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      Salivary histatin 3 inhibits heat shock cognate protein 70-mediated inflammatory cytokine production through toll-like receptors in human gingival fibroblasts

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          Salivary histatins are bioactive peptides related to the innate immune system associated with antimicrobial activities. However, very little is known about the physiological and biological functions of histatins against host cells or their role in oral cell inflammation. Histatin 3 binds to heat shock cognate protein 70 (HSC70, a constitutively expressed heat shock protein (HSP)). It is unclear whether HSC70 is involved in the inflammatory response in oral cells. Injured oral cells release some intracellular proteins including HSC70. It is possible that released HSC70 induces toll-like receptor (TLR) activation, just as extracellular HSP70 (a stress inducible HSP) does, and that histatin 3 affects this process. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that HSC70 activates TLR signaling and histatin 3 inhibits this activation and inflammatory cytokine production.


          A nuclear factor (NF)-κB-dependent luciferase reporter plasmid was transfected into HEK293 cells stably expressing TLR2 with coreceptor CD14 (293-TLR2/CD14 cells) or stably expressing TLR4 with CD14 and the accessory molecule MD2 (293-TLR4/MD2-CD14 cells). The cells were stimulated with HSC70 in the presence or absence of histatin 3, and examined using luciferase assays. We also stimulated human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs) with HSC70 with or without histatin 3. Then, we analyzed the levels of inflammatory cytokines (interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8) in the culture media. Cell proteins were analyzed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blotting with antibodies of mitogen-activated protein kinases and NF-κB inhibitor IκB-α, respectively. Histatin 3-bound form of HSC70 was analyzed using limited V8 protease proteolysis.


          HSC70 induced NF-κB activation in a dose-dependent manner in 293-TLR2/CD14 and 293-TLR4/MD2-CD14 cells, and histatin 3 inhibited this process and when histatin 3 binding to HSC70 was precluded by 15-deoxyspergualin, which augmented NF-κB-triggered activation. In HGFs, histatin 3 also inhibited HSC70-induced inflammatory cytokine production, extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase phosphorylation, and degradation of IκB-α. Moreover, HSC70 in the presence of histatin 3 was relatively resistant to digestion by V8 protease compared with HSC70 in the presence of control peptide.


          Histatin 3 may be an inhibitor of HSC70-triggered activation of TLR signaling and inflammatory cytokine production and may be involved in inflammation processes noted in oral cells.

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          Most cited references 51

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          Defective LPS signaling in C3H/HeJ and C57BL/10ScCr mice: mutations in Tlr4 gene.

          Mutations of the gene Lps selectively impede lipopolysaccharide (LPS) signal transduction in C3H/HeJ and C57BL/10ScCr mice, rendering them resistant to endotoxin yet highly susceptible to Gram-negative infection. The codominant Lpsd allele of C3H/HeJ mice was shown to correspond to a missense mutation in the third exon of the Toll-like receptor-4 gene (Tlr4), predicted to replace proline with histidine at position 712 of the polypeptide chain. C57BL/10ScCr mice are homozygous for a null mutation of Tlr4. Thus, the mammalian Tlr4 protein has been adapted primarily to subserve the recognition of LPS and presumably transduces the LPS signal across the plasma membrane. Destructive mutations of Tlr4 predispose to the development of Gram-negative sepsis, leaving most aspects of immune function intact.
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            Toll-like receptors and their crosstalk with other innate receptors in infection and immunity.

            Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are germline-encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) that play a central role in host cell recognition and responses to microbial pathogens. TLR-mediated recognition of components derived from a wide range of pathogens and their role in the subsequent initiation of innate immune responses is widely accepted; however, the recent discovery of non-TLR PRRs, such as C-type lectin receptors, NOD-like receptors, and RIG-I-like receptors, suggests that many aspects of innate immunity are more sophisticated and complex. In this review, we will focus on the role played by TLRs in mounting protective immune responses against infection and their crosstalk with other PRRs with respect to pathogen recognition. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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              A human homologue of the Drosophila Toll protein signals activation of adaptive immunity.

              Induction of the adaptive immune response depends on the expression of co-stimulatory molecules and cytokines by antigen-presenting cells. The mechanisms that control the initial induction of these signals upon infection are poorly understood. It has been proposed that their expression is controlled by the non-clonal, or innate, component of immunity that preceded in evolution the development of an adaptive immune system in vertebrates. We report here the cloning and characterization of a human homologue of the Drosophila toll protein (Toll) which has been shown to induce the innate immune response in adult Drosophila. Like Drosophila Toll, human Toll is a type I transmembrane protein with an extracellular domain consisting of a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain, and a cytoplasmic domain homologous to the cytoplasmic domain of the human interleukin (IL)-1 receptor. Both Drosophila Toll and the IL-1 receptor are known to signal through the NF-kappaB pathway. We show that a constitutively active mutant of human Toll transfected into human cell lines can induce the activation of NF-kappaB and the expression of NF-kappaB-controlled genes for the inflammatory cytokines IL-1, IL-6 and IL-8, as well as the expression of the co-stimulatory molecule B7.1, which is required for the activation of naive T cells.

                Author and article information

                [1 ]Department of Pharmacology, Matsumoto Dental University, Shiojiri, Nagano, Japan
                [2 ]Department of Dental Education Innovation, Osaka Dental University, Hirakata, Osaka, Japan
                J Inflamm (Lond)
                J Inflamm (Lond)
                Journal of Inflammation (London, England)
                BioMed Central
                4 February 2014
                : 11
                : 4
                Copyright © 2014 Imamura and Wang; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



                inflammatory cytokine, toll-like receptor, hsc70, histatin


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