Psoriasin (S100A7), a member of the S100 protein family, is a well-known antimicrobial peptide and a signalling molecule which regulates cellular function and is highly expressed in hyperproliferative skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (AD) and psoriasis with disrupted skin barrier function. However, its role in epidermal differentiation remains unknown. We examined the effect of S100A7 on epidermal differentiation in normal human keratinocytes (NHKs) and on a reconstituted human epidermis model. When NHKs were exposed to disruptive stimuli such as Staphylococcus aureus, ultraviolet irradiation and retinoic acid, the secretion of S100A7 into the culture medium increased and the expression of epidermal differentiation markers decreased. Treatment of NHKs with S100A7 significantly inhibited epidermal differentiation by reducing the expression of keratin 1, keratin 10, involucrin and loricrin and by increasing the expression of abnormal differentiation markers (keratin 6 and keratin 16). We verified that the MyD88-IκB/NF-κB signal cascade was activated via RAGE after S100A7 treatment, resulting in the upregulation of interleukin-6. Finally, we confirmed that S100A7 is a negative regulator of epidermal differentiation using a reconstituted human epidermis model. This study suggests that S100A7-related signalling molecules could be potent targets for recovering skin barrier function in AD and psoriasis where S100A7 is accumulated excessively.
- antimicrobial peptide
- epidermal differentiation
- psoriasin (S100A7)
- receptor for advanced glycation end products
- skin barrier