Dual oxidase 2 is essential for house dust mite-induced pro-inflammatory cytokine production in human keratinocytes

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House dust mites (HDMs) are known to trigger chronic inflammation through Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and their signalling cascades. In this study, we found that TLR2 ligation by HDMs induced the activation of dual oxidase 2 (Duox2) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), leading to the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in human keratinocytes. Stimulation of human keratinocytes with HDMs resulted in increases in interleukin-8 (IL-8) and chemokine (C–C motif) ligand 20 (CCL20) levels. However, pro-inflammatory cytokine production was abolished in keratinocytes transfected with TLR2 siRNA, indicating that HDM-induced cytokine production was mediated via TLR2 signalling. We also examined the function of Duox1/2 isozymes, which are primarily expressed in keratinocytes, in HDM-mediated pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Human keratinocytes transfected with control siRNA or Duox1 siRNA showed no inhibition of IL-8 or CCL20 production in response to HDMs, whereas the silencing of Duox2 expression resulted in a failure to induce cytokine production. Moreover, the phosphorylation and nuclear localization of RelA/p65, a component of NF-κB, were induced by HDMs in human keratinocytes. Transfection of human keratinocytes with TLR2 siRNA or Duox2 siRNA resulted in the complete abolishment of RelA/p65 nuclear localization in response to HDMs. Taken together, these results indicate that the HDM-dependent TLR2-Duox2 signalling axis indeed promotes NF-κB activation, which induces IL-8 and CCL20 production and mediates epidermal keratinocyte inflammation.

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