Flavonoids as potential anti-MRSA agents through modulation of PBP2a: a computational and experimental study

Hani A. Alhadrami, Ahmed A. Hamed, Hossam M. Hassan, Lassaad Belbahri, Mostafa E. Rateb*, Ahmed M. Sayed*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


Recently, the interest in plant-derived antimicrobial agents has increased. However, there are no sufficient studies dealing with their modes of action. Herein, we investigate an in-house library of common plant-based phenolic compounds for their potential antibacterial effects against the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a widespread life-threatening superbug. Flavonoids, which are considered major constituents in the plant kingdom, were found to be a promising class of compounds against MRSA, particularly the non-glycosylated ones. On the other hand, the glycosylated derivatives, along with the flavonolignan silibinin A, were able to restore the inhibitory activity of ampicillin against MRSA. To explore the mode of action of this class, they were subjected to an extensive inverse virtual screening (IVS), which suggested penicillin-binding protein 2a (PBP2a) as a possible target that mediates both the antibacterial and the antibiotic-synergistic effects of this class of compounds. Further molecular docking and molecular dynamic simulation experiments were conducted to support the primary IVS and the in vitro results and to study their binding modes with PBP2a. Our findings shed a light on plant-derived natural products, notably flavonoids, as a promising and readily available source for future adjuvant antimicrobial therapy against resistant strains.

Original languageEnglish
Article number562
Number of pages16
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2020


  • MRSA
  • flavonoids
  • inverse virtual screening
  • PBP2a
  • bacterial resistance
  • adjuvant therapy


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