Title

theta-Defensins: Cyclic Peptides with Endless Potential

Authors

Authors

R. I. Lehrer; A. M. Cole;M. E. Selsted

Comments

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Abbreviated Journal Title

J. Biol. Chem.

Keywords

RHESUS THETA-DEFENSIN-1 RTD-1; TRUNCATED ALPHA-DEFENSINS; ANTIMICROBIAL; PEPTIDES; MACAQUE LEUKOCYTES; HIV-1; BETA; RETROCYCLIN; INHIBIT; FUSION; VIRUS; Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Abstract

theta-Defensins, the only cyclic peptides of animal origin, have been isolated from the leukocytes of rhesus macaques and baboons. Their biogenesis is unusual because each peptide is an 18-residue chimera formed by the head-to-tail splicing of nonapeptides derived from two separate precursors. theta-Defensins have multiple arginines and a ladder-like tridisulfide array spanning their two antiparallel beta-strands. Human theta-defensin genes contain a premature stop codon that prevents effective translation of the needed precursors; consequently, these peptides are not present in human leukocytes. Synthetic theta-defensins with sequences that correspond to those encoded within the human pseudogenes are called retrocyclins. Retrocyclin-1 inhibits the cellular entry of HIV-1, HSV, and influenza A virus. The rhesus theta-defensin RTD-1 protects mice from an experimental severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection, and retrocyclin- 1 protects mice from infection by Bacillus anthracis spores. The small size, unique structure, and multiple host defense activities of theta-defensins make them intriguing potential therapeutic agents.

Journal Title

Journal of Biological Chemistry

Volume

287

Issue/Number

32

Publication Date

1-1-2012

Document Type

Review

Language

English

First Page

27014

Last Page

27019

WOS Identifier

WOS:000307386000050

ISSN

0021-9258

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