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      Silymarin as a Natural Antioxidant: An Overview of the Current Evidence and Perspectives

      review-article

      1 , 2 , 3 , 4

      Antioxidants

      MDPI

      silymarin, silybin, silibinin, antioxidant, Nrf2, NF-κB, vitagenes, gut

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          Abstract

          Silymarin (SM), an extract from the Silybum marianum (milk thistle) plant containing various flavonolignans (with silybin being the major one), has received a tremendous amount of attention over the last decade as a herbal remedy for liver treatment. In many cases, the antioxidant properties of SM are considered to be responsible for its protective actions. Possible antioxidant mechanisms of SM are evaluated in this review. (1) Direct scavenging free radicals and chelating free Fe and Cu are mainly effective in the gut. (2) Preventing free radical formation by inhibiting specific ROS-producing enzymes, or improving an integrity of mitochondria in stress conditions, are of great importance. (3) Maintaining an optimal redox balance in the cell by activating a range of antioxidant enzymes and non-enzymatic antioxidants, mainly via Nrf2 activation is probably the main driving force of antioxidant (AO)  action of SM. (4) Decreasing inflammatory responses by inhibiting NF-κB pathways is an emerging mechanism of SM protective effects in liver toxicity and various liver diseases. (5) Activating vitagenes, responsible for synthesis of protective molecules, including heat shock proteins (HSPs), thioredoxin and sirtuins and providing additional protection in stress conditions deserves more attention. (6) Affecting the microenvironment of the gut, including SM-bacteria interactions, awaits future investigations. (7) In animal nutrition and disease prevention strategy, SM alone, or in combination with other hepatho-active compounds (carnitine, betaine, vitamin B 12, etc.), might have similar hepatoprotective effects as described in human nutrition.

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          Most cited references 272

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          The thioredoxin antioxidant system.

           Arne Holmgren,  Jun Lu (2013)
          The thioredoxin (Trx) system, which is composed of NADPH, thioredoxin reductase (TrxR), and thioredoxin, is a key antioxidant system in defense against oxidative stress through its disulfide reductase activity regulating protein dithiol/disulfide balance. The Trx system provides the electrons to thiol-dependent peroxidases (peroxiredoxins) to remove reactive oxygen and nitrogen species with a fast reaction rate. Trx antioxidant functions are also shown by involvement in DNA and protein repair by reducing ribonucleotide reductase, methionine sulfoxide reductases, and regulating the activity of many redox-sensitive transcription factors. Moreover, Trx systems play critical roles in the immune response, virus infection, and cell death via interaction with thioredoxin-interacting protein. In mammalian cells, the cytosolic and mitochondrial Trx systems, in which TrxRs are high molecular weight selenoenzymes, together with the glutathione-glutaredoxin (Grx) system (NADPH, glutathione reductase, GSH, and Grx) control the cellular redox environment. Recently mammalian thioredoxin and glutathione systems have been found to be able to provide the electrons crossly and to serve as a backup system for each other. In contrast, bacteria TrxRs are low molecular weight enzymes with a structure and reaction mechanism distinct from mammalian TrxR. Many bacterial species possess specific thiol-dependent antioxidant systems, and the significance of the Trx system in the defense against oxidative stress is different. Particularly, the absence of a GSH-Grx system in some pathogenic bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Staphylococcus aureus makes the bacterial Trx system essential for survival under oxidative stress. This provides an opportunity to kill these bacteria by targeting the TrxR-Trx system. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Nrf2 as a master redox switch in turning on the cellular signaling involved in the induction of cytoprotective genes by some chemopreventive phytochemicals.

            A wide array of dietary phytochemicals have been reported to induce the expression of enzymes involved in both cellular antioxidant defenses and elimination/inactivation of electrophilic carcinogens. Induction of such cytoprotective enzymes by edible phytochemicals largely accounts for their cancer chemopreventive and chemoprotective activities. Nuclear factor-erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) plays a crucial role in the coordinated induction of those genes encoding many stress-responsive and cytoptotective enzymes and related proteins. These include NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase-1, heme oxygenase-1, glutamate cysteine ligase, glutathione S-transferase, glutathione peroxidase, thioredoxin, etc. In resting cells, Nrf2 is sequestered in the cytoplasm as an inactive complex with the repressor Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1). The release of Nrf2 from its repressor is most likely to be achieved by alterations in the structure of Keap1. Keap1 contains several reactive cysteine residues that function as sensors of cellular redox changes. Oxidation or covalent modification of some of these critical cysteine thiols would stabilize Nrf2, thereby facilitating nuclear accumulation of Nrf2. After translocation into nucleus, Nrf2 forms a heterodimer with other transcription factors, such as small Maf, which in turn binds to the 5'-upstream CIS-acting regulatory sequence, termed antioxidant response elements (ARE) or electrophile response elements (EpRE), located in the promoter region of genes encoding various antioxidant and phase 2 detoxifying enzymes. Certain dietary chemopreventive agents target Keap1 by oxidizing or chemically modifying one or more of its specific cysteine thiols, thereby stabilizing Nrf2. In addition, phosphorylation of specific serine or threonine residues present in Nrf2 by upstream kinases may also facilitate the nuclear localization of Nrf2. Multiple mechanisms of Nrf2 activation by signals mediated by one or more of the upstream kinases, such as mitogen-activated protein kinases, phosphatidylionositol-3-kinase/Akt, protein kinase C, and casein kinase-2 have recently been proposed. This review highlights the cytoprotective gene expression induced by some representative dietary chemopreventive phytochemicals with the Nrf2-Keap1 system as a prime molecular target.
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              Cellular stress responses, the hormesis paradigm, and vitagenes: novel targets for therapeutic intervention in neurodegenerative disorders.

              Despite the capacity of chaperones and other homeostatic components to restore folding equilibrium, cells appear poorly adapted for chronic oxidative stress that increases in cancer and in metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. Modulation of endogenous cellular defense mechanisms represents an innovative approach to therapeutic intervention in diseases causing chronic tissue damage, such as in neurodegeneration. This article introduces the concept of hormesis and its applications to the field of neuroprotection. It is argued that the hormetic dose response provides the central underpinning of neuroprotective responses, providing a framework for explaining the common quantitative features of their dose-response relationships, their mechanistic foundations, and their relationship to the concept of biological plasticity, as well as providing a key insight for improving the accuracy of the therapeutic dose of pharmaceutical agents within the highly heterogeneous human population. This article describes in mechanistic detail how hormetic dose responses are mediated for endogenous cellular defense pathways, including sirtuin and Nrf2 and related pathways that integrate adaptive stress responses in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. Particular attention is given to the emerging role of nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen sulfide gases in hormetic-based neuroprotection and their relationship to membrane radical dynamics and mitochondrial redox signaling.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                Antioxidants (Basel)
                Antioxidants (Basel)
                antioxidants
                Antioxidants
                MDPI
                2076-3921
                20 March 2015
                March 2015
                : 4
                : 1
                : 204-247
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Trakia University, Stara Zagora 6000, Bulgaria; E-Mail: psurai@ 123456feedfood.co.uk ; Tel.: +44-7545-556-336; Fax: +44-1292-880-412
                [2 ]Department of Animal Nutrition, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Szent Istvan University, Gödöllo H-2103, Hungary
                [3 ]Department of Veterinary Expertise and Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Sumy National Agrarian University, Sumy 40021, Ukraine
                [4 ]Odessa National Academy of Food Technology, Odessa 65039, Ukraine
                Article
                antioxidants-04-00204
                10.3390/antiox4010204
                4665566
                518a9c27-9175-4065-9331-698b600a24cb
                © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                Categories
                Review

                silymarin, silybin, silibinin, antioxidant, nrf2, nf-κb, vitagenes, gut

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