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Immunogenetics. 2008 Apr;60(3-4):147-56. doi: 10.1007/s00251-007-0269-8. Epub 2008 Mar 28.

Evolution, expression and effectiveness in a cluster of novel bovine beta-defensins.

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  • 1School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.


The anti-microbial peptides beta-defensins constitute a large family of innate immune effector molecules, conserved across a wide species range. In this paper, we describe a systematic search of the sequenced bovine genome to characterise this extensive gene family in Bos taurus, providing an insight into the pattern of conservation of beta-defensin genes between species. We have sequenced a sub-set of these newly discovered bovine beta-defensin genes and also report expression data for these genes across a range of tissues. We have synthesised the peptide product of one of these genes, bovine beta-defensin 123, and found it to be a potent inhibitor of several pathogenic microbes, particularly Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes.

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