The Plant Defensin NaD1 Enters the Cytoplasm of Candida albicans via Endocytosis Academic Article uri icon


  • Antimicrobial peptides are widespread in nature and are produced by many organisms as a first line of defence against pathogens. These peptides have a broad range of biological activities, such as antibacterial or antifungal activities and act with varied mechanisms of action. A large number of the peptides are amphipathic α-helices which act by disrupting plasma membranes and allowing leakage of intracellular contents. However, some peptides have more complex mechanisms of action that require internalisation into the target organisms' cytoplasm. The method by which these peptides enter the cytoplasm varies, with some requiring the energy dependent processes of endocytosis or polyamine transport and others entering via passive transport. Here we describe the mechanism that the antimicrobial peptide, the plant defensin NaD1, uses to transverse the fungal membrane and gain access to the fungal cytoplasm. By inhibiting ATP synthesis and using an inhibitor of actin polymerisation, we show that NaD1 is internalised into C. albicans yeast cells by the energy-dependent process of endocytosis.

publication date

  • 2018