Gamma-thujaplicin, beta-dolabrin and hinokitiol(beta-thujaplicin), hinokitiol-related compounds isolated from the wood of Thujopsis dolabrata S. and Z. hondai MAK have antimicrobial activity. In particular, strong antibacterial activity of hinokitiol and beta-dolabrin on Staphylococcus epidermidis IFO-12993 was found, with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 0.2 microg/ml. This activity was higher than that of gentamicin, used as a positive control, and so the strong antibacterial activity of both compounds on this bacterium is of considerable interest. Of the three compounds, gamma-thujaplicin showed the strongest antifungal activity and its MIC was found to be around 1.5 microg/ml. The three compounds also inhibited metalloproteases. The inhibitory activity of hinokitiol on carboxypeptidase A was especially strong, its 50%-inhibitory concentration (IC50) being 2.76x10(-6) M. Considering that metalloproteases are involved in inflammation, the strong inhibitory activity of hinokitiol could be important. On the other hand, hinokitiol-acetate did not show any antimicrobial activity and metalloprotease inhibition, suggesting that at least part of the activity is due to metal chelation between the carbonyl group at C-1 and the hydroxyl group at C-2 in the tropolone skeleton.