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bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein
Symbol BPI
Entrez 671
HUGO 1095
OMIM 109195
RefSeq NM_001725
UniProt P17213
Other data
Locus Chr. 20 q11.23

Bactericidal/permeability increasing protein (BPI) is a 456 residue (~50kDa) protein which is part of the innate immune system.[1]


Distribution and function

BPI was initially identified in neutrophils, but is found in other tissues including the epithelial lining of mucus membranes.[2] It is an endogenous antibiotic protein with potent killing activity against some bacteria (Gram-negative bacteria). It binds to compounds called lipopolysaccharides produced by Gram-negative bacteria. Lipolysaccharides are potent activators of the immune system, however BPI at certain concentrations can prevent this activation.

BPI was discovered by Jerrold Weiss and Peter Elsbach at New York University Medical School.


Because lipopolysaccharides are potent inflammatory agents, and the action of antibiotics can result in the release of these compounds, the binding capacity of BPI was explored as a possible means of reducing injury. Xoma Ltd. developed a recombinant 25kDa portion of the BPI molecule called rBPI21, NEUPREX or opebecan. It was given as trial has been found to have decrease the mortality in Gram-negative bacterial induced sepsis.[3] Studies suggest that its binding activity is not the means by which it mediates its protective effect.[4] Studies show biological effects with Gram-positive bacteria[5] and even in infection by the protozoan, Toxoplasma gondii.[6]


  1. ^ Elsbach, Peter (July 1, 1998). "The bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (BPI) in antibacterial host defense" (pdf). Journal of Leukocyte biology (USA: Wiley-Liss) 64 (1): 14–18. ISSN 0741-5400. PMID 9665269. Retrieved 2008-04-08.  
  2. ^ Geraldine Canny; Ofer Levy, Glenn T. Furuta, Sailaja Narravula-Alipati, Richard B. Sisson, Charles N. Serhan, and Sean P. Colgan (2002-03-19). "Lipid mediator-induced expression of bactericidal/ permeability-increasing protein (BPI) in human mucosal epithelia". PNAS (USA: National Academy of Sciences) 99 (6): 3902–3907. doi:10.1073/pnas.052533799. ISSN 0027-8424. PMID 11891303. Retrieved 2008-04-08.  
  3. ^ Michael Levin; Peter A Quint, Brahm Goldstein, Phil Barton, John S Bradley, SD Shemie, Timothy Yeh, Sun Sook Kim, Daniel P Cafaro, Patrick J Scannon and Brett P Giroir (September 16, 2000). "Recombinant bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (rBPI21) as adjunctive treatment for children with severe meningococcal sepsis: a randomised trial". Lancet (England: Lancet Publishing Group) 356 (9234): 961–967. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(00)02712-4. ISSN 0140-6736. PMID 11041396. Retrieved 2008-04-09. Lay summary – Business Wire (2000-09-14).  
  4. ^ G Schlag; H Redl, J Davies, and P Scannon (February 1999). "Protective effect of bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (rBPI21) in baboon sepsis is related to its antibacterial, not antiendotoxin, properties". Annals of Surgery (US: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins) 229 (2): 262–271. doi:10.1097/00000658-199902000-00015. ISSN 0003-4932. PMID 10024109. Retrieved 2008-04-09.  
  5. ^ Amit Srivastava; Heather Casey, Nathaniel Johnson, Ofer Levy, and Richard Malley (January 2007). "Recombinant Bactericidal/Permeability-Increasing Protein rBPI21 Protects against Pneumococcal Disease". Infection and Immunity (US: American Society for Microbiology) 75 (1): 342–349. doi:10.1128/IAI.01089-06. ISSN 0019-9567. PMID 17101667. Retrieved 2008-04-09.  
  6. ^ Anis A. Khan; Lewis H. Lambert Jr., Jack S. Remington, and Fausto G. Araujo (April 1, 1999). "Recombinant Bactericidal/Permeability-Increasing Protein (rBPI21) in Combination with Sulfadiazine Is Active against Toxoplasma gondii". Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (US: American Society for Microbiology) 43 (4): 758–762. ISSN 0066-4804. PMID 10103177. Retrieved 2008-04-09.  

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