Pertussis toxin (PTX) produced by Bordetella pertussis was first introduced by Ui and his colleagues in research on signal transduction under the name islet-activating protein in 1979, when the mechanism of toxin-induced stimulation of insulin release from pancreatic islets was reported in the rat. The stimulatory effect of PTX in vivo results from the blockage of α2-adrenergic receptor-mediated inhibition of insulin release. The receptor-induced inhibition of cAMP formation was also abolished in pancreatic islets isolated from PTX-treated rats, suggesting that the toxin caused uncoupling of adenylyl cyclase inhibition from receptor stimulation. The action of PTX on isolated membranes required a cytosolic factor, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), and the uncoupling induced by PTX was shown to be due to the toxin-catalyzed ADP-ribosylation of a 41-kDa protein with NAD as another substrate. The 41-kDa PTX substrate was soon identified and purified as the α-subunit of the inhibitory G protein that transmits an inhibitory signal from membrane receptors to adenylyl cyclase. After demonstration of the molecular mechanism of PTX, the toxin was widely utilized as a probe for identifying and analyzing major αβγ-trimeric G proteins. Thus, PTX-sensitive G proteins appeared to carry positive and negative signals from many membrane receptors to a variety of effectors other than adenylyl cyclase.
We investigated dosage regimens for aspirin therapy in regard to antiplatelet effects in patients without gastrointestinal lesions. Findings for inhibition of biosynthesis of thromboxane B2 (TXB2) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) were simulated based on pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic models using an irreversible process of inhibition of cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) by aspirin. We found that the inhibition of biosynthesis of TXB2 at a steady state was greater than 90% when the dose of aspirin administered exceeded 81 mg, which was considered to exhibit a sufficient antiplatelet effect. Furthermore, it was confirmed that a dose of 162 mg or more is needed to exert an immediate antiplatelet effect on the initial day of administration. On the other hand, the inhibition of biosynthesis of PGE2 ranged from 40–90% when aspirin was administered at a dose of 10.125–324 mg. Thus, the risk of gastrointestinal lesions differed in a dosage-dependent manner. The biosynthesis inhibition of PGE2 was calculated to be 37.9%, with that value set as the target level for prevention of gastrointestinal disorders. We also noted a difference between platelets and gastric mucosa cells in regard to the turnover rate of COX-1, and attempted to simulate the inhibition of biosynthesis of TXB2 and PGE2 following administration of aspirin. However, it was not possible, as the inhibition of biosynthesis of TXB2 was greater than 90% and that of PGE2 was less than 37.9%, even with various dosage regimens. Our findings suggest that it is difficult to determine a rational dosage regimen of aspirin to exert an antiplatelet effect without inducing gastrointestinal lesions.
Erxian Decoction (EXD), a traditional Chinese herbal formula, has been used to treat menopausal symptoms and other aging diseases for several decades. Recently, our laboratory found that EXD could inhibit the proliferation of breast cancer cells. This activity may be mediated by anti-angiogenic action. To investigate the anti-angiogenic activity of EXD, its inhibitory effect on blood vessel formation was evaluated using both wild type and transgenic zebrafish embryos with fluorescent vasculature in vivo. Both semi-quantitative and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) were carried out to evaluate the effect of EXD on the expression of several genes closely associated with angiogenesis in zebrafish. EXD was found to inhibit vessel formation in zebrafish embryos in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, it reduced the mRNA expression of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) and the protein level of hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) in the embryos, suggesting the involvement of HIF-1 mediated VEGF-A signaling pathway in the anti-angiogenic action of EXD. The anti-angiogenic activity of EXD provides new insights to its clinical application and may in the future lead to the development of potential drugs for treating various cancers, especially in menopausal period.
Colla corii asini (E’jiao), donkey-hide gelatin prepared by stewing and concentrating from Equus asinus L. donkey hide, is a traditional Chinese medicine preparation widely used in clinical hematic antanemic therapy in China. The aim of the present study was to investigate potential anti-aging effect of Colla corii asini and explore related mechanisms in D-galactose (gal) induced aging model mice. The mice were artificially induced aging by subcutaneously injection with D-gal at the dose of 100 mg/kg·d for 8 weeks. Colla corii asini was simultaneously treated to them once daily by intragastric gavage. Appetite, mental condition, body weight, and organ index were observed. Activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), as well as levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) in serum, brain, and liver were determined by according assay kits. Western blotting analysis was used to detect p16 and p21 expression. Results indicated that Colla corii asini could improve appetite, mental condition, body weight, and organ condition of model mice, improve SOD, CAT, and GSH-Px activities, reduce MDA levels, and modulate age-related genes expression in D-gal induced mice. Therefore, Colla corii asini may have effect to suppress the aging process through enhancing antioxidant activity, scavenging free radicals, and modulating aging-related gene expression.
The facilitating effects of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) on allergic asthma have not been sufficiently examined, although MWCNT appear to significantly increase the risk of health problems from occupational or environmental exposure. In this study, we examined whether sensitization by the combination of MWCNT with ovalbumin (OVA) promotes allergic asthmatic responses. BALB/c mice administered vehicle, MWCNT, OVA, or MWCNT+OVA through an intranasal route were challenged with OVA intratracheally four times. In the MWCNT+OVA group, the fourth challenge caused not only early- but also late-phase increases in airway resistance, although these responses were not observed in the vehicle, MWCNT, or OVA group; furthermore, the extents of the early and late responses were comparable to those in mice systemically sensitized with OVA+alum. Sensitization with MWCNT and OVA promoted airway inflammation and goblet cell hyperplasia in the lung compared with the vehicle, MWCNT or OVA group. In addition, adjuvant activity for OVA-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE), IgG1, and IgG2a production in serum and increased levels of interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, IL-13, and IL-17 in the lung tissue were observed. In conclusion, these results suggest that exposure to MWCNT and antigen can induce a biphasic increase in airway resistance, airway inflammation, goblet cell hyperplasia, and the production of antigen-specific antibodies. This study highlights the risk of exposure to a combination of MWCNT with antigen.
Telmisartan, an angiotensin type 1 receptor blocker, is used in the management of hypertension to control blood pressure. In addition, telmisartan has a partial agonistic effect on peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ (PPARγ). Recently, the effects of telmisartan on spatial memory or the inflammatory response were monitored in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, to date, no studies have investigated the ameliorative effects of telmisartan on impaired spatial memory and the inflammatory response in an AD animal model incorporating additional cerebrovascular disease factors. In this study, we examined the effect of telmisartan on spatial memory impairment and the inflammatory response in a rat model of AD incorporating additional cerebrovascular disease factors. Rats were subjected to cerebral ischemia and an intracerebroventricular injection of oligomeric or aggregated amyloid-β (Aβ). Oral administration of telmisartan (0.3, 1, 3 mg/kg/d) seven days after ischemia and Aβ treatment resulted in better performance in the eight arm radial maze task in a dose-dependent manner. Telmisartan also reduced tumor necrosis factor α mRNA expression in the hippocampal region of rats with impaired spatial memory. These effects of telmisartan were antagonized by GW9662, an antagonist of PPARγ. These results suggest that telmisartan has ameliorative effects on the impairment of spatial memory in a rat model of AD incorporating additional cerebrovascular disease factors via its anti-inflammatory effect.
Oridonin, a diterpenoid compound extracted and purified from Rabdosia rubescen, has been reported to induce tumor cell apoptosis through tyrosine kinase pathway. To further examine the mechanism of oridonin, we selected human epidermoid carcinoma A431 cell as a test object. Besides apoptosis, oridonin also induced A431 cell autophagy, and this autophagy antagonized apoptosis and played a protective role for A431 cells. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) played a pivotal role in induction of cytotoxicity. Therefore, a ROS scavenger, N-acetylcysteine (NAC) combined with oridonin was appiled. Results of morphologic observation, flow cytometric analysis and Western blot analysis showed that NAC could significantly reverse both ROS generation and down-regulation of mitochondrial membrane potential in oridonin treated cells. NAC inhibited oridonin induced apoptosis through both the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways. NAC effectively inhibited both oridonin-induced apoptosis and autophagy by reducing intracellular oxidative stress. To further examine the mechanism of ROS, exogenous enzyme antioxidants (superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT)) and non-enzyme antioxidants (glutathione (GSH)) were applied to detect the effect of oridonin on ROS generation. Only GSH exerted a similar role with NAC, suggesting that hydroxyl radical (·OH) played the major role in oridonin-induced cell death. Oridonin could decrease the GSH level in A431 cells in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, after treatment with ·OH donor, Fenton reagent, the changes in A431cells were similar to the results of oridonin treatment. All the results proved that ·OH played the pivotal role in oridonin induced apoptosis and autophagy in A431 cells.
We previously found that clioquinol (CQ) increases functional hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) with enhanced transcription of its target genes. Here we report that compounds derived from 8-hydroxyquinoline including CQ, broxyquinoline (BQ), iodoquinol (IQ) and chloroacetoxyquinoline (CAQ) promote neovascularization effectively based on chick chorioallantoic membrane assays. The CQ analogues induce stabilization of HIF-1α as well as enhance HIF-1-mediated vascular endothelial growth factor transcription. These analogues also exert inhibitory effects on the activity of prolyl and asparaginyl hydroxylations of HIF-1α in vitro. Despite metal ion-dependent restoration of the inhibited HIF-1α hydroxylase activity, the cellular HIF-1α-inducing effects of the CQ analogues are reversed to varying degrees by Zn2+ and Fe2+. While CQ and BQ are completely reversed by Zn2+, co-administration of Zn2+ and IQ has only a partial reversing effect. On the other hand, CAQ-mediated stabilization of HIF-1α is reversed by Fe2+ but not by Zn2+. These phenomena are found to coincide with elevation of the intracellular Zn2+ and Fe2+ levels by the CQ analogues, suggesting that metal ion effects on HIF-1α in cells likely reflect the differential transporting capability of the analogues.
Resistance to anticancer drugs is a major obstacle to successful chemotherapy. Thus, the exploration of new drugs and strategies in combating resistance is of great importance. In this study, we investigated the anti-tumor drug resistance (anti-resistance for short) activity of Lx2-32c, a novel taxane, and its possible mechanisms. Lx2-32c was cytotoxic to various drug-resistant tumor cell lines, and significantly suppressed the growth of tumor xenografts in paclitaxel-resistant MX-1 nude mice. It promoted microtubule polymerization and G2/M phase arrest in MX-1/T cells. Moreover, it induced typical apoptotic characteristics indicated by morphological changes and DNA fragmentation. Apoptosis was associated with loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, enhancement of mitochondrial cytochrome c and apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) release, elevation of the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, activation of caspase-9,-3 but not caspase-8 and Fas/FasL, and degradation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). In conclusion, Lx2-32c is an effective microtubule-stabilizing agent in overcoming paclitaxel resistance by inducing apoptosis via the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. It also displayed robust anti-paclitaxel-resistance activity in vivo. Therefore, these findings provide new insight into the strategy to overcome resistance by manipulating dysregulated apoptosis pathway.
Ethyl sulfate, a minor and direct ethanol metabolite in adult human body, has been implicated as a biomarker for alcohol consumption and in utero exposure to ethanol. To understand better the physiological relevance of the sulfation of ethanol, it is important to clarify the cytosolic sulfotransferase (SULT) enzymes that are responsible for ethanol sulfation. The present study aimed to identify the major ethanol-sulfating human SULTs and to investigate the sulfation of ethanol under the metabolic setting. A systematic analysis revealed four ethanol-sulfating SULTs, SULT1A1, SULT1A2, SULT1A3, and SULT1C4, among the eleven human SULT enzymes previously prepared and purified. A metabolic labeling study demonstrated the generation and release of ethyl [35S]sulfate in a concentration-dependent manner by HepG2 human hepatoma cells labeled with [35S]sulfate in the presence of different concentrations of ethanol. Cytosol or S9 fractions of human lung, liver, and small intestine were examined to verify the presence of ethanol-sulfating activity in vivo. Of the three human organs, the small intestine displayed the highest activity.
Although interleukin-6 (IL-6) is an important biological mediator playing an indispensable role in inflammation and cancer, few inhibitors and suppressors are known. In the present study, the underlying mechanisms of a novel chemically synthesized compound SK-1009, which has suppressive properties on IL-6 production in human macrophage cells, were examined. SK-1009 suppressed IL-6 mRNA levels in human colon cancer cells. Thus, the influence of SK-1009 on transcription factor, nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB), which is involved in expression of the IL-6 gene was assessed. SK-1009 was found to suppress degradation of I-κB, an NF-κB inhibitory factor, and consequently inhibited the NF-κB activation pathway. The inhibitory property was almost the same as other NF-κB inhibitors, such as 5HPP-33. Thus, SK-1009 exerts a potent inhibitory effect on IL-6 expression, apparently mediated by modulation of activation of NF-κB transcription factor.
Grape seed proanthocyanidin extracts (GSPE) belonging to polyphenols, possess various biological effects including anti-inflammation, anti-oxidant, anti-aging, anti-atherosclerosis, etc. GSPE is potential in regulating endothelial function. However, the underlying mechanism is not clear yet. In this study, by small interfering RNA (siRNA) knocking down, we proved that GSPE increase endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression in human umbilical vessel cells (HUVECs) in vitro, which was attributed to its transcription factor Krüpple like factor 2 (KLF2) induction. Furthermore, GSPE activate 5′-AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK) and increase surtuin 1 (SIRT1) protein level, critical for KLF2 induction. We also illuminated the role of GSPE in hypertension treatment. By chronic administration of GSPE in ouabain induced hypertensive rats model, we access the effect of GSPE on blood pressure regulation and the possible mechanisms involved. After 5 weeks feeding, GSPE significantly block the ouabain induced blood pressure increase. The aortic NO production impaired by ouabain was improved. In conclusion, GSPE increase eNOS expression and NO production in an AMPK/SIRT1 dependent manner through KLF2 induction, and attenuate ouabain induced hypertension.
trans-Caffeic acid stearyl ester (TCASE) from the root cortex of Paeonia suffruticosa ANDREWS is a traditional medicinal herb that has several beneficial properties. However, the inhibitory effect of TCASE on melanogenesis has not been explored. In the cell viability assay, TCASE did not show a cytotoxic effect at a dose of 65 µM for 48 h in B16, HaCaT and Hs68 cells. TCASE considerably inhibits melanin synthesis, and reduces intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels, tyrosinase activity and L-3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-alanine (DOPA) oxidase activity in a concentration-dependent manner in the presence of α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) in B16 cells, and the inhibition efficiency of TCASE exceeds that of ascorbic acid and arbutin. TCASE reduces melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R), microphthalmia transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein-2 (TRP-2) and TRP-1 mRNA and protein levels in B16 cells. Based on the findings, TCASE is posited to inhibit melanogenesis signaling while suppressing cAMP levels and, subsequently, MC1R, MITF, tyrosinase, TRP-2 and TRP-1 down-regulation, resulting in the suppression of tyrosinase activity, DOPA oxidase activity and melanin synthesis.
Rhubarb is one of the most well-known herbal medicines that constitute daiokanzoto (DKT), which is clinically effective for constipation. Sennoside A is transformed into an active metabolite, rheinanthrone, by intestinal bacteria. Sennoside A in rhubarb showed significantly accelerated metabolic activity in intestinal bacteria in comparison with sennoside A alone. In this study, we investigated the influence of rhubarb constituents on the metabolism and purgative activity of sennoside A. The 20% MeOH-eluted fraction separated by MCI-gel CHP-20P column chromatography from the water extract of rhubarb showed sennoside A metabolic activity similar to that of rhubarb extract. The 20% MeOH elute was further purified and rhein 8-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (RG) was isolated. The metabolic activity of sennoside A was significantly accelerated by increasing the level of RG. Moreover, rhein, emodin and aloe-emodin also accelerated sennoside A metabolism. The purgative activity of sennoside A was significantly accelerated when RG or rhein was concomitantly given with sennoside A in a dose-dependent manner. These results suggest that anthraquinones contribute to the purgative action of sennoside A in rhubarb. Therefore, it is assumed that the influence of anthraquinones on the fate of rheinanthrone transformed from sennoside A may promote the purgative action of sennoside A.
We examined the effects of the serine protease inhibitor nafamostat mesilate on neuronal and vascular injury in rat retinas treated with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA). The degree of neuronal degeneration was assessed by measuring the number of cells in the ganglion cell layer and the thickness of the inner plexiform layer. The degree of capillary degeneration was assessed by measuring the number of empty basement membrane sleeves that were left as remnants of the vessels. Significant neuronal and capillary degeneration was observed 7 d after a single intravitreal injection of NMDA into the eye. Both forms of degeneration were significantly prevented by simultaneous injection of nafamostat mesilate with NMDA. These results indicate that nafamostat mesilate affords protection against the neuro/vascular injury seen in NMDA-treated retinas. Nafamostat mesilate may be considered as a candidate for neuro/vascular protective interventions in retinal diseases associated with glutamate-induced excitotoxicity, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
The healthy drink Pairogen is mainly composed of ferrous ferric chloride water that reportedly changes the status of intracellular water from oxidative to antioxidative. Here, we investigated whether Pairogen affects host immune function in a murine model of granulomatous inflammation in response to Rhodococcus aurantiacus (R. aurantiacus) infection. Longitudinal ingestion of Pairogen markedly improved the survival of infected mice in a concentration-dependent manner. Compared to mice received water, mice that ingested 10-fold-diluted Pairogen displayed rapid bacterial elimination, decreased production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-6, and high levels of IL-10 in organs during the initial phase of infection. Moreover, histological studies showed significant reduction in the number and size of granulomas as well as amelioration of oxidative stress in the livers of mice ingested 10-fold-diluted Pairogen at 14 d post-infection. These characteristics were further pronounced in first-generation (F1) mice that also ingested 10-fold-diluted Pairogen. Following stimulation with heat-killed R. aurantiacus, the production of TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-10 by macrophages from F1 mice was similar to that detected in vivo, while their gene expression levels in these cells were significantly lower than the levels in macrophages from mice received water. Heat-killed R. aurantiacus also induced the expression of heme oxygenase-1 mRNA in the cells from F1 mice. Taken together, these results indicate that Pairogen contributes to the negative regulation of the immuno-inflammatory response to R. aurantiacus infection in mice by modulating the cellular redox state. Longitudinal ingestion of Pairogen further enhances the defense function in mouse progeny.
The activation of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), which are coupled with Gq-protein, initiates a variety physiological responses in different types of cells. While Gq-protein-coupled receptors can upregulate N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor function, group I mGluR-mediated regulations of NMDA receptor function are not fully understood. To determine biochemical roles of group I mGluRs in the regulation of the NMDA receptor, we have investigated changes in tyrosine phosphorylation of NMDA receptor subunits NR2A and NR2B induced by a selective mGluR5 agonist, (RS)-chloro-5-hydroxyphenylglycine (CHPG) in hippocampal neuronal cultures. Activation of mGluR5 by CHPG increased active-forms of Src. CHPG also enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of NR2A and NR2B in hippocampal neuronal cultures. In addition, NMDA-induced cell death was enhanced by CHPG-induced mGluR5 stimulation at the concentration, which increased tyrosine phosphorylation of Src and NR2A/2B but did not induce cell death. This effect was inhibited by selective mGluR5 antagonist 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine (MPEP). The results suggest that in hippocampal neurons, mGluR5 may regulate NMDA receptor activity, involving tyrosine phosphorylation of NR2A and NR2B and may be involved in NMDA receptor-mediated cell injury.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) comprise one of the most frequently used classes of medicines in the world; however, NSAIDs have significant side effects, such as gastroenteropathy, and rheumatoid arthritis patients taking NSAIDs are more susceptible to NSAID-induced gastric lesions as compared to patients with other diseases. In Asian countries, loxoprofen has been used clinically for many years as a standard NSAID. We demonstrate the preventive effect of the co-administration of water containing magnesium ion (magnesium water, 1–200 µg/kg) on the ulcerogenic response to loxoprofen in adjuvant-induced arthritis (AA) rats. Oral administration of loxoprofen (100 mg/kg) caused hemorrhagic lesions in the gastric mucosa of AA rats 14 d after adjuvant injection, and, following loxoprofen administration, the lesion score of AA rats was significantly higher than that of normal rats. The expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNA and nitric oxide (NO) production in the gastric mucosa of AA rats were also increased by the administration of loxoprofen, and the increase in lesions and NO were prevented by the administration of aminoguanidine, an iNOS inhibitor. The co-administration of magnesium water decreased the ulcerogenic response to loxoprofen in AA rats. In addition, the co-administration of magnesium water attenuated the increase in iNOS mRNA expression and NO production in AA rats receiving loxoprofen. These results suggest that the oral co-administration of magnesium water to AA rats has a potent preventive effect on the ulcerogenic response to loxoprofen, probably by inhibiting the rise in iNOS and NO levels in the gastric mucosa.
Astaxanthin (Asx) is known to be a potent quencher of singlet oxygen and an efficient scavenger of superoxide anion. Therefore, Asx would be expected to be a useful antioxidant for the prevention of oxidative stress, a causative factor in severe diseases such as ischemic reperfusion injury. However, it is still unclear whether Asx has scavenging capability against the most potent reactive oxygen species (ROS), hydroxyl radical, because the hydrophobicity of Asx prevents analysis of hydroxyl radical scavenging ability in aqueous solution. In this study, to solve this problem, liposomes containing Asx (Asx-lipo), which could be dispersed in water, were prepared, and the scavenging ability of Asx-lipo for the hydroxyl radical was examined. The liposomal formulation enabled encapsulation of a high concentration of Asx. Asx-lipo gave a dose-dependent reduction of chemiluminescence intensity induced by hydroxyl radical in aqueous solution. Hydroxyl radical scavenging of Asx was more potent than α-tocopherol. The absorbance of Asx in the liposome decreased after reduction of hydroxyl radicals, indicating the direct hydroxyl radical scavenging by Asx. Moreover, Asx-lipo prevented hydroxyl radical-induced cytotoxicity in cultured NIH-3T3 cells. In conclusion, Asx has potent scavenging capability against hydroxyl radicals in aqueous solution, and this paper is the first report regarding hydroxyl radial scavenging by Asx.
The present study was designed to clarify whether the arachidonic acid cascade contributes to the decreased threshold for pentylenetetrazole-induced seizure under benzodiazepine withdrawal in mice. The seizure threshold for pentylenetetrazole was significantly decreased by the discontinuation of chronic treatment with diazepam. The decrease in the seizure threshold for pentylenetetrazole during diazepam withdrawal was significantly suppressed by intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) pretreatment with the phospholipase A2 inhibitor quinacrine (30, 100 nmol) and the lipoxygenase inhibitor nordihydroguaiaretic acid (10, 30 nmol). In contrast, the decreased seizure threshold in the diazepam-withdrawal group was intensified by pretreatment with the cyclooxygenase inhibitor diclofenac (56 nmol). These compounds did not alter the threshold for seizure in a control group. These findings suggest that enhancement of the arachidonic acid cascade may contribute to the hypersusceptibility to pentylenetetrazole-induced seizure during diazepam withdrawal.
Human leukocyte elastase (HLE) is a serine protease implicated in several inflammatory diseases, and represents a major target for anti-inflammatory drug development. In the present study, nordivaricatic acid (1), divarinyl divarate (2), and trivaric acid (3), three depsides isolated from the culture of a soil derived fungal strain were identified as inhibitors of HLE. Two didepsides 1 and 2 showed low inhibitory activity. In contrast, trivaric acid, a para-tridepside, exhibited highly potent inhibitory activity with an IC50 value of 1.8 µM and a Ki of 0.6 µM. Kinetic investigations with trivaric acid showed that this inhibition is reversible, competitive pattern. Further studies on the selectivity of three depsides toward serine proteases showed that they did not inhibit chymotrypsin, trypsin and thrombin even at 150 µM.
We isolated a human intestinal bacterium, capable of cleaving the C-ring and dehydroxylating the B-ring of both (+)-catechin (2R,3S) and (−)-epicatechin (2R,3R). Although the strain was classified as Eggerthella (Eg.) lenta [named Eg. sp. CAT-1 (JF798636)] by 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene similarity, it was quite different in substrate specificity from a previously isolated strain, Eg. sp. SDG-2, which takes part in cleavage of the C-ring and dehydroxylation of the 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl moiety (B-ring) of (3R)-flavan-3-ol derivatives. On the other hand, both Eg. sp. CAT-1 and Eg. sp. SDG-2 showed the same substrate specificity against dehydroxylation of enantiomeric lignans, (+)- and (−)-dihydroxyenterodiol, and (+)- and (−)-dihydroxyenterolactone.