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This antifungal peptide (DKLIGSCVWGAVNYTSDCNGECKRRGYKGGHCGSFANVNCWCET) has been isolated from the lepidopteran Heliothis virescens (Tobacco budworm moth). Heliomicin is active on yeast species Candida albicans, Pichia pastoris, Aspergillus fumigatus (Thevissen et al, 2004; Landon et al, 2004). Heliomicin interacts with glucosylceramides isolated from P. pastoris and soybean but not with human glucosylceramides (Thevissen et al, 2004).

Heliomicin displays sequence similarities with antifungal plant defensins and antibacterial or antifungal insect defensins. Some selected variants possess both antibacterial and antifungal activities (Lamberty et al, 2001; Landon et al, 2004).

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