Encyclopedia of Signaling Molecules

2018 Edition
| Editors: Sangdun Choi


  • Niharika SwainEmail author
  • Jigna Pathak
  • Rashmi Maruti Hosalkar
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67199-4_102004


Historical Background

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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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niharika Swain
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jigna Pathak
    • 1
  • Rashmi Maruti Hosalkar
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.MGM Dental College and HospitalNavi MumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Indian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial PathologistsMumbaiIndia
  3. 3.Maharashtra State Dental CouncilMumbaiIndia