Recent Patents on Biotechnology (v.8, #3)

UV Sunscreens of Microbial Origin: Mycosporines and Mycosporine- like Aminoacids by Fernando Colabella, Martin Moline, Diego Libkind (179-193).
Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is harmful to living organisms, causing damage to macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, proteins and lipids. Depending on the wavelength, the injury could be direct or indirect through reactive oxygen intermediates, so it is desirable to find compounds that can reduce both. Many organic chemicals used in commercial sunscreen possess estrogenic activity in vivo. In this report we analyzed recent patents related to UV sunscreens of microbial origin, in particular mycosporines (MYC) and mycosporine-like aminoacids (MAA). Both are promising natural alternatives for both direct (UV-absorption) and indirect (antioxidant) protection, given they show strong photostability and absence of cytotoxicity. It becomes clear that although the search for natural photoprotective molecules is relatively recent, efforts have been invested mainly in marine environments, remaining still many potential photoprotective molecules to find in other type of habitats. Furthermore, unicellular microorganisms have several advantages for the production of metabolites of interest, since they improve the production costs due to its simplicity of culture and easy genetic manipulation. The knowledge of the biosynthesis pathway of MYC and MAA is essential to improve rationally their expression levels. Currently, only the MAA pathway in bacteria has been reported, remaining the MYC pathway unclear. Future perspectives include the heterologous expression of MYC and/or MAA in industrially friendly microorganisms (bacteria and yeast) in order to co-produce different UV-protective molecules and thus cover a broader UV spectrum and simplify the production process.

Phytol a Natural Diterpenoid with Pharmacological Applications on Central Nervous System: A Review by Jessica Pereira Costa, Johanssy da Silva Oliveira, Luis Mario Rezende Junior, Rivelilson Mendes de Freitas (194-205).
Phytol (3,7,11,15-tetramethylhexadec-2-en-1-ol), a diterpene member of long and ramified chain of unsaturated acyclic alcohols. The objective of study was to conduct a systematic review of this diterpene and its pharmaceutical applications in Nervous System diseases in humans and/or rodents. Periodicals bases, such as ScienceDirect and PubMed, were used, as well as technological basis of European Patent Office, World Intellectual Property Organization, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Derwent Innovations Index®, Latin American Bank of Patents and data base of Instituto Nacional de Propriedade Industrial (INPI-National Institute of Industrial Property). The software EndNote-X5 was utilized as reference with the keywords: phytol, anxiolytic, antidepressant and anticonvulsant and their correlations in English, Spanish and Portuguese from January 2003 to June 2014. There are many publications on phytol in international literature. However, there is a reduced number of articles related to pharmacological activities proposed here. In reference to technological bases, patents present a wide range of pharmacological and commercial applications as cosmetics, hypolipodemic, anxiolytic and antidepressant. Therefore, it is necessary to explore phytol molecules, which present high pharmacological potential from scientific and technological points of view, in search of transference of technologies to generate economical and industrial growth.

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a central nervous system depressant endogenously produced and also employed as a recreational drug of abuse since the 90s, attracting notable attention particularly in those cases of drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA). The implication of GHB among DFSA cases generates numerous concerns, making the interpretation of the toxicological findings often significantly difficult. In this review the Authors have explored GHB behaviour in ante-mortem and post-mortem specimens, taking into consideration its endogenous production, the post mortem interval, the time between sampling and analysis, the storage conditions (temperature and presence/absence of preservatives) and the usefulness of alternative matrices such as hair, bile and vitreous humour. Moreover, the cut-off values currently recommended in forensic toxicology in order to discriminate between endogenous and exogenous levels have been examined.

The paper presents the dynamic association of several gradients of separation with electrophoresis and the laboratory implementation of a prototype device for dynamic electrochromatography in a centrifugal and electromagnetic gradient (DECGOE), based on patent PL171643. The object of the study was to compare the separation capacity and repeatability of the location of edge parameters (xx(1), yy(1), d) of the contours of a proteinogram fraction for conventional electrophoresis (EF), radial SR-DECGOE separation and three variants of radial-transverse SR-SPM, SR-SPE, SRSPRRM distribution as well as the reproducibility of the following prototype parameters: PV(1), PV(2), PV(3)[V] potentials, PV(3)[F] frequency, ω(1) and ω(2) rotational speed, MC mixer chamber buffer [pH] and volume[ml], and B [T] magnetic induction. Human blood serum was used in the study, 50 samples for each separation type. The highest rate of fraction formation was registered for the SR-SPRRM (8,07/s) variant. The percentage values of standard deviations for the edge parameters of proteinograms were the lowest for conventional electrophoresis (EF), slightly higher for radial distribution SR, while among the radial-transverse separations, the highest accuracy was obtained for the SR-SPRRM variant.

Recent Patents on Medicinal Plants/Natural Products as a Therapeutic Approach to Wounds and Burns Healing by Mairim Russo Serafini, Adriana Gibara Guimaraes, Lucindo Jose Quintans-Junior, Paula Santos Nunes, Isabella Goncalves Matos, Shanmugam Saravanan, Adriano Antunes de Souza Araujo (231-239).
For healing wounds, burns and ulcers has a great impact on economy. New medications, technologies and other interventions are being used for skin injuries and to eliminate infections. Despite several technological and strategic advances in this field, wound care has returned to the roots of medicine and some of the remedies used millennia ago have been studied at present. This review gives an awareness of commercially available drugs to healing of wounds from natural origin. The research was conducted based on the requests for patents deposited in the Espacenet (European Patent Office) and in the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). The research focused on exploring the uses of medicinal plants/natural products as a therapeutic approach to wounds and burns healing. Further, this study discusses the recent trends in the usage of natural products in topical formulations and the patents on it were reviewed, in addition to, future investigations and application of natural products in healing of wounds. Natural products have great therapeutic potential and should be used in the development of new products for the treatment of skin injuries.

Patent Selections: (240-243).