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Concept: Triarylmethane dyes


Beta-arrestins regulate G protein-coupled receptor signaling as competitive inhibitors and protein adaptors. Low molecular weight biased ligands that bind receptors and discriminate between the G protein dependent arm and beta-arrestin, clathrin-associated arm of receptor signaling are considered therapeutically valuable as a result of this distinctive pharmacological behavior. Other than receptor agonists, compounds that activate beta-arrestins are not available. We show that within minutes of exposure to the cationic triphenylmethane dyes malachite green and brilliant green, tissue culture cells recruit beta-arrestins to clathrin scaffolds in a receptor-activation independent manner. In the presence of these compounds G protein signaling is inhibited, ERK and GSK3β signaling are preserved, and the recruitment of the beta2-adaptin, AP2 adaptor complex to clathrin as well as transferrin internalization are reduced. Moreover, malachite green binds beta-arrestin2-GFP coated immunotrap beads relative to GFP only coated beads. Triphenylmethane dyes are FDA approved for topical use on newborns as components of triple-dye preparations, and are not approved but used effectively as aqueous antibiotics in fish husbandry. As possible carcinogens their chronic ingestion in food preparations, particularly through farmed fish, is discouraged in the US and Europe. Our results indicate triphenylmethane dyes as a result of novel pharmacology may have additional roles as beta-arrestin/clathrin pathway signaling modulators in both pharmacology research and clinical therapy.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Signal transduction, Cell membrane, Receptor antagonist, Membrane biology, Dye, G protein, Triarylmethane dyes


A biosorbent was developed by simple dried Agaricus bisporus (SDAB) and effectively used for the biosorption of cationic dyes, Crystal Violet and Brilliant Green.

Concepts: Dye, Dyes, Pigment, Mushroom, Triarylmethane dyes, Agaricus bisporus, Phthalocyanine


Purified laccase from Trametes polyzona WR710-1 was used as biocatalyst for bisphenol A biodegradation and decolorization of synthetic dyes. Degradation of bisphenol A by laccase with or without redox mediator, 1-hydroxybenzotriazole (HBT) was studied. The quantitative analysis by HPLC showed that bisphenol A rapidly oxidized by laccase with HBT. Bisphenol A was completely removed within 3 h and 4-isopropenylphenol was found as the oxidative degradation product from bisphenol A when identified by GC-MS. All synthetic dyes used in this experiment, Bromophenol Blue, Remazol Brilliant Blue R, Methyl Orange, Relative Black 5, Congo Red, and Acridine Orange were decolorized by Trametes laccase and the percentage of decolorization increased when 2 mM HBT was added in the reaction mixture. This is the first report showing that laccase from T. polyzona is an affective enzyme having high potential for environmental detoxification, bisphenol A degradation and synthetic dye decolorization.

Concepts: Enzyme, Redox, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, Dye, Triarylmethane dyes, Azo dyes, Acridine, Phthalocyanine


The characterization of a spore laccase from Bacillus vallismortis fmb-103, isolated from textile industry disposal sites, is described. The activity was 6.5U/g of dry spore with ABTS as the substrate. The enzyme was quite stable at high temperature. It retained more than 90% of its initial activity after 10h at 70°C. The enzyme demonstrated broad pH stability in both acidic and alkaline conditions. There was almost no activity loss at pH 3 over an extended period of time, and the relative activity remained at 82% and 38% at pH 7 and pH 9 after 10days. NaN(3), SDS, l-cysterine, Dithiothreitol, EDTA and NaCl inhibit the enzyme activity. Triphenylmethane dyes, including malachite green, brilliant green and aniline blue were efficiently degraded by the enzyme after 24h in combination with a mediator with efficiencies of 76.84%, 96.56% and 81.17%, respectively. The reusability of spore laccase for decolorization dyes was also examined.

Concepts: Acid, Enzyme, PH, Sodium hydroxide, Base, PH indicator, Triarylmethane dyes, Hydrochloric acid


The sorption of selected hydrophilic pH-sensitive dyes (bromophenol blue, bromothymol blue, bromocresol purple, alizarin red, methyl orange, congo red, rhodamine 6G) on films of anodized aluminium oxide (AAO) was investigated in this study. Depth and pore structure of the AAO channels were adjusted by changing electrolysis time and current density during treatment of aluminium foil in oxalic acid, sulfosalycilic acid and sulfuric acid at concentration levels between 0.2 and 0.6 M. The dyes were immobilized on the AAO surface by direct saturation of the films in dye solutions. It was shown by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray spectral analysis that the dyes penetrated into the AAO channels by more than 1.5 μm, even at static saturation conditions. The anionic dyes linked to the porous AAO surface exhibited differential shifts of the UV absorption bands in their acidic/basic forms. By combining several dyes, the films have an application range between pH = 0.5-9 in aqueous media. The dye-modified AAO film was a simple, portable, inexpensive and reusable pH sensor with very fast response time and clear colour transitions.

Concepts: Electron, Oxygen, Aluminium, Sodium hydroxide, Electrolysis, PH indicator, Triarylmethane dyes, PH indicators


The food dye FD&C Blue No. 1 (Brilliant Blue FCF [BB FCF]) is structurally similar to the purinergic receptor antagonist Brilliant Blue G (BBG), which is a well-known inhibitor of the ionotropic P2X7 receptor (P2X7R). The P2X7R functionally interacts with the membrane channel protein pannexin 1 (Panx1) in inflammasome signaling. Intriguingly, ligands to the P2X7R, regardless of whether they are acting as agonists or antagonists at the receptor, inhibit Panx1 channels. Thus, because both P2X7R and Panx1 are inhibited by BBG, the diagnostic value of the drug is limited. Here, we show that the food dye BB FCF is a selective inhibitor of Panx1 channels, with an IC50 of 0.27 µM. No significant effect was observed with concentrations as high as 100 µM of BB FCF on P2X7R. Differing by just one hydroxyl group from BB FCF, the food dye FD&C Green No. 3 exhibited similar selective inhibition of Panx1 channels. A reverse selectivity was observed for the P2X7R antagonist, oxidized ATP, which in contrast to other P2X7R antagonists had no significant inhibitory effect on Panx1 channels.Based on its selective action, BB FCF can be added to the repertoire of drugs to study the physiology of Panx1 channels. Furthermore, because Panx1 channels appear to be involved directly or indirectly through P2X7Rs in several disorders, BB FCF and derivatives of this “safe” food dye should be given serious consideration for pharmacological intervention of conditions such as acute Crohn’s disease, stroke, and injuries to the central nervous system.

Concepts: Nervous system, Pharmacology, Signal transduction, Receptor, Receptor antagonist, Agonist, Inverse agonist, Triarylmethane dyes


A mycoremedial study was undertaken for decolourization of synthetic dyes using wood rot fungal culture Lenzites elegans WDP2. The culture was isolated from decaying wood as fruiting body, and identified on the basis of 5.8S ITS rRNA gene sequence analysis. Qualitative plate screening of culture showed extracellular laccase and lignin peroxidase production, while only laccase enzyme was produced in higher amount (156.793 Uml-1) in minimal salt broth medium containing glucose and veratryl alcohol. Laccase activity was increased up to 189.25 Uml-1 after optimization of laccase production by optimization of one variable at a time approach. Molecular characterization of laccase enzyme was done using SDS PAGE and Native PAGE based isozyme analyses. The culture was able to decolorize three synthetic dying compounds (congo red, Malachite green and brilliant green) in broth media, while showed very less decolourization in plate assay. The fungal culture varied in their dye decolourizing potential in broth culture, showing 92.77%, 21.27% and 98.8% maximum decolourization of brilliant green, malachite green and congo red respectively. The congo red dye was completely bio-absorbed by fungal culture within one month. The fungal decolourized broth also revealed the extracellular laccase activity; varied from 10 Uml-1 to 68.5 Uml-1 in all the three cases, supports the involvement of laccase enzyme in decolorization. Phase contrast microscopy clearly revealed bio-sorption of the dyes by fungal culture into the mycelium/spores in the photomicrographs.

Concepts: Molecular biology, Enzyme, RNA, Ribosomal RNA, SDS-PAGE, Dye, Triarylmethane dyes, Ligninase


Detection of triphenylmethane dyes (TDs), especially the widely used malachite green (MG) and crystal violet (CV), plays an important role in safety control of aquatic products. There are two chromatic forms of TDs: oxidized or reduced. Usually, only one form can be detected by reported ELISA antibodies. In this article, molecular shape superimposing and quantum mechanics calculation were employed to elucidate the differences between MG, CV, and their reduced chromatic forms (leucomalachite green, LMG and leucocrystal violet, LCV). A potential hapten was rationally designed and synthesized. Polyclonal antibodies were raised through immunizing New Zealand white rabbits and BALB/C mice. We tested the cross-reactivity ratios between the hapten and TDs. The cross-reactivity ratios were correlated with the difference in surface electrostatic potential. The determination coefficients (r²) of the correlations are 0.901 and 0.813 for the rabbit and mouse antibody, respectively. According to this linear model, the significant difference in the atomic charge seemed to make it impossible to find a hapten that can produce antibodies with good cross-reactivities with both reduced and oxidized TDs.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Electric field, Polyclonal antibodies, Atom, Staining, Rabbit, Triarylmethane dyes


Inhibition of amyloid formation along with modulation of toxicity employing small molecules is emerging as a potential therapeutic approach for protein misfolding disorders which includes Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Multiple System Atrophy etc. Countless current interventional strategies for treating α-synucleinopathies consider using peptidic and non-peptidic inhibitors for arresting fibrillisation, disrupting existing fibrils and reducing associated toxicity. One group of molecules less exploited in this regard are triphenylmethane dyes. Herein we tested the inhibitory effect of two routinely used protein staining dyes viz Coomassie Brilliant blue G (CBBG) and Coomassie Brilliant blue R (CBBR) employing several biophysical and cell based methods. Our results showed that both the dyes not only efficiently inhibit fibrillisation but also disrupt existing fibrils. Nonetheless, only CBBR prevented the appearance of A11 epitopes which are marker of toxicity. Moreover, CBBR was also able to stall fibrillisation of A53T mutant α-synuclein and reduce associated neurotoxicity. This study thus reports the potential of CBBR as a therapeutic molecule.

Concepts: Gel electrophoresis, Neurology, Parkinson's disease, Enzyme inhibitor, Inhibitor, Triarylmethane dyes, Coomassie, Staining dyes


In this work, we prepared 90-nm-thick Ti3C2Tx-graphene oxide (GO) membranes laminated on a porous support by mixing GO with Ti3C2Tx. This process was chosen to prevent the penetration of target molecules through inter-edge defects or voids with poor packing. The lattice period of the prepared membrane was 14.28 Å, as being swelled with water, resulting in an effective interlayer spacing of around 5 Å, which corresponds to two layers of water molecules. The composite membranes effectively rejected dye molecules with hydrated radii above 5 Å, as well as positively charged dye molecules, during pressure-driven filtration at 5 bar. Rejection rates were 68% for methyl red, 99.5% for methylene blue, 93.5% for rose Bengal, and 100% for brilliant blue (hydrated radii of 4.87, 5.04, 5.88, and 7.98 Å, respectively). Additionally, the rejections of composite membrane were compared with GO membrane and Ti3C2Tx membrane.

Concepts: Oxygen, Electric charge, Water, Molecule, Atom, Ion, Triarylmethane dyes, Membrane