Host-defense peptides of the skin with therapeutic potential: From hagfish to human

J. Michael Conlon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


It is now well established that peptides that were first identified on the basis of their ability to inhibit growth of bacteria and fungi are multifunctional and so are more informatively described as host-defense peptides. In some cases, their role in protecting the organism against pathogenic microorganisms, although of importance, may be secondary. A previous article in the journal (Peptides 2014; 57:67-77) assessed the potential of peptides present in the skin secretions of frogs for development into anticancer, antiviral, immunomodulatory and antidiabetic drugs. This review aims to extend the scope of this earlier article by focusing upon therapeutic applications of host-defense peptides present in skin secretions and/or skin extracts of species belonging to other vertebrate classes (Agnatha, Elasmobranchii, Teleostei, Reptilia, and Mammalia as represented by the human) that supplement their potential role as anti-infectives for use against multidrug-resistant microorganisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-38
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Skin peptides Antimicrobial Anticancer Antiviral Immunomodulatory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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