Human beta defensins are 3–5 kDa polycationic peptides that are known for their antimicrobial activity against bacteria, fungi and viruses. defensins are chemotactic attractants for immature dendritic cells and memory T cells. Human β-defensin 1 (hBD-1) is an antimicrobial peptide expressed by epithelia and hematopoietic cells.The role of human β defensin-1 (hBD-1) is notable because its gene (beta-defensin 1 (DEFB1)) is constitutively expressed and its antimicrobial activity is potentiated in the low-oxygen environment that characterizes the intestinal mucosa.
Defensins can act as direct effectors of the innate immune system through their ability to disrupt the cellular membrane integrity kill via electrostatic interaction which leads to pore formation.
In addition to its role in innate immunity, hBD1 contributes to adaptive immunity by possessing chemotactic activity to recruit immature dendritic cells (DC) and memory T-cells through the CCR6 chemokine receptor. hBD1 may play an important role in tumor suppression via an anti-tumor response involving the immune system.Human beta defensin-1 (hBD-1) is a potent “microchemokine” that attracts immature dendritic cells and memory T cells via a specific interaction with the chemokine receptor CCR6. It is through this action that β-defensins are thought to play an important role in both innate and adaptive immune responses, but their role in prostate tumor progression remains unclear. We have previously shown that the expression of hBD-1 is lost or suppressed in 82% of malignant prostate tissue sections analyzed, whereas benign tissues generally expressed moderate to high levels of this peptide. Although hBD-1 expression is lost at high frequency in prostate cancer, little is known about its function or whether this phenomenon contributes to prostate tumor progression.Recent studies support its role as a tumor suppressor gene for urological cancers suggesting that decreased HBD-1 levels may play a role in the development of cancers associated with As exposure.
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Reference: Kimberley Kallsen, Ellen Andresen, Holger Heine, et al. Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) 1 Controls the Expression of Beta Defensin 1 in Human Lung Epithelial Cells. Published online 2012 Nov 20. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050000 Kelly CJ, Glover LE, Campbell EL,ea al.Fundamental role for HIF-1α in constitutive expression of human β defensin-1. Mucosal Immunol. 2013,6(6):1110-1118
Sudeep K. Bose, Willietta Gibson, Rebecca S. Bullard, et al. PAX2 Oncogene Negatively Regulates the Expression of the Host Defense Peptide Human Beta Defensin-1 in Prostate Cancer. Mol Immunol. 2009,46(6): 1140–1148. Rebecca S. Bullard, Willietta Gibson, Sudeep Bose. Functional Analysis of the Host Defense Peptide Human Beta Defensin-1: New Insight into Its Potential Role in Cancer. Mol Immunol. 2008,45(3): 839–848. Christine M. Hegedus, Christine F. Skibola, Marcella Warner.et al. Decreased Urinary Beta-Defensin-1 Expression as a Biomarker of Response to Arsenic. Toxicol Sci. 2008,106(1): 74–82.