Infection 2013-3

 

Defensins: Natural component of human innate immunity.

Hum Immunol. 2013 Sep;74(9):1069-79.

Jarczak J, Kosciuczuk EM, Lisowski P, Strzalkowska N, Józwik A, Horbanczuk J, Krzyzewski J, Zwierzchowski L, Bagnicka E.

Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Polish Academy of Sciences in Jastrzebiec, Poland.

Abstract

The widespread use of antibiotics has contributed to a huge increase in the number of resistant bacteria. New classes of drugs are therefore being developed of which defensins are a potential source. Defensins are a group of antimicrobial peptides found in different living organisms, involved in the first line of defense in their innate immune response against pathogens. This review summarizes the results of studies of this family of human antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). There is a special emphasis on describing the entire group and individual peptides, history of their discovery, their functions and expression sites. The results of the recent studies on the use of the biologically active peptides in human medicine are also presented. The pharmaceutical potential of human defensins cannot be ignored, especially considering their strong antimicrobial activity and properties such as low molecular weight, reduced immunogenicity, broad activity spectrum and resistance to proteolysis, but there are still many challenges and questions regarding the possibilities of their practical application.

Copyright © 2013 American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 23756165

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