Fluorescein derivatives as antibacterial agents acting via membrane depolarization

Pavel A. Nazarov, Roman S. Kirsanov, Stepan S. Denisov, Ljudmila S. Khailova, Marina V. Karakozova, Konstantin G. Lyamzaev, Galina A. Korshunova, Konstantin A. Lukyanov, Elena A. Kotova, Yuri N. Antonenko

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Appending a lipophylic alkyl chain by ester bond to fluorescein has been previously shown to convert this popular dye into an effective protonophoric uncoupler of oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria, exhibiting neuro-and nephroprotective effects in murine models. In line with this finding, we here report data on the pronounced depolarizing effect of a series of fluorescein decyl esters on bacterial cells. The binding of the fluorescein derivatives to Bacillus subtilis cells was monitored by fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). FCS revealed the energy-dependent accumulation of the fluorescein esters with decyl(triphenyl)-and decyl(tri-p-tolyl)phosphonium cations in the bacterial cells. The latter compound proved to be the most potent in suppressing B. subtilis growth.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number309
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


    • Antibacterial agent
    • Bacterial membrane depolarization
    • Fluorescein derivative
    • Fluorescent uncoupler
    • Membrane potential
    • Mitochondria


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