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J Nat Prod. 2000 Aug;63(8):1146-9.

5'-Methoxyhydnocarpin-D and pheophorbide A: Berberis species components that potentiate berberine growth inhibition of resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

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Department of Chemistry, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1872, USA.


A new method of bioactivity-directed fractionation, based on multidrug resistant pump (MDR) inhibition in Staphylococcus aureus, was demonstrated. This resulted in the isolation, from berberine-containing Berberis species, of two compounds that are themselves devoid of S. aureus antibacterial activity, but that form potent synergistic couples with a subinhibitory concentration of berberine. The bacterial MDR pump inhibitors were identified as the flavonolignan 2 and the porphyrin 3. Another natural flavonolignan, silybin (8) from Silybum marianum, was also shown to be a bacterial MDR pump inhibitor.

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