Antimicrobial activities of dictyostelium differentiation-inducing factors and their derivatives

Yuzuru Kubohara, Yoshiko Shiratsuchi, Hirotaka Ishigaki, Katsunori Takahashi, Yoshiteru Oshima, Haruhisa Kikuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


At the end of its life cycle, the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum forms a fruiting body consisting of spores and a multicellular stalk. Originally, the chlorinated alkylphenone differentiation-inducing factors (DIFs) -1 and -3 were isolated as stalk cell inducers in D. discoideum. Later, DIFs and their derivatives were shown to possess several biologic activities including antitumor and anti-Trypanosoma properties. In this study, we examined the antibacterial activities of approximately 30 DIF derivatives by using several bacterial species. Several of the DIF derivatives strongly suppressed the growth of the Gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium, at minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) in the sub-micromolar to low-micromolar range. In contrast, none of the DIF derivatives evaluated had any noteworthy effect on the growth of the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli (MIC, >100 µM). Most importantly, several of the DIF derivatives strongly inhibited the growth of methicillin-resistant S. aureus and vancomycin-resistant E. faecalis and E. faecium. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that treatment with DIF derivatives led to the formation of distinct multilayered structures consisting of cell wall or plasma membrane in S. aureus. The present results suggest that DIF derivatives are good lead compounds for developing novel antimicrobials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number163
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial
  • DIF
  • Dictyostelium discoideum
  • MRSA
  • VRE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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