The mode of antifungal action of plant, insect and human defensins
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- Aerts, A.M., François, I.E.J.A., Cammue, B.P.A. et al. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2008) 65: 2069. doi:10.1007/s00018-008-8035-0
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Defensins are small (~ 5 kDa), basic, cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides that fulfill an important role in the innate immunity of their host by combating pathogenic invading micro-organisms. Defensins can inhibit the growth or virulence of microorganisms directly or can do so indirectly by enhancing the host’s immune system. Because of their wide distribution in nature, defensins are believed to be ancient molecules with a common ancestor that arose more than a billion years ago. This review summarizes current knowledge concerning the mode of antifungal action of plant, insect and human defensins.