Antimicrobial properties of a non-toxic glycoprotein (WSG) from Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha)

J Basic Microbiol. 2006;46(5):365-74. doi: 10.1002/jobm.200510108.


A monomeric glycoprotein with a molecular mass of 28 kDa in SDS-PAGE was isolated from the Withania somnifera root tubers. The protein designated WSG (Withania somnifera glycoprotein) demonstrated potent antimicrobial activity against the phytopathogenic fungi and bacteria tested. Antifungal effect has been demonstrated in that WSG exerts a fungistastic effect by inhibiting spore germination and hyphal growth in the tested fungi. WSG showed potent antifungal activity against Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium oxysporum, F. verticilloides and antibacterial activity against Clvibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis. WSG is an acidic, non-toxic (trypsin-chymotrypsin) protease inhibitor. These results encourage further studies of WSG as a potential therapeutic agent for its antifungal activity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antifungal Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Erythrocytes / drug effects
  • Fungi / drug effects*
  • Glycoproteins / isolation & purification
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Glycoproteins / pharmacology*
  • Hemolysis / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Plant Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Withania / chemistry*
  • Withania / physiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Glycoproteins
  • Plant Proteins