Three antimicrobial peptides named PHD1-3 (Papio hamadryas defensin) have been isolated from hamadryas baboon blood leukocytes using preparative electrophoresis and reverse-phase HPLC. The primary structures of these peptides have been determined by automated Edman degradation and mass-spectrometry. The results suggest that the peptides belong to the α-defensin family. Structural homology analysis reveals that among α-defensins from other animal species, PHD3 is the most closely related to RMAD5 (rhesus macaque α-defensin) (90% homology) from rhesus macaque leukocytes and also highly similar to human α-defensin HD5 (60% homology), which is produced by intestinal Paneth cells. The homology of PHD3 with human neutrophil α-defensin HNP1 (human natural peptide) was 30%. The primary structures of PHD1 and PHD2 are most similar to RED1 (rhesus enteral defensin), one of six enteral α-defensins of rhesus monkeys. PHD1-3 have been shown to be active against the Gram-positive bacteria Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus, the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli, and the fungus Candida albicans, similarly to the human HNP1 defensin.
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