Botany-derived antimicrobial peptides (BAMPs), a class of small, cysteine-rich peptides produced in plants, are an important component of the plant immune system. Both in vivo and in vitro experiments have demonstrated their powerful antimicrobial activity. Besides in plants, BAMPs have cross-kingdom applications in human health, with toxic and/or inhibitory effects against a variety of tumor cells and viruses. With their diverse molecular structures, broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, multiple mechanisms of action, and low cytotoxicity, BAMPs provide ideal backbones for drug design, and are potential candidates for plant protection and disease treatment. Lots of original research has elucidated the properties and antimicrobial mechanisms of BAMPs, and characterized their surface receptors and in vivo targets in pathogens. In this paper, we review and introduce five kinds of representative BAMPs belonging to the pathogenesis-related protein family, dissect their antifungal, antiviral, and anticancer mechanisms, and forecast their prospects in agriculture and global human health. Through the deeper understanding of BAMPs, we provide novel insights for their applications in broad-spectrum and durable plant disease prevention and control, and an outlook on the use of BAMPs in anticancer and antiviral drug design.
- Botany-derived antimicrobial peptides
- Disease prevention and control
- Health security
- Mechanism of action
- Molecular targets