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Definition
Defensins are small antimicrobial peptide (AMP) with a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity. It plays an important role in host defenses against infections,
inflammation, wound repair and acquired immunity
 

Discovery
Defensins were discovered when the antimicrobial activity of rabbit and guinea-pig leukocyte lysates were studied in the 1960’s. The so-called arginine- rich cationic peptides were defined by their high cathodal electrophorectic activity mobility and attracted attention because of their isolation and detailed chemical characterization1.
 

Classification

The mammalian defensins can be subdivided into three main classes according to their structural differences: the a-defensins, b-defensins and q-defensins. a-Defensins have broad antimicrobial activity against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, fungi, and enveloped viruses. b-Defensins are mainly active against Gram-negative bacteria and yeast. q-Defensin is a cyclic peptide containing 18 amino acids with three disulfides discovered in macaque leukocytes2. Three defensins (human neutrophil peptide defensin [HNP]-1, HNP-2, and HNP-3) constitute between 30-50% of the total protein in azurophil granules of human polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN)3.

Structural Characteristics
Defensins are small cysteine-rich cationic proteins with 18-45 amino acids and with a molecular weight of 3.4 to 4.5 kDa. All defensins share a characteristic three disulfide bond motif. These cysteine disulfide bonds are essential for the biological activities of defensins.
 

Mode of action
The specific mechanism of antimicrobial activity involves permeabilization of bacterial membranes. It has been postulated that individual monomers oligomerize to form a pore through anionic membranes, although the evidence is only indirect4.
 

The microbicidal activity of defensins is brought about by permeabilization of anionic lipid bilayers and the subsequent release of cellular contents. Interactions between defensins and bacterial membranes are governed mainly by electrostatic forces. One mechanism of permeabilization is thought to involve the formation of ion pores in bacterial membranes. The second model also known as carpet model assumes that the defensins are thought to aggregate into positively charged patches that neutralize anionic lipid head groups of the membrane over a wide area around the peptides. This neutralization disrupts the integrity of the lipid bilayer, causing transient gaps to arise and allowing ions to permeate the membrane4.
 

Functions
Defensins are antimicrobial peptides produced by immune cells in response to bacterial infection. It also functions in blocking of human host cell invasion against HIV5 and the induction of cell-mediated immune responses against tumors in mice6. Various defensins have chemotactic activity for monocytes, T cells and dendritic cells. Defensins produced by cells in the course of innate host defense serve as signals which initiate, mobilize, and amplify adaptive immune host defenses.

References

 

1.     Ganz.T (2003). Defensins: Antimicrobial peptides of innate immunity. Nature, 3,710-720.

2.     Schneider JJ, Unholzer A, Schaller M, Schäfer-Korting M, Korting HC (2005). Human defensins. J Mol Med, 83(8), 587-595.

3.     R I Lehrer, A Barton, K A Daher, S S Harwig, T Ganz, and M E Selsted (1989). Interaction of human defensins with Escherichia coli. Mechanism of bactericidal activity. J Clin Invest, 84(2), 553–561.

4.     Hoover DM, Rajashankar KR, Blumenthal R, Puri A, Oppenheim JJ, Chertov O, Lubkowski J (2000). The structure of human beta-defensin-2 shows evidence of higher order oligomerization. J Biol Chem, 275(42), 32911-32918.

5.     Zhang L, Yu W, He T, Yu J, Caffrey RE, Dalmasso EA, Fu S, Pham T, Mei J, Ho JJ, Zhang W, Lopez P, Ho DD (2002). Contribution of human alpha-defensin 1, 2, and 3 to the anti-HIV-1 activity of CD8 antiviral factor. Science, 303 (5657), 467.

6.     Biragyn A, Ruffini PA, Leifer CA, Klyushnenkova E, Shakhov A, Chertov O, Shirakawa AK, Farber JM, Segal DM, Oppenheim JJ, Kwak LW. Toll-like receptor 4-dependent activation of dendritic cells by beta-defensin 2. Science, 298(5595), 1025-1029.

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If you are unable to find your desired product please contact us for assistance or send an email to info@biosyn.com

 
Product Name Catalog # Unit Price/Unit 
hBD - 1 β - Defensin - 1 human
DHYNCVSSGGQCLYSACPIFTKIQGTCYRGKAKCCK (Disulfide bridge: 5-34, 12-27, 17-35)
10931-001 0.1 mg $298 cart inquire
hBD - 3β - Defensin - 3human
GIINTLQKYYCRVRGGRCAVLSCLPKEEQIGKCSTRGRKCCRRKK (Disulfide bridge: 11-40, 18-33, 23-41)
10932-001 0.1 mg $298 cart inquire
hBD - 4, β - Defensin - 4, human
ELDRICGYGTARCRKKCRSQEYRIGRCPNTYACCLRK (Disulfide bridge: 6-33; 13-27; 17-34)
10933-001 0.1 mg $400 cart inquire
HNP - 1, Defensin Human Neutrophil Peptide - 1
ACYCRIPACIAGERRYGTCIYQGRLWAFCC (Disulfide bridge: 2-30, 4-19, 9-29)
10934-001 0.1 mg $193 cart inquire
HNP - 2, Defensin Human Neutrophil Peptide - 2
CYCRIPACIAGERRYGTCIYQGRLWAFCC (Disulfide bridge: 1-29, 3-18, 8-28)
10935-001 0.1 mg $210 cart inquire

Biosynthesis Inc.