It has been proposed that the hydrophilic and/or lipophilic characteristics of fatty acid derivatives affect their antibacterial activities according to their ability to incorporate into the bacterial cell membrane. To verify this hypothesis, six kinds of lauric acid derivatives esterified with different non-fatty acid moieties were selected to confirm whether antibacterial activity from their precursor (i.e., lauric acid) is retained or lost. Three compounds, monolaurin, sucrose laurate, and erythorbyl laurate, exerted bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects against Gram-positive bacteria, while the others showed no inhibitory activity. Interestingly, the calculated log P (octanol–water partition coefficient) values of monolaurin, sucrose laurate, and erythorbyl laurate were − 4.122, − 0.686, and 3.670, respectively, relatively lower than those of the other compounds without antibacterial activity. Moreover, the hydrophilic-lipophilic balance values of the three compounds with antibacterial activity were higher than those of the other compounds, corresponding to the log P result.
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This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, & Future Planning (NRF-2017R1A2B4009230) and the Ministry of Education (NRF-R1A6A3A01012396).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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