Antimicrobial mechanism of β-glycyrrhetinic acid isolated from licorice, Glycyrrhiza glabra


β-Glycyrrhetinic acid isolated from Glycyrrhiza glabra had an antibacterial activity of 7.6 and 12.5 μg ml−1 against Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus epidermidis without causing hemolysis of human erythrocytes, whereas it was not inhibitory against Escherichia coli, Proteus vulgaris and various fungi. Confocal microscopy showed that β-glycyrrhetinic acid was located within the bacteria but had not caused membrane disruption. It then inhibited synthesis of DNA, RNA and protein.

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Kim, H.K., Park, Y., Kim, H.N. et al. Antimicrobial mechanism of β-glycyrrhetinic acid isolated from licorice, Glycyrrhiza glabra . Biotechnology Letters 24, 1899–1902 (2002).

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  • confocal microscopy
  • licorice
  • macromolecule inhibition