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Molecules ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 26 (21) ◽  
pp. 6442
Author(s):  
Estelle Rascol ◽  
Sandrine Villette ◽  
Etienne Harté ◽  
Isabel D. Alves

Plasmon waveguide resonance (PWR) is a variant of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) that was invented about two decades ago at the University of Arizona. In addition to the characterization of the kinetics and affinity of molecular interactions, PWR possesses several advantages relative to SPR, namely, the ability to monitor both mass and structural changes. PWR allows anisotropy information to be obtained and is ideal for the investigation of molecular interactions occurring in anisotropic-oriented thin films. In this review, we will revisit main PWR applications, aiming at characterizing molecular interactions occurring (1) at lipid membranes deposited in the sensor and (2) in chemically modified sensors. Among the most widely used applications is the investigation of G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) ligand activation and the study of the lipid environment’s impact on this process. Pioneering PWR studies on GPCRs were carried out thanks to the strong and effective collaboration between two laboratories in the University of Arizona leaded by Dr. Gordon Tollin and Dr. Victor J. Hruby. This review provides an overview of the main applications of PWR and provides a historical perspective on the development of instruments since the first prototype and continuous technological improvements to ongoing and future developments, aiming at broadening the information obtained and expanding the application portfolio.


Molecules ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 26 (21) ◽  
pp. 6436
Author(s):  
Kanasap Kaewchim ◽  
Kittirat Glab-ampai ◽  
Kodchakorn Mahasongkram ◽  
Monrat Chulanetra ◽  
Watee Seesuay ◽  
...  

Proviral integration site of Moloney virus-2 (PIM2) is overexpressed in multiple human cancer cells and high level is related to poor prognosis; thus, PIM2 kinase is a rational target of anti-cancer therapeutics. Several chemical inhibitors targeting PIMs/PIM2 or their downstream signaling molecules have been developed for treatment of different cancers. However, their off-target toxicity is common in clinical trials, so they could not be advanced to official approval for clinical application. Here, we produced human single-chain antibody fragments (HuscFvs) to PIM2 by using phage display library, which was constructed in a way that a portion of phages in the library carried HuscFvs against human own proteins on their surface with the respective antibody genes in the phage genome. Bacterial derived-recombinant PIM2 (rPIM2) was used as an antigenic bait to fish out the rPIM2-bound phages from the library. Three E. coli clones transfected with the HuscFv genes derived from the rPIM2-bound phages expressed HuscFvs that bound also to native PIM2 from cancer cells. The HuscFvs presumptively interact with the PIM2 at the ATP binding pocket and kinase active loop. They were as effective as small chemical drug inhibitor (AZD1208, which is an ATP competitive inhibitor of all PIM isoforms for ex vivo use) in inhibiting PIM kinase activity. The HuscFvs should be engineered into a cell-penetrating format and tested further towards clinical application as a novel and safe pan-anti-cancer therapeutics.


Molecules ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 26 (21) ◽  
pp. 6424
Author(s):  
Gunawan Witjaksono ◽  
Muhammad Junaid ◽  
Mohd Haris Khir ◽  
Zaka Ullah ◽  
Nelson Tansu ◽  
...  

Graphene as a material for optoelectronic design applications has been significantly restricted owing to zero bandgap and non-compatible handling procedures compared with regular microelectronic ones. In this work, nitrogen-doped reduced graphene oxide (N-rGO) with tunable optical bandgap and enhanced electrical conductivity was synthesized via a microwave-assisted hydrothermal method. The properties of the synthesized N-rGO were determined using XPS, FTIR and Raman spectroscopy, UV/vis, as well as FESEM techniques. The UV/vis spectroscopic analysis confirmed the narrowness of the optical bandgap from 3.4 to 3.1, 2.5, and 2.2 eV in N-rGO samples, where N-rGO samples were synthesized with a nitrogen doping concentration of 2.80, 4.53, and 5.51 at.%. Besides, an enhanced n-type electrical conductivity in N-rGO was observed in Hall effect measurement. The observed tunable optoelectrical characteristics of N-rGO make it a suitable material for developing future optoelectronic devices at the nanoscale.


Molecules ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 26 (21) ◽  
pp. 6438
Author(s):  
Yuli Sang ◽  
Jingyu Liu ◽  
Lei Shi ◽  
Xiulan Wang ◽  
Yueqiang Xin ◽  
...  

The objective of this study was to establish the chromatographic fingerprints of the essential oil (EO) from Stellera chamaejasme flowers collected from various natural sites by gas chromatography (GC) combined with chemometric methods. The EO was obtained by hydrodistillation, and its chemical composition was analyzed by gas chromatography−mass spectrometry (GC−MS). Most components were identified as ketones and the relatively high-content components were fitone (38.973%), n-hentriacontane (5.807%), myristic acid (4.944%) and phytol (3.988%). In addition, the repellent activities of the EO from S. chamaejasme flowers and its four main chemical compounds were evaluated against three stored product pests (Tribolium castaneum, Lasioderma serricorne, Liposcelis bostrychophila) for the first time. In this work, the EO and the four chemical compounds showed a repellent effect against three storage pests after 2 and 4 h exposure. The experimental method and repellent activity of S. chamaejasme flower EO could provide a basis for the development of botanical pesticide and the utilization of the rich plant resources of S. chamaejasme in the future.


Molecules ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 26 (21) ◽  
pp. 6437
Author(s):  
Xizhong Song ◽  
Xiaoyu Liu ◽  
Wei Yu ◽  
Yi Jin

A novel amide-assisted rearrangement reaction of hydroxybenzimidoyl chloride has been established for the efficient synthesis of 1,3-diphenylurea derivatives. A variety of electronically and sterically different 1,3-diphenylurea derivatives can be obtained in good to excellent yields, and a proposed reaction mechanism is also presented.


Molecules ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 26 (21) ◽  
pp. 6441
Author(s):  
Justyna Krupa ◽  
Maria Wierzejewska ◽  
Jan Lundell

FTIR spectroscopy was combined with the matrix isolation technique and quantum chemical calculations with the aim of studying complexes of isocyanic acid with sulfur dioxide. The structures of the HNCO…SO2 complexes of 1:1, 1:2 and 2:1 stoichiometry were optimized at the MP2, B3LYPD3, B2PLYPD3 levels of theory with the 6-311++G(3df,3pd) basis set. Five stable 1:1 HNCO⋯SO2 complexes were found. Three of them contain a weak N-H⋯O hydrogen bond, whereas two other structures are stabilized by van der Waals interactions. The analysis of the HNCO/SO2/Ar spectra after deposition indicates that mostly the 1:1 hydrogen-bonded complexes are present in argon matrices, with a small amount of the van der Waals structures. Upon annealing, complexes of the 1:2 stoichiometry were detected, as well.


Molecules ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 26 (21) ◽  
pp. 6428
Author(s):  
Shmuel Zilberg ◽  
Michael Zinigrad

The coordination of the B2 fragment by two σ-donor ligands L: could lead to a diboryne compound with a formal triple bond L:→B≡B←:L. σ-Type coordination L:→B leads to an excess of electrons around the B2 central fragment, whereas π-back-donation from the B≡B moiety to ligand L has a compensation effect. Coordination of the σ-donor and π-acceptor ligand is accompanied by the lowering of the BB bond order. Here, we propose a new approach to obtain the perfect triple BB bond through the incorporation of the BB unit into a rigid molecular capsule. The idea is the replacement of π-back-donation, as the principal stabilization factor in the linear NBBN structure, with the mechanical stabilization of the BB fragment in the inert molecular capsule, thus preserving the perfect B≡B triple bond. Quantum-chemical calculations show that the rigid molecular capsule provided a linear NBBN structure and an unusually short BB bond of 1.36 Å. Quantum-chemical calculations of the proposed diboryne adducts show a perfect triple bond B≡B without π-back-donation from the B2 unit to the host molecule. Two mechanisms were tested for the molecular design of a diboryne adduct with a perfect B≡B triple bond: the elimination of π-back-donation and the construction of a suitable molecular trap for the encapsulation of the B2 unit. The second factor that could lead to the strengthening or stretching of a selected chemical bond is molecular strain produced by the rigid molecular host capsule, as was shown for B≡B and for C≡C triple bonds. Different derivatives of icosane host molecules exhibited variation in BB bond length and the corresponding frequency of the BB stretch. On the other hand, this group of molecules shows a perfect triple BB bond character and they all possess a similar level of HOMO.


Molecules ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 26 (21) ◽  
pp. 6432
Author(s):  
Lei Wang ◽  
Xing Dai ◽  
Yujian Feng ◽  
Qiyang Zhao ◽  
Lin Liu ◽  
...  

MicroRNA160 plays a crucial role in plant development by negatively regulating the auxin response factors (ARFs). In this manuscript, we design an automatic molecule machine (AMM) based on the dual catalytic hairpin assembly (D-CHA) strategy for the signal amplification detection of miRNA160. The detection system contains four hairpin-shaped DNA probes (HP1, HP2, HP3, and HP4). For HP1, the loop is designed to be complementary to miRNA160. A fragment of DNA with the same sequences as miRNA160 is separated into two pieces that are connected at the 3′ end of HP2 and 5′ end of HP3, respectively. In the presence of the target, four HPs are successively dissolved by the first catalytic hairpin assembly (CHA1), forming a four-way DNA junction (F-DJ) that enables the rearrangement of separated DNA fragments at the end of HP2 and HP3 and serving as an integrated target analogue for initiating the second CHA reaction, generating an enhanced fluorescence signal. Assay experiments demonstrate that D-CHA has a better performance compared with traditional CHA, achieving the detection limit as low as 10 pM for miRNA160 as deduced from its corresponding DNA surrogates. Moreover, non-target miRNAs, as well as single-base mutation targets, can be detected. Overall, the D-CHA strategy provides a competitive method for plant miRNAs detection.


Molecules ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 26 (21) ◽  
pp. 6426
Author(s):  
Xiaoqi Zheng ◽  
Tongyu Zheng ◽  
Yinglin Liao ◽  
Lianxiang Luo

Staphylococcus aureus is an opportunistic pathogen that can cause fatal bacterial infections. MurD catalyzes the formation of peptide bond between UDP-N-acetylehyl-l-alanine and d-glutamic acid, which plays an important role in the synthesis of peptidoglycan and the formation of cell wall by S. aureus. Because S. aureus is resistant to most existing antibiotics, it is necessary to develop new inhibitors. In this study, Schrodinger 11.5 Prime homology modeling was selected to prepare the protein model of MurD enzyme, and its structure was optimized. We used a virtual screening program and similarity screening to screen 47163 compounds from three marine natural product libraries to explore new inhibitors of S. aureus. ADME provides analysis of the physicochemical properties of the best performing compounds during the screening process. To determine the stability of the docking effect, a 100 ns molecular dynamics was performed to verify how tightly the compound was bound to the protein. By docking analysis and molecular dynamics analysis, both 46604 and 46608 have strong interaction with the docking pocket, have good pharmacological properties, and maintain stable conformation with the target protein, so they have a chance to become drugs for S. aureus. Through virtual screening, similarity screening, ADME study and molecular dynamics simulation, 46604 and 46608 were selected as potential drug candidates for S. aureus.


Molecules ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 26 (21) ◽  
pp. 6429
Author(s):  
Fabián Fernández-Luqueño ◽  
Gabriela Medina-Pérez ◽  
Elizabeth Pérez-Soto ◽  
Salvador Espino-Manzano ◽  
Laura Peralta-Adauto ◽  
...  

The acid fruit of the "xoconostle" cactus belongs to the genus Opuntia family of cacti. It is used as a functional food for its bioactive compounds. Several studies reported that xoconostle fruits have a high amount of ascorbic acid, betalains, phenols, tannins, and flavonoids. These compounds confer antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective gastroprotective activity. Xoconostle fruit extracts were tested by in vitro assays where the digestion conditions were simulated to measure their stability. At the same time, the extracts were protected by encapsulation (microencapsulation, multiple emulsions, and nanoemulsions). Applications of encapsulated extracts were probed in various food matrices (edible films, meat products, dairy, and fruit coatings). The xoconostle is a natural source of nutraceutical compounds, and the use of this fruit in the new food could help improve consumers’ health.


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