Next Article in Journal
Papain Catalyzed (co)Oligomerization of α-Amino Acids
Next Article in Special Issue
Antibacterial Activity of Four Human Beta-Defensins: HBD-19, HBD-23, HBD-27, and HBD-29
Previous Article in Journal
Synthesis of Hyperbranched Glycoconjugates by the Combined Action of Potato Phosphorylase and Glycogen Branching Enzyme from Deinococcus geothermalis
Previous Article in Special Issue
Effects of D-Lysine Substitutions on the Activity and Selectivity of Antimicrobial Peptide CM15
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 691-709; doi:10.3390/polym4010691
Review

Human Defensins: Potential Tools for Clinical Applications

1,*  and 2
Received: 15 January 2012; in revised form: 31 January 2012 / Accepted: 10 February 2012 / Published: 28 February 2012
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1401 KB, uploaded 28 February 2012]   |   Browse Figures
Abstract: As components of the innate immune system, antimicrobial peptides in the form of human defensins play an important role in host defense by serving as the epithelial layer’s biochemical barrier against local infections. Recent studies have shown these molecules to have far more additional cellular functions besides their antimicrobial activity. Defensins play a role in cell division, attraction and maturation of immune cells, differentiation and reorganization of epithelial tissues, wound healing and tumor suppression. This multitude of function makes human defensins appear to be excellent tools for therapeutic approaches. These antimicrobial peptides may be used directly as a remedy against bacterial and viral infections. Furthermore, the application of human defensins can be used to promote wound healing and epithelial reorganization. In particular, human β-defensins have a strong impact on osteoblast proliferation and differentiation. Human β-defensins have already been applied as a vaccination against HIV-1. Another potentially useful characteristic of defensins is their suitability as diagnostic markers in cancer therapy. In particular, α-defensins have already been used for this purpose. Human α-defensin-3, for example, has been described as a tumor marker for lymphocytes. High gene expression levels of α-defensin-3 and -4 have been detected in benign oral neoplasia, α-defensin-6 is considered to be a tumor marker for colon cancer.
Keywords: AMP; human defensins; immunemodulation; wound healing; cancer; clinical application AMP; human defensins; immunemodulation; wound healing; cancer; clinical application
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Export to BibTeX |
EndNote


MDPI and ACS Style

Winter, J.; Wenghoefer, M. Human Defensins: Potential Tools for Clinical Applications. Polymers 2012, 4, 691-709.

AMA Style

Winter J, Wenghoefer M. Human Defensins: Potential Tools for Clinical Applications. Polymers. 2012; 4(1):691-709.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Winter, Jochen; Wenghoefer, Matthias. 2012. "Human Defensins: Potential Tools for Clinical Applications." Polymers 4, no. 1: 691-709.


Polymers EISSN 2073-4360 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert