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Avian antimicrobial peptides: the defense role of β-defensins

Authors
  • Sugiarto, Haryadi
  • Yu, Pak-Lam
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Publisher
Elsevier BV
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2004
Volume
323
Issue
3
Pages
721–727
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2004.08.162
Source
Elsevier
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Avian antimicrobial peptides, classified as β-defensins, have been identified from bloods of chicken, turkey, and ostrich; epithelial cells of chicken and turkey; and king penguin stomach contents. β-Defensins are a family of antimicrobial peptides characterized by six cysteine residues forming β-defensin motifs that are also found in bovine, ovine, pig, and human. These peptides are active against a wide range of microorganisms including Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, fungi, and yeast. Analysis of evolutionary relationships of vertebrate β-defensins showed that there might be a common ancestral gene between avian and other mammalian peptides. This ancient gene may have been passed down and evolved from species older than the oldest living birds, forming a β-defensin-like precursor molecule. This review describes potential applications of these peptides in health care products.

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