Technologies and experimental approaches at the National Institutes of Health Botanical Research Centers Journal Article


Authors: Barnes, S.; Birt, D. F.; Cassileth, B. R.; Cefalu, W. T.; Chilton, F. H.; Farnsworth, N. R.; Raskin, I.; Van Breemen, R. B.; Weaver, C. M.
Article Title: Technologies and experimental approaches at the National Institutes of Health Botanical Research Centers
Abstract: Many similarities exist between research on combinatorial chemistry and natural products and research on dietary supplements and botanicals at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Botanical Research Centers. The technologies used at the centers are similar to those used by other NIH-sponsored investigators. All centers rigorously examine the authenticity of botanical dietary supplements and determine the composition and concentrations of the phytochemicals therein, most often by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Several of the centers specialize in fractionation and high-throughput evaluation to identify the individual bioactive agent or a combination of agents. Some centers are using DNA microarray analyses to determine the effects of botanicals on gene transcription with the goal of uncovering the important biochemical pathways they regulate. Other centers focus on bioavailability and uptake, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of the phytochemicals as for all xenobiotics. Because phytochemicals are often complex molecules, synthesis of isotopically labeled forms is carried out by plant cells in culture, followed by careful fractionation. These labeled phytochemicals allow the use of accelerator mass spectrometry to trace the tissue distribution of 14C-labeled proanthocyanidins in animal models of disease. State-of-the-art proteomics and mass spectrometry are also used to identify proteins in selected tissues whose expression and posttranslational modification are influenced by botanicals and dietary supplements. In summary, the skills needed to carry out botanical centers' research are extensive andmay exceed those practiced by most NIH investigators. © 2008 American Society for Nutrition.
Keywords: protein expression; united states; conference paper; mass spectrometry; quality control; animals; genetic transcription; biotechnology; proteomics; diet supplementation; animalia; protein processing; drug distribution; drug uptake; tissue distribution; oligonucleotide array sequence analysis; tandem mass spectrometry; plant medicinal product; phytotherapy; drug bioavailability; dna microarray; drug metabolism; fractionation; natural product; electrophoresis, gel, two-dimensional; health care organization; concentration (parameters); liquid chromatography; national institutes of health (u.s.); bioavailability; biological availability; combinatorial chemistry; peptide mapping; chemical composition; proanthocyanidin; plants; 2d-gel electrophoresis; activity-guided fractionation; dna microarray analysis; isotopic labeling of phytochemicals in plant cell culture; peptide mass fingerprinting; xenobiotic agent; chemical fractionation; xenobiotics
Journal Title: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume: 87
Issue: 2
ISSN: 0002-9165
Publisher: American Society for Nutrition  
Date Published: 2008-01-02
Start Page: 476S
End Page: 480S
Language: English
PUBMED: 18258642
PROVIDER: scopus
PMCID: PMC2715852
DOI/URL:
Notes: --- - "Cited By (since 1996): 1" - "Export Date: 17 November 2011" - "CODEN: AJCNA" - "Source: Scopus"