Cranberry and its related fruits and their beverage products have received considerable attention for their health beneficial effects to human beings. These health benefits include prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs), stomach ulcers, gum diseases, dental infections, blocking biofilm formation associated with bacterial infections, providing protection against aging, stroke, cardiovascular diseases and more recently anticancer activity. In spite of research in the past few decades, little is known about the molecular mechanism of action of these health beneficial effects. We have initiated research exploring the possible mechanisms. Based on the chemical structures and bioactivities of certain cranberry constituents, as well as the current understanding of iron homeostasis and its relation to medicine, a novel molecular mechanism of action for certain health benefits of cranberry has been hypothesized in this proposal. This mechanism may give reasonable biochemical explanations to many of the health benefits demonstrated for cranberry and its related fruits so far. The general goal of the work proposed here is to test this hypothesis. Multi-disciplinary approach including using knowledge and techniques from chemistry, electrochemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology, microbiology, spectroscopic methods and X-ray crystallography have been designed to test the proposed mechanisms. Experiments described herein are designed to elucidate the iron-binding properties of certain cranberry constituents, including structures and affinities, and the effects of these properties on the antibacterial, antioxidant and antitumor properties of cranberry and its related products. This research has profound impact to applying cranberry and its related fruits and products in human health, nutrition and medicine.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAT1-DB (23))
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Pontzer, Carol H
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University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Schools of Arts and Sciences
North Dartmouth
United States
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Wei, Yibin; Guo, Maolin (2014) Zinc-binding sites on selected flavonoids. Biol Trace Elem Res 161:223-30
Wei, Yibin; Zhang, Yi; Liu, Zhiwei et al. (2010) A novel profluorescent probe for detecting oxidative stress induced by metal and H(2)O(2) in living cells. Chem Commun (Camb) 46:4472-4
Wei, Yibin; Guo, Maolin (2009) A novel H2O2-triggered anti-Fenton fluorescent pro-chelator excitable with visible light. Chem Commun (Camb) :1413-5
Perez, Carlos A; Wei, Yibin; Guo, Maolin (2009) Iron-binding and anti-Fenton properties of baicalein and baicalin. J Inorg Biochem 103:326-32
Tong, Yong; Guo, Maolin (2009) Bacterial heme-transport proteins and their heme-coordination modes. Arch Biochem Biophys 481:1-15
Perez, Carlos A; Tong, Yong; Guo, Maolin (2008) Iron Chelators as Potential Therapeutic Agents for Parkinson's Disease. Curr Bioact Compd 4:150-158
Guo, Maolin; Perez, Carlos; Wei, Yibin et al. (2007) Iron-binding properties of plant phenolics and cranberry's bio-effects. Dalton Trans :4951-61
Wei, Yibin; Guo, Maolin (2007) Hydrogen peroxide triggered prochelator activation, subsequent metal chelation, and attenuation of the fenton reaction. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 46:4722-5