The heat shock proteins (Hsps) have an important role in the cytoprotection and repair of cells and tissues. One potential mechanism of protection is the ability of Hsp to inhibit genetic expression of proinflammatory cytokines, the transcription of which is dependent on nuclear factor–kappa B (NF-κB) activation. In this study, we evaluated the ability of ectoine, a novel natural biomolecule produced by halophilic microorganisms, to activate the hsp70 and hsp70B′. By reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis, we demonstrated increased hsp70B′ gene expression in human keratinocytes treated with ectoine and heat stressed. In contrast, in the absence of heat shock, ectoine was unable to induce hsp70B′ but had the ability to induce another member of the Hsp family, the hsp70. The latter is not only elevated in response to stress but is also present at basal level in unstressed cells. In addition, ectoine had no effect on proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1alpha, IL-6, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor–alpha and on NF-κB and IκB-α pathway, whereas it downregulated the expression of cited proinflammatory cytokines, in lipopolysaccharides-treated keratinocytes. These results highlighted the ability of ectoine to protect cells from stress conditions and to prevent cell damage by maintaining an elevated level of the Hsp70. Overall, these data might suggest the use of this compatible solute in cosmetic and even pharmaceutical preparations aiming to activate a cytoprotective heat shock response in human cells.
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1 July 2005
Ectoine from halophilic microorganisms induces the expression of hsp70 and hsp70B′ in human keratinocytes modulating the proinflammatory response
Mario De Rosa,
Maria Antonietta Tufano