Environmental occurrence, analysis, and toxicology of toxaphene compounds. (1/28)

Toxaphene production, in quantities similar to those of polychlorinated biphenyls, has resulted in high toxaphene levels in fish from the Great Lakes and in Arctic marine mammals (up to 10 and 16 microg g-1 lipid). Because of the large variabiliity in total toxaphene data, few reliable conclusions can be drawn about trends or geographic differences in toxaphene concentrations. New developments in mass spectrometric detection using either negative chemical ionization or electron impact modes as well as in multidimensional gas chromatography recently have led researchers to suggest congener-specific approaches. Recently, several nomenclature systems have been developed for toxaphene compounds. Although all systems have specific advantages and limitations, it is suggested that an international body such as the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry make an attempt to obtain uniformity in the literature. Toxicologic information on individual chlorobornanes is scarce, but some reports have recently appeared. Neurotoxic effects of toxaphene exposure such as those on behavior and learning have been reported. Technical toxaphene and some individual congeners were found to be weakly estrogenic in in vitro test systems; no evidence for endocrine effects in vivo has been reported. In vitro studies show technical toxaphene and toxaphene congeners to be mutagenic. However, in vivo studies have not shown genotoxicity; therefore, a nongenotoxic mechanism is proposed. Nevertheless, toxaphene is believed to present a potential carcinogenic risk to humans. Until now, only Germany has established a legal tolerance level for toxaphene--0.1 mg kg-1 wet weight for fish.  (+info)

A new neuroprotective pinusolide derivative from the leaves of Biota orientalis. (2/28)

A new pinusolide derivative, 15-methoxypinusolidic acid (1), and another new isopimarane diterpene, ent-isopimara-15-en-3 alpha,8 alpha-diol (2) with three known diterpenes, lambertianic acid (3), isopimara-8(9),15-dien-18-oic acid (4) and isopimara-7(8),15-dien-3 beta,18-diol (5) were isolated from the 90% MeOH fraction of Biota orientalis (L.) ENDL. (Cupressaceae) leaves. Chemical structures of 1-5 were elucidated by analyses of their spectral data, including the two-dimensional (2D) NMR technique. Compound 1 showed significant protective activity against glutamate-induced neurotoxicity in primary cultures of rat cortical cells.  (+info)

A new synthesis of a potent cancer chemopreventive agent, 13-oxo-15,16-dinorlabda-8(17),11E-dien-19-oic acid from trans-communic acid. (3/28)

The first synthesis of a labdane diterpenoid, (-)-13-oxo-15,16-dinorlabda-8(17),11E-dien-19-oic acid [(-)-1a], isolated from the stem bark of Thuja standishii (GORD.) CARR., from the major component trans-communic acid (3a) is described.  (+info)

Linking deer browsing and terpene production among genetic identities in Chamaecyparis nootkatensis and Thuja plicata (Cupressaceae). (4/28)

To investigate whether differential herbivore browsing reflects genetic variation in plant defense expression, variation in needle terpenes and damage caused by black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus) was analyzed on yellow-cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) and western redcedar (Thuja plicata). In a 100-genet yellow-cedar population, three genets that were heavily browsed and had extremely low levels of monoterpenes (0-0.36% dry matter), sesquiterpenes, and diterpenes were compared to unbrowsed genets (0.85-3.83% monoterpenes in dry matter). These differences were maintained in individuals protected from browsing, suggesting genetically based variation in constitutive terpene production. In western redcedar, heavily browsed trees had significantly lower total monoterpene concentrations (1.69% dry matter) than lightly browsed trees (3.32% dry matter). One heavily browsed tree expressed no monoterpenes. No differences were found for diterpenes. In both species, the genotypes with extremely low monoterpene concentrations came from the same open-pollinated families.  (+info)

Somatic mutations at microsatellite loci in western Redcedar (Thuja plicata: Cupressaceae). (5/28)

A per-generation somatic mutation rate for microsatellites was estimated in western redcedar (Thuja plicata, Donn ex D. Don.: Cupressaceae). A total of 80 trees representative of the average size and age of reproductive trees were sampled in four natural populations in southwestern British Columbia. Samples of bulked haploid megagametophytes were collected from two or three positions on each tree, assuming that the collections were far enough apart that the same mutant sector was not sampled twice. All samples were genotyped at eight microsatellite loci. A single mutation corresponding to a stepwise increase in one dinucleotide repeat was detected. The estimated mutation rate for microsatellites was 6.3 x 10(-4) mutations per locus per generation (or 3.1 x 10(-4) per allele per generation), with a 95% confidence interval of 3.0 x 10(-5) to 4.0 x 10(-3) mutations per locus. Somatic mutations can contribute to a greater mutational load in trees, as compared to shorter lived plants, and genotypic mosaics within an individual have important implications for plant defense strategies and plant evolution.  (+info)

Biological activity of beta-dolabrin, gamma-thujaplicin, and 4-acetyltropolone, hinokitiol-related compounds. (6/28)

Beta-dolabrin, gamma-thujaplicin, and 4-acetyltropolone, the components of Aomori Hiba (Thujopsis dolabrata SIEB. et ZUCC. var. hondai MAKINO), showed antifungal activity on seven kinds of plant-pathogenic fungi, antibacterial activity against two kinds of Legionella sp., and in vitro cytotoxic effect on murine P388 lymphocytic leukemia cell line. Firstly, beta-dolabrin, gamma-thujaplicin and 4-acetyltropolone had clear antifungal activity against seven kinds of plant-pathogenic fungi tested. In particular, beta-dolabrin and 4-acetyltropolone showed strong antifungal activity against Pythium aphanidermatum IFO 32440, with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of 6.0 microg/ml. Secondly, beta-dolabrin, gamma-thujaplicin and 4-acetyltropolone had obvious growth-inhibitory effect on two kinds of Legionella sp. 4-Acetyltropolone especially had strong antibacterial activity toward Legionella pneumophila SG 1, and its MIC value was 3.1 microg/ml. These three compounds showed cytotoxic effects against murine P388 lymphocytic leukemia cell line in vitro. The cytotoxic effect of three compounds in the murine P388 lymphocytic leukemia cell line were clear when cell growth was measured using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) method. At 48 h after treatment, gamma-thujaplicin and 4-acetyltropolone at 0.63 microg/ml inhibited cell growth of murine P388 lymphocytic leukemia by 85% and 65%, respectively. At the same time after treatment, the growth of the murine P388 lymphocytic leukemia cell line was completely suppressed by the three compounds at concentrations higher than 5.0 microg/ml. Among these three compounds, gamma-thujaplicin had the strongest cytotoxic activity on the growth of this tumor cell line in vitro.  (+info)

Response factor considerations for the quantitative analysis of western redcedar (Thuja plicata) foliar monoterpenes. (7/28)

A method is described for quantitative analysis of monoterpenes in western redcedar (Thuja plicata) foliage by gas chromatography with flame ionization detection. Response factors for monoterpenes identified in redcedar are evaluated to determine similarities among monoterpene responses. Evaluation demonstrates that redcedar monoterpenes yield detector responses that fall into two groups. One monoterpene from each group is used as a standard for quantitative analysis. Redcedar monoterpenes are quantitated by comparing analyte response with the response factor of one of the standards in single-point calibrations. Homogenized foliage samples are extracted with ethyl acetate and the extracts passed through a solid phase extraction column of graphitized carbon to remove plant pigments. Method bias and repeatability are evaluated by fortifying foliage samples with (1S)-(+)-carvone and (1S)-(+)-2-carene and subjecting the samples to the extraction and analysis procedures. Detection limits are also assessed from fortified samples. Excellent recovery (> 95.0%) and precision (< 5%) are obtained from the analysis of 2-carene from fortified samples. Carvone recovery is approximately 80% with excellent precision (< 4%). The method limits of detection obtained from 2-carene and carvone fortified samples are 4.7 and 13.5 microg/g, respectively.  (+info)

Proceedings of the SMBE Tri-National Young Investigators' Workshop 2005. Relaxation of functional constraint on light-independent protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase in Thuja. (8/28)

The light-independent protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (DPOR) plays a key role in the ability of nonflowering plants and algae to synthesize chlorophyll in darkness. This enzyme consists of three subunits encoded by the chlB, chlL, and chlN genes in the plastid genome. Previously, we found a high nonsynonymous substitution rate (dN) of the chlL gene in the lineage of Thuja standishii, a conifer belonging to the Cupressaceae. Here we revealed that the acceleration of dN in the chlL occurred as well in other species of Thuja, Thuja occidentalis and Thuja plicata. In addition, dark-grown seedlings of T. occidentalis were found to exhibit a pale yellowish color, and their chlorophyll concentration was much lower than that of other species of Cupressaceae. The results suggested that the species of Thuja have lost the ability to synthesize chlorophyll in darkness, and the functional constraint on the DPOR would thus be expected to be relaxed in this genus. Therefore, we expected to find that the evolutionary rates of all subunits of DPOR would in this case be accelerated. Sequence analyses of the chlN and chlB (encoding the other subunits of DPOR) in 18 species of Cupressaceae revealed that the dN of the chlN gene was accelerated in Thuja as was the dN of the chlL gene, but the dN of the chlB gene did not appear to differ significantly among the species of Cupressaceae. Sequencing of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) products of these genes showed that RNA editing was rare and unlikely to have contributed to the acceleration. Moreover, the RT-PCR analysis indicated that all chl genes were still transcriptionally active in T. occidentalis. Based on these results, it appears that species of Thuja still bear the DPOR protein, although the enzyme has lost its activity because of nonsynonymous mutations of some of the chl genes. The lack of acceleration of the dN of the chlB gene might be accounted for by various unknown functions of its gene product.  (+info)