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defensins

Pronunciation: de-fen'sinz

Definition: A class of basic antibiotic polypeptides, found in neutrophils, which kills bacteria by causing membrane damage. These cytotoxic peptides contain 29–38 amino acid residues.

[L. de-fendo, pp. de-fensum, to repel, avert, + -in]

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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