Salud Pública de México
versión impresa ISSN 0036-3634
RIVAS-SANTIAGO, Bruno; SADA, Eduardo; HERNANDEZ-PANDO, Rogelio y TSUTSUMI, Víctor. Antimicrobial peptides in the innate immunity of infectious diseases. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2006, vol.48, n.1, pp.62-71. ISSN 0036-3634.
Antimicrobial peptides are key effector molecules of the innate immune response. Generally, they are formed by 14-45 aminoacid residues; most of them have a positive charge and amphipathic properties. These peptides are secreted mainly by epithelial cells, neutrophils and macrophages. Based on sequence translation using computer programs, more than 800 types of antimicrobial peptides have been described in plants and animals. Antimicrobial peptides are divided according to the position of disulfide bridges and structural conformation. Defensins are the most studied antimicrobial peptides and are classified into a-defensins and b-defensins. Many of these defensins can be induced by proinflammatory cytokines and pathogen associated molecules. Moreover, they have been shown to partake in the immunopathology of several diseases. The main role of antimicrobial peptides is the direct lysis of microbes. These peptides also have chemotactic properties, which may modulate the immune response, serving as a bridge between the innate and adaptive immune responses. Currently, several studies are exploring the possibility of using these antimicrobial peptides as new therapeutic agents against different infectious diseases.
Palabras llave : antimicrobial peptides; defensins; cathelicidins; innate immunity.