Background and objective: Lipocalin 2 (LCN2), a glycoprotein expressed in epithelial cells and leukocytes, has an antibacterial effect and plays a role in innate immunity. The delivery of LCN2 encapsulated in liposomes to oral epithelium may be useful to prevent oral infectious diseases. This study aimed to investigate the inhibitory effect of LCN2, artificially synthesized using a cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) system, on the adhesion of Porphyromonas gingivalis to oral epithelial cells in order to approach oral healthcare using LCN2.
Methods: LCN 2 was synthesized using a CFPS system and assayed by Western blotting, mass spectrometry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The bilayer liposomes were prepared by the spontaneous transfer method using 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3 phosphocholine (DOPC), 3-sn-phosphatidylcholine from Egg Yolk (Egg-PC), and 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3 phosphoethanolamine (DOPE). The cellular and medium fractions derived from the culture of oral epithelial cells with liposome-encapsulated LCN2 were assayed by Western blotting and ELISA. The effect of the synthesized LCN2 on adhesion of the labeled P. gingivalis to oral epithelial cells was investigated as an evaluation of its antibacterial activity.
Results: The synthesized LCN2 protein was identified by Western blotting; its amino acid sequence was similar to that of recombinant LCN2 protein. The additions of DOPE and octa-arginine in the outer lipid-layer components of liposome significantly increased the delivery of liposomes to epithelial cells. When oral epithelial cells were cultured with the synthesized and liposome-encapsulated LCN2, LCN2 was identified in the cellular and medium fractions by Western blotting and its concentration in the cellular fraction from the culture with the synthesized LCN2 was significantly higher than that of a template DNA-free protein. The synthesized LCN2 and liposome-encapsulated LCN2 significantly inhibited the adhesion of P. gingivalis to oral epithelial cells compared with template DNA-free protein.
Conclusion: LCN2 was artificially synthesized by a CFPS system, encapsulated in liposomes, and delivered to oral epithelial cells, and demonstrated an antibacterial action against P. gingivalis. This approach may become a useful model for oral healthcare.
Keywords: Lipocalin 2; antimicrobial peptide; cell-free protein synthesis; drug delivery system; liposome; oral epithelial cells; oral healthcare.
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