Analysis of two human gene clusters involved in innate immunity
Human body surfaces are defended by epithelia, which provide the initial physical barrier against potential harmful microorganisms. Epithelia also provide chemical barriers to microbial colonization including low pH, hydrolytic enzymes, and defense molecules such as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). The number of reports demonstrating the presence and upregulation of AMPs in human skin is increasing and reflects the significance of these peptides in cutaneous innate immunity. This thesis has performed an exhaustive characterization of two coherent gene clusters, S100 fused-type proteins (SFTPs) and kazal type serine protease inhibitors (SPINKs), with a part of the effort to elucidate the molecular mechanism of innate immunity in the skin. Included is expression analyses of various novel genes identified in primary keratinocytes and generation of goat antisera against recombinant hornerin fragments and recombinant LEKTI-2, respectively.