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Structure of hydrophobin HFBI from Trichoderma reesei.

Hydrophobins are a class of small, cysteine rich proteins (~ 100 amino acids) that are expressed only by fungi. They are known for their capability of forming a water-insoluble coating on a surface of an object. They were first discovered and separated in Schizophyllum commune in 1991. Based on differences in hydropathy patterns and biophysical properties, they are divided into two categories:class I and class II.

Fungi make complex aerial structures and spores even in aqueous environments. Hydrophobins coat the spores which means they do not clog together.


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  • Scholtmeijer, Karin (2000). "Expression and engineering of hydrophobin genes". University of Groningen.
  • J. Hakanpää, A. Paananen, S. Askolin, T. Nakari-Setälä, T. Parkkinen, M. Penttilä, M. B. Linder, J. Rouvinen (2004). "Atomic Resolution Structure of the HFBII Hydrophobin, a Self-assembling Amphiphile". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 279 (1): 534–539.
  • H. A. B. Wösten, M. L. de Vocht (2000). "Hydrophobins, the fungal coat unravelled". Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Reviews on Biomembranes. 1469 (2): 79–86.