Hydrophobins: the protein-amphiphiles of filamentous fungi

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Hydrophobins are surface active proteins produced by filamentous fungi. They have a role in fungal growth as structural components and in the interaction of fungi with their environment. They have, for example, been found to be important for aerial growth, and for the attachment of fungi to solid supports. Hydrophobins also render fungal structures, such as spores, hydrophobic. The biophysical properties of the isolated proteins are remarkable, such as strong adhesion, high surface activity and the formation of various self-assembled structures. The first high resolution three dimensional structure of a hydrophobin, HFBII from Trichoderma reesei, was recently solved. In this review, the properties of hydrophobins are analyzed in light of these new data. Various application possibilities are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-896
JournalFEMS Microbiology Reviews
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • hydrophobins
  • Filamentous fungus
  • Protein amphiphile
  • Protein surfactant
  • Protein self-assembly
  • Protein adhesion

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