Latex, a milky fluid found in several plants, is widely used for many purposes, and its proteins
have been investigated by researchers. Many studies have shown that latex produced by some
plant species is a natural source of biologically active compounds, and many of the hydrolytic enzymes
are related to health benefits. Research on the characterization and industrial and pharmaceutical utility
of latex has progressed in recent years. Latex proteins are associated with plants’ defense mechanisms,
against attacks by fungi. In this respect, there are several biotechnological applications of antifungal
proteins. Some findings reveal that antifungal proteins inhibit fungi by interrupting the synthesis of
fungal cell walls or rupturing the membrane. Moreover, both phytopathogenic and clinical fungal
strains are susceptible to latex proteins. The present review describes some important features of proteins
isolated from plant latex which presented in vitro antifungal activities: protein classification,
function, molecular weight, isoelectric point, as well as the fungal species that are inhibited by them.
We also discuss their mechanisms of action.
Keywords: Latex, proteins, plant, metabolism, antifungal agents, enzymes.
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