Frank Blecha

03/06/10 Frank Blecha (Kansas State University, USA)

Frank Blecha (Kansas State University, USA)

02 June 2010

INRA Jouy-en-Josas

"Antimicrobial peptides and antiviral cytokines: Host defense peptides to porcine arterivirus (PRRSV)"

Dr. Frank Blecha, University Distinguished Professor and Head Department of Anatomy and Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA

For 15 years, Frank Blecha's group has actively studied antimicrobial peptides. He and his group isolated and biochemically characterized new molecules in various animal species, and investigated their cellular origin and biological activity.


Frank Blecha's laboratory studies the interrelationship of immunology and physiology in animals. This includes evaluation of the regulatory mechanisms involved in innate immunity and in stress- and pathogen-induced immune alterations.

One of the most fundamental, innate defense mechanisms is the cellular production of antimicrobial peptides. These natural antibiotics are produced by a diverse array of cell types including cells of the immune system and epithelial cells of the small intestine and respiratory tract. Because of the pluripotent functions of many of these antibacterial peptides, they are investigating the role of porcine antimicrobial peptides in innate immune mechanisms of young pigs. "Natural Antibiotics" Cytokine immunopotentiation and regulation, and investigations of the influence of environmental stressors on cellular and antibody-mediated immune responses also have been a focus of this laboratory.

Recent Publications:

Sang Y, Ruchala P, Lehrer RI, Ross CR, Rowland RR, Blecha F.
Antimicrobial host defense peptides in an arteriviral infection: differential peptide expression and virus inactivation.
Viral Immunol. 2009 Jul;22(4):235-42.

Sang Y, Ross CR, Rowland RR, Blecha F.
Toll-like receptor 3 activation decreases porcine arterivirus infection.
Viral Immunol. 2008 Sep;21(3):303-13

Sang Y, Teresa Ortega M, Rune K, Xiau W, Zhang G, Soulages JL, Lushington GH, Fang J, Williams TD, Blecha F, Melgarejo T.
Canine cathelicidin (K9CATH): gene cloning, expression, and biochemical activity of a novel pro-myeloid antimicrobial peptide.
Dev Comp Immunol. 2007;31(12):1278-96.

Sang Y, Patil AA, Zhang G, Ross CR, Blecha F.
Bioinformatic and expression analysis of novel porcine beta-defensins.
Mamm Genome. 2006 Apr;17(4):332-9.

Hennig-Pauka I, Jacobsen I, Blecha F, Waldmann KH, Gerlach GF.
Differential proteomic analysis reveals increased cathelicidin expression in porcine bronchoalveolar lavage fluid after an Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae infection.
Vet Res. 2006 Jan-Feb;37(1):75-87.

Sang Y, Ramanathan B, Ross CR, Blecha F.
Gene silencing and overexpression of porcine peptidoglycan recognition protein long isoforms: involvement in beta-defensin-1 expression.
Infect Immun. 2005 Nov;73(11):7133-41.

Sang Y, Ramanathan B, Minton JE, Ross CR, Blecha F.
Porcine liver-expressed antimicrobial peptides, hepcidin and LEAP-2: cloning and induction by bacterial infection.
Dev Comp Immunol. 2006;30(4):357-66.

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Publication date : 14 September 2023