Beta defensin-1

b defensin-1 is one of a family of small cationic peptides with the ability to disrupt cell membranes, resulting in antimicrobial and possibly anti-tumour activity. The protein is expressed in the distal nephron. The gene, along with those of the other members of the family of defensin, is at 8p23 and is deleted in conventional renal cell carcinoma.

Immunohistochemical expression

Negative in conventional renal cell carcinoma but positive in chromophobe carcinoma, oncocytoma and papillary carcinoma1.

Diagnostic utility


1Young, A.N., de Oliveira Salles, P.G., Lim, S.D., Cohen, C., Petros, J.A., Marshall, F.F., Neish, A.S. and Amin, M.B. Beta defensin-1, parvalbumin, and vimentin: a panel of diagnostic immunohistochemical markers for renal tumors derived from gene expression profiling studies using cDNA microarrays. Am J Surg Pathol 2003;27:199-205.


This page last revised 28.4.2003.

©SMUHT/PW Bishop