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  • Author or Editor: D. D. Wu x
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The present study was performed to investigate the effect of β-aminobutyric acid (BABA) treatment on defence activation in grape berries and to analyse its cellular mechanism. The results implied that BABA treatment at an effective concentration of 20 mM significantly inhibited gray mould rot caused by Botrytis cinerea in grape berries by inducing resistance. Accordingly, 20 mM BABA triggered a priming defence in grape suspension cells, since only the BABA-treated cells exhibited an accelerated ability for augmenting defence responses upon the pathogen inoculation. The primed cellular reactions were related to an early H2O2 burst, prompt accumulation of stilbene phytoalexins and activation of PR genes. Thus, we assume that 20 mM BABA can induce resistance to B. cinerea infection in intact grape berries perhaps via intercellular priming defence. Moreover, the BABA-induced priming defence is verified, because no negative effects on cell growth, anthocyanin synthesis, and quality impairment in either grape cells or intact berries were observed under low pathogenic pressure.

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Changes in microbial population, pH, sugar, organic acid, anthocyanins, total soluble phenolics, and anti-glucosidase contents were measured during fermentation of mulberry juice at 30 °C by probiotic Leuconostoc mesenteroides showing rapid growth after an approximately 1-day lag phase and reaching a maximum of 8.6 log CFU ml−1 after 4 d. During the rapid growth phase, the main mulberry juice sugars, glucose and fructose, were largely consumed, and the acidic metabolites, lactic acid and acetic acid, were produced accordingly. A slow decrease in the concentration of the main organic acid, citric acid, was also observed during fermentation. After 4 d fermentation, anthocyanin content showed a 44.4% reduction, but the total amount of soluble phenolics and α-glucosidase inhibitory activity showed no significant changes (P>0.05). This suggests that L. mesenteroides fermentation of mulberry juice is a good strategy to enhance its probiotic value and to decrease the sugar content without changing the anti-glucosidase activity, which is required to reduce postprandial rise in blood glucose.

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Analysis of the binding interaction of (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and pepsin is important for understanding the inhibition of digestive enzymes by tea polyphenols. We studied the binding of EGCG to pepsin using fluorescence spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, isothermal titration calorimetry, and protein-ligand docking. We found that EGCG could inhibit pepsin activity. According to thermodynamic parameters, a negative ΔG indicated that the interaction between EGCG and pepsin was spontaneous, and the electrostatic force accompanied by hydrophobic binding forces may play major role in the binding. Data from multi-spectroscopy and docking studies suggest that EGCG could bind pepsin with a change in the native conformation of pepsin. Our results provide further understanding of the nature of the binding interactions between catechins and digestive enzymes.

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The inhibitory effects of phytic acid (PA) on the browning of fresh-cut chestnuts and the associated mechanisms of PA on polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase (POD) activities were investigated. The enzymatic browning of chestnut surfaces and interiors was suppressed by soaking shelled and sliced chestnuts in a PA solution. The specific activities of PPO and POD extracted from chestnuts declined due to inhibition by PA. PA was determined to be a competitive inhibitor of both PPO and POD by Lineweaver-Burk plots. The binding modes of PA with PPO and POD were analysed by AutoDock 4.2.

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