Defensins: antimicrobial peptides of innate immunity.

Authors:
Tomas Ganz

Nat Rev Immunol 2003 Sep;3(9):710-20

Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, California 90095-1690, USA.

The production of natural antibiotic peptides has emerged as an important mechanism of innate immunity in plants and animals. Defensins are diverse members of a large family of antimicrobial peptides, contributing to the antimicrobial action of granulocytes, mucosal host defence in the small intestine and epithelial host defence in the skin and elsewhere. This review, inspired by a spate of recent studies of defensins in human diseases and animal models, focuses on the biological function of defensins.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nri1180DOI Listing
September 2003
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