The antibacterial activity and mechanism of ginkgolic acid C15:1.

Research paper by Zhebin Z Hua, Caie C Wu, Gongjian G Fan, Zhenxing Z Tang, Fuliang F Cao

Indexed on: 16 Jan '17Published on: 16 Jan '17Published in: BMC Biotechnology


The present study investigated the antibacterial activity and underlying mechanisms of ginkgolic acid (GA) C15:1 monomer using green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled bacteria strains.GA presented significant antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria but generally did not affect the growth of Gram-negative bacteria. The studies of the antibacterial mechanism indicated that large amounts of GA (C15:1) could penetrate GFP-labeled Bacillus amyloliquefaciens in a short period of time, and as a result, led to the quenching of GFP in bacteria. In vitro results demonstrated that GA (C15:1) could inhibit the activity of multiple proteins including DNA polymerase. In vivo results showed that GA (C15:1) could significantly inhibit the biosynthesis of DNA, RNA and B. amyloliquefaciens proteins.We speculated that GA (C15:1) achieved its antibacterial effect through inhibiting the protein activity of B. amyloliquefaciens. GA (C15:1) could not penetrate Gram-negative bacteria in large amounts, and the lipid soluble components in the bacterial cell wall could intercept GA (C15:1), which was one of the primary reasons that GA (C15:1) did not have a significant antibacterial effect on Gram-negative bacteria.