Author(s): Yamaguchi Y, Nagase T, Makita R, Fukuhara S, Tomita T,
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Abstract Defensins comprise a family of cationic antimicrobial peptides that are characterized by the presence of six conserved cysteine residues. We identified two novel human beta-defensin (hBD) isoforms by mining the public human genomic sequences. The predicted peptides conserve the six-cysteine motif identical with hBD-4, termed hBD-5 and hBD-6. We also evaluated the characteristics of the mouse homologs of hBD-5, hBD-6, and HE2beta1, termed mouse beta-defensin (mBD)-12, mBD-11, and mouse EP2e (mEP2e). The mBD-12 synthetic peptide showed salt-dependent antimicrobial activity. We demonstrate the epididymis-specific expression pattern of hBD-5, hBD-6, mBD-11, mBD-12, and mEP2e. In situ hybridization revealed mBD-11, mBD-12, and mEP2e expression in the columnar epithelium of the caput epididymis, contrasting with the predominant expression of mBD-3 in the capsule or septum of the whole epididymis. In addition, the regional specificity of mBD-11, mBD-12, and mEP2e was somewhat overlapping, but not identical, in the caput epididymis, suggesting that specific regulation may work for each member of the beta-defensin family. Our findings indicated that multiple beta-defensin isoforms specifically and cooperatively contribute to the innate immunity of the urogenital system.
This article was published in J Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology