J Biol Chem 01 25, 2019Author(s):
Chemerin is a leukocyte attractant, adipokine, and antimicrobial protein abundantly produced in the skin epidermis. Despite the fact that most of the bactericidal activity present in human skin exudates is chemerin-dependent, just how chemerin shapes skin defenses remains obscure. Here we demonstrate that p4, a potent antimicrobial human chemerin peptide derivative, displays killing activity against pathogenic methicillin-resistant strains and suppresses microbial growth in a topical skin infection model. Mechanistically, we show that p4 homodimerization is required for maximal bactericidal activity and that an oxidative environment, such as at the skin surface, facilitates p4 disulfide bridge formation, required for the dimerization. p4 led to rapid damage of the bacterial internal membrane and inhibited the interaction between the membranous cytochrome complex and its redox partner, cytochrome These results suggest that a chemerin p4-based defense strategy combats bacterial challenges at the skin surface.