The mouse genome encodes a single homolog of the antimicrobial peptide human beta-defensin 1

FEBS Lett. 1997 Aug 11;413(1):45-9. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(97)00875-2.


The cysteine-rich beta-defensin peptides are broad-spectrum bactericidal agents expressed in epithelial and myeloid tissues. The human beta-defensin-1 (hBD-1) gene maps adjacent to the human alpha-defensin cluster and is expressed in the respiratory, gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts. Here, we characterize a mouse beta-defensin gene (mBD-1) which is: (1) closely related to hBD-1 both in sequence and gene organization; (2) expressed at high levels in the mouse kidney and at lower levels in brain, heart, lung, uterus, spleen, skeletal muscle, stomach, and small intestine; and (3) maps to mouse chromosome 8 at or near the location of the mouse alpha-defensin genes. These data indicate that mBD-1 is a close homolog of hBD-1, and suggest that analysis of its role in mouse host defense may provide significant insights into human epithelial innate immunity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Blood Proteins / genetics*
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Bone Marrow / metabolism
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Defensins
  • Digestive System / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Respiratory System / metabolism
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Urogenital System / metabolism
  • beta-Defensins*


  • Blood Proteins
  • DEFB1 protein, human
  • Defensins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • beta-Defensins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF003524
  • GENBANK/AF003525