Antimicrobial Defense of the Intestine

Sohini Mukherjee, Lora V. Hooper

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

182 Scopus citations


The mammalian gastrointestinal tract is home to a dense community of resident bacteria and is also exposed to microorganisms from the external environment. The epithelial surface of the intestine plays a critical role in host protection by producing a diverse repertoire of antimicrobial proteins that directly kill or hinder the growth of microorganisms. Here we discuss the general principles that govern the mechanisms of action of epithelial antimicrobial proteins, regulation of antimicrobial protein expression and activity, and invivo functions of intestinal antimicrobial proteins. We also consider how altered antimicrobial protein expression and function can contribute to disease and how these endogenous antibiotics might be harnessed for the benefit of human health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-39
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 20 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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