Defensin-6 mRNA in human Paneth cells: implications for antimicrobial peptides in host defense of the human bowel

FEBS Lett. 1993 Jan 4;315(2):187-92. doi: 10.1016/0014-5793(93)81160-2.


The epithelial surface of the human small intestine is a barrier between the host and the microbial environment of the lumen. A human small intestine cDNA clone was found to encode a new member of the defensin family of antimicrobial peptides, named human defensin-6. Tissue expression of this mRNA is specific for the small intestine as determined by Northern blot analysis and polymerase chain reaction analysis. In situ hybridization demonstrated that human defensin-6 mRNA localizes to Paneth cells in the crypts of Lieberkühn. The finding of an abundant defensin mRNA in human Paneth cells supports the notion that these epithelial cells may play a key role in host defense of the human bowel. The results also strengthen the hypothesis that peptide-based host defenses are prevalent at mucosal surfaces in mammals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Blood Bactericidal Activity
  • Blood Proteins / genetics*
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Consensus Sequence
  • DNA / genetics
  • Defensins
  • Disulfides / chemistry
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Intestinal Mucosa / cytology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / chemistry
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics


  • Blood Proteins
  • Defensins
  • Disulfides
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M98331
  • GENBANK/X68456
  • GENBANK/X68457
  • GENBANK/X68458
  • GENBANK/X68459
  • GENBANK/X68460
  • GENBANK/X68461
  • GENBANK/X68462
  • GENBANK/X68463
  • GENBANK/X70141