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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A novel mouse gene family coding for cationic, cysteine-rich peptides. Regulation in small intestine and cells of myeloid origin.

Cryptdin is a Paneth cell corticostatin/defensin in the mouse small bowel. To help define the intestinal role of cryptdin, cryptdin-related sequence (CRS) mRNAs have been characterized with respect to developmental regulation, sequence homology, putative coding function, and occurrence in myeloid cells. Cryptdin, CRS1C, and CRS4C mRNAs are transcribed from separate genes, occur at equivalent abundance in small intestine, and appear in the small bowel in concert during the 2nd and 3rd weeks postpartum. Cryptdin and CRS1C mRNAs are not detectable in adult mouse bone marrow, but probes specific for the 5'- or the 3'-untranslated regions of CRS4C mRNA hybridize to a moderately abundant 1.05-kilobase bone marrow mRNA in contrast to a highly abundant 0.75-kilobase mRNA in small intestine. Nucleotide sequences corresponding to the deduced prepro-coding regions of cryptdin, CRS1C, and CRS4C mRNAs contain a highly conserved 200-base pair region of 92% sequence similarity (CSE.2), but the mRNAs are not homologous otherwise. The deduced CRS1C and CRS4C polypeptides are apparent precursors of secreted, cationic, proline- and cysteine-rich peptides that contain Cys-Pro-X repeats. Unlike cryptdin, however, the proposed CRS1C and CRS4C mature peptide regions lack the structural motif characteristic of defensins. Attempts to find homologies between the putative CRS peptides and existing protein sequences have been unsuccessful, leading us to speculate that CRS1C and CRS4C represent a new family of nondefensin antimicrobial peptides in the mouse small bowel.[1]


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