Summary Points

• The seeds of passion fruit produce distinct proteins with antifungal activity.

• One of them, designated passiflin, specifically inhibits the fungus Rhizoctonia solani, with an IC50 of 16 mM, but no effect is seen on two other fungi, Fusarium oxysporum and Mycosphaerella arachidicola.

• Passiflin suppresses proliferation of breast cancer cells with an IC50 of 15 mM, but there is no effect on hepatoma HepG2 cells. It is devoid of ribonuclease, hemagglutinating, and HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitory activities which may be present in some antifungal proteins.

• Unlike the majority of other antifungal proteins, passiflin is dimeric, and adsorbed on DEAE-cellulose and Q-Sepharose.

• Despite a substantial N-terminal sequence resemblance to b-lactoglobulin, passiflin is immunologically unrelated to b-lactoglobulin, which lacks antifungal and antiproliferative activities.

• 2S albumin-like antifungal proteins and peptides distinct from passiflin in species-specificity of antifungal activity have also been isolated from passion fruit.

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