Abstract Tat (47–58) peptide, a positively charged Arginine-rich peptide derived from HIV-1 regulatory protein Tat, is known for a peptidic delivery factor as a cell-penetrating peptide on mammalian cells. In this study, antifungal effect and its mode of action of Tat peptide were investigated on fungal cells. The results indicate that Tat peptide exhibits antifungal activity against pathogenic fungal cells without hemolytic effect on human erythrocytes. To understand the mechanism(s) of Tat peptide, the cellular distribution of the peptide was investigated. Tat peptide internalized in the fungal cells without any damage to cell membrane when examined using an artificial liposome (PC/cholesterol; 10:1, w/w). Moreover, flow cytometry analysis exhibited the uptake of Tat peptide by energy- and salt-independent pathway, and confocal scanning microscopy displayed that this peptide accumulated in the nucleus of fungal cells rapidly without any impediment by time or temperature, which generally influence on the viral infections. After penetration into the nuclear, the peptide affected the process of cell cycle of Candida albicans through the arrest at G1 phase.