Author(s): Nizet V, Gallo RL
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Abstract Cathelicidins are small cationic peptides that possess broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. These gene-encoded 'natural antibiotics' are produced by several mammalian species on epithelial surfaces and within the granules of phagocytic cells. Since their discovery over a decade ago, cathelicidins have been speculated to function within the innate immune system, contributing to a first line of host defense against an array of microorganisms. Consequently, cathelicidins have captured the interest of basic investigators in the diverse fields of cell biology, immunology, protein chemistry and microbiology. A burgeoning body of experimental research now appears to confirm and extend the biological significance of these fascinating molecules. This article reviews the latest advances in the knowledge of cathelicidin antimicrobial peptides, with particular emphasis on their role in defense against invasive bacterial infection and associations with human disease conditions.
This article was published in Scand J Infect Dis
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology