Antimicrobial proteins: From old proteins, new tricks

Valerie J. Smith*, Elizabeth Dyrynda

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    70 Citations (Scopus)


    This review describes the main types of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) synthesised by crustaceans, primarily those identified in shrimp, crayfish, crab and lobster. It includes an overview of their range of microbicidal activities and the current landscape of our understanding of their gene expression patterns in different body tissues. It further summarises how their expression might change following various types of immune challenges. The review further considers proteins or protein fragments from crustaceans that have antimicrobial properties but are more usually associated with other biological functions, or are derived from such proteins. It discusses how these unconventional AMPs might be generated at, or delivered to, sites of infection and how they might contribute to crustacean host defence in vivo. It also highlights recent work that is starting to reveal the extent of multi-functionality displayed by some decapod AMPs, particularly their participation in other aspects of host protection. Examples of such activities include proteinase inhibition, phagocytosis, antiviral activity and haematopoiesis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)383-398
    Number of pages16
    JournalMolecular Immunology
    Issue number2, Part B
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


    • Anti-lipopolysaccharide factors
    • Antibacterials
    • Crabs
    • Crayfish
    • Crustins
    • ETosis
    • Haematopoiesis
    • Histones
    • Lysozyme
    • Penaeidins
    • Phagocytosis
    • Shrimp

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Molecular Biology
    • Immunology


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