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Concept: Carboxylic acid


Mefenamic acid, (MFA), a carboxylic acid-containing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) is metabolized into the chemically-reactive, MFA-1-O-acyl-glucuronide (MFA-1-O-G), MFA-acyl-adenylate (MFA-AMP), and the MFA-S-acyl-CoA (MFA-CoA), all of which are electrophilic and capable of acylating nucleophilic sites on biomolecules. In this study, we investigate the non-enzymatic ability of each MFA acyl-linked metabolite to transacylate amino and thiol functional groups on the acceptor biomolecules glycine (Gly), taurine (Tau), glutathione (GSH), and N-acetylcysteine (NAC). In vitro incubations with each of the MFA acyl-linked metabolites (1 μM) in buffer under physiological conditions with Gly, Tau, GSH, or NAC (10 mM) revealed that MFA-CoA was 11.5- and 19.5-fold more reactive than MFA-AMP towards the acylation of cysteine-sulfhydryl groups of GSH and NAC, respectively. However, MFA-AMP was more reactive towards both Gly and Tau, 17.5-fold more reactive towards the N-acyl-amidation of taurine than its corresponding CoA thioester, while MFA-CoA displayed little reactivity towards glycine. Additionally, MFA-GSH was 5.6- and 108-fold more reactive towards NAC than MFA-CoA and MFA-AMP, respectively. In comparison to MFA-AMP and MFA-CoA, MFA-1-O-G was not significantly reactive towards all four bionucleophiles. MFA-AMP, MFA-CoA, MFA-1-O-G, MFA-GSH, and MFA-Tau were also detected in rat in vitro hepatocyte MFA (100 μM) incubations while MFA-Gly was not. These results demonstrate that MFA-AMP selectively reacts nonenzymatically with the amino functional groups of glycine and lysine, MFA-CoA selectively reacts nonenzymatically with the thiol functional groups of GSH and NAC, and MFA-GSH reacts nonenzymatically with the thiol functional group of GSH, all of which may potentially elicit an idiosyncratic toxicity in vivo.

Concepts: Amino acid, Amine, Functional group, Disulfide bond, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Carboxylic acid


Currently, there is a search for substances that would be very well tolerated by an organism and which could contribute to the activation of the growth of Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria strains, with simultaneous inhibition of the growth of Firmicutes. High expectations in this regard are raised with the use of fiber preparations from starch - resistant corn dextrins, branched dextrins, resistant maltodextrins and soluble corn fiber. In this paper, the influence of fiber preparations made from corn starch was evaluated on growth and activity of Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Firmicutes strains isolated from obese children. It was demonstrated that in the stool of obese children Firmicutes strains predominate, while Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria strains were in the minority. A supplementation of fecal culture with fiber preparations did not cause any significant changes in the number of strains of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Addition of fiber preparations to the fecal samples of obese children increased the amount of short-chain fatty acids, especially acetic (p < 0.01), propionic, butyric (p = 0.05) and lactic acid (p < 0.01).

Concepts: Bacteria, Gut flora, Nutrition, Starch, Carboxylic acid, Maize, Butyric acid, Cornstarch


To date, most studies on the anti-inflammatory effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in humans have used a mixture of the 2 fatty acids in various forms and proportions.

Concepts: Fatty acid, Fatty acids, Omega-3 fatty acid, Anti-inflammatory, Carboxylic acid, Eicosapentaenoic acid, Docosahexaenoic acid, Prostaglandin


Thioesters and thioacetic acid (TAA) have been invoked as key reagents for the origin of life as activated forms of acetate analogous to acetyl-CoA. These species could have served as high-energy group-transfer reagents and allowed carbon insertions to form higher molecular weight compounds such as pyruvate. The apparent antiquity of the Wood-Ljungdahl CO2 fixation pathway and its presence in organisms which inhabit hydrothermal (HT) environments has also led to suggestions that there may be a connection between the abiotic chemistry of compounds similar to TAA and the origins of metabolism. These compounds' apparent chemical simplicity has made their prebiotic availability assumed, however, although the kinetic behavior and thermochemical properties of TAA and analogous esters have been preliminarily explored in other contexts, the geochemical relevance of these compounds merits further evaluation. Therefore, the chemical behavior of the simplest thiolated acetic acid derivatives, TAA and methylthioacetate (MTA) were explored here. Using laboratory measurements, literature data, and thermochemical models, we examine the plausibility of the accumulation of these compounds in various geological settings. Due to the high free energy change of their hydrolysis and corresponding low equilibrium constants, it is unlikely that these species could have accumulated abiotically to any significant extant.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Life, Molecule, Chemistry, Acid dissociation constant, Acetic acid, Carboxylic acid, Gibbs free energy


Solar-driven photocatalytic conversion of CO2 into fuels has attracted a lot of interest; however, developing active catalysts that can selectively convert CO2 to fuels with desirable reaction products remains a grand challenge. For instance, complete suppression of the competing H2 evolution during photocatalytic CO2-to-CO conversion has not been achieved before. We design and synthesize a spongy nickel-organic heterogeneous photocatalyst via a photochemical route. The catalyst has a crystalline network architecture with a high concentration of defects. It is highly active in converting CO2 to CO, with a production rate of ~1.6 × 10(4) μmol hour(-1) g(-1). No measurable H2 is generated during the reaction, leading to nearly 100% selective CO production over H2 evolution. When the spongy Ni-organic catalyst is enriched with Rh or Ag nanocrystals, the controlled photocatalytic CO2 reduction reactions generate formic acid and acetic acid. Achieving such a spongy nickel-organic photocatalyst is a critical step toward practical production of high-value multicarbon fuels using solar energy.

Concepts: Oxygen, Catalysis, Acetic acid, Solvent, Carboxylic acid, Carbon monoxide, Formic acid, Propionic acid


Rapeseed oil methyl ester (RME) and (bio)ethylene are converted into biofuel with an evenly rising boiling point curve, which fulfills the strict boiling specifications prescribed by the fuel standard EN 590 for modern (petro)diesel engines. Catalyzed by a Pd/Ru system, RME undergoes isomerizing metathesis in a stream of ethylene gas, leading to a defined olefin, monoester, and diester blend. This innovative refining concept requires negligible energy input (60°C) and no solvents and does not produce waste. It demonstrates that the pressing challenge of increasing the fraction of renewables in engine fuel may be addressed purely chemically rather than by motor engineering.

Concepts: Acetic acid, Carboxylic acid, Ester, Distillation, Methyl acetate, Internal combustion engine, Biodiesel, Banana


Wood ants fight pathogens by incorporating tree resin with antimicrobial properties into their nests. They also produce large quantities of formic acid in their venom gland, which they readily spray to defend or disinfect their nest. Mixing chemicals to produce powerful antibiotics is common practice in human medicine, yet evidence for the use of such “defensive cocktails” by animals remains scant. Here, we test the hypothesis that wood ants enhance the antifungal activity of tree resin by treating it with formic acid. In a series of experiments, we document that (i) tree resin had much higher inhibitory activity against the common entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum after having been in contact with ants, while no such effect was detected for other nest materials; (ii) wood ants applied significant amounts of endogenous formic and succinic acid on resin and other nest materials; and (iii) the application of synthetic formic acid greatly increased the antifungal activity of resin, but had no such effect when applied to inert glass material. Together, these results demonstrate that wood ants obtain an effective protection against a detrimental microorganism by mixing endogenous and plant-acquired chemical defenses. In conclusion, the ability to synergistically combine antimicrobial substances of diverse origins is not restricted to humans and may play an important role in insect societies.

Concepts: Microbiology, Plant, Carboxylic acid, Ant, Antimicrobial, Formic acid, Formica, Defense


We show that carbonaceous chondrite meteorites actively and selectively catalyze the formation of relevant prebiotic molecules from formamide in aqueous media. Specific catalytic behaviours are observed, depending on the origin and composition of the chondrites and on the type of water present in the system (activity: thermal > seawater > pure). We report the one-pot synthesis of all the natural nucleobases, of aminoacids and of eight carboxylic acids (forming, from pyruvic acid to citric acid, a continuous series encompassing a large part of the extant Krebs cycle). These data shape a general prebiotic scenario consisting of carbonaceous meteorites acting as catalysts and of a volcanic-like environment providing heat, thermal waters and formamide. This scenario also applies to the other solar system locations that experienced rich delivery of carbonaceous materials, and whose physical-chemical conditions could have allowed chemical evolution.

Concepts: Acid, Metabolism, Chondrite, Carbonaceous chondrite, Water, Hydrogen, Carboxylic acid, Citric acid


ABSTRACT A comprehensive analysis of 175 Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. dieffenbachiae strains isolated from 10 Araceae hosts was done to identify pathogen variation. The strains were subjected to repetitive extragenic palindromic sequence polymerase chain reaction and four major phylogenetic clusters were generated. A subset of 40 strains isolated from Anthurium, Dieffenbachia, and Syngonium was further defined by amplified fragment length polymorphism and fatty acid methyl ester analysis and the same four phylogenetic clusters were observed. Comparison of representative strains in the first three clusters using DNA-DNA hybridization and multilocus sequence analysis supports the previous reclassification of strains in cluster I, including the X. axonopodis pv. dieffenbachiae pathovar reference strain (LMG695), to X. citri. Our research findings indicate that strains in cluster I, isolated primarily from anthurium, probably represent an undescribed pathovar. Other phylogenetic subclusters consisting primarily of strains isolated from xanthosoma and philodendron in clusters III and IV, respectively, may yet represent other undescribed species or pathovars of Xanthomonas.

Concepts: DNA, Polymerase chain reaction, Molecular biology, Fatty acid, Carboxylic acid, Ester, Araceae, Araceae genera


Volatile fatty acids (VFA) can be used as the additional carbon source of biological nutrient removal (BNR), and the increase of propionic acid percentage in VFA has been reported to facilitate the performance of BNR. In this study a new method for significantly improving the propionic acid fraction in VFA derived from waste activated sludge was reported, which included (1) mixing food waste with sludge and pre-fermenting the mixture (first stage), and (2) separating the mixture, sterilizing the pre-fermentation liquid and fermenting it after inoculating Propionibacterium acidipropionici (second stage). By optimizing the first stage with response surface methodology, a propionic acid content of 68.4% with propionic acid concentration of 7.13 g COD/L could be reached in the second stage, which was much higher than that reported previously. Lactic acid was found to be the most abundant product of the first stage and it served as the substrate for propionic acid production in the second stage. Further investigation showed that during the first stage the addition of food waste to the pre-fermentation system of sludge significantly increased the generation of lactic acid due to the synergistic effect, which resulted in the improvement of propionic acid production in the second stage. Finally, the use of propionic acid-enriched VFA as a superior carbon source of BNR was tested, and its performance was observed to be much better than using acetic acid-enriched VFA derived from sludge by the previously documented method.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Acid, Acetic acid, Carboxylic acid, Lactic acid, Fermentation, Butyric acid, Propionic acid