Mechanism for the antibacterial action of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) on Bacillus subtilis

Motokazu Nakayama, Kanami Shimatani, Tadahiro Ozawa, Naofumi Shigemune, Daisuke Tomiyama, Koji Yui, Mao Katsuki, Keisuke Ikeda, Ai Nonaka, Takahisa Miyamoto

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70 Citations (Scopus)


Catechins are a class of polyphenols and have high anti-bacterial activity against various microorganisms. Here, we report the mechanism for antibacterial activity of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) against Gram-positive bacteria Bacillus subtilis, which is highly sensitive to EGCg. Transmission electron microscope analysis revealed that deposits containing EGCg were found throughout the cell envelope from the outermost surface to the outer surface of cytoplasmic membrane. Aggregating forms of proteins and EGCg were identified as spots that disappeared or showed markedly decreased intensity after the treatment with EGCg compared to the control by two-dimensional electrophoresis. Among the identified proteins included 4 cell surface proteins, such as oligopeptide ABC transporter binding lipoprotein, glucose phosphotransferase system transporter protein, phosphate ABC transporter substrate-binding protein, and penicillin- binding protein 5. Observations of glucose uptake of cells and cell shape B. subtilis after the treatment with EGCg suggested that EGCg inhibits the major functions of these proteins, leading to growth inhibition of B. subtilis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-854
Number of pages10
JournalBioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry


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