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Antiglycant potential of fruit residues in the northeast, via inhibition of selected enzymes and analysis of hemoglobin glycation

Grant number: 23/14257-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Program to Stimulate Scientific Vocations
Effective date (Start): January 15, 2024
Effective date (End): March 05, 2024
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Marília Oliveira Fonsec Goulart
Grantee:Sarah Helena Cristina da Silva Martins
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e Naturais. Universidade Federal de Alagoas (UFAL). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Maceió , SP, Brazil


The group in Alagoas is consolidated in terms of adding value to the residues of the Northeastern agroindustry, with studies published in a series of articles and patents, having revealed new uses for known products and substances. It is important to note that fruit processing industries generate large amounts of waste, which is often disposed of in landfills or underutilized in animal feed, and can therefore contribute to the bioeconomy and sustainability. Laboratory investigations of some extracts, including passion fruit seeds (Passiflora edulis) led to results of academic and technological relevance, which, together with the use of natural products (curcumin, flavonoids, and others) and synthetic ones (N-acetylcysteine), were the basis for human clinical studies in ulcerative colitis and preeclampsia, with encouraging and potentially useful results concerning the SUS.The choice of jabuticaba (Plinia cauliflora), in addition to being a fruit of high consumption in Brazil, was also guided by the existence of jabuticaba trees, in Serra das Pias (Alagoas), which are traditional crops that pass from generation to generation. The initial steps of the project refer to the performance of antiglycant assays (see group reviews), in terms of inhibitors of the formation of advanced glycation products (AGEs). The approach holds promise in both preventing and treating complications associated with diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, and other conditions related to the accumulation of AGEs.Despite the growing scientific interest and investment in anti-AGE therapies, it is notable that few studies focus on evaluating the structural changes in proteins resulting from glycation. It is essential not only to investigate the ability to inhibit the formation of AGEs, preserve on of free amine groups of proteins before and after glycation. It is also necessary to carry out a more comprehensive analysis to obtain an "antiglycant profile" of the compound or extract under study. This includes observing which modifications in the native structure of protein (hemoglobin)and avoided or reduced, whether there is prevention of the formation of fibrillar aggregates resulting from glycation, since these are related to neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, it is crucial to verify that the compound protects the heme group of hemoglobin, not compromising its main function, which is oxygen transport, and that it is capable of capturing ±-dicarbonic compounds, such as methylglyoxal, acting in the intermediate phase of glycation. Additionally, it is relevant to verify whether it can inhibit or reduce the formation of glycation-induced reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ERONs). In this context, our proposal aims to evaluate jabuticaba residues,using peel and seed, by means of in vitro assays to determine its antidiabetic and antiglycant activity and its ability to attenuate the structural alterations of hemoglobin submitted to glycation. This research represents a potentially valuable strategy in the development of herbal medicines, providing a solid foundation for the creation of new glycation inhibitors. It is expected to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of these compounds in the context of glycation-related complications. The project falls under two priority areas of MCTIC: Technologies for Sustainable Development (bioeconomy and solid waste treatment and recycling). The project also falls within the area of Technologies for Quality of Life. Carrying out these experiments will allow the scholarship holder to obtain numerous experimental skills, combined with a conceptual understanding in the area. (AU)

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