Antimicrobial activity of aurein 2.5 against yeasts


Correspondence: David A. Phoenix, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE, UK. Tel.: +44 (0) 1772 892504; fax: +44 (0) 1772 892936; e-mail:


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.