A natural antibiotic with many talents: Synergistic and resistance-breaking activities of rhodomyrtone
Research Project, 2022 – 2024

Rhodomyrtone is a natural compound from the rose myrtle, an Asian healing plant used in traditional medicine for its impressive antibacterial properties.
Rhodomyrtone has a unique mechanism, by which it kills bacteria: it acts as a membrane protein trap. Bacterial membranes host a multitude of cellular processes that are vital for survival. By trapping the involved proteins in membrane vesicles, rhodomyrtone inhibits
membrane function and rapidly kills bacteria. Additionally, it increases uptake of molecules over the membrane.
This mechanism inspires new innovative treatment approaches based on natural medicines, which we will explore in this project. Firstly, enhanced membrane uptake may potentiate the effectivity of other antibacterial agents. Secondly, protein-trapping could be a new
strategy to inactivate multi-drug efflux pumps. These membrane-bound transport proteins are a crucial antibiotic resistance mechanism that renders many common antibiotics ineffective. Thus, rhodomyrtone could be a new natural weapon in our fight against
resistant bacteria.


Michaela Wenzel (contact)

Chalmers, Life Sciences, Chemical Biology


Ekhaga foundation

Project ID: 2021-22
Funding Chalmers participation during 2022–2024

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