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Immunity. 2015 Jan 20;42(1):28-39. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2014.12.028. Epub 2015 Jan 1.

Antimicrobial defense of the intestine.

Author information

1
Department of Immunology, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390.
2
Department of Immunology, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390; The Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Electronic address: lora.hooper@utsouthwestern.edu.

Abstract

The mammalian gastrointestinal tract is home to a dense community of resident bacteria and is also exposed to microorganisms from the external environment. The epithelial surface of the intestine plays a critical role in host protection by producing a diverse repertoire of antimicrobial proteins that directly kill or hinder the growth of microorganisms. Here we discuss the general principles that govern the mechanisms of action of epithelial antimicrobial proteins, regulation of antimicrobial protein expression and activity, and in vivo functions of intestinal antimicrobial proteins. We also consider how altered antimicrobial protein expression and function can contribute to disease and how these endogenous antibiotics might be harnessed for the benefit of human health.

PMID:
25607457
DOI:
10.1016/j.immuni.2014.12.028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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