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1 November 2003 The Alkaloid Brachycerine is Induced by Ultraviolet Radiation and is a Singlet Oxygen Quencher
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The effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation on chlorophyll content and accumulation of the anti-inflammatory monoterpene-indole alkaloid brachycerine in plants and calli of Psychotria brachyceras (Rubiaceae) were investigated. In this study, we also investigated a protective role for brachycerine against stress conditions. Calli and tip cuttings incubated in nutrient media were daily supplemented with 4 or 16 h of UV. High-performance liquid chromatography analyses of methanolic extracts showed only traces of brachycerine in irradiated aseptic cultures, with no alkaloid being observed in control calli. In cuttings, a 10-fold increase in brachycerine content was seen after exposure for 16 h to UV-C, whereas a 4 h daily supplementation doubled the amount of the alkaloid in leaves. Exposure to a UV-B source also doubled the alkaloid yield. In vitro brachycerine was able to quench singlet oxygen. The data indicate a potential protective role for brachycerine against UV radiation, acting as a UV filter (absorption peaks are within the UV range) and a reactive oxygen species scavenger. In addition, UV radiation may be used to increase yields of this compound of pharmaceutical interest.

Tatiana S. Gregianini, Vivian C. da Silveira, Diogo D. Porto, Vitor A. Kerber, Amelia T. Henriques, and Arthur G. Fett-Neto "The Alkaloid Brachycerine is Induced by Ultraviolet Radiation and is a Singlet Oxygen Quencher," Photochemistry and Photobiology 78(5), 470-474, (1 November 2003).<0470:TABIIB>2.0.CO;2
Received: 20 February 2003; Accepted: 1 August 2003; Published: 1 November 2003

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