Guardians of the gut: Enteric defensins

Sumathi Sankaran-Walters, Ronald Hart, Chantelle Dills

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Enteric defensins likely play a key role in the management of the human microbiome throughout development. The functional and mechanistic diversity of defensins is much greater than was initially thought. Defensin expression and overall Paneth cell physiology likely plays a key role in the development of colitis and other inflammatory or dysbiotic diseases of the gut. As our understanding of enteric defensins grows, their potential as tools of clinical intervention becomes more apparent. In this review, we focus on the function and activity of Paneth Cell defensins and highlight their role in disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number647
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberAPR
StatePublished - Apr 19 2017


  • Antimicrobial peptide
  • Enteric alpha defensins
  • IBD microbiota research
  • Mucosal immunity
  • Paneth cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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