Antifungal proteins and peptides of leguminous and non-leguminous origins

Peptides. 2004 Jul;25(7):1215-22. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2004.03.012.


Antifungal proteins and peptides, as their names imply, serve a protective function against fungal invasion. They are produced by a multitude of organisms including leguminous flowering plants, non-leguminous flowering plants, gymnosperms, fungi, bacteria, insects and mammals. The intent of the present review is to focus on the structural and functional characteristics of leguminous, as well as non-leguminous, antifungal proteins and peptides. A spectacular diversity of amino acid sequences has been reported. Some of the antifungal proteins and peptides are classified, based on their structures and/or functions, into groups including chitinases, glucanases, thaumatin-like proteins, thionins, and cyclophilin-like proteins. Some of the well-known proteins such as lectins, ribosome inactivating proteins, ribonucleases, deoxyribonucleases, peroxidases, and protease inhibitors exhibit antifungal activity. Different antifungal proteins may demonstrate different fungal specificities. The mechanisms of antifungal action of only some antifungal proteins including thaumatin-like proteins and chitinases have been elucidated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antifungal Agents / chemistry
  • Antifungal Agents / metabolism*
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Cycadopsida / chemistry*
  • Fabaceae / chemistry*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / metabolism*
  • Peptides / pharmacology


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Peptides