Lympho-epithelial Kazal-type-related inhibitor (LEKTI) is the defective protein of the ichthyosiform condition Netherton syndrome (NS). Strongly expressed in the most differentiated epidermal layers, LEKTI is a serine protease inhibitor synthesized as three different high-molecular-weight precursors, which are rapidly processed into shorter fragments and secreted extracellularly. LEKTI polypeptides interact with several proteases to regulate skin barrier homeostasis as well as inflammatory and/or immunoallergic responses. Here, by combining antibody mapping, N-terminal sequencing, and site-specific mutagenesis, we defined the amino-acid sequence of most of the LEKTI polypeptides physiologically generated in human epidermis. We also identified three processing intermediates not described so far. Hence, a proteolytic cascade model for LEKTI activation is proposed. We then pinpointed the most effective fragments against the desquamation-related kallikreins (KLKs) and we proved that LEKTI is involved in stratum corneum shedding as some of its polypeptides inhibit the KLK-mediated proteolysis of desmoglein-1. Finally, we quantified the individual LEKTI fragments in the uppermost epidermis, showing that the ratios between LEKTI polypeptides and active KLK5 are compatible with a fine-tuned inhibition. These findings are relevant both to the understanding of skin homeostasis regulation and to the design of novel therapeutic strategies for NS.

Proteolytic activation cascade of the Netherton syndrome-defective protein, LEKTI, in the epidermis: implications for skin homeostasis

Fortugno, Paola
;
2011-01-01

Abstract

Lympho-epithelial Kazal-type-related inhibitor (LEKTI) is the defective protein of the ichthyosiform condition Netherton syndrome (NS). Strongly expressed in the most differentiated epidermal layers, LEKTI is a serine protease inhibitor synthesized as three different high-molecular-weight precursors, which are rapidly processed into shorter fragments and secreted extracellularly. LEKTI polypeptides interact with several proteases to regulate skin barrier homeostasis as well as inflammatory and/or immunoallergic responses. Here, by combining antibody mapping, N-terminal sequencing, and site-specific mutagenesis, we defined the amino-acid sequence of most of the LEKTI polypeptides physiologically generated in human epidermis. We also identified three processing intermediates not described so far. Hence, a proteolytic cascade model for LEKTI activation is proposed. We then pinpointed the most effective fragments against the desquamation-related kallikreins (KLKs) and we proved that LEKTI is involved in stratum corneum shedding as some of its polypeptides inhibit the KLK-mediated proteolysis of desmoglein-1. Finally, we quantified the individual LEKTI fragments in the uppermost epidermis, showing that the ratios between LEKTI polypeptides and active KLK5 are compatible with a fine-tuned inhibition. These findings are relevant both to the understanding of skin homeostasis regulation and to the design of novel therapeutic strategies for NS.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12078/14868
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