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Table 2 Anti-HIV activity of human defensins

From: Host factors influencing susceptibility to HIV infection and AIDS progression

Defensins Regulation Cell Source Mechanisms References
α-Defensins     
HNP1, HNP2, and HNP3 Constitutive HPN2 may be the product of proteolytic processing of HNP1/HPN3 Neutrophils and promyelocytes • CD4 down-modulation
• Viral membrane disruption and binding to CD4 and gp120 (in absence of serum)
• Upregulation of CC-chemokines in macrophages
• Block of nuclear transport (by HNP1)
131, 143, 146
HNP4 Constitutive Neutrophils • Unknown (lectin-independent mechanism) 135
β-Defensins     
HBD2 and HBD3 Inducible by HIV, opportunistic infections, and pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF, IL-1B) Epithelial cells, monocytes, monocytes-derived DCs, macrophages, and keratinocytes • Viral membrane disruption (absence of serum)
• CXCR4 down-modulation
• CCR6-mediated chemotactic effects
148–151
θ-Defensins     
Retrocyclins (RTD1, RTD2) Synthesis blocked in humans by premature termination codon RNA transcripts, not protein, expressed in bone marrow • Prevent HIV entry by binding to CD4 and gp120 138–140