Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is a pleiotropic cytokine, hitherto mostly known to be involved in inflammatory responses and immunoregulation. The human tslp
gene gives rise to two transcription and translation variants: a long form (lfTSLP) that is induced by inflammation, and a short, constitutively-expressed form (sfTSLP), that appears to be downregulated by inflammation. The TSLP forms can be produced by a number of cell types, including epithelial and dendritic cells (DCs). lfTSLP can activate mast cells, DCs, and T cells through binding to the lfTSLP receptor (TSLPR) and has a pro-inflammatory function. In contrast, sfTSLP inhibits cytokine secretion of DCs, but the receptor mediating this effect is unknown. Our recent studies have demonstrated that both forms of TSLP display potent antimicrobial activity, exceeding that of many other known antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), with sfTSLP having the strongest effect. The AMP activity is primarily mediated by the C-terminal region of the protein and is localized within a 34-mer peptide (MKK34) that spans the C-terminal α-helical region in TSLP. Fluorescent studies of peptide-treated bacteria, electron microscopy, and liposome leakage models showed that MKK34 exerted membrane-disrupting effects comparable to those of LL-37. Expression of TSLP in skin, oral mucosa, salivary glands, and intestine is part of the defense barrier that aids in the control of both commensal and pathogenic microbes.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited