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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1996 Oct 25;797:228-39.

Endogenous vertebrate antibiotics. Defensins, protegrins, and other cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides.

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Department of Medicine, UCLA-Center for the Health Sciences 90095, USA.


Although newly recognized, endogenous cystine-stabilized beta-sheet antimicrobial peptides have ancient origins. These peptides can arm circulating phagocytes and cells of the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and genitourinary tracts to resist invasion by bacteria, mycobacteria, fungi, and enveloped viruses. Defensins and protegrin-like peptides are likely to play a considerable role in innate immunity and may provide molecular templates that can be used to generate novel antibiotics for topical and systemic use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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