Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Caffeic acid


BACKGROUND: Hydroxycinnamates (HCs) are mainly produced in plants. Caffeic acid (CA), p-coumaric acid (PA), ferulic acid (FA) and sinapic acid (SA) are members of the HC family. The consumption of HC by human might prevent cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer. The solubility of HCs is increased through thioester conjugation to various compounds such as quinic acid, shikimic acid, malic acid, anthranilic acid, and glycerol. Although hydroxycinnamate conjugates can be obtained from diverse plant sources such as coffee, tomato, potato, apple, and sweet potato, some parts of the world have limited availability to these compounds. Thus, there is growing interest in producing HC conjugates as nutraceutical supplements. RESULTS: Hydroxycinnamoyl transferases (HCTs) including hydroxycinnamate-CoA shikimate transferase (HST) and hydroxycinnamate-CoA quinate transferase (HQT) were co-expressed with 4-coumarateCoA:ligase (4CL) in Escherichia coli cultured in media supplemented with HCs. Two hydroxycinnamoyl conjugates, p-coumaroyl shikimates and chlorogenic acid, were thereby synthesized. Total 29.1 mg/L of four different p-coumaroyl shikimates (3-p-coumaroyl shikimate, 4-p-coumaroyl shikimate, 3,4-di p-coumaroyl shikimate, 3,5-di p-coumaroyl shikimate, and 4,5-di p-coumaroyl shikimate) was obtained and 16 mg/L of chlorogenic acid was synthesized in the wild type E. coli strain. To increase the concentration of endogenous acceptor substrates such as shikimate and quinate, the shikimate pathway in E. coli was engineered. A E. coli aroL and aroK gene were mutated and the resulting mutants were used for the production of p-coumaroyl shikimate. An E. coli aroD mutant was used for the production of chlorogenic acid. We also optimized the vector and cell concentration optimization. CONCLUSIONS: To produce p-coumaroyl-shikimates and chlorogenic acid in E. coli, several E. coli mutants (an aroD mutant for chlorogenic acid production; an aroL, aroK, and aroKL mutant for p-coumaroyl-shikimates production) were made and each mutant was tested using an optimized construct. Using this strategy, we produced 235 mg/L of p-coumaroyl-shikimates and 450 mg/L of chlorogenic acid.

Concepts: Escherichia coli, Caffeic acid, Carboxylic acids, Ferulic acid, Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization, Chlorogenic acid, Quinic acid, Cyclitols


To investigate the in vitro effect of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a NF-κB inhibitor, on the apoptosis of osteoarthritic (OA) chondrocytes and on the regulation of the gelatinases matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9).

Concepts: In vitro, Inhibitor, Matrix metalloproteinase, Caffeic acid, Metalloproteinase, MMP2, MMP9, EC 3.4.24


Propolis is a natural honeybee hive product with the potential for use in the treatment of dermatological conditions, such as cutaneous abrasions, burns, and acne. In this study, we investigated whether propolis stimulates hair growth in mice. Ethanol-extracted propolis, which contains various physiologically active substances such as caffeic acid and kaempferol, stimulated anagen induction in the shaved back skin. Anagen induction occurred without any detectable abnormalities in the shape of the hair follicles (HFs), hair stem cells in the bulge, proliferating hair matrix keratinocytes in the hair bulb, or in the localization of versican in the dermal papilla. Propolis treatment also stimulated migration of hair matrix keratinocytes into the hair shaft in HFs during late anagen in the depilated back skin. Organotypic culture of skin containing anagen stage HFs revealed significant stimulation of hair matrix keratinocyte proliferation by propolis. Furthermore, propolis facilitated the proliferation of epidermal keratinocytes. These results indicate that propolis stimulates hair growth by inducing hair keratinocyte proliferation.

Concepts: Skin, Epidermis, Caffeic acid, Hair, Hair follicle, Facial hair, Sebaceous gland, Propolis


Profound research has been done on the medicinal value of Brassica nigra (BN) seeds, and the leaves of the plant have been investigated in this study. The methanol extracts of the leaves were subjected to several in vitro studies. The antioxidant activity of methanol extract was demonstrated with a wide range of concentration, 10-500 µg mL(-1), and the antioxidant activity increased with the increase in concentration. Total phenol content was found to be 171.73 ± 5.043 gallic acid equivalents and the total flavonoid content 7.45 ± 0.0945 quercetin equivalents. Further quantification and identification of the compounds were done by HPTLC and GC-MS analyses. The predominant phenolic compounds determined by HPTLC were gallic acid, followed by quercetin, ferulic acid, caffeic acid and rutin. The free radical quenching property of BN leaf extract suggests the presence of bioactive natural compounds.

Concepts: Catechin, Quercetin, Caffeic acid, Resveratrol, Phenols, Ferulic acid, Gallic acid, Vanillin


Chlorogenic acid is a well-known antioxidant and has more isomers according to the difference in binding location and number of caffeic on quinic acid. In this study, we investigated and compared the profiles of antioxidant and DNA-protective activities of chlorogenic acid isomers including three caffeoylquinic acid isomers (3-O-caffeoylquinic acid, 3-CQA; 4-O-caffeoylquinic acid, 4-CQA; and 5-O- caffeoylquinic acid, 5-CQA) and three dicaffeoylquinic acid isomers (3,5-dicaffeoyl-quinic acid, ICAA; 3,4-dicaffeoylquinic acid, ICAB; and 4,5-dicaffeoyl-quinic acid, ICAC). The results showed that each of chlorogenic acid isomers studied exhibited antioxidant activities and DNA damage protective effects to various extents. On the whole, dicaffeoylquinic acids possessed better antioxidant activities, mostly because they have more hydroxyl groups than caffeoylquinic acids. Three caffeoylquinic acid isomers showed quite similar antioxidant activities, indicating that the position of esterification on the quinic moiety of caffeoylquinic acid had no effect on its antioxidant activities. Quite the contrary, a difference among dicaffeoylquinic acid isomers was observed, namely, ICAA and ICAB exhibited the same antioxidant activities, whereas ICAC had higher antioxidant activities than ICAA and ICAB in some assays, which implied that their antioxidant activities were probably influenced by the position of esterification on the quinic moiety. We speculated that this difference might be due to the fact that there may exist a steric hindrance effect in the ICAC. However, this assumption needs to be further confirmed.

Concepts: Alcohol, Functional group, Caffeic acid, Carboxylic acids, Conformational isomerism, Chlorogenic acid, Quinic acid, Cyclitols


BACKGROUND: The metabolism and excretion of the anabolic steroid testosterone occurs by glucuronidation to the conjugate testosterone glucuronide which is then excreted in urine. Alterations in UGT glucuronidation enzyme activity could alter the rate of testosterone excretion and thus its bioavailability. The aim of this study is to investigate if red wine, a common dietary substance, has an inhibitory effect on UGT2B17. METHODS: Testosterone glucuronidation was assayed using human UGT2B17 supersomes with quantification of unglucuronidated testosterone over time using HPLC with DAD detection. The selected red wine was analysed using HPLC and the inhibitory effects of the wine and phenolic components were tested independently in a screening assay. Further analyses were conducted for the strongest inhibitors at physiologically relevant concentrations. Control experiments were conducted to determine the effects of the ethanol on UGT2B17. RESULTS: Over the concentration range of 2 to 8% the red wine sample inhibited the glucuronidation of testosterone by up to 70% over 2 hours. The ethanol content had no significant effect. Three red wine phenolics, identified by HLPC analyses, also inhibited the enzyme by varying amounts in the order of quercetin (72%), caffeic acid (22%) and gallic acid (9%); using a ratio of phenolic:testosterone of 1:2.5. In contrast p-coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid had no effect on the UGT2B17. The most active phenolic was selected for a detailed study at physiologically relevant concentrations, and quercetin maintained inhibitory activity of 20% at 2 M despite a ten-fold excess of testosterone. CONCLUSION: This study reports that in an in vitro supersome-based assay, the key steroid-metabolising enzyme UGT2B17 is inhibited by a number of phenolic dietary substances and therefore may reduce the rate of testosterone glucuronidation in vivo. These results highlight the potential interactions of a number of common dietary compounds on testosterone metabolism. Considering the variety of foodstuffs that contain flavonoids, it is feasible that diet can elevate levels of circulating testosterone through reduction in urinary excretion. These results warrant further investigation and extension to a human trial to delineate the health implications.

Concepts: Protein, Alcohol, Metabolism, Ethanol, Testosterone, Caffeic acid, Anabolic steroid, Chlorogenic acid


Roots of Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea pallida cultivated for four years in a North European climate were analyzed for seasonal variations in the concentrations of lipophilic constituents (alkamides, ketoalkenes- and alkynes) and phenolic acids by harvesting five times during one year to establish the optimal time for harvest. A total of 16 alkamides, two ketoalkenes, two ketoalkynes, and four phenolic acids (echinacoside, cichoric acid, caftaric acid, and chlorogenic acid) were identified in aqueous ethanolic (70%) extracts by LC-MS and quantified by RP-HPLC. The major alkamides in the roots of E. purpurea were at their lowest concentration in the middle of autumn and early winter and the total concentration of lipophilic compounds in E. pallida showed the same pattern. Moreover, all the major phenolic acids in E. purpurea were at their highest concentrations in spring. Optimal harvest time in spring is in contrast to normal growing guidelines and hence, this specific information of seasonal variations in the concentrations of lipophilic and phenolic compounds in E. purpurea and E. pallida is valuable for research, farmers, and producers of medicinal preparations.

Concepts: Concentration, Chemical properties, Harvest, Echinacea, Caffeic acid, Cichoric acid, Phenols


This study sought to investigate and compare the interaction of caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and some pro-oxidants (FeSO(4), sodium nitroprusside and quinolinic acid) induced oxidative stress in rat brain in vitro. The result revealed that caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid inhibited AChE and BChE activities in dose-dependent manner; however, caffeic acid had a higher inhibitory effect on AChE and BChE activities than chlorogenic acid. Combination of the phenolic acids inhibited AChE and BChE activities antagonistically. Furthermore, pro-oxidants such as, FeSO(4), sodium nitroprusside and quinolinic acid caused increase in the malondialdehyde (MDA) contents of the brain which was significantly decreased dose-dependently by the phenolic acids. Inhibition of AChE and BChE activities slows down acetylcholine and butyrylcholine breakdown in the brain. Therefore, one possible mechanism through which the phenolic acids exert their neuroprotective properties is by inhibiting AChE and BChE activities as well as preventing oxidative stress-induced neurodegeneration. However, esterification of caffeic acid with quinic acid producing chlorogenic acid affects these neuroprotective properties.

Concepts: Enzyme, Oxidative stress, Neurology, Acetylcholine, Caffeic acid, Carboxylic acids, Chlorogenic acid, Quinic acid


INTRODUCTION: Echinacea preparations are among the most popular herbal remedies worldwide. Although it is generally assigned immune enhancement activities, the effectiveness of Echinacea is highly dependent on the Echinacea species, part of the plant used, the age of the plant, its location and the method of extraction. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the capacity of an artificial neural network (ANN) to analyse thin-layer chromatography (TLC) chromatograms as fingerprint patterns for quantitative estimation of three phenylpropanoid markers (chicoric acid, chlorogenic acid and echinacoside) in commercial Echinacea products. MATERIAL AND METHODS: By applying samples with different weight ratios of marker compounds to the system, a database of chromatograms was constructed. One hundred and one signal intensities in each of the TLC chromatograms were correlated to the amounts of applied echinacoside, chlorogenic acid and chicoric acid using an ANN. RESULTS: The developed ANN correlation was used to quantify the amounts of three marker compounds in Echinacea commercial formulations. The minimum quantifiable level of 63, 154 and 98 ng and the limit of detection of 19, 46 and 29 ng were established for echinacoside, chlorogenic acid and chicoric acid respectively. CONCLUSION: A novel method for quality control of herbal products, based on TLC separation, high-resolution digital plate imaging and ANN data analysis has been developed. The method proposed can be adopted for routine evaluation of the phytochemical variability in Echinacea formulations available in the market. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Concepts: Chromatography, Echinacea, Caffeic acid, Herbalism, Cichoric acid, Neural network, Artificial neural network, Herb


A high-performance liquid chromatographic method with gradient elution and diode-array detection was developed to quantify free phenolic acids (gallic, vanillic, chlorogenic, caffeic, syringic, p-coumaric, ferulic, sinapic, salycilic, elagic and trans-cinnamic), flavonoids (catechin, epicatechin, rutin, myricetin and quercetin) and juglone in walnut leaves. Chromatographic separation was performed on a Hypersil Gold C18 column (5 µm particle size, 250 × 4.6 mm) and detection was conducted at three different wavelengths (254, 278 and 300 nm) according to the absorption maxima of the analyzed compounds. Validation procedures were conducted and the method was proven to be precise, accurate and sensitive. The developed method has been applied to analyze walnut leaves samples from nine different cultivars, with the same agricultural, geographical and climatic conditions. The experimental results revealed high concentrations of myricetin, catechin hydrate and rutin, and low concentrations of quercetin and epicatechin aglycones. Ellagic acid was established as the dominating phenolic acid of walnut leaves, followed by trans-cinnamic, chlorogenic and caffeic acids. Juglone content varied between 44.55 and 205.12 mg/100 g fresh weight. Significant differences were detected among cultivars for the concentration levels of phenolics.

Concepts: Chromatography, Catechin, Quercetin, Flavonoid, Caffeic acid, Phenols, Phenolic compounds in wine, Myricetin