Skip to main content
Log in

Plant thionins – the structural perspective

  • Review
  • Published:
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract.

Thionins belong to a rapidly growing family of biologically active peptides in the plant kingdom. Thionins are small (∼5 kDA), cysteine-rich peptides with toxic and antimicrobial properties. They show a broad cellular toxicity against wide range of organisms and eukaryotic cell lines; while possessing some selectivity. Thionins are believed to be involved in protection against plant pathogens, including bacteria and fungi, by working directly at the membrane. The direct mechanism of action is still surrounded by controversy. Here the results of structural studies are reviewed and confronted with recent results of biophysical studies aimed at defining the function of thionins. The proposed toxicity mechanisms are reviewed and the attempt to reconcile competing hypotheses with a wealth of structural and functional studies is made.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to B. Stec.

Additional information

Received 3 December 2005; received after revision 6 February 2006; accepted 18 March 2006

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Stec, B. Plant thionins – the structural perspective. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 63, 1370–1385 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-005-5574-5

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-005-5574-5

Keywords.

Navigation