Interactions of α-,β-, and θ-defensins with influenza A virus and surfactant protein D

Mona Doss, Mitchell R. White, Tesfaldet Tecle, Donald Gantz, Erika C. Crouch, Grace Jung, Piotr Ruchala, Alan J. Waring, Robert I. Lehrer, Kevan L. Hartshorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


We have reported that the α-defensins human neutrophil peptides (HNP)-1 and HNP-2 neutralize and aggregate influenza A virus (IAV) and promote uptake of IAV by neutrophils. These α-defensins were also shown to bind to surfactant protein (SP)-D and reduce its antiviral activity. In this study, we examined retrocyclin (RC)1 and RC2, humanized versions of the antiviral β-defensins found in the leukocytes of certain nonhuman primates. RC1 was just as effective as HNP-1-3 in neutralizing IAV, and RC2 and RC101 (an analog of RC1) were more effective. In contrast, human β-defensins (HBDs) showed less neutralizing activity. Human defensins 5 and 6 (mainly produced by intestinal Paneth cells) had viral neutralizing activity similar to HNP-1-3. Like HNP-1-3, RCs induced viral aggregation and promoted the uptake of IAV by neutrophils. We used surface plasmon resonance to evaluate binding of defensins to SP-D. HBDs, HD6, and HNP-4 bound minimally to SP-D. HNP-1-3 and RCs bound SP-D with high affinity; however, unlike HNP-1 and HNP-2, RCs did not inhibit SP-D antiviral activity. HBDs also did not inhibit antiviral activity of SP-D. Given their strong neutralizing activity and compatibility with SP-D, RCs may provide attractive prototypes for designing therapeutics that can prevent or treat respiratory infections caused by IAV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7878-7887
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Interactions of α-,β-, and θ-defensins with influenza A virus and surfactant protein D'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this