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Keywords:

  • antimicrobial peptide;
  • alpha-helical;
  • antifungal;
  • monolayer interactions

Abstract

Fungal infections with multiple resistance to conventional antifungals are increasingly becoming a medical problem, and there is an urgent need for new antifungal compounds with novel mechanisms of action. Here, we show that aurein 2.5, a naturally occurring peptide antibiotic, displays activity against the fungal strains: Rhodotorula rubra and Schizosaccharomyces pombe (MICs < 130 μM). The peptide adopted high levels of membrane-interactive α-helical structure (> 65%) in the presence of lipid membranes derived from these organisms and showed strong propensities to penetrate (π ≥ 13 mN m−1) and lyse them (> 70%). Based on these data, we suggest that aurein 2.5 kills yeasts via membranolytic mechanisms and may act as a template for the development of therapeutically useful antifungal agents.