Vaccines should elicit protective and long lasting immune memory, which depends on well choreographed responses between innate and acquired immunity. Defensins are small host defense peptides of innate immunity hitherto reported to have antimicrobial activity, which also orchestrate chemotaxis and activation of effector immune cells, including immature dendritic cells. This review analyzes the biological meaning of the immunomodulatory and immunoenhancing features of defensins and their use for the development of novel vaccines to combat cancer and clinically relevant diseases.
Keywords: antimicrobial peptides, dendritic cells, vaccine carrier
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