyll a (), wrightiadione (), and α-amyrin acetate () were isolated from the dichloromethane (CH Cl) extracts of the leaves and twigs of (R.Br.).

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Oleanolic acid induces osteosarcoma cell apoptosis by inhibition of Notch signaling.

Oleanolic acid (OA), a naturally occurring triterpenoid, exhibits potential antitumor activity in several tumor cell lines. Although the inhibition effects of OA on proliferation and survival in human cancers have been confirmed, the potential mechanism underlying OA-induced osteosarcoma cell death has not yet been fully elucidated. Our results in this study showed that OA inhibits proliferation and viability of osteosarcoma cells in a dose-dependent manner. Flow cytometry assays revealed that apoptosis in osteosarcoma cells was significantly induced by OA treatment, while this induction was blocked by Jagged1-mediated activation of Notch signaling. Western blot analysis and a mitochondrial membrane potential assay demonstrated that OA functions through the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. More importantly, our data revealed that OA treatment interrupted the balance between pro-apoptotic factors and anti-apoptotic factors in osteosarcoma cells by inhibition of the Notch signaling pathway. These data suggest that OA induces osteosarcoma cell apoptosis by targeting mitochondria in a Notch signaling-dependent manner. Thus, OA may be a promising drug for adjuvant chemotherapy in osteosarcoma.

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