Antimicrobial Potentials and Structural Disorder of Human and Animal Defensins

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Defensins, Antimicrobial peptides, Anti-tumor activity, Protein structure, protein function, Intrinsic disorder

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Defensins are moonlighting peptides which are broadly distributed throughout all the living kingdoms. They play a multitude of important roles in human health and disease, possessing several immunoregulatory functions and manifesting broad antimicrobial activities against viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Based on their patterns of intramolecular disulfide bridges, these small cysteine-rich cationic proteins are divided into three major types, α-, β-, and θ-defensins, with the α- and β-defensins being further subdivided into a number of subtypes. The various roles played by the defensins in the innate (especially mucosal) and adoptive immunities place these polypeptides at the frontiers of the defense against the microbial invasions. Current work analyzes the antimicrobial activities of human and animal defensins in light of their intrinsic disorder propensities.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Cytokine & Growth Factor Reviews, v. 28, p. 95-111