Abstract Title:

Phytoestrogen genistein as an anti-staphylococcal agent.

Abstract Source:

Microbes Infect. 2004 Jan;6(1):86-92. PMID: 14738897

Abstract Author(s):

Margareta Verdrengh, L Vincent Collins, Philip Bergin, Andrej Tarkowski


The soybean-derived isoflavone genistein has been shown to exert beneficial effects on many disorders, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The effects of genistein on mammalian cells are mediated by its abilities to inhibit topoisomerase II and protein tyrosine kinase. In order to examine the potential antibacterial activities of genistein, we incubated the bacteria with various concentrations of this compound for different periods of time and assessed the viable counts. Exposure to genistein exhibited an inhibitory effect on all staphylococcal strains tested, including methicillin-resistant strains. Furthermore, the growth of Streptococcus pasteurianus, Bacillus cereus, and Helicobacter pylori was clearly inhibited by genistein, whereas Escherichia coli growth was not suppressed. Daidzein, which is structurally similar to genistein, but deficient in topoisomerase II inhibitory activity, also inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, albeit with lower potency than genistein. Our results indicate that genistein exerts potent antibacterial properties in vitro, which are possibly mediated by the stabilization of the covalent topoisomerase II-DNA cleavage complex.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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Sayer Ji
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