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Trends Immunol. 2009 Mar;30(3):131-41. doi: 10.1016/j.it.2008.12.003. Epub 2009 Feb 13.

AMPed up immunity: how antimicrobial peptides have multiple roles in immune defense.

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  • 1Division of Dermatology, Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, VA San Diego Healthcare System, 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92161, USA.

Abstract

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are widely expressed and rapidly induced at epithelial surfaces to repel assault from diverse infectious agents including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Much information suggests that AMPs act by mechanisms that extend beyond their capacity to serve as gene-encoded antibiotics. For example, some AMPs alter the properties of the mammalian membrane or interact with its receptors to influence diverse cellular processes including cytokine release, chemotaxis, antigen presentation, angiogenesis and wound healing. These functions complement their antimicrobial action and favor resolution of infection and repair of damaged epithelia. Opposing this, some microbes have evolved mechanisms to inactivate or avoid AMPs and subsequently become pathogens. Thus, AMPs are multifunctional molecules that have a central role in infection and inflammation.

PMID:
19217824
PMCID:
PMC2765035
DOI:
10.1016/j.it.2008.12.003
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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