Interaction between the antibacterial compound, oleuropein, and model membranes

Jorge Casas-Sanchez, Asuncion M. Alsina, Mathias K. Herrlein, Concepció Mestres

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Oleuropein, a secoiridoid glycoside extracted from the olive tree, Olea europaea L., has been described as showing antibacterial properties. However, the exact mechanism of these antimicrobial properties is not yet well understood. In the present study, we have studied the interaction of oleuropein with phosphatidylglycerol (PG) as a model membrane for Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) (Gram-positive bacteria) and phosphatidylethanolamine and Escherichia coli (E. coli) lipid extract as a model membrane for E. coli (Gram-negative bacteria). The study has been carried out using monolayers as model membranes and using kinetics at constant area and compression isotherms with Brewster angle microscopy (BAM) observations. The results show that oleuropein interacts in higher extent with PG monolayers, which is related with its stronger antibacterial effect against Gram-positive bacteria. The effects on the membrane are probably produced at the cell surface because oleuropein did not form stable mixed monolayers with the lipids assayed at the air/water interface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1351-1360
Number of pages10
JournalColloid and Polymer Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Brewster angle microscopy (BAM)
  • Compression isotherm
  • Escherichia coli
  • Langmuir monolayers
  • Oleuropein
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Surface activity


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