Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) protect organisms from freezing and shows great diversity in structure and they have been found in a variety of organisms including vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, bacteria, and fungi. Study of AFPs is a promising issue due to diverse applications in the fields of industry, medical and agriculture such as food technology, cell lines and organ preservation, transplantation and transfusion. In this review, physicochemical, functional and structural features of some antifreeze proteins of each organism like insects, fish, plant, bacteria and fungi have been described. This review also focused on the structure-function relationship of antifreeze proteins. The result of structure analysis infers that AFPs are mostly hydrophobic and plays the important role in ice binding. In this study, recent new insights into the mechanism of action of four types of AFPs have also been discussed.

Key words: Antifreeze proteins, crystallization, mechanism, structure analysis.