Indian J Microbiol. 2021 Jun;61(2):195-202. doi: 10.1007/s12088-021-00932-8. Epub 2021 Mar 22.
Biphenanthrene compound, 4, 8, 4', 8'-tetramethoxy (1, 1'-biphenanthrene)-2, 7, 2', 7'-tetrol (LF05), recently isolated from fibrous roots of Bletilla striata, exhibits antibacterial activity against several Gram-positive bacteria. In this study, we investigated the antibacterial properties, potential mode of action and cytotoxicity. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) tests showed LF05 was active against all tested Gram-positive strains, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and staphylococcal clinical isolates. Minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) tests demonstrated LF05 was bactericidal against S. aureus ATCC 29213 and Bacillus subtilis 168 whereas bacteriostatic against S. aureus ATCC 43300, WX 0002, and other strains of S. aureus. Time-kill assays further confirmed these observations. The flow cytometric assay indicated that LF05 damaged the cell membrane of S. aureus ATCC 29213 and B. subtilis 168. Consistent with this finding, 4 × MIC of LF05 caused release of ATP in B. subtilis 168 within 10 min. Checkerboard test demonstrated LF05 exhibited additive effect when combined with vancomycin, erythromycin and berberine. The addition of rat plasma or bovine serum albumin to bacterial cultures caused significantly loss in antibacterial activity of LF05. Interestingly, LF05 was highly toxic to several tumor cells. Results of these studies indicate that LF05 is bactericidal against some Gram-positive bacteria and acts as a membrane structure disruptor. The application of biphenanthrene in the treatment of S. aureus infection, especially local infection, deserves further study.