Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC San Diego

UC San Diego Previously Published Works bannerUC San Diego

Interplay of Staphylococcal and Host Proteases Promotes Skin Barrier Disruption in Netherton Syndrome


Netherton syndrome (NS) is a monogenic skin disease resulting from loss of function of lymphoepithelial Kazal-type-related protease inhibitor (LEKTI-1). In this study we examine if bacteria residing on the skin are influenced by the loss of LEKTI-1 and if interaction between this human gene and resident bacteria contributes to skin disease. Shotgun sequencing of the skin microbiome demonstrates that lesional skin of NS subjects is dominated by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis). Isolates of either species from NS subjects are able to induce skin inflammation and barrier damage on mice. These microbes promote skin inflammation in the setting of LEKTI-1 deficiency due to excess proteolytic activity promoted by S. aureus phenol-soluble modulin α as well as increased bacterial proteases staphopain A and B from S. aureus or EcpA from S. epidermidis. These findings demonstrate the critical need for maintaining homeostasis of host and microbial proteases to prevent a human skin disease.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View