Staphylococcus epidermidis (S.epidermidis) plays important protective roles by directly producing or by stimulating hosts to produce antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) against pathogenic infections. Although several AMPs from S.epidermidis have been identified, molecules that stimulate hosts to produce AMPs remain largly unknown. Here we demonstrate that a new lipopeptide (named LP01) purified from S.epidermidis culture media has a unique structure with heneicosanoic acid (21 carbons) binding to lysine(11) of a peptide chain. In vitro LP01 increased the expression of β-defensin 2(hBD2) and hBD3 in neonatal human epidermal keratinocytes(NHEK), leading to increased capacity of cell lysates to inhibit the growth of S.aureus. In vivo LP01 induced the expression of mouse β-defensin 4(mBD4) to decrease the survival of local S.aureus in skin and systemic S.aureus survival in liver. The induction of beta-defensins by LP01 was dependent on TLR2 as Tlr2-deficient mice had decreased mBD4. Furthermore, knockdown of CD36 decreased the expression of hBD2 and hBD3, and p38 MAPK inhibitor significantly inhibited the expression of hBDs induced by LP01.Taken together, these findings demonstrate that lipopeptide LP01 from normal commensal S.epidermidis increases antimicrobial peptide hBD2 and hBD3 expression via the activation of TLR2/CD36-p38 MAPK, thus enhancing antimicrobial defense against pathogenic infections.
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