Immunosuppressive activity of an aqueous Viola tricolor herbal extract.
ABSTRACT: Heartsease (Viola tricolor L.), a member of the Violaceae family, has a long history as a medicinal plant and has been documented in the Pharmacopoeia of Europe. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties it is regarded as a traditional remedy against skin diseases, for example for the treatment of scabs, itching, ulcers, eczema or psoriasis, and it is also used in the treatment of inflammation of the lungs and chest such as bronchitis or asthma. Because T-cells play an important role in the pathological process of inflammatory diseases we investigated the effect of an aqueous Viola extract on lymphocyte functions and explored the 'active' principle of the extract using bioactivity-guided fractionation.An aqueous Viola extract was prepared by C18 solid-phase extraction. Effects on proliferation of activated lymphocytes (using the cell membrane permeable fluorescein dye CFSE), apoptosis and necrosis (using annexin V and propidium iodide staining), interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor expression (using fluorochrome-conjugated antibodies) and IL-2 cytokine secretion (using an ELISA-based bead array system) were measured by flow cytometry. Influence on lymphocyte polyfunctionality was characterized by Viola extract-induced production of IFN-? and TNF-?, as well as its influence on lymphocyte degranulation activity. Fractionation and phytochemical analysis of the extract were performed by RP-HPLC and mass spectrometry.The aqueous Viola extract inhibited proliferation of activated lymphocytes by reducing IL-2 cytokine secretion without affecting IL-2 receptor expression. Similarly, effector functions were affected as indicated by the reduction of IFN-? and TNF-? production; degranulation capacity of activated lymphocytes remained unaffected. Bioassay-guided fractionation and phytochemical analysis of the extract led to identification of circular plant peptides, so called cyclotides, as bioactive components.An aqueous Viola extract contains bioactive cyclotides, which inhibit proliferation of activated lymphocytes in an IL-2 dependent manner. The findings provide a rationale for use of herbal Viola preparations in the therapy of disorders related to an overactive immune system. However, further studies to evaluate its clinical potency and potential risks have to be performed.
Project description:Desert truffles have high nutritional value and grow wild in the Mediterranean basin and Western Asia. Although, many studies were performed to evaluate truffles nutritious values and phytochemical composition, studies are limited to evaluate their anticancer and/ or immunomodulatory effects. Our study was conducted to evaluate the anticancer and immunomodulatory effects of Terfezia boudieri (desert truffle). Different solvent extracts were prepared from the truffle and MTT assay was used to measure their anticancer activity against cancer cell lines (T47D, MCF-7, MDA-MB231, HCT-116, and Hela). Total phenolic content in each extract was determined by using Folin-Ciocalteu reagent and qualitative phytochemical screening was performed using standard methods. The degree of apoptosis induction (using caspase 3 assay) and vascular endothelial growth factor expression were detected using standard kits. Also, ELISA was used to measure levels of IFN-?, IL-2, IL-4, and IL-10 secreted by splenocytes after treatment with the extracts. The effect of the extracts on splenocytes proliferation was measured using MTT assay. Macrophage function was evaluated using nitro blue tetrazolium assay and pinocytosis function was evaluated using neutral red method. Terpenoids, phytosterols, and carbohydrates were present in all the solvent extracts, while tannins, alkaloids and flavonoids were detected only in aqueous/methanol and aqueous extracts. The highest total phenolic content was observed in aqueous and aqueous methanol extracts. The growth of cancer cell lines was inhibited by T. boudieri extracts in a dose dependent manner. N-hexane extract was the most potent against most cell lines. Aqueous/methanol extract showed high apoptosis induction and angiogenesis suppression effects. An increase in TH1 cytokines (IFN-?, IL-2) level and a decrease in TH2 cytokine (IL-4) level were evident after lymphocytes stimulation by aqueous/methanol, n-hexane and ethyl acetate extracts of T. boudieri. Ethyl acetate extract of T. boudieri were the most potent extracts to stimulate lymphocytes proliferation while all other extracts showed moderate stimulation. Aqueous/methanol extract was the most active extract to stimulate phagocytosis. Ethyl acetate extract was the most active extract to stimulate pinocytosis. The use of T. boudieri provides variable health benefits. N-hexane, ethyl acetate, and aqueous/methanol extracts exhibited anticancer activities and are potent stimulators of innate and acquired immunity. Further testing is needed to identify the biologically active compounds and detect them quantitatively using GC-MS analysis.
Project description:Cyclotides are a diverse and abundant group of ribosomally synthesized plant peptides containing a unique cyclic cystine-knotted topology that confers them with remarkable stability. Kalata B1, a representative member of this family of mini-proteins, has been found to inhibit the proliferation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Analysis of T-cell proliferation upon treatment with chemically synthesized kalata B1 mutants revealed a region comprising inter-cysteine loops 1 and 2 of the cyclotide framework to be important for biological activity. Cytokine signaling analysis using an 'active' kalata B1 mutant [T20K], and the reference drug cyclosporin A (CsA) demonstrated that treatment of activated T-lymphocytes with these compounds decreased the expression of the interleukin-2 (IL-2) surface receptor as well as IL-2 cytokine secretion and IL-2 gene expression, whereas the 'inactive' kalata B1 mutant [V10K] did not cause any effects. The anti-proliferative activity of [T20K] kalata B1 was antagonized by addition of exogenous IL-2. Furthermore, treatment with [T20K] kalata B1 led to an initial reduction of the effector function, as indicated by the reduced IFN-? and TNF-? production, but the levels of both cytokines stabilized over time and returned to their normal levels. On the other hand, the degranulation activity remained reduced. This indicated that cyclotides interfere with T-cell polyfunctionality and arrest the proliferation of immune-competent cells through inhibiting IL-2 biology at more than one site. The results open new avenues to utilize native and synthetically-optimized cyclotides for applications in immune-related disorders and as immunosuppressant peptides.
Project description:<h4>Main conclusion</h4>The distribution of cyclotides was visualized in plant cells, tissues and organs using immunohistochemistry. Finding of cyclotides in tissues potentially vulnerable to pathogen attacks supports their role as defense molecules. The cyclotide family of plant peptides is characterized by the cyclic cystine knot motif and its diverse biological activities. Given their insecticidal and antimicrobial properties, the role of cyclotides in planta is probably associated with host defense. Our current understanding of the cellular compartmentalization of cyclotides in the vacuole is based on indirect studies on transgenic model plants that do not express cyclotides naturally. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) imaging has also been used to study the distribution of cyclotides, but the technique's resolution was insufficient to determine their tissue or cell distribution. To avoid the limitations of these approaches, immunohistochemical visualization methods were used. Antibodies were raised in rabbits using cycloviolacin O2 (cyO2), and their specificity was determined by Western and dot blot experiments. Slides for immunohistochemical analysis were prepared from leaf, petiole and root fragments of Viola odorata and Viola uliginosa, and specimens were visualized using indirect epifluorescence microscopy. The antibodies against cyclotides were specific against selected bracelet cyclotides with high similarity (cyO2, cyO3, cyO8, cyO13) and suitable for immunohistochemistry. The tissue distribution of the cyclotides visualized in this way is consistent with their proposed role in host defense-relatively large quantities were observed in the leaf and petiole epidermis in both Viola species. Cyclotides were also found in vascular tissue in all the assessed plant organs. The vacuole storage of cyclotides was directly shown.
Project description:Cyclotides are a family of plant proteins that are characterized by a cyclic backbone and a knotted disulfide topology. Their cyclic cystine knot (CCK) motif makes them exceptionally resistant to thermal, chemical, and enzymatic degradation. By disrupting cell membranes, the cyclotides function as host defense peptides by exhibiting insecticidal, anthelmintic, antifouling, and molluscicidal activities. In this work, we provide the first insight into the evolution of this family of plant proteins by studying the Violaceae, in particular species of the genus Viola. We discovered 157 novel precursor sequences by the transcriptomic analysis of six Viola species: V. albida var. takahashii, V. mandshurica, V. orientalis, V. verecunda, V. acuminata, and V. canadensis. By combining these precursor sequences with the phylogenetic classification of Viola, we infer the distribution of cyclotides across 63% of the species in the genus (i.e., ~380 species). Using full precursor sequences from transcriptomes, we show an evolutionary link to the structural diversity of the cyclotides, and further classify the cyclotides by sequence signatures from the non-cyclotide domain. Also, transcriptomes were compared to cyclotide expression on a peptide level determined using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Furthermore, the novel cyclotides discovered were associated with the emergence of new biological functions.
Project description:The emergence of rapidly evolving multidrug-resistant pathogens and a deficit of new compounds entering the clinical pipeline necessitate the exploration of alternative sources of antimicrobial therapeutics. Cyclotides revealed in Viola spp. are a class of highly stable, cyclic, and disulfide-bound peptides with diverse intrinsic bioactivities. Herein we have identified a novel complement of 42 putative cyclotide masses in the plant species Viola inconspicua. Cyclotide-containing fractions of a V. inconspicua peptide library revealed potent bioactivities against the Gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 and the highly virulent and multidrug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae VK148. As such, six previously uncharacterized cyclotides, cycloviolacins I1-6 (cyI1-cyI6), were prioritized for molecular characterization. Cyclotides cyI3-cyI6 contain a novel "TLNGNPGA" motif in the highly variable loop six region, expanding the already substantial sequence diversity of this peptide class. Library fractions comprised of cyclotides cyI3-cyI6 exhibited MIC values of 18 and 35 ?M against E. coli and K. pneumoniae, respectively, whereas isolated cyI3 killed ?50% of E. coli at 60 ?M and isolated cyI4 demonstrated no killing at concentrations >60 ?M against both pathogens. This work expands the repertoire of bioactive cyclotides found in Viola spp. and highlights the potential of these antibacterial cyclic peptides.
Project description:Cyclotides are an abundant and diverse group of ribosomally synthesized plant peptides containing a cyclic cystine-knotted structure that confers them with remarkable stability. They are explored for their distribution in plants, although little is known about the individual peptide content of a single species. Therefore, we chemically analyzed the crude extract of the coffee-family plant Oldenlandia affinis using a rapid peptidomics workflow utilizing nano-LC-MS, peptide reconstruct with database identification, and MS/MS automated sequence analysis to determine its cyclotide content. Biologically, cyclotides are mainly explored for applications in agriculture and drug design; here we report their growth-inhibiting effects on primary cells of the human immune system using biological and immunological end points in cell-based test systems. LC-MS quantification of the active O. affinis plant extract triggered the characterization of the antiproliferative activity of kalata B1, one of the most abundant cyclotides in this extract, on primary activated human lymphocytes. The effect has a defined concentration range and was not due to cytotoxicity, thus opening a new avenue to utilize native and synthetically optimized plant cyclotides for applications in immune-related disorders and as immunosuppressant peptides.
Project description:Viola is a large genus with worldwide distribution and many traits not currently exemplified in model plants including unique breeding systems and the production of cyclotides. Here we report de novo genome assembly and transcriptomic analyses of the non-model species Viola pubescens using short-read DNA sequencing data and RNA-Seq from eight diverse tissues. First, V. pubescens genome size was estimated through flow cytometry, resulting in an approximate haploid genome of 455 Mbp. Next, the draft V. pubescens genome was sequenced and assembled resulting in 264,035,065 read pairs and 161,038 contigs with an N50 length of 3,455 base pairs (bp). RNA-Seq data were then assembled into tissue-specific transcripts. Together, the DNA and transcript data generated 38,081 ab initio gene models which were functionally annotated based on homology to Arabidopsis thaliana genes and Pfam domains. Gene expression was visualized for each tissue via principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering, and gene co-expression analysis identified 20 modules of tissue-specific transcriptional networks. Some of these modules highlight genetic differences between chasmogamous and cleistogamous flowers and may provide insight into V. pubescens' mixed breeding system. Orthologous clustering with the proteomes of A. thaliana and Populus trichocarpa revealed 8,531 sequences unique to V. pubescens, including 81 novel cyclotide precursor sequences. Cyclotides are plant peptides characterized by a stable, cyclic cystine knot motif, making them strong candidates for drug scaffolding and protein engineering. Analysis of the RNA-Seq data for these cyclotide transcripts revealed diverse expression patterns both between transcripts and tissues. The diversity of these cyclotides was also highlighted in a maximum likelihood protein cladogram containing V. pubescens cyclotides and published cyclotide sequences from other Violaceae and Rubiaceae species. Collectively, this work provides the most comprehensive sequence resource for Viola, offers valuable transcriptomic insight into V. pubescens, and will facilitate future functional genomics research in Viola and other diverse plant groups.
Project description:Cuminum cyminum L. (cumin) seed is used as a spice in various countries. Although several functions of the components in cumin seed have been reported, the anti-allergic effect of the water-soluble component in cumin seed has not been reported yet. In this study, we focused on the suppressive effect of cumin seed aqueous extract on degranulation in order to reveal the anti-allergic effect of cumin. Cumin seed aqueous extract significantly suppressed the antigen-induced degranulation of rat basophilic leukemia cell line RBL-2H3 cells in a dose-dependent manner without cytotoxicity. The extract also inhibited the elevation of the intracellular calcium ion concentration induced by antigen. Immunoblot analysis revealed that the extract suppresses phosphorylation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, Bruton's tyrosine kinase, phospholipase C-?1/2, and Akt in the signaling pathways activated by antigen induction via Fc?RI. Furthermore, the extract suppressed microtubule formation induced by antigen. In addition, oral administration of cumin seed aqueous extract significantly suppressed the passive cutaneous anaphylaxis reaction in BALB/c mice. Our findings suggest that cumin seed contains water-soluble components with the anti-allergic effect. Therefore, cumin seed has potential as anti-allergic functional food.
Project description:Cyclotides are macrocyclic plant peptides characterized by a knotted arrangement of three disulfide bonds. They display a range of interesting bioactivities, including anti-HIV and insecticidal activities. More than 100 different cyclotides have been isolated from two phylogenetically distant plant families, the Rubiaceae and Violaceae. In this study we have characterized the cyclotides from Viola yedoensis, an important Chinese herb from the Violaceae family that has been reported to contain potential anti-HIV agents. From V. yedoensis five new and three known cyclotides were identified and shown to have anti-HIV activity. The most active of these is cycloviolacin Y5, which is one of the most potent of all cyclotides tested so far using in vitro XTT-based anti-HIV assays. Cycloviolacin Y5 is the most hydrophobic of the cyclotides from V. yedoensis. We show that there is a positive correlation between the hydrophobicity and the anti-HIV activity of the new cyclotides and that this trend tracks with their ability to disrupt membranes, as judged from hemolytic assays on human erythrocytes.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>In Europe, extracts of Equisetum arvense (common horsetail) have a long tradition in the treatment of inflammatory disorders. To understand the molecular basis for its use, we investigated the immunomodulatory capacity of a standardized commercially available common horsetail extract on human primary lymphocyte function in vitro.<h4>Methods</h4>The standardized extract of Equisetum arvense was phytochemically characterized. Effects on proliferation, viability and activity of mitogen-activated human lymphocytes were assessed in comparison to cyclosporine A using annexin V/propidium iodide staining assays and flow cytometry-based surface receptor characterization, respectively. Intracellular levels of effector molecules (IL-2, IFN-γ and TNF-α) were analyzed with cytokine assays.<h4>Results</h4>T cell proliferation was inhibited dose dependently by the Equisetum extract without induction of apoptosis or necrosis. This effect was mediated through inhibition of lymphocyte activation, specifically by diminishing CD69 and IL-2 surface receptor expression and intracellular IL-2 production. Furthermore, treatment with Equisetum arvense inhibited effector functions, as indicated by reduced production of IFN-γ and TNF-α.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The data indicate that the used extract of Equisetum arvense interferes with the polyfunctionality of immunocompetent cells thereby providing an anti-inflammatory mode-of-action.