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Human neutrophils contain two structurally distinct types of antimicrobial peptides, beta-sheet defensins (HNP-1 to HNP-4) and the alpha-helical peptide LL-37. We used radial diffusion assays and an improved National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards-type broth microdilution assay to compare the antimicrobial properties of LL-37, HNP-1, and(More)
Defensins are antimicrobial and cytotoxic peptides that contain 29-35 amino acid residues, including six invariant cysteines whose intramolecular disulfide bonds cyclize and stabilize them in a complexly folded, triple-stranded beta-sheet configuration. Generated by the proteolytic processing of 93-95 amino acid precursor peptides, the constitute > 5% of(More)
Animals and higher plants express endogenous peptide antibiotics called defensins. These small cysteine-rich peptides are active against bacteria, fungi and viruses. Here we describe plectasin-the first defensin to be isolated from a fungus, the saprophytic ascomycete Pseudoplectania nigrella. Plectasin has primary, secondary and tertiary structures that(More)
Defensins are endogenous, cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides that contribute to host defence against bacterial, fungal and viral infections. There are three subfamilies of defensins in primates: alpha-defensins are most common in neutrophils and Paneth cells of the small intestine; beta-defensins protect the skin and the mucous membranes of the(More)
During the past year, novel beta-defensins of mice and men have been identified, together with a novel defensin subfamily (the circular or 'theta' minidefensins) in primates. Insight into the evolution of defensins has been obtained from structural studies, and several mechanisms related to microbial resistance to defensins have been delineated. There is(More)
Human neutrophils contain a family of microbicidal peptides known as defensins. One of these defensins, human neutrophil peptide (HNP)-1, was purified, and its ability to directly inactivate several viruses was extensively tested. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2, cytomegalovirus, vesicular stomatitis virus, and influenza virus A/WSN were(More)
The past year brought several discoveries that focused attention on antimicrobial peptides on epithelial surfaces. The malfunction of these substances was implicated as a cause of airway infections in cystic fibrosis. Other highlights included new insights into the relative selectivity of antimicrobial peptides for microbial membranes, their primary site of(More)
Lipid bilayers containing the antimicrobial peptide protegrin-1 (PG-1) were studied by lamellar X-ray diffraction. Previously, we have shown that the peptide exists in two distinct states when associated with lipid bilayers depending on the peptide concentration [Heller, W. T., Waring, A. J., Lehrer, R. I., and Huang, H. W. (1998) Biochemistry 37,(More)
Protegrin-1 (PG-1) is a broad-spectrum beta-sheet antimicrobial peptide found in porcine leukocytes. The mechanism of action and the orientation of PG-1 in lipid bilayers are here investigated using (2)H, (31)P, (13)C, and (15)N solid-state NMR spectroscopy. (2)H spectra of mechanically aligned and chain-perdeuterated(More)
The orientation and dynamics of an 18-residue antimicrobial peptide, ovispirin, has been investigated using solid-state NMR spectroscopy. Ovispirin is a cathelicidin-like model peptide (NH(2)-KNLRRIIRKIIHIIKKYG-COOH) with potent, broad-spectrum bactericidal activity. (15)N NMR spectra of oriented ovispirin reconstituted into synthetic phospholipids show(More)