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(1/24) New triterpenoids from Gentiana lutea.

Three new triterpenoids, 2,3-seco-3-oxours-12-en-2-oic acid, 2,3-seco-3-oxoolean-12-en-2-oic acid, and betulin 3-O-palmitate, have been isolated from the rhizomes and roots of Gentiana lutea, together with five known ones. The structures of the new compounds were determined by spectral and chemical methods.  (+info)

(2/24) cDNAs for the synthesis of cyclic carotenoids in petals of Gentiana lutea and their regulation during flower development.

cDNAs encoding lycopene epsilon -cyclase, lycopene beta-cyclase, beta-carotene hydroxylase and zeaxanthin epoxidase were isolated from a Gentiana lutea petal cDNA library. The function of all cDNAs was analyzed by complementation in Escherichia coli. Transcript levels during different stages of flower development of G. lutea were determined and compared to the carotenoid composition. Expression of all genes increased by a factor of up to 2, with the exception of the lycopene epsilon -cyclase gene. The transcript amount of the latter was strongly decreased. These results indicate that during flower development, carotenoid formation is enhanced. Moreover, metabolites are shifted away from the biosynthetic branch to lutein and are channeled into beta-carotene and derivatives.  (+info)

(3/24) Studies on the constituents of Gentiana species. II. A new triterpenoid, and (S)-(+)- and (R)-(-)-gentiolactones from Gentiana lutea.

A new triterpenoid, 12-ursene-3beta, 11alpha-diol 3-O-palmitate (1), has been isolated from the rhizomes and roots of Gentiana lutea, together with the artificial diene derivative, 9 (11), 12-ursadien-3beta-ol 3-O-palmitate (1a) and five known compounds (3-7). Their structures were established on the basis of spectral analysis. In addition, (+/-)-gentiolactone [(+/-)-2], isolated from this plant, was successfully separated into its enantiomers [(+)-2, (-)-2] for the first time, and the absolute configurations at C-9 of (+)-2, (-)-2 were assigned as S and R, respectively, from the optical rotations and the circular dichroism (CD) spectral data.  (+info)

(4/24) Biochemical and molecular characterization of a novel UDP-glucose:anthocyanin 3'-O-glucosyltransferase, a key enzyme for blue anthocyanin biosynthesis, from gentian.

Gentian (Gentiana triflora) blue petals predominantly contain an unusually blue and stable anthocyanin, delphinidin 3-O-glucosyl-5-O-(6-O-caffeoyl-glucosyl)-3'-O-(6-O-caffeoyl-glucoside) (gentiodelphin). Glucosylation and the subsequent acylation of the 3'-hydroxy group of the B-ring of anthocyanins are important to the stabilization of and the imparting of bluer color to these anthocyanins. The enzymes and their genes involved in these modifications of the B-ring, however, have not been characterized, purified, or isolated to date. In this study, we purified a UDP-glucose (Glc):anthocyanin 3'-O-glucosyltransferase (3'GT) enzyme to homogeneity from gentian blue petals and isolated a cDNA encoding a 3'GT based on the internal amino acid sequences of the purified 3'GT. The deduced amino acid sequence indicates that 3'GT belongs to the same subfamily as a flavonoid 7-O-glucosyltransferase from Schutellaria baicalensis in the plant glucosyltransferase superfamily. Characterization of the enzymatic properties using the recombinant 3'GT protein revealed that, in contrast to most of flavonoid glucosyltransferases, it has strict substrate specificity: 3'GT specifically glucosylates the 3'-hydroxy group of delphinidin-type anthocyanins containing Glc groups at 3 and 5 positions. The enzyme specifically uses UDP-Glc as the sugar donor. The specificity was confirmed by expression of the 3'GT cDNA in transgenic petunia (Petunia hybrida). This is the first report of the gene isolation of a B-ring-specific glucosyltransferase of anthocyanins, which paves the way to modification of flower color by production of blue anthocyanins.  (+info)

(5/24) Morphological and ultrastructural diversity of orbicules in Gentianaceae.

Minute granules of sporopollenin, called orbicules, can be observed on the innermost tangential and/or radial walls of secretory tapetum cells. Orbicules were investigated in 53 species of 34 Gentianaceae genera using light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. This selection covered all different tribes and subtribes recognized in Gentianaceae (87 genera, +/-1650 species). Orbicules were found in 38 species (23 genera) distributed among the six tribes recognized in Gentianaceae. The orbicule typology is based on those described previously in Rubiaceae. Of the six orbicule types described previously, Type II orbicules are lacking. Type III orbicules are most common (17 species). Hockinia Gardner is the only representative with Type I orbicules. The number of representatives with orbicules belonging to the other orbicule types are equally distributed among the species studied: seven species possess Type IV orbicules, six species Type V and six species Type VI. The systematic usefulness of this typology is discussed in comparison with the latest systematic insights within the family, and palynological trends in Gentianaceae. Orbicule data have proven to be useful for evaluating tribal delimitation within Rubiaceae and Loganiaceae s.l.; however, they seem not to be useful for tribal delimitation in Gentianaceae. In the tribes Potalieae and Gentianeae orbicule data may be useful at subtribal level.  (+info)

(6/24) Androgenic effect of Mondia whitei roots in male rats.

AIM: To determine the effect of the aqueous extract of Mondia whitei (Periplocaceae) roots on testosterone production and fertility of male rats. METHODS: Adult male Wistar rats were used. In the acute study, 20 rats were randomly divided into 5 groups of 4 animals each. Four treated groups were administered orally a single dose of Mondia whitei (400 mg/kg) and the controls received a similar amount of distilled water. One group of animals were sacrificed by cervical dislocation 1, 2, 4 and 6 h after treatment, respectively. The controls were sacrificed at 6 h. Testicular testosterone was determined by radioimmunoassay. In the chronic study, 28 rats were divided at random into 4 groups of 7 animals each: Groups 1, 2 and 3 were given orally the plant extract (400 mg.kg(-1).day(-1)) for 2, 4 and 8 days, respectively. The animals of Groups 1 and 2 were sacrificed 24 hours after the last dosing. The controls (Group 4) received the same amount of distilled water for 8 days. The fertility was assessed only in Groups 3 and 4 and after that, the animals were sacrificed and the epididymal sperm density, the serum testosterone and the testicular testosterone and 17 beta-estradiol were assayed. The serum, testicular and epidydimal protein contents were also determined. RESULTS: In the acute treatment groups, the serum and testicular concentrations of testosterone remained unchanged at all the time points. Chronic treatment for 8 days induced a significant increase in the testicular weight, the serum and testicular testosterone, the testicular protein content and the sperm density (P < 0.05-0.01), but did not affect the accessory gland weights, the serum protein contents, the testicular concentration of 17beta -estradiol and the fertility compared to the controls. CONCLUSION: Mondia whitei root extract possesses an androgenic property.  (+info)

(7/24) Establishment of a cell-based assay to screen regulators for Klotho gene promoter.

AIM: To discover compounds which can regulate Klotho promoter activity. Klotho is an aging suppressor gene. A defect in Klotho gene expression in the mouse results in the phenotype similar to human aging. Recombinant Klotho protein improves age-associated diseases in animal models. It has been proposed that up-regulation of Klotho gene expression may have anti-aging effects. METHODS: Klotho promoter was cloned into a vector containing luciferase gene, and the reporter gene vector was transfected into HEK293 cells to make a stable cell line (HEK293/KL). A model for cellular aging was established by treating HEK293/KL cells with H2O2. These cells were treated with extracts from Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCMs). The luciferase activity was detected to identify compounds that can regulate Klotho promoter. RESULTS: The expression of luciferase in these cells was under control of Klotho promoter and down-regulated after H2O2 treatment. The down-regulation of luciferase expression was H2O2 concentration-dependent with an IC50 at approximately 0.006 %. This result demonstrated that the Klotho gene promoter was regulated by oxidative stress. Using the cell-based reporter gene assay, we screened natural product extracts for regulation of Klotho gene promoter. Several extracts were identified that could rescue the H2O2 effects and up-regulated Klotho promoter activity. CONCLUSION: A cell -based assay for high-throughput drug screening was established to identify compounds that regulate Klotho promoter activity, and several hits were discovered from natural products. Further characterization of these active extracts could help to investigate Klotho function and aging mechanisms.  (+info)

(8/24) Physiological changes in gentian axillary buds during two-step preculturing with sucrose that conferred high levels of tolerance to desiccation and cryopreservation.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Induction of dehydration tolerance is a key to achieving high survival rates in cryopreservation of plant specimens. It has been reported previously that two-step preculturing with sucrose effectively increased desiccation tolerance in axillary buds of gentian (Gentiana scabra), which allow the buds to survive cryopreservation. This study is aimed at characterizing each step of this preculturing and to elucidate physiological changes induced during this preculturing. METHODS: In standard two-step preculture, excised gentian axillary buds were incubated for 11 d on MS medium with 0.1 m sucrose at 25 degrees C (first step: mild osmotic stress was given) and the subsequent incubation on MS medium with 0.4 m and 0.7 m sucrose for 1 d each (second step). The levels of abscisic acid (ABA), proline and soluble sugars in gentian buds during the preculture were determined. Effects of various combinations of two-step preculturing and of exogenous ABA and proline were studied. KEY RESULTS: During the first preculture step, there was a transient increase in ABA content peaking on day 4, which declined to a background level at the end of the first and second step preculturing. Proline level increased steadily during the first preculture step and increased further in the second preculture step. Incubating buds with medium containing proline, instead of the two-step preculturing, did not allow them to survive desiccation. Incubating buds with ABA instead of 0.1 m sucrose-preculturing effectively increased desiccation tolerance only when it was followed by the second preculture step. Fluridone, an ABA synthesis inhibitor included in the two-step preculture medium, reduced desiccation tolerance of the buds. The normal first-step preculture increased the levels of soluble sugars 2.4-fold, especially sucrose and raffinose. Buds treated with the second preculture step had greatly increased sucrose levels. CONCLUSIONS: These observations lead to the hypothesis that the first preculture step involves ABA-mediated cellular changes and the second step induces loading of sucrose in the gentian buds.  (+info)