Versatile Defensins

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Science  01 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5595, pp. 977-979
DOI: 10.1126/science.1078708

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Defensins are antimicrobial peptides produced by immune cells in response to bacterial infection. In his Perspective, Ganz now reveals several new activities for these peptides including the blocking of human host cell invasion by HIV (Zhang et al.) and the induction of cell-mediated immune responses against tumors in mice (Biragyn et al.).