Send to

Choose Destination
Genomics. 1994 Feb;19(3):448-53.

Structure and diversity of the murine cryptdin gene family.

Author information

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Erratum in

  • Genomics 1995 Feb 10;25(3):762.


Cryptdins are antimicrobial peptides of the defensin family produced by mouse intestinal Paneth cells. Characterization of genomic and cDNA clones of cryptdins 1-3, 5, and 6 revealed that each of these genes has a two-exon structure. The prepro- and mature peptide coding regions are found on different exons separated by an intron of approximately 550 bp. The 5' ends of cryptdin mRNAs are distinguished by a 45-nucleotide untranslated sequence (UTS) encoded completely by the first exon. This feature contrasts with the extended 5' UTS of myeloid defensin mRNAs, which are coded by a third exon that appears to be unique to defensin genes expressed in hematopoietic cells. Sequencing of cryptdin cDNAs from both C3H/HeJ and 129/SVJ mouse small intestine demonstrated the presence of at least 16 different mRNAs, identifying cryptdins as the largest known defensin family. Amplification of these two-exon crypt defensin genes, followed by mutation-induced divergence at a limited number of positions, may have played an important role in the development of a broad-spectrum enteric defense system in the mouse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center