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

Douglas E. Jones, Charles L Bevins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

279 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 4 1993
Externally publishedYes



  • cDNA
  • Crypt
  • Epithelium
  • Intestine
  • Mucosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology

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