Antimicrobial proteins (AMP) are endogenous, gene-encoded proteins, which are able to kill bacteria, fungi and viruses at micro- and nanomolar concentrations. The constitutive as well as inducible production of AMP provides a rapid first-line of defense against invading microorganisms. The significance of such ancient defense system is reflected by the wide distribution of AMP in the plant and animal kingdom. There is increasing evidence that AMP may play an important role in several infectious and inflammatory diseases such as atopic dermatitis, cystic fibrosis and Crohns disease. In this review we aim to provide a short overview about the role of antimicrobial proteins in human diseases. In addition, the use and selective induction of AMP for the development of novel potential therapeutic strategies are addressed. The benefits and possible restrictions of AMP utilization as a new class of antibiotic compounds are discussed.
Keywords: specific granule deficiency, LL-37, granulocytes, Psoriasis, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, Pathogen-associated molecular patterns
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