El-Seedi, H. R., S. A. M. Khalifa, E. A. Taher, M. A. Farag, A. Saeed, M. Gamal, M. - E. F. Hegazy, D. Youssef, S. G. Musharraf, M. M. Alajlani, et al., "Cardenolides: Insights from chemical structure and pharmacological utility.", Pharmacological research, vol. 141, pp. 123-175, 2018 Dec 21. Abstract

Cardiac glycosides (CGs) are a class of naturally occurring steroid-like compounds, and members of this class have been in clinical use for more than 1500 years. They have been used in folk medicine as arrow poisons, abortifacients, heart tonics, emetics, and diuretics as well as in other applications. The major use of CGs today is based on their ability to inhibit the membrane-bound Na/K-ATPase enzyme, and they are regarded as an effective treatment for congestive heart failure (CHF), cardiac arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation. Furthermore, increasing evidence has indicated the potential cytotoxic effects of CGs against various types of cancer. In this review, we highlight some of the structural features of this class of natural products that are crucial for their efficacy, some methods of isolating these compounds from natural resources, and the structural elucidation tools that have been used. We also describe their physicochemical properties and several modern biotechnological approaches for preparing CGs that do not require plant sources.

Rasheed, D. M., A. Porzel, A. Frolov, H. R. El Seedi, L. A. Wessjohann, and M. A. Farag, "Comparative analysis of Hibiscus sabdariffa (roselle) hot and cold extracts in respect to their potential for α-glucosidase inhibition.", Food chemistry, vol. 250, pp. 236-244, 2018 Jun 01. Abstract

Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a functional food with potential health benefits, consumed either as hot or cold beverage. To ensure quality control of its various products, accurate measurement of active metabolites is warranted. Herein, we propose a combination of ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analytical platforms for the untargeted characterization of metabolites in two roselle cultivars, Aswan and Sudan-1. The analyses revealed 33 metabolites, including sugars, flavonoids, anthocyanins, phenolic and aliphatic organic acids. Their relative contents in cultivars were assessed via principle component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal projection to latent structures analysis (OPLS). Impact of the different extraction methods (decoction, infusion and maceration) was compared by quantitative H NMR spectroscopy, revealing cold maceration to be optimal for preserving anthocyanins, whereas infusion was more suited for recovering organic acids. The metabolite pattern revealed by the different extraction methods was found in good correlation for their ability to inhibit α-glucosidase enzyme.

Farag, M. A., A. R. Khattab, A. Ehrlich, M. Kropf, A. G. Heiss, and L. A. Wessjohann, "Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry-Based Metabolite Profiling of Nutrients and Antinutrients in Eight Lens and Lupinus Seeds (Fabaceae).", Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, vol. 66, issue 16, pp. 4267-4280, 2018 Apr 25. Abstract

Lens culinaris and several Lupinus species are two legumes regarded as potential protein resources aside from their richness in phytochemicals. Consequently, characterization of their metabolite composition seems warranted to be considered as a sustainable commercial functional food. This study presents a discriminatory holistic approach for metabolite profiling in accessions of four lentil cultivars and four Lupinus species via gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. A total of 107 metabolites were identified, encompassing organic and amino acids, sugars, and sterols, along with antinutrients, viz., alkaloids and sugar phosphates. Among the examined specimens, four nutritionally valuable accessions ought to be prioritized for future breeding to include Lupinus hispanicus, enriched in organic ( ca. 11.7%) and amino acids ( ca. 5%), and Lupinus angustifolius, rich in sucrose ( ca. 40%), along with two dark-colored lentil cultivars 'verte du Puy' and 'Black Beluga' enriched in peptides. Antinutrient chemicals were observed in Lupinus polyphyllus, owing to its high alkaloid content. Several species-specific markers were also revealed using multivariate data analyses.

Farag, M. A., A. Meyer, S. E. Ali, M. A. Salem, P. Giavalisco, H. Westphal, and L. A. Wessjohann, "Comparative Metabolomics Approach Detects Stress-Specific Responses during Coral Bleaching in Soft Corals.", Journal of proteome research, vol. 17, issue 6, pp. 2060-2071, 2018 Jun 01. Abstract

Chronic exposure to ocean acidification and elevated sea-surface temperatures pose significant stress to marine ecosystems. This in turn necessitates costly acclimation responses in corals in both the symbiont and host, with a reorganization of cell metabolism and structure. A large-scale untargeted metabolomics approach comprising gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and ultraperformance liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) was applied to profile the metabolite composition of the soft coral Sarcophyton ehrenbergi and its dinoflagellate symbiont. Metabolite profiling compared ambient conditions with response to simulated climate change stressors and with the sister species, S. glaucum. Among ∼300 monitored metabolites, 13 metabolites were modulated. Incubation experiments providing four selected upregulated metabolites (alanine, GABA, nicotinic acid, and proline) in the culturing water failed to subside the bleaching response at temperature-induced stress, despite their known ability to mitigate heat stress in plants or animals. Thus, the results hint to metabolite accumulation (marker) during heat stress. This study provides the first detailed map of metabolic pathways transition in corals in response to different environmental stresses, accounting for the superior thermal tolerance of S. ehrenbergi versus S. glaucum, which can ultimately help maintain a viable symbiosis and mitigate against coral bleaching.

Farag, M. A., M. F. Elsebai, and A. R. Khattab, "Metabolome based classification of artichoke leaf: A prospect for phyto-equivalency of its different leaf origins and commercial preparations.", Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis, vol. 158, pp. 151-159, 2018 Sep 05. Abstract

The growing interest in assuring phytomedicines efficacy and moreover the increase in requirements for its safety drive the development of analytical methods for its quality control assurance. Herein, we present a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) fingerprinting approach of artichoke leaf material from different origins and in its commercial preparations. Under optimized conditions, we were able to simultaneously identify 23 metabolites including sugars, amino and organic acids, sesquiterpene lactones, flavones, cinnamates, inulin, fatty acids and nitrogenous bases. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to reveal for differences among artichoke specimens. PCA score plot derived from the aromatic region (5-10 ppm) provided better classification model than that of full scan (0-10 ppm), and revealing for enrichment of wild Egyptian and Tanzanian artichoke in sesquiterpene viz. aguerin B versus O-caffeoylquinic acid and luteolin abundance in cultivated leaf. PCA analysis of 3 commercial artichoke preparations showed discrimination of a silymarin-containing capsule suggesting that NMR can distinguish liver-aid herbal preparations based on its different chemical composition. Quantitative H NMR (qHNMR) was further employed to assess major metabolites levels and revealing for the enrichment of cultivated plants in cinnamates viz. (E)-cinnamaldehyde (1.1 mg/g) and O-caffeoyl quinic acid (15.09 mg/g,). To the best of our knowledge, this study provides the first approach utilizing NMR fingerprinting to assess for phytoequivalency among artichoke leaf and in its preparations.

Farag, M. A., N. m Fayek, and I. Abou Reidah, "Volatile profiling in fruit (sumac) from three different geographical origins and upon roasting as analyzed via solid-phase microextraction.", PeerJ, vol. 6, pp. e5121, 2018. Abstract

(sumac) is a fruit grown worldwide for its culinary use as a flavoring agent and for its health benefits. Despite several studies on non-volatile metabolites, much less is recognized concerning volatile composition within that genus. In an effort to expand on flavor profile sumac and its food products, we report on volatile profiling from three accessions of different origins including Palestine, Jordan and Egypt in addition to its cold tea and post roasting via headspace solid-phase microextraction (SPME). Under optimized conditions, 74 volatile components were identified belonging to alcohols, aromatics, esters, ethers, furan/aldehyde, hydrocarbons, ketones, monoterpenes, oxides and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons. Major identified components included α-pinene, naphthalene and o-cymene in Palestinian, Jordanian and Egyptian sumac, respectively. Whereas sesquiterpenes amounted for the major volatile class in fresh at ca. 40-58%, furan/aldehydes were the predominant classes in roasted fruits (58%). Volatile abundance data was further subjected to multivariate data analyses revealing furfural and nonanal enrichment in roasted compared to fresh fruits and their cold tea preparation. Seeds exhibited no aroma components which justified their removal in prior to its use as a food flavor. Such knowledge is expected to be the key for understanding the olfactory and taste properties of and its several food products.

Taleb, M. H., N. F. Abdeltawab, R. N. Shamma, S. S. Abdelgayed, S. S. Mohamed, M. A. Farag, and M. A. Ramadan, "L. Essential Oil as a Potential Anti-Acne Topical Nanoemulsion-In Vitro and In Vivo Study.", Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), vol. 23, issue 9, 2018 Aug 28. Abstract

Antibiotics are often prescribed in acne treatment; however, and , the two of the major acne-associated bacteria, developed antibiotic resistance. Essential oils (EOs) present a natural, safe, efficacious and multifunctional alternative treatment. This study aimed to assess the potential anti-acne activity of selected seven EOs commonly used in Mediterranean folk medicine. Antimicrobial activity screening of these oils showed oregano to exhibit the strongest antimicrobial activity with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 0.34 mg/mL and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of 0.67 mg/mL against ; and MIC of 0.67 mg/mL and MBC of 1.34 mg/mL against . The composition of the most effective EOs (oregano and thyme) was determined using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Monoterpenoid phenols predominated oregano and thyme EO with thymol percentile 99 and 72, respectively. Thymol showed MIC 0.70 mg/mL against both and whereas MBC was 1.40 and 2.80 mg/mL against and , respectively. Moreover, oregano exhibited the strongest anti-biofilm effect against with MBIC 1.34 mg/mL and killing dynamic time of 12 and 8 h against and , respectively. Oregano, the most effective EO, was formulated and tested as a nanoemulsion in an acne animal mouse model. The formulation showed superior healing and antimicrobial effects compared to the reference antibiotic. Collectively, our data suggested that oregano oil nanoemulsion is a potential natural and effective alternative for treating acne and overcoming the emerging antibiotic resistance.

Elmassry, M. M., L. Kormod, R. M. Labib, and M. A. Farag, "Metabolome based volatiles mapping of roasted umbelliferous fruits aroma via HS-SPME GC/MS and peroxide levels analyses.", Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences, vol. 1099, pp. 117-126, 2018 Nov 01. Abstract

Despite studies on umbelliferous fruits flavor makeup, nothing is known regarding roasting impact on their fruit aroma. Five major umbelliferous crops viz., anise, caraway, coriander, cumin and fennel were analyzed via headspace solid-phase microextraction to reveal for 117 volatile constituents. Oxygenated monoterpenes amounted for the major volatile class in raw fruits at 75% with (E)-anethole, carvone, β-linalool, cuminaldehyde and estragole as major components in anise, caraway, coriander, cumin, and fennel, respectively. Difference was observed in fennel fruit "estragole" levels derived from different origins. Upon roasting, several novel volatiles were detected viz. pyrazines and flavored Milliard type volatiles. Major flavor intensified response was detected in cumin with an increase in its "cuminaldehyde" levels versus a decrease of estragole levels in fennel. Roasted cumin exhibited highest peroxide value 14.2 mEq O/Kg, whereas the least was detected in fennel at 6.1 mEq O/Kg, though with both values not representing a health hazard.

Farag, M. A., M. M. Elmassry, and S. H. El-Ahmady, "The characterization of flavored hookahs aroma profile and in response to heating as analyzed via headspace solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and chemometrics.", Scientific reports, vol. 8, issue 1, pp. 17028, 2018 Nov 19. Abstract

Flavors profiling in flavored hookah tobacco is an issue of increasing scrutiny for the health sector owing to its adverse effects on humans, especially being heated to produce smoke. This study aims at tackling the components involved in the flavored hookah tobacco from a chemical and biological point of view. Detecting individual flavor compounds, within a complex hookah tobacco matrix was accomplished using headspace solid phase microextraction (SPME). A total of 114 volatiles were identified in 13 flavored hookah tobacco products, with esters amounting for the major component up to 40%. Whereas oxygenated monoterpenes presented another major volatile class, contributing up to 23%, including (E)-anethole. Superheating flavored hookah tobacco at 190 °C resulted in the release of a mixture of phenol derivatives and polycyclic aromatic compounds that are indicative of coal tar, a major component produced during hookah tobacco usage with potential health hazards. This study provides the first comprehensive volatile profile of hookah tobacco products from different origins identifying chemical components involved in flavors. It is expected to serve as informative grounds for the better understanding of hookah tobacco production and usage. The information presented is also expected to raise awareness on the health risks of hookah tobacco smoking.

Dias, C. N., F. MA, and J. M. B. Filho, "Phenolics metabolism provides a tool for screening drought tolerant Eucalyptus grandis hybrids", Australian journal of crop science, vol. 11, pp. 1016-1024, 2017. farag_et_al_australian_j_crop_science_2017.pdf