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Interactions With Microbial Proteins Driving The Antibacterial Activity Of Flavonoids

Giuliana Donadio, Francesca Mensitieri, Valentina Santoro, Valentina Parisi, Maria Laura Bellone, Nunziatina De Tommasi, Viviana Izzo, Fabrizio Dal Piaz

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Flavonoids are among the most abundant natural bioactive compounds produced by plants. Many different activities have been reported for these secondary metabolites against numerous cells and systems. One of the most interesting is certainly the antimicrobial, which is stimulated through various molecular mechanisms. In fact, flavonoids are effective both in directly damaging the envelope of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria but also by acting toward specific molecular targets essential for the survival of these microorganisms. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the most interesting results obtained in the research focused on the study of the interactions between flavonoids and bacterial proteins. Despite the great structural heterogeneity of these plant metabolites, it is interesting to observe that many flavonoids affect the same cellular pathways. Furthermore, it is evident that some of these compounds interact with more than one target, producing multiple effects. Taken together, the reported data demonstrate the great potential of flavonoids in developing innovative systems, which can help address the increasingly serious problem of antibiotic resistance.