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

Human neutrophil defensin and serpins form complexes and inactivate each other.

Defensins, antimicrobial and cytotoxic peptides of neutrophils, bind to and are inactivated by blood proteins. We identified defensin interactions with alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor (alpha 1-PI), alpha 1-antichymotrypsin (alpha 1-ACT), alpha 2-antiplasmin (alpha 2-AP), and antithrombin III (AT III) and examined defensin binding to alpha 1-PI and alpha 1-ACT in more detail. Defensin interactions with either alpha 1-PI or alpha 1-ACT were not affected by iodoacetamide or high salt concentration. Preincubation of alpha 1-ACT or alpha 1-PI with increasing concentrations of defensin resulted in a progressive decrease of antiprotease activity of both inhibitors against cathepsin G and antiprotease activity of alpha 1-PI against human neutrophil elastase. At higher concentrations, defensin also ablated the inhibitory effect of normal human serum on cathepsin G and human neutrophil elastase. Both alpha 1-PI and alpha 1-ACT inhibited defensin cytotoxicity toward the human lung carcinoma cell line A549, whereas the elastase inhibitor antileukoprotease did not. Complex interactions between serpins and defensin may have a role in regulating inflammatory processes.[1]


  1. Human neutrophil defensin and serpins form complexes and inactivate each other. Panyutich, A.V., Hiemstra, P.S., van Wetering, S., Ganz, T. Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol. (1995) [Pubmed]
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