Antimicrobial activity of phenolic compounds identified in wild mushrooms, SAR analysis and docking studies

Maria José Alves, Isabel C. F. R. Ferreira*, Hugo J. C. Froufe, Rui M. V. Abreu, Anabela Martins, Manuela Pintado

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

299 Citations (Scopus)


Aim and Methods: Although the antimicrobial activity of extracts from several mushroom species has been reported, studies with the individual compounds present in that extracts are scarce. Herein, the antimicrobial activity of different phenolic compounds identified and quantified in mushroom species from all over the world was evaluated. Furthermore, a structure-activity relationship (SAR) analysis and molecular docking studies were performed, in order to provide insights into the mechanism of action of potential antimicrobial drugs for resistant micro-organisms. Results: 2,4-Dihydroxybenzoic and protocatechuic acids were the phenolic compounds with higher activity against the majority of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Furthermore, phenolic compounds inhibited more MRSA than methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus. MRSA was inhibited by 2,4-dihydroxybenzoic, vanillic, syringic (MICs = 0·5 mg ml-1) and p-coumaric (MIC = 1 mg ml-1) acids, while these compounds at the same concentrations had no inhibitory effects against methicillin-susceptible Staph. aureus. Conclusions: The presence of carboxylic acid (COOH), two hydroxyl (OH) groups in para and ortho positions of the benzene ring and also a methoxyl (OCH3) group in the meta position seems to be important for anti-MRSA activity. Significance and Impact of the Study: Phenolic compounds could be used as antimicrobial agents, namely against some micro-organisms resistant to commercial antibiotics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-357
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • Antimicrobial activity
  • Clinical isolates
  • Docking
  • SAR
  • Wild mushrooms


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