Next Article in Journal
Announcing the 2019 Medicines Travel Award for PostDocs
Next Article in Special Issue
Cannabis and Its Secondary Metabolites: Their Use as Therapeutic Drugs, Toxicological Aspects, and Analytical Determination
Previous Article in Journal
An Explorative Study of Qualities in Interactive Processes with Children and Their Parents in Music Therapy during and after Pediatric Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Previous Article in Special Issue
Nutraceutical Characteristics of Ancient Malus x domestica Borkh. Fruits Recovered across Siena in Tuscany
Article Menu
Issue 1 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview

Medicinal Potentialities of Plant Defensins: A Review with Applied Perspectives

1
School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
2
School of Life Science and Food Engineering, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huaian 223003, China
3
Tecnologico de Monterrey, School of Engineering and Sciences, Campus Monterrey, Ave. Eugenio Garza Sada 2501, CP 64849 Monterrey, N.L., Mexico
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicines 2019, 6(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines6010029
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 16 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 19 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Potential and Medical Use of Secondary Metabolites)
  |  
PDF [2303 KB, uploaded 19 February 2019]
  |  

Abstract

Plant-based secondary metabolites with medicinal potentialities such as defensins are small, cysteine-rich peptides that represent an imperative aspect of the inherent defense system. Plant defensins possess broad-spectrum biological activities, e.g., bactericidal and insecticidal actions, as well as antifungal, antiviral, and anticancer activities. The unique structural and functional attributes provide a nonspecific and versatile means of combating a variety of microbial pathogens, i.e., fungi, bacteria, protozoa, and enveloped viruses. Some defensins in plants involved in other functions include the development of metal tolerance and the role in sexual reproduction, while most of the defensins make up the innate immune system of the plants. Defensins are structurally and functionally linked and have been characterized in various eukaryotic microorganisms, mammals, plants, gulls, teleost species of fish, mollusks, insect pests, arachnidan, and crustaceans. This defense mechanism has been improved biotechnologically as it helps to protect plants from fungal attacks in genetically modified organisms (GMO). Herein, we review plant defensins as secondary metabolites with medicinal potentialities. The first half of the review elaborates the origin, structural variations, and mechanism of actions of plant defensins. In the second part, the role of defensins in plant defense, stress response, and reproduction are discussed with suitable examples. Lastly, the biological applications of plant defensins as potential antimicrobial and anticancer agents are also deliberated. In summary, plant defensins may open a new prospect in medicine, human health, and agriculture. View Full-Text
Keywords: defensins; secondary metabolites; plant defense; antimicrobial and anticancer activity; medicine; innate immunity defensins; secondary metabolites; plant defense; antimicrobial and anticancer activity; medicine; innate immunity
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Ishaq, N.; Bilal, M.; Iqbal, H.M. Medicinal Potentialities of Plant Defensins: A Review with Applied Perspectives. Medicines 2019, 6, 29.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Medicines EISSN 2305-6320 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top