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Small (30–35 aa) cysteine-rich cationic proteins, often membranolytic pore-formers, active against bacteria, fungi and enveloped viruses. They are very variable but can be divided into two main subfamilies, α- and β-defensins. α-Defensins are found primarily in neutrophils, macrophages, and Paneth cells, β-defensins are found in a wider range of tissues including some epithelial cells. Defensins may constitute up to 5% of the total protein. Insect defensins have some sequence homology with the vertebrate forms. See hepcidin antimicrobial peptide.

http://defensins.bii.a-star.edu.sg/ Homepage for the defensins database.

Subjects: Chemistry — Medicine and Health.

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