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Mol Immunol. 2003 Nov;40(7):395-405.

Lactoferrin--a multifunctional protein with antimicrobial properties.

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Metalloprotein Research Group, Randall Centre for Molecular Mechanisms of Cell Function, King's College London, 3.6 A New Hunt's House, Guy's Campus, London SE1 1UL, UK.


Lactoferrin is a member of the transferrin family of iron-binding proteins. Numerous functions have been reported and continue to be reported for the protein, some of which are related to its iron-binding properties. Its extensive antimicrobial activities were originally attributed to its ability to sequester essential iron, however, it is now established that it possesses bactericidal activities as a result of a direct interaction between the protein or lactoferrin-derived peptides. This article reviews the antimicrobial activities of lactoferrin and discusses the potential mode of action of lactoferrin-derived cationic peptides against Gram-negative bacteria in the light of recent studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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