Piperaceae: A family of flowering plants in the order Piperales best known for the black pepper widely used in SPICES, and for KAVA and Betel used for neuroactive properties.Piper: A plant genus of the family PIPERACEAE that includes species used for spicy and stimulating qualities.Peperomia: A plant genus of the family PIPERACEAE. Members contain prenylated quinones.Piper betle: A plant genus of the family PIPERACEAE that is indigenous in the Indian Malay region and cultivated in Madagascar, and the West Indies. It contains chavibetol, chavicol and cadinene. The leaf is chewed as a stimulant, antiseptic and sialogogue. The common name of betel is also used for ARECA.Methylene Chloride: A chlorinated hydrocarbon that has been used as an inhalation anesthetic and acts as a narcotic in high concentrations. Its primary use is as a solvent in manufacturing and food technology.Oils, Volatile: Oils which evaporate readily. The volatile oils occur in aromatic plants, to which they give odor and other characteristics. Most volatile oils consist of a mixture of two or more TERPENES or of a mixture of an eleoptene (the more volatile constituent of a volatile oil) with a stearopten (the more solid constituent). The synonym essential oils refers to the essence of a plant, as its perfume or scent, and not to its indispensability.Plant Extracts: Concentrated pharmaceutical preparations of plants obtained by removing active constituents with a suitable solvent, which is evaporated away, and adjusting the residue to a prescribed standard.
Hydnora africana: Hydnora africana is an achlorophyllous plant in the family Hydnoraceae, native to southern Africa that is parasitic on the roots of members of the Euphorbiaceae family. The plant grows underground, except for a fleshy flower that emerges above ground and emits an odor of feces to attract its natural pollinators, dung beetles, and carrion beetles.Piper sarmentosum: Piper sarmentosum is a plant in the Piperaceae family used in many Southeast Asian cuisines. The leaves are often confused with betel, but they lack the intense taste of the betel leaves and are significantly smaller.Peperomia pellucida: Peperomia pellucida(a.k.H. Beam PiperSarett oxidationEssential oil: An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, aetherolea, or simply as the oil of the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove.Phytomedicine
(1/18) XopC and XopJ, two novel type III effector proteins from Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria.
Pathogenicity of the gram-negative plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria depends on a type III secretion (TTS) system which translocates bacterial effector proteins into the plant cell. Previous transcriptome analysis identified a genome-wide regulon of putative virulence genes that are coexpressed with the TTS system. In this study, we characterized two of these genes, xopC and xopJ. Both genes encode Xanthomonas outer proteins (Xops) that were shown to be secreted by the TTS system. In addition, type III-dependent translocation of both proteins into the plant cell was demonstrated using the AvrBs3 effector domain as a reporter. XopJ belongs to the AvrRxv/YopJ family of effector proteins from plant and animal pathogenic bacteria. By contrast, XopC does not share significant homology to proteins in the database. Sequence analysis revealed that the xopC locus contains several features that are reminiscent of pathogenicity islands. Interestingly, the xopC region is flanked by 62-bp inverted repeats that are also associated with members of the Xanthomonas avrBs3 effector family. Besides xopC, a second gene of the locus, designated hpaJ, was shown to be coexpressed with the TTS system. hpaJ encodes a protein with similarity to transglycosylases and to the Pseudomonas syringae pv. maculicola protein HopPmaG. HpaJ secretion and translocation by the X. campestris pv. vesicatoria TTS system was not detectable, which is consistent with its predicted Sec signal and a putative function as transglycosylase in the bacterial periplasm. (+info)
(2/18) Antibacterial activity of extracts and neolignans from Piper regnellii (Miq.) C. DC. var. pallescens (C. DC.) Yunck.
The evaluation of the activity of the aqueous and ethyl acetate extracts of the leaves of Piper regnellii was tested against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The aqueous extract displayed a weak activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis with minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) of 1000 micrograms/ml. The ethyl acetate extract presented a good activity against S. aureus and B. subtilis with MIC and MBC at 15.62 micrograms/ml. In contrast to the relative low MICs for gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria were not inhibited by the extracts at concentrations < or = 1000 mg/ml. The ethyl acetate extract was fractionated on silica gel into nine fractions. The hexane and chloroform fractions were active against S. aureus (MIC at 3.9 micrograms/ml) and B. subtilis (MIC at 3.9 and 7.8 micrograms/ml, respectively). Using bioactivity-directed fractionation, the hexane fraction was rechromatographed to yield the antimicrobial compounds 1, 2, 5, and 6 identified as eupomatenoid-6, eupomatenoid-5, eupomatenoid-3, and conocarpan, respectively. The pure compounds 1 and 2 showed a good activity against S. aureus with MIC of 1.56 micrograms/ml and 3.12 micrograms/ml, respectively. Both compounds presented MIC of 3.12 micrograms/ml against B. subtilis. The pure compound 6 named as conocarpan was quite active against S. aureus and B. subtilis with MIC of 6.25 micrograms/ml. The antibacterial properties of P. regnellii justify its use in traditional medicine for the treatment of wounds, contaminated through bacteria infections. (+info)
(3/18) (+)-Bornyl piperate, a new monoterpene ester from Piper aff. pedicellatum roots.
A new monoterpene ester, (+)-bornyl piperate was isolated from the underground roots of Piper aff. pedicellatum and its structure was elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic evidence and confirmed by X-ray analysis. The compound crystallizes in the triclinic space group P1 with a=7.3232(4) A, b=11.4705(7) A, c=23.2520(14) A, V=1943.6(2) A(3). This compound showed an antituberculosis activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (H(37)Ra strain) with the minimum inhibitor concentration (MIC) of 25 microg/ml. (+info)
(4/18) Pungent qualities of sanshool-related compounds evaluated by a sensory test and activation of rat TRPV1.
The detection threshold and taste characteristics of sanshools were examined by sensory evaluation, after isolating four sanshools (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-), and two hydroxy sanshools (alpha- and beta-) from the pericarp of Japanese pepper. The Scoville unit (SU) values of the four sanshools were in the range of 80,000-110,000, while those of hydroxy sanshools were 3-5 fold lower than corresponding sanshools. The pungent qualities of each sanshool were different. Burning and tingling were predominantly perceived and lasted for the longest time with alpha-sanshool. Burning and fresh for gamma-sanshool, and tingling and numbing for hydroxy alpha-sanshool were perceived. Tests on the activation of rat TRPV1 were also performed. All of them were weak agonists. Among them, gamma-sanshool was the most potent agonist, although its EC50 value of 5.3 microM was 230 fold higher than that of capsaicin. These results indicate that it would be difficult to explain the pungent quality of each sanshool simply in terms of TRPV1 activation. (+info)
(5/18) Quantitative analysis of sanshool compounds in Japanese pepper (Xanthoxylum piperitum DC.) and their pungent characteristics.
The distributions of each sanshool in the Japanese pepper plant grown in various regions and the change in composition of sanshools during maturation of the fruit were investigated. The degree of pungency, defined as the amount of a sanshool/the threshold value, was calculated, and the pungent qualities of the products were evaluated and compared. The degree of pungency and amount of a sanshool showed a positive correlation. In young leaves and flowers, the degree of pungency was less than that in the fruits, the main compound being alpha-sanshool, while the two hydroxy sanshools were detected only in trace amounts. The main compound in fruits was hydroxy alpha-sanshool, whose threshold value was higher than that of alpha-sanshool. It is concluded that the pungency of Japanese pepper should be evaluated not only by the threshold values, but also by the pungent qualities, the composition of sanshools, and the usage of each product of Japanese pepper. (+info)
(6/18) From forgotten taxon to a missing link? The position of the genus Verhuellia (piperaceae) revealed by molecules.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The species-poor and little-studied genus Verhuellia has often been treated as a synonym of the genus Peperomia, downplaying its significance in the relationships and evolutionary aspects in Piperaceae and Piperales. The lack of knowledge concerning Verhuellia is largely due to its restricted distribution, poorly known collection localities, limited availability in herbaria and absence in botanical gardens and lack of material suitable for molecular phylogenetic studies until recently. Because Verhuellia has some of the most reduced flowers in Piperales, the reconstruction of floral evolution which shows strong trends towards reduction in all lineages needs to be revised. METHODS: Verhuellia is included in a molecular phylogenetic analysis of Piperales (trnT-trnL-trnF and trnK/matK), based on nearly 6000 aligned characters and more than 1400 potentially parsimony-informative sites which were partly generated for the present study. Character states for stamen and carpel number are mapped on the combined molecular tree to reconstruct the ancestral states. KEY RESULTS: The genus Peperomia is generally considered to have the most reduced flowers in Piperales but this study shows that this is only partially true. Verhuellia, with almost equally reduced flowers, is not part of or sister to Peperomia as expected, but is revealed as sister to all other Piperaceae in all analyses, putting character evolution in this family and in the perianthless Piperales in a different light. A robust phylogenetic analysis including all relevant taxa is presented as a framework for inferring patterns and processes of evolution in Piperales and Piperaceae. CONCLUSIONS: Verhuellia is a further example of how a molecular phylogenetic study can elucidate the relationships of an unplaced taxon. When more material becomes available, it will be possible to investigate character evolution in Piperales more thoroughly and to answer some evolutionary questions concerning Piperaceae. (+info)
(7/18) Dose-dependent in vitro inhibition of rabbit corneal matrix metalloproteinases by an extract of Pothomorphe umbellata after alkali injury.
The in vitro ability of Pothomorphe umbellata ethanolic crude extract to inhibit matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) in normal cornea and in cornea after alkali injury was demonstrated. Corneas of albino rabbits were injured with 1 N NaOH for 20 s. After 48 h the corneas were excised, homogenized and analyzed for MMP-9 (92 kDa), pro-MMP-2 (72 kDa) and MMP-2 (67 kDa) activity by gelatin zymography. The activity was also measured in untreated corneas. After electrophoresis of 20 microg protein, gels were incubated with 50, 100, or 250 microg/mL lyophilized hydroethanolic (1:1) root crude extract of P. umbellata standardized for 4-nerolidylcatechol (7.09%). The activity of the enzymes was compared with that of untreated gel. At 48 h after injury, the activity of all MMPs was increased compared with untreated eyes. When the gels were incubated with P. umbellata extract the activity of MMP-2, pro-MMP-2 and MMP-9 decreased in a dose-dependent manner. MMP-9 activity decreased by approximately 50% after incubation with 50 microg/mL and was completely abolished at 100 and 250 microg/mL of the extract. After incubation with 50 microg/mL the activity of pro-MMP-2 and MMP-2 also decreased by 50%. The activity of pro-MMP-2 was almost completely abolished after incubation with 250 microg/mL of the extract. For MMP-2 the incubation with 100 or 250 microg/mL of the extract of P. umbellata promoted a 10-fold decrease in activity. In conclusion, P. umbellata root crude extract can be useful as an alternative therapy to control MMP activity after corneal injury. (+info)
(8/18) Cytotoxicity and antitumoral activity of dichloromethane extract and its fractions from Pothomorphe umbellata.
The cytotoxicity of the dichloromethane crude extract (DCE), obtained from the aerial parts of Pothomorphe umbellata (L.) Miq (Piperaceae), was evaluated against nine human cancer cell lines (MCF-7, NCI-ADR/RES, OVCAR-3, PC-3, HT-29, NCI-H460, 786-O, UACC-62, K-562). The DCE presented antiproliferative activity with good potency against all cell lines at low concentrations (between 4.0 and 9.5 microg/mL) and with selectivity (1.55 microg/mL) for the leukemia cell line (K-652). DCE (100, 200, 300 and 400 mg/kg, ip) was also evaluated in the Ehrlich ascites tumor model. Both the survival number and the life span of the animals that died increased by at least 45 and 50%, respectively (8 animals per group), demonstrating P. umbellata extract potential anticancer activity. The results of the in vivo antitumor activity prompted the fractionation of the crude extract. The crude extract was submitted to dry column chromatography with dichloromethane-methanol (99:1). The column effluent fractions were extracted with methanol, dried under vacuum yielding fractions FR1 (less polar), FR2 (medium polarity), and FR3 (polar), which were analyzed for their growth inhibition or cytotoxic properties by a 48-h sulforhodamine B cell viability assay by measuring the total protein content. FR1 demonstrated high potency and cytotoxicity, a result compatible with the high toxicity of oxalic acid; FR2, containing 4-nerolidylcathecol, presented the lowest cytotoxic activity compared to the other two fractions but with selectivity for prostate cancer cell line; FR3, containing a mixture of steroids described in the literature as possessing various biological activities, also presented potent anticancer in vitro activity. These results suggest that P. umbellata DCE in vivo antitumor activity may be a consequence of the activity of different active principles. (+info)