Beta-Defensin-2 and Beta-Defensin-3 Reduce Intestinal Damage Caused by Salmonella typhimurium Modulating the Expression of Cytokines and Enhancing the Probiotic Activity of Enterococcus faecium.
ABSTRACT: The intestinal microbiota is a major factor in human health and disease. This microbial community includes autochthonous (permanent inhabitants) and allochthonous (transient inhabitants) microorganisms that contribute to maintaining the integrity of the intestinal wall, modulating responses to pathogenic noxae and representing a key factor in the maturation of the immune system. If this healthy microbiota is disrupted by antibiotics, chemotherapy, or a change in diet, intestinal colonization by pathogenic bacteria or viruses may occur, leading to disease. To manage substantial microbial exposure, epithelial surfaces of the intestinal tract produce a diverse arsenal of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), including, of considerable importance, the ?-defensins, which directly kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms. Based on the literature data, the purpose of this work was to create a line of intestinal epithelial cells able to stably express gene encoding human ?-defensin-2 (hBD-2) and human ?-defensin-3 (hBD-3), in order to test their role in S. typhimurium infections and their interaction with the bacteria of the gut microbiota.
Project description:Antimicrobial peptides are secreted by the intestinal epithelium to defend from microbial threats. The role of human β defensin-1 (hBD-1) is notable because its gene (beta-defensin 1 (DEFB1)) is constitutively expressed and its antimicrobial activity is potentiated in the low-oxygen environment that characterizes the intestinal mucosa. Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) is stabilized even in healthy intestinal mucosa, and we identified that epithelial HIF-1α maintains expression of murine defensins. Extension to a human model revealed that basal HIF-1α is critical for the constitutive expression of hBD-1. Chromatin immunoprecipitation identified HIF-1α binding to a hypoxia response element in the DEFB1 promoter whose importance was confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis. We used 94 human intestinal samples to identify a strong expression correlation between DEFB1 and the canonical HIF-1α target GLUT1. These findings indicate that basal HIF-1α is critical for constitutive expression of enteric DEFB1 and support targeting epithelial HIF for restoration and maintenance of intestinal integrity.
Project description:Microbial resistance against clinical used antibiotics is on the rise. Accordingly, there is a high demand for new innovative antimicrobial strategies. The host-defense peptide human beta-defensin 1 (hBD-1) is produced continuously by epithelial cells and exhibits compelling antimicrobial activity after reduction of its disulphide bridges. Here we report that proteolysis of reduced hBD-1 by gastrointestinal proteases as well as human duodenal secretions produces an eight-amino acid carboxy-terminal fragment. The generated octapeptide retains antibiotic activity, yet with distinct characteristics differing from the full-length peptide. We modified the octapeptide by stabilizing its termini and by using non-natural D-amino acids. The native and modified peptide variants showed antibiotic activity against pathogenic as well as antibiotic-resistant microorganisms, including E. coli, P. aeruginosa and C. albicans. Moreover, in an in vitro C. albicans infection model the tested peptides demonstrated effective amelioration of C. albicans infection without showing cytotoxity on human cells. In summary, protease degradation of hBD-1 provides a yet unknown mechanism to broaden antimicrobial host defense, which could be used to develop defensin-derived therapeutic applications.
Project description:Defensins are endogenous antimicrobial peptides that protect the intestinal mucosa against bacterial invasion. It has been suggested that deficient defensin expression may underlie the chronic inflammation of Crohn disease (CD). The DNA copy number of the beta-defensin gene cluster on chromosome 8p23.1 is highly polymorphic within the healthy population, which suggests that the defective beta-defensin induction in colonic CD could be due to low beta-defensin-gene copy number. Here, we tested this hypothesis, using genomewide DNA copy number profiling by array-based comparative genomic hybridization and quantitative polymerase-chain-reaction analysis of the human beta-defensin 2 (HBD-2) gene. We showed that healthy individuals, as well as patients with ulcerative colitis, have a median of 4 (range 2-10) HBD-2 gene copies per genome. In a surgical cohort with ileal or colonic CD and in a second large cohort with inflammatory bowel diseases, those with ileal resections/disease exhibited a normal median HBD-2 copy number of 4, whereas those with colonic CD had a median of only 3 copies per genome (P=.008 for the surgical cohort; P=.032 for the second cohort). Overall, the copy number distribution in colonic CD was shifted to lower numbers compared with controls (P=.002 for both the surgical cohort and the cohort with inflammatory bowel diseases). Individuals with < or = 3 copies have a significantly higher risk of developing colonic CD than did individuals with > or = 4 copies (odds ratio 3.06; 95% confidence interval 1.46-6.45). An HBD-2 gene copy number of < 4 was associated with diminished mucosal HBD-2 mRNA expression (P=.033). In conclusion, a lower HBD-2 gene copy number in the beta-defensin locus predisposes to colonic CD, most likely through diminished beta-defensin expression.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) maintain a sterile environment in intestinal crypts, limiting microbial colonization and invasion. Decreased AMP expression is proposed to increase the risk for inflammatory bowel disease. Expression and function of inducible AMPs, human ?-defensin 2 and 3 (hBD-2 and hBD-3), remain poorly characterized in healthy and chronically inflamed intestine. METHODS:Peptide concentrations of hBD-2 and hBD-3 in serum and intestinal biopsies of subjects with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease (CD), and those of healthy subjects were measured by ELISA. Messenger RNA of hBD-2 and hBD-3 was quantified by quantitative PCR in biopsies from the terminal ileum (TI) of patients with CD and healthy controls. Peptide localization of hBD-3 in the TI was visualized by confocal microscopy. RESULTS:Immunoreactive hBD-3 peptide is present in the TI and colon in healthy subjects. In the TI of patients with CD, hBD-3, but not hBD-2 peptide, is increased 4-fold, whereas hBD-2 peptide is elevated in the serum. Messenger RNA of hBD-3 in the CD TI remains unchanged and does not correlate with hBD-3 peptide expression. However, hBD-3 is localized to Paneth cell granules and the apical surface of the healthy columnar epithelium. In CD, hBD-3 peptide location switches to the basolateral surface of the columnar epithelium and is diffusely distributed within the lamina propria. CONCLUSION:The peptide hBD-3 throughout the healthy gastrointestinal tract suggests a role in maintaining balance between host defenses and commensal microbiota. Increased and relocalized secretion of hBD-3 toward the lamina propria in the CD TI indicates possible local immunomodulation during chronic inflammation, whereas increased serum hBD-2 in CD implicates its systemic antimicrobial and immunomodulatory role.
Project description:Human beta-defensin-1 (hBD-1) is a member of the family of small cationic antimicrobial peptides that have been identified in several mucosal epithelia. Because human gingival epithelium is a site that is constantly challenged by oral microorganisms, we examined the expression of hBD-1 in human gingival epithelial and fibroblast cell cultures and tissue samples. Cell cultures were challenged with cell wall extracts of Porphyromonas gingivalis or Fusobacterium nucleatum, Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide, tumor necrosis factor alpha, or phorbol myristate acetate. hBD-1 mRNA was detected in unstimulated and stimulated cultures by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR using several primer sets specific for hBD-1. Gingival epithelial cells, but not gingival fibroblasts, expressed a product of the predicted size for hBD-1 mRNA. The sequence of the PCR product was identical to that of hBD-1. hBD-1 mRNA expression was not significantly modulated by any of the stimulants tested. Human gingival tissues from noninflamed and inflamed sites were also analyzed by RT-PCR. hBD-1 mRNA was expressed in all tissue samples. The relative expression of hBD-1 mRNA was similar in noninflamed and inflamed tissues obtained from each of four patients undergoing treatment for periodontitis. However, the relative expression of hBD-1 mRNA varied in gingival biopsies obtained from 15 different normal individuals, and the relative hBD-1 expression was unrelated to interleukin-8 expression. Our findings show the constitutive expression of hBD-1 mRNA in cultured epithelial cells and gingival tissues but not gingival fibroblasts. These findings suggest that expression of hBD-1 may play a role as part of the innate host defenses in maintaining normal gingival health.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Previous studies have extensively documented antimicrobial and chemotactic activities of beta-defensins. Human beta-defensin-2 (hBD-2) is strongly expressed in lesional psoriatic epidermis, and recently we have shown that high beta-defensin genomic copy number is associated with psoriasis susceptibility. It is not known, however, if biologically and pathophysiologically relevant concentrations of hBD-2 protein are present in vivo, which could support an antimicrobial and proinflammatory role of beta-defensins in lesional psoriatic epidermis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found that systemic levels of hBD-2 showed a weak but significant correlation with beta defensin copy number in healthy controls but not in psoriasis patients with active disease. In psoriasis patients but not in atopic dermatitis patients, we found high systemic hBD-2 levels that strongly correlated with disease activity as assessed by the PASI score. Our findings suggest that systemic levels in psoriasis are largely determined by secretion from involved skin and not by genomic copy number. Modelling of the in vivo epidermal hBD-2 concentration based on the secretion rate in a reconstructed skin model for psoriatic epidermis provides evidence that epidermal hBD-2 levels in vivo are probably well above the concentrations required for in vitro antimicrobial and chemokine-like effects. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Serum hBD-2 appears to be a useful surrogate marker for disease activity in psoriasis. The discrepancy between hBD-2 levels in psoriasis and atopic dermatitis could explain the well known differences in infection rate between these two diseases.
Project description:Human beta-defensin 2 (DEFB4, also known as DEFB2 or hBD-2) is a salt-sensitive antimicrobial protein that is expressed in lung epithelia. Previous work has shown that it is encoded in a cluster of beta-defensin genes at 8p23.1, which varies in copy number between 2 and 12 in different individuals. We determined the copy number of this locus in 355 patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), and tested for correlation between beta-defensin cluster genomic copy number and lung disease associated with CF. No significant association was found.
Project description:Human β-defensin 2 (HBD-2) is an antimicrobial peptide produced by mucosal surfaces in response to microbial exposure or inflammatory cytokines. Although HBD-2 is expressed in the esophagus in response to stress and infectious agents, little is known regarding its expression and functional role in esophageal carcinogenesis. In the current investigation, normal esophagus and N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine (NMBA)-induced precancerous and papillomatous lesions of the rat esophagus were characterized for HBD-2 encoding gene Defb4 and protein. HBD-2 was found to be overexpressed in esophagi of rats treated with NMBA compared to animals in control group. Results of Real-time PCR, Western blot and immunohistochemistry demonstrated a positive correlation between the overexpression of HBD-2 and the progression of rat squamous cell carcinogenesis (SCC) in the esophagus. We also observed that HBD-2 is overexpressed in tumor tissues removed from patients with esophageal SCC. Moreover, Defb4 silencing in vitro suppresses the tumor cell proliferation, mobility and invasion in esophageal SCC cell line KYSE-150. The results from this study provide experimental evidence that HBD-2 may play an oncogenic role in the initiation and progression of esophageal SCC and thus serves as a target for chemopreventive and therapeutic interventions.
Project description:Various sebum free fatty acids (FFAs) have shown antibacterial activity against a broad range of gram-positive bacteria, resulting in the suggestion that they are accountable, at least partially, for the direct antimicrobial activity of the skin surface. In this study, we examined the effects of sebum FFAs on the antimicrobial peptide (AMP)-mediated innate immune defense of human sebocytes. Incubation of lauric acid, palmitic acid, or oleic acid (OA) with human sebocytes dramatically enhanced their expression of human beta-defensin (hBD)-2, one of the predominant AMPs found in the skin, whereas remarkable increases in hBD-1, hBD-3, and human cathelicidin LL-37 were not observed. Secreted hBD-2 was detectable by western blotting in the supernatant of sebocyte culture incubated with each FFA, but not with a vehicle control. The supernatant of FFA-incubated sebocyte culture showed antimicrobial activity against Propionibacterium acnes, whereas the enhanced antimicrobial activity of human sebocytes was neutralized by anti-hBD-2 IgG. In addition, the FFA-induced hBD-2 expression was suppressed by blocking the cluster of differentiation (CD)36 fatty acid translocase on the surface of sebocytes with anti-human CD36 IgG or blocking the NF-kappaB signaling pathway with BMS-345541, a highly selective inhibitor of inhibitory kappaB kinase. These data suggest that sebum FFAs upregulate the expression of hBD-2 in human sebocytes, which may enhance the disinfecting activity of the human sebaceous gland. The FFA-induced upregulation of hBD-2 is facilitated by CD36-mediated FFA uptake and NF-kappaB-mediated transactivation. The upregulation of mouse beta-defensin 4, a mouse ortholog for hBD-2, was also observed in the hair follicle sebaceous glands of mouse ear skin after an epicutaneous application of OA, the most hBD-2-inducible FFA tested. This report highlights the potential of using FFAs as a multifunctional antimicrobial therapy agent for acne vulgaris treatment; FFAs may provide direct antibacterial activities against P. acnes and enhance the skin's innate antibacterial defense by inducing the expression of hBD-2 in sebocytes as well.
Project description:The human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa can rapidly induce fatal sepsis, even in previously healthy infants or children treated with appropriate antibiotics. To reduce antibiotic overuse, exploring novel complementary therapies, such as probiotics that reportedly protect patients against P. aeruginosa infection, would be particularly beneficial. However, the major mechanism underlying the clinical effects is not completely understood. We thus aimed to investigate how probiotics affect IL-8 and human beta-defensin 2 (hBD-2) in P. aeruginosa-infected intestinal epithelial cells (IECs). We infected SW480 IECs with wild type PAO1 P. aeruginosa following probiotic treatment with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG or Bifidobacterium longum spp. infantis S12, and analysed the mRNA expression and secreted protein of IL-8 and hBD-2, Akt signalling and NOD1 receptor protein expression. We observed that probiotics enhanced hBD-2 expression but suppressed IL-8 responses when administered before infection. They also enhanced P. aeruginosa-induced membranous NOD1 protein expression and Akt activation. The siRNA-mediated Akt or NOD1 knockdown counteracted P. aeruginosa-induced IL-8 or hBD-2 expression, indicating regulatory effects of these probiotics. In conclusion, these data suggest that probiotics exert reciprocal regulation of inflammation and antimicrobial peptides in P. aeruginosa-infected IECs and provide supporting evidence for applying probiotics to reduce antibiotic overuse.