LL37, also known as cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (CAMP), is a naturally occurring antimicrobial peptide found in humans and other animals. It is part of the innate immune system, which provides a rapid and general defense against pathogens.
LL37 is produced by various cells, including immune cells such as neutrophils and macrophages, as well as cells in the skin, respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal tract. Its primary function is to fight against bacterial, viral, and fungal infections by directly killing or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms.
LL37 has several mechanisms of action that contribute to its antimicrobial properties. It can disrupt the membranes of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, causing their destruction. It can also modulate the immune response by attracting immune cells to the site of infection and promoting the release of cytokines, which are signaling molecules that regulate the immune system.
In addition to its antimicrobial role, LL37 also has other functions. It can promote wound healing by stimulating the migration and proliferation of cells involved in tissue repair. Furthermore, LL37 exhibits immunomodulatory effects by influencing the balance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses, which can be important in various diseases and conditions.
Researchers are studying LL37 and its potential therapeutic applications in areas such as infectious diseases, autoimmune disorders, and even cancer.