Differential effects of periopathogens on host protease inhibitors SLPI, elafin, SCCA1, and SCCA2

Lei Yin, Bryan Swanson, Jonathan An, Beth M. Hacker, Gary A. Silverman, Beverly A. Dale, Whasun O. Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: Secretory leukocyte peptidase inhibitors (SLPI), elafin, squamous cell carcinoma antigen 1 and 2 (SCCA1 and SCCA2) are specific endogenous serine protease inhibitors expressed by epithelial cells that prevent tissue damage from excessive proteolytic enzyme activity due to inflammation. To determine the effects of various periopathogens on these protease inhibitors, we utilized human gingival epithelial cells (GECs) challenged with cell free bacteria supernatants of various periopathogens Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, and Fusobacterium nucleatum. Design: The gene expression and secretion of SLPI, elafin, SCCA1, and SCCA2 were determined using realtime PCR and ELISA, respectively. The direct effects of periopathogens and P. gingivalis gingipain mutants on these inhibitors were examined in vitro by Western Blot. The effect on the innate immune response of GECs was measured by expression of antimicrobial peptides: human beta defenisin 2 (hBD2) and chemokine (C C motif) ligand 20 (CCL20). Results: We found that SLPI, SCCA2, elafin, hBD2, and CCL20 gene expression levels were significantly induced (pB0.001) in response to P. gingivalis, whose virulence factors include cysteine proteases, but not in response to stimulation by other bacteria. P. gingivalis reduced the secretion of SLPI and elafin significantly in GECs, and degraded recombinant SLPI, elafin, SCCA1, and SCCA2. Differential degradation patterns of SLPI, elafin, SCCA1, and SCCA2 were observed with different bacteria as well as P. gingivalis mutants associated with the loss of specific gingipains secreted by P. gingivalis. In addition, pretreatment of GECs with SLPI, SCCA1, or SCCA2 partially blocked hBD2 and CCL20 mRNA expression in response to P. gingivalis, suggesting a protective effect. Conclusion: Our results suggest that different periopathogens affect the host protease inhibitors in a different manner, suggesting host susceptibility may differ in the presence of these pathogens. The balance between cellular protease inhibitors and their degradation may be an important factor in susceptibility to periodontal infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5070
JournalJournal of Oral Microbiology
Issue number2010
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Gingival epithelial cells
  • Host defense
  • Periopathogen
  • Protease inhibitor

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Differential effects of periopathogens on host protease inhibitors SLPI, elafin, SCCA1, and SCCA2'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this