Synergistic effects of diosmetin with erythromycin against ABC transporter over-expressed methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) RN4220/pUL5054 and inhibition of MRSA pyruvate kinase

Phytomedicine. 2013 May 15;20(7):611-4. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2013.02.007. Epub 2013 Mar 27.


Increasing prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) worldwide with limited therapeutic options is a growing public health concern. Natural products have been shown to possess antibacterial actions against MRSA. Flavonoids from natural products have been shown to possess antibacterial actions against MRSA by antagonizing its resistance mechanisms. Diosmin and diosmetin are natural flavonoids found in a variety of citrus fruits. The aim of this study was to investigate whether diosmin and diosmetin could inhibit the growth of MRSA and the in vitro enzymatic activity of a newly discovered MRSA drug target, pyruvate kinase (PK). By using a panel of MRSA strains with known resistant mechanisms, neither diosmin nor diosmetin was shown to possess direct antibacterial activities against all tested MRSA strains. However, in checkerboard assay, we found that diosmetin together with erythromycin, could synergistically inhibit the growth of ABC-pump overexpressed MRSA-RN4220/pUL5054, and time kill assay also showed that the antibacterial activities of diosmetin with erythromycin were bactericidal. Diosmetin was further shown to significantly suppress the MRSA PK activities in a dose dependent manner. In conclusion, the inhibition of MRSA PK by diosmetin could lead to a deficiency of ATP and affect the bacterial efflux pump which might contribute to the antibacterial actions of diosmetin against MRSA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / metabolism*
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Diosmin / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Synergism
  • Erythromycin / pharmacology*
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / metabolism
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Pyruvate Kinase / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Flavonoids
  • Erythromycin
  • Diosmin
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Pyruvate Kinase
  • diosmetin