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J Invest Dermatol. 2009 Oct;129(10):2435-42. doi: 10.1038/jid.2009.104. Epub 2009 Apr 23.

Matriptase-deficient mice exhibit ichthyotic skin with a selective shift in skin microbiota.

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National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Suppressor of tumorigenicity 14 (St14) encodes matriptase, a serine protease, which regulates processing of profilaggrin to filaggin in vivo. Here, we report that transgenic mice with 1% of wild-type St14 levels (St14(hypo/-)) display aberrant processing of profilaggrin and model human ichthyotic skin phenotypes. Scaling of the skin appears at 1 week of age with underlying epidermal acanthosis and orthohyperkeratosis as well as a CD4+ T-cell dermal infiltrate. Upregulation of antimicrobial peptides occurs when challenged by exposure to the postnatal environment. Direct genomic sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes to query microbial diversity identifies a significant shift in both phylogeny and community structure between St14(hypo/-) mice and control littermates. St14(hypo/-) mice have a selective shift in resident skin microbiota with a decrease of the dominant genus of skin bacteria, Pseudomonas and an accompanying increase of Corynebacterium and Streptococcus. St14(hypo/-) mice provide early evidence that the cutaneous microbiome can be specifically altered by genetic state, which may play an important role in modulating skin disease.

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