Emerging roles of the host defense peptide LL-37 in human cancer and its potential therapeutic applications

International Journal of Cancer. Journal International Du Cancer
William Ka Kei WuChi H Cho

Abstract

Human cathelicidin LL-37, a host defense peptide derived from leukocytes and epithelial cells, plays a crucial role in innate and adaptive immunity. Not only does LL-37 eliminate pathogenic microbes directly but also modulates host immune responses. Emerging evidence from tumor biology studies indicates that LL-37 plays a prominent and complex role in carcinogenesis. Although overexpression of LL-37 has been implicated in the development or progression of many human malignancies, including breast, ovarian and lung cancers, LL-37 suppresses tumorigenesis in gastric cancer. These data are beginning to unveil the intricate and contradictory functions of LL-37. The reasons for the tissue-specific function of LL-37 in carcinogenesis remain to be elucidated. Here, we review the relationship between LL-37, its fragments and cancer progression as well as discuss the potential therapeutic implications of targeting this peptide.

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Related Concepts

ALL-38 peptide
Lipopolysaccharides
Malignant Neoplasms
Amphipathic Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides
Breast
Malignant Neoplasms
Epithelial Cells
Leukocytes
Malignant Neoplasm of Stomach
Neoplasms

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