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Molecules 2016, 21(7), 884; doi:10.3390/molecules21070884

The Pleiotropic Antibacterial Mechanisms of Ursolic Acid against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Research Center for Biodiversity, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Peter J. Rutledge
Received: 2 June 2016 / Revised: 23 June 2016 / Accepted: 30 June 2016 / Published: 7 July 2016
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(1) Background: Several triterpenoids were found to act synergistically with classes of antibiotic, indicating that plant-derived chemicals have potential to be used as therapeutics to enhance the activity of antibiotics against multidrug-resistant pathogens. However, the mode of action of triterpenoids against bacterial pathogens remains unclear. The objective of this study is to evaluate the interaction between ursolic acid against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); (2) Methods: The ability of ursolic acid to damage mammalian and bacterial membranes was examined. The proteomic response of methicillin-resistant S. aureus in ursolic acid treatment was investigated using two-dimensional (2D) proteomic analysis; (3) Results: Ursolic acid caused the loss of staphylococcal membrane integrity without hemolytic activity. The comparison of the protein pattern of ursolic acid–treated and normal MRSA cells revealed that ursolic acid affected a variety of proteins involved in the translation process with translational accuracy, ribonuclease and chaperon subunits, glycolysis and oxidative responses; (4) Conclusion: The mode of action of ursolic acid appears to be the influence on the integrity of the bacterial membrane initially, followed by inhibition of protein synthesis and the metabolic pathway. These findings reflect that the pleiotropic effects of ursolic acid against MRSA make it a promising antibacterial agent in pharmaceutical research. View Full-Text
Keywords: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); ursolic acid; two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); ursolic acid; two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE)

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wang, C.-M.; Jhan, Y.-L.; Tsai, S.-J.; Chou, C.-H. The Pleiotropic Antibacterial Mechanisms of Ursolic Acid against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Molecules 2016, 21, 884.

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