| CAMP, CAP-18, CAP18, CRAMP, FALL-39, FALL39, HSD26, LL37, cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide|
OMIM: 600474 MGI: 108443 HomoloGene: 110678 GeneCards: CAMP
Cathelicidin-related antimicrobial peptides are a family of polypeptides found in lysosomes of macrophages and polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs), and keratinocytes. Cathelicidins serve a critical role in mammalian innate immune defense against invasive bacterial infection. The cathelicidin family of peptides are classified as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). The AMP family also includes the defensins. Whilst the defensins share common structural features, cathelicidin-related peptides are highly heterogeneous.
Members of the cathelicidin family of antimicrobial polypeptides are characterized by a highly conserved region (cathelin domain) and a highly variable cathelicidin peptide domain.
Cathelicidin peptides have been isolated from many different species of mammals. Cathelicidins were originally found in neutrophils but have since been found in many other cells including epithelial cells and macrophages after activation by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or the hormone 1,25-D, which is the hormonally active form of vitamin D.
Cathelicidins range in size from 12 to 80 amino acid residues and have a wide range of structures. Most cathelicidins are linear peptides with 23-37 amino acid residues, and fold into amphiphatic α-helices. Additionally cathelicidins may also be small-sized molecules (12-18 residues) with beta-hairpin structures, stabilized by one or two disulphide bonds. Even larger cathelicidin peptides (39-80 amino acid residues) are also present. These larger cathelicidins display repetitive proline motifs forming extended polyproline-type structures.
The cathelicidin family shares primary sequence homology with the cystatin family of cysteine proteinase inhibitors, although amino acid residues thought to be important in such protease inhibition are usually lacking.
The general rule of the mechanism triggering cathelicidin action, like that of other antimicrobial peptides, involves the disintegration (damaging and puncturing) of cell membranes of organisms toward which the peptide is active.
Cathelicidin family components have been found in: humans, monkeys, mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, pandas, pigs, cattle, frogs, sheep, goats, chickens, and horses.
Currently identified cathelicidins include the following:
Patients with rosacea have elevated levels of cathelicidin and elevated levels of stratum corneum tryptic enzymes (SCTEs). Cathelicidin is cleaved into the antimicrobial peptide LL-37 by both kallikrein 5 and kallikrein 7 serine proteases. Excessive production of LL-37 is suspected to be a contributing cause in all subtypes of Rosacea. Antibiotics have been used in the past to treat rosacea, but antibiotics may only work because they inhibit some SCTEs.
Higher plasma levels of human cathelicidin antimicrobial protein (hCAP18), which are up-regulated by vitamin D, appear to significantly reduce the risk of death from infection in dialysis patients. Patients with a high level of this protein were 3.7 times more likely to survive kidney dialysis for a year without a fatal infection.
Vitamin D up-regulates genetic expression of cathelicidin, which exhibits broad-spectrum microbicidal activity against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Cathelicidin rapidly destroys the lipoprotein membranes of microbes enveloped in phagosomes after fusion with lysosomes in macrophages.