Identification and metabolomic characterisation of potent anti-MRSA phloroglucinol derivatives of Dryopteris crassirhizoma Nakai (Polypodiaceae)



Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used to treat infectious diseases and could offer potential drug leads. This study evaluates the in vitro antimicrobial activities from commercially sourced Dryopteris crassirhizoma Nakai (Polypodiaceae) whose authenticity was confirmed by DNA barcoding based on the ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase (rbcL) gene. Powdered rhizomes were sequentially extracted using n-hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate and methanol at ambient temperature. The dried extracts at different concentrations were tested for antimicrobial activities against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and Mycobacterium smegmatis. D. crassirhizoma extracts exhibited significant antimicrobial activities only against MRSA (minimum inhibitory concentration: 3.125 µg/mL n-hexane extract). Activity-led fractionations of D. crassirhizoma and characterisation by Ultra performance liquid chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) targeted a fraction (A3), with two anti MRSA phloroglucinol derivatives, Flavaspidic acid AB and Norflavaspidic acid AB – being greatly enriched with the latter. The impact of A3 on MRSA cells was examined using untargeted metabolomic analysis and compared to that of other established antibiotics (all treatments normalized to MIC50 at 6 h). This suggested that norflavaspidic acid AB had a distinctive effects one of which involved targeting bioenergetic transformation, metabolism, and particularly Acetyl CoA, in MRSA cells. No cytotoxicity was observed for the norflavaspidic acid AB enriched fraction against murine HepG2 cells. This study requires further experimental validation but can have indicated a naturally available compound that could help counter the threat of clinically relevant strains with antibiotic resistance.

The uploaded data is the result of non-targeted metabolite profiling in both negative and positive ionisation modes.
Date made available25 Sept 2022

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