Histatin peptides are endogenous anti-microbial peptides that were originally discovered in the saliva. Aside from their broad anti-microbial properties, these peptides play an important role in multiple biological systems. Different members of this family are thought to have relative specializations, with histatin-5 originally being thought to have mostly anti-fungal properties, and histatin-1 having strong wound healing properties. In this report, we describe the robust wound healing properties of histatin-5 and elucidate a functional domain, which is necessary and sufficient for promoting wound healing. We demonstrate these findings in multiple different cell types in vitro and with a standardized murine corneal wound healing model. Discovery of this wound healing domain and description of this functional role of histatin-5 will support developing therapies.

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