Submitted to: Infection and Immunity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/6/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Respiratory tract diseases are a leading cause of loss from disease in the cattle, sheep and goat industries. Annual loss in the United States is estimated to exceed one billion dollars. Losses are from mortality, reduced feed efficiency, and slaughter condemnations, as well as prevention and treatment measures. Currently, not all the factors preventing infectious disease in normal animals are known by scientists and veterinarians. As part of our ongoing studies to understand the natural, innate immune system, we identified 2 novel antimicrobial peptides from the tissues of a goat. These antimicrobial peptides are called goat beta-defensin 1 (GBD-1) and goat beta-defensin 2 (GBD-2). GBD-1 was expressed principally in the tongue and respiratory tract and GBD-2 was expressed predominated throughout the intestine. On the basis of our findings, it appears that this would be an important factor in preventing infection and averting the disease process. Our findings are an important first step in finding new ways to better control shipping fever of cattle. Corollary benefits include an increase in the profitability and international competitiveness of the U. S. cattle industry, a stronger rural economy, and a continued supply of inexpensive, wholesome beef, and beef products for the American consumer.
Technical Abstract: We identified two novel beta-defensin precursors, preproGBD-1 and preproGBD-2, in the tissues of a goat. Although identical in 96.8% of their bases and 88.2% (60/68) of their amino acids, preproGBD-1 was expressed principally in the tongue and respiratory tract, whereas preproGBD-2 expression predominated throughout the intestine. These findings exemplify the phenomenon of tissue-specific expression in a famil of host defense peptides that arose before avian and mammalian linkages diverged.