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Supplementary Material for: AhR Regulates Peptidoglycan-Induced Inflammatory Gene Expression in Human Keratinocytes

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posted on 05.08.2021, 12:38 by Wang L., Cheng B., Ju Q., Sun B.K.
Bacterial peptidoglycan (PGN) stimulates toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) on the surface of keratinocytes (KCs), triggering signaling pathways that promote an innate immune response. However, excessive TLR2 activation can lead to inappropriate inflammation, which contributes to skin conditions such as rosacea. To better treat these conditions, there is a need to understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate the cellular response to TLR2 activation in the skin. Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a transcription factor that modulates the immune response in KCs and is a promising therapeutic target for inflammatory skin diseases. Here, we investigated the role of the AhR in regulating the transcriptional response of human KCs to PGN. We performed whole-transcriptome sequencing in wild-type and AhR-depleted KCs after PGN stimulation. AhR depletion altered the expression of 72 genes in response to PGN, leading to increased expression of 48 genes and repression of 24 genes, including interleukin (IL)-1β. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that PGN stimulation resulted in AhR binding the promoters of IL-1β and IL-6 to activate them. More broadly, AhR promoted inflammatory gene expression by increasing JNK/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling and FosB expression. Finally, we observed that AhR depletion increased TLR2 expression itself, raising the hypothesis that AhR may serve to restrain TLR2-mediated inflammation in KCs through negative feedback. Viewed together, our findings demonstrate a significant and complex role for AhR in modulating the expression of inflammatory genes in KCs in response to PGN.

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