Defensin is a cysteine-rich, cationic peptide expressed by higher organisms and plays an important role in innate immunity. Mammalian defensin is classified into alpha, beta, and theta depending on the pattern of disulfide-bridge formation between six conserved cysteine residues. In 1985, Selsted et al. first isolated a mature form of α-defensins family from human blood denoting them as human neutrophil peptides (HNPs) in accordance to their source, property, and size. Shortly, three types of HNPs (HNP-1, HNP-2, and HNP-3) having nearly identical amino acid sequences were isolated. In 1989, a fourth type of HNPs, HNP-4, was reported after being purified to homogeneity by chromatographic methods. In 1989 and 1992, α-defensin genes were extracted from mouse and human paneth cells, respectively, and termed as HD-5 and HD-6, which are...
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