Activation of Molecular Signatures for Antimicrobial and Innate Defense Responses in Skin with Transglutaminase 1 Deficiency
Mutations of the transglutaminase 1 gene (TGM1) are a major cause of autosomal recessive congenital ichthyoses (ARCIs) that are associated with defects in skin barrier structure and function. However, the molecular processes induced by the transglutaminase 1 deficiency are not fully understood. The aim of the present study was to uncover those processes by analysis of cutaneous molecular signatures. Gene expression profiles of wild-type and Tgm1–/–epidermis were assessed using microarrays. Gene ontology analysis of the data showed that genes for innate defense responses were up-regulated in Tgm1–/–epidermis. Based on that result, the induction of Il1b and antimicrobial peptide genes, S100a8, S100a9, Defb14, Camp, Slpi, Lcn2, Ccl20 and Wfdc12, was confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR. A protein array revealed that levels of IL-1β, G-CSF, GM-CSF, CXCL1, CXCL2, CXCL9 and CCL2 were increased in Tgm1–/–skin. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) ligand genes, Hbegf, Areg and Ereg, were activated in Tgm1–/–epidermis. Furthermore, the antimicrobial activity of an epidermal extract from Tgm1–/–mice was significantly increased against both Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. In the epidermis of ichthyosiform skins from patients with TGM1 mutations, S100A8/9 was strongly positive. The expression of those antimicrobial and defense response genes was also increased in the lesional skin of an ARCI patient with TGM1 mutations. These results suggest that the up-regulation of molecular signatures for antimicrobial and innate defense responses is characteristic of skin with a transglutaminase 1 deficiency, and this autonomous process might be induced to reinforce the defective barrier function of the skin.