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Histatins are proteins found in saliva.[1] They are antimicrobial and antifungal proteins, and have been found to play a role in wound-closure.[2][3]A significant source of histatins are found in the serous fluid secreted by Von Ebner's glands, salivary glands at the back of the tongue. Here they offer some early defense against incoming microbes.[4]

The 3 major histatins are 1,3, and 5. Histatin 2 is a degradation product of histatin 1, and all other histatins are degradation products of histatin 3. Therefore there are only two genes, HTN1 and HTN3.

Histatins also precipitate tannins from solution - thus preventing alimentary adsorption. [5]


  1. ^ Histatins at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
  2. ^ http://eprints.nuim.ie/354/
  3. ^ http://www.fasebj.org/content/22/11/3805.abstract
  4. ^ Piludu M, Lantini MS et al.Salivary histatins in human deep posterior lingual glands (of von Ebner). Arch Biol 2006 Nov;51(11) PMID:16859632
  5. ^ Salivary proteins as a defense against dietary tannins. Shimada T. Journal of Chemical Ecology 2006 Jun;32(6):1149-63.