Supplementary Material for: The Designer Antimicrobial Peptide A-hBD-2 Facilitates Skin Wound Healing by Stimulating Keratinocyte Migration and Proliferation

Background/Aims: Antimicrobial peptides are effective promoters of wound healing but are susceptible to degradation. In this study, we replaced the GIGDP unit on the N-terminal of the endogenous human antimicrobial peptide hBD-2 with APKAM to produce A-hBD-2 and analyzed the effect on wound healing both in vitro and in vivo. Methods: The effects of A-hBD-2 and hBD-2 on cytotoxicity and proliferation in keratinocytes were assessed by Cell Counting Kit-8 assay. The structural stability and antimicrobial activity of hBD-2 and A-hBD-2 were evaluated against Staphylococcus aureus. RNA and proteins levels were evaluated by real-time PCR and western blotting, respectively. Cell migration was evaluated using a transwell assay. Cell cycle analysis was performed by flow cytometry. Wound healing was assessed in Sprague-Dawley rats. Epidermal thickness was evaluated by hematoxylin and eosin staining. Results: We found that hBD-2 exhibited cytotoxicity at high concentrations and decreased the structural stability in the presence of high sodium chloride concentrations. A-hBD-2 exhibited increased structural stability and antimicrobial activity, and had lower cytotoxicity in keratinocytes. A-hBD-2 increased the migration and proliferation of keratinocytes via phosphorylation of EGFR and STAT3 and suppressed terminal differentiation of keratinocytes. We also found that A-hBD-2 elicited mobilization of intracellular Ca2+ and stimulated keratinocytes to produce pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines via phospholipase C activation. Furthermore, A-hBD-2 promoted wound healing in vivo. Conclusion: Our data suggest that A-hBD-2 may be a promising candidate therapy for wound healing.