Alexander M. Cole

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Human bone marrow expresses a pseudogene that encodes an antimicrobial peptide homologous to rhesus monkey circular minidefensins (delta-defensins). We prepared the putative ancestral human peptide by solid-phase synthesis and named it "retrocyclin." Retrocyclin did not cause direct inactivation of HIV-1, and its modest antibacterial properties resembled(More)
Theta-defensins are lectin-like, cyclic octadecapeptides found in the leukocytes of nonhuman primates. They are also homologues of the more familiar alpha-defensins expressed by humans and certain other mammals. This study compares the ability of six theta-defensins (hominid retrocyclins 1-3 and rhesus theta-defensins 1-3) and four human alpha-defensins(More)
Theta-defensins are circular octadecapeptides that contain an internal tridisulfide ladder. Because retrocyclin-1, an ancestral hominid theta-defensin, can protect human cells in vitro from infection by T- and M-tropic strains of HIV-1, we used surface plasmon resonance techniques to study its binding to glycoproteins and glycolipids implicated in HIV-1(More)
Recent reports highlighted the chemotactic activities of antimicrobial peptide defensins whose structure, charge, and size resemble chemokines. By assaying representative members of the four known families of chemokines we explored the obverse: whether some chemokines exert antimicrobial activity. In a radial diffusion assay, only recombinant monokine(More)
Mucosal surfaces of the vagina are the portals for heterosexual transmission of HIV-1 and therefore play a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of primary infection. In the search for direct biological evidence for the role of human vaginal fluid in innate host defense, we characterized the anti-HIV-1 function of cationic polypeptides within minimally(More)
  • A M Cole
  • Current topics in microbiology and immunology
  • 2006
Host defense responses of the human female genital tract mucosa to pathogenic microbes and viruses are mediated in part by the release of antimicrobial substances into the overlying mucosal fluid. While host defense has long been considered a prominent function of vaginal and cervical mucosae, evidence that cationic antimicrobial peptides and proteins have(More)
Type I interferons (IFNs) inhibit viral replication and cell growth and enhance the immune response, and therefore have many clinical applications. IFN-alpha2b ranks third in world market use for a biopharmaceutical, behind only insulin and erythropoietin. The average annual cost of IFN-alpha2b for the treatment of hepatitis C infection is $26,000, and is(More)
Retrocyclin is a circular antimicrobial 18-residue peptide encoded in the human genome by a theta-defensin pseudogene. In the human genome, the gene for retrocyclin is inactivated by an in-frame stop codon in its signal sequence but its mature coding sequence is intact. The peptide corresponding to the processed human retrocyclin, generated by solid phase(More)
Rhesus macaques express three theta-defensins (RTDs 1-3), cyclic octadecapeptides with antiviral and lectin-like properties. Corresponding theta-defensin genes exist and are expressed in humans, but a signal sequence mutation prevents the formation of mature theta-defensin peptides. Retrocyclin-1 is a theta-defensin peptide whose precursor is encoded by(More)
Estimates of relationships among Staphylococcus species have been hampered by poor and inconsistent resolution of phylogenies based largely on single gene analyses incorporating only a limited taxon sample. As such, the evolutionary relationships and hierarchical classification schemes among species have not been confidently established. Here, we address(More)