Definition: In the biomedical world, HDP stands for host defense peptides. These are polypeptides that our bodies produce naturally, that have antimicrobial properties. Also called AMPs (antimicrobial peptides). These small peptides can inactivate bacteria, and sometimes viruses or fungi, and seem to be produced by all life forms, as they have been found in plants, animals, insects among other organisms. The many mechanisms by which HDPs work are still being investigated, but scientists have used proteomics to determine what protein complexes they are attracted to. Some will bind the outside of bacterial cell walls, forming an antigen-like ligand, that attracts cellular defense systems, which then destroy the microbe. These small peptides show promise as new antimicrobial agents against "superbugs" and research is being done on synthetic peptides called innate defense regulator (IDR) analogues, for therapeutic use.
Also Known As: AMPs, host defense peptides, antimicrobial peptides