Discipline: Chemistry and Chemical Sciences
Subcategory: Plant Research
Clilia Davis - University of the Virgin Islands
Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder in which the abnormal hemoglobin molecules (hemoglobin S) modify the erythrocytes into a sickle or crescent shape. Due to this physiological alteration, a host of clinical implications arise including strokes, kidney and spleen dysfunction, acute chest syndrome, increased susceptibility to infectious diseases, and vascular occlusion. Patients are subjected to a cocktail of drugs including pain relievers, antibiotics, and/or hydroxyurea. Hydroxyurea promises less frequent crises, once taken daily, but generates deterrent life-threatening side effects. Previous research identified alternative anti-sickling agents like Citral and phenylalanine even though their mechanism of actions remain unknown. Since the aforementioned anti-sickling agents are found in natural products this research ultimately seeks to identify a treatment method to reverse sickling and alleviate the symptoms associated with SCD, subsequently, identifying the mode of action. The West Indian Lemongrass (a good source of Citral) and green papaya (a good source of phenylalanine) were dried and the crudes extracted via hot percolation with various solvents using the Soxhlet apparatus. Each material was successively washed with hexane, ethyl acetate and methanol in 24-hour intervals. The extracts were concentrated then successfully fractionated via flash chromatography. Hot percolation proved to be an easy and reliable method to extract components based on solvent polarity. In itself, it also fractionates the sample for easier chromatography. Future research includes biological analyses of Citral and phenylalanine to determine their anti-sickling activities.
References: 1. Kunle Oluyemisi Folashade and Egharevba Henry Omoregie* Chemical constituents and biological activity of medicinal plants used for the management of sickle cell disease – A review. Journal of Medicinal Plant Review. Vol. 7(48), pp.3452-3476, 25 December 2013. DOI. 10.5897/JMPR2013.5333x. ISSN 1996-0875 copyright 2013 Academic Journals
2. Martin K. Safo, Osheiza Abdulmalik Richmond Danso-Danquah, James C. Burnett , Samuel Nokuri, Gajanan S. Joshi, Faik N. Musayev, Toshio Asakura, and Donald J. Abraham Structural Basis for the Potent Antisickling Effect of a Novel Class of Five-Membered Heterocyclic Aldehydic Compounds. Department of Medicinal Chemistry, School of Pharmacy and Institute for Structural Biology and Drug Discovery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 23298, and Division of Hematology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104. J. Med. Chem., 2004, 47 (19), pp 4665-4676 DOI: 10.1021/jm0498001
3. Piety, N. Z., Yang, X., Lezzar, D., George, A., & Shevkoplyas, S. S. (2015). A rapid paper-based test for quantifying sickle hemoglobin in blood samples from patients with sickle cell disease. American Journal of Hematology, 90(6), 478-482. http://doi.org/10.1002/ajh.23980
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This research is conducted at the University of the Virgin Islands, which supplies the necessary experimental equipment. I would also like to acknowledge my previous advisor: Sandy Wyllie-Echeverria and my current mentor: Yakini Brandy. I would also like to acknowledge my previous advisor: Dr. Sandy Wyllie-Echeverria and my current mentor: Dr. Yakini Brandy.
Faculty Advisor: Yakini Brandy, email@example.com
Role: I conducted a meta-analysis of various published articles to accumulate a wide spectrum of literature. I then evaluated that data and tailored it to something practical I can accomplish with the available resources. From the literature, both citral and phenylalanine were two proposed anti-sickling agents, which were constituents of plants grown in St. Thomas, USVI. I conducted the experiments and analyzed the data.