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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2009 Apr;33(4):301.e1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2008.07.020. Epub 2008 Oct 7.

Lactoferrin: structure, function and applications.

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1
Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, Cd. Universitaria s/n, CP 31170, Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico.

Abstract

Lactoferrin (LF) is an 80 kDa iron-binding glycoprotein of the transferrin family that is expressed in most biological fluids and is a major component of the mammalian innate immune system. Its protective effects range from direct antimicrobial activities against a large panel of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, to anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities. These extensive activities are made possible by mechanisms of action utilising not only the capacity of LF to bind iron but also interactions of LF with molecular and cellular components of both host and pathogens. This review summarises the putative antimicrobial mechanisms, clinical applications and heterologous expression models for LF.

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