Modulation of Host Defense Peptide-Mediated Human Mast Cell Activation by LPS
Human β-defensin3 (hBD3) and the cathelicidin LL-37 are host defense peptides (HDPs) that directly kill microbes and display immunomodulatory/wound-healing properties via the activation of chemokine, formylpeptide and epidermal growth factor receptors on leukocytes and epithelial cells. A C-terminal 14 amino acid hBD3 peptide with all Cys residues replaced with Ser (CHRG01) and an LL-37 peptide consisting of residues 17-29 (FK-13) display antimicrobial activity but lack immunomodulatory property. Surprisingly, we found that CHRG01 and FK-13 caused Ca2+ mobilization and degranulation in human mast cells via a novel G protein-coupled receptor known as Mas-related gene-X2 (MrgX2). At local sites of bacterial infection, the negatively charged LPS likely interacts with cationic HDPs to inhibit their activity and thus providing a mechanism for pathogens to escape host defense mechanisms. We found that LPS caused almost complete inhibition of hBD3 and LL-37-induced Ca2+ mobilization and mast cell degranulation. In contrast, it had no effect on CHRG01 and FK-13-induced mast cell responses. These findings suggest that HDP derivatives that kill microbes, harness mast cell's host defense and wound-healing properties via the activation of MrgX2 but are resistant to inhibition by LPS could be utilized for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant microbial infections. © The Author(s) 2015.