Equine beta-defensin-1: full-length cDNA sequence and tissue expression.Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2004 May; 99(1-2):127-32.VI
beta-Defensins are cysteine-rich endogenously produced antimicrobial peptides that play an important role in innate immune defense. Although, previous investigations have identified beta-defensins in several mammalian species, no reports have identified equine beta-defensins. Using a strategy of database searching for expressed sequence tags (EST) we identified putative expression of equine beta-defensins in hepatic tissue. Based on this information, sequence specific primers were designed for the equine gene enabling the identification of the full-length cDNA sequence of equine beta-defensin-1. Comparative analyses showed that equine beta-defensin-1 has 46-52% amino-acid identity with other beta-defensins, sharing the greatest identity with porcine beta-defensin-1. Complete conservation of cysteine residues was maintained between the species evaluated, and RT-PCR analysis revealed diverse mRNA tissue expression for equine beta-defensin-1. These data extend the repertoire of equine antimicrobial peptides and expand our understanding of equine innate immunity.