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Peptides. 2003 Apr;24(4):523-30.

Antimicrobial peptides in the first line defence of human colon mucosa.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.


Antimicrobial peptides and proteins are effector molecules in the protection of epithelial surfaces. We have evaluated the presence of antimicrobial peptides/proteins that can participate in human colonic defence against microbes. A peptide/protein extract of normal human colon mucosa was found to be active against Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria, and fungi. Four polypeptides with antimicrobial activity were isolated from this material and they were identified by N-terminal amino acid sequence analysis as ubiquicidin, histone H2B, eosinophil cationic protein, and phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)). Using immunodetection and mass spectrometry, LL-37, HNP1-3, and HBD-1 were also identified. Combined, these results indicate that the colon mucosa is protected by a complex mixture of polypeptides, able to kill invading microbes and working in synergy as a barrier against bacterial invasion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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