Propyl paraben induces potassium efflux in Escherichia coli

Jérôme Bredin, Anne Davin-Régli, Jean-Marie Pagès
2005 Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy  
Objectives: Parabens are currently used as antibacterial preservatives in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food products but there are no precise data concerning their activity on bacterial membranes. Methods: We analysed the cytoplasmic potassium release during propyl paraben addition by using a selective electrode. Various conditions were assayed to investigate the bacterial paraben susceptibility. We compared the activity of propyl paraben with the activities of colicin A and polymyxin B.
more » ... polymyxin B. Results: Propyl paraben induced potassium efflux that was related to the porin expression in the bacterial outer membrane. In addition, the presence of spermine, previously described as an efficient OmpF channel-blocker, protected susceptible cells against paraben activity. Conclusions: Propyl paraben induced potassium release in susceptible Escherichia coli cells similar to that observed with polymyxin B. Moreover, this efflux depended on porin channel activity. This permeabilizing effect is probably related to antibacterial properties of paraben molecules.
doi:10.1093/jac/dki110 pmid:15824091 fatcat:uo4nixyxvvgc3iniirvqwniu2u