β-defensin 2 (BD-2), an antimicrobial peptide (AMP), is expressed by oral epithelial cells and plays an important role in innate immunity of the oral cavity. Cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) systems have been studied for the synthesis of various proteins, however, the synthesis of BD-2 by a CFPS system has not been extensively explored. Liposomes have been developed as tools for drug delivery. A delivery of liposome-encapsulated AMP to oral epithelium may be useful to prevent oral infectious diseases. In the present study, we investigated the antimicrobial activity of the BD-2 protein, artificially synthesized using a CFPS system and encapsulated in liposomes. BD-2 protein was artificially synthesized using template DNA and a reconstituted CFPS system and was identified by western blotting. Bilayer liposomes were prepared using 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-choline and 3-sn-phosphatidylcholine from egg yolk. The artificially synthesized BD-2 was encapsulated in liposomes, collected by ultrafiltration, and detected by western blotting. Human oral epithelial cells were cultured with the liposome-encapsulated BD-2 and the concentration of BD-2 in the cell lysate of the culture with the synthesized BD-2 was higher than that of the control cultures. The antimicrobial activity of the synthesized BD-2 was investigated by an adhesion assay of Porphyromonas gingivalis to oral epithelial cells. The artificially synthesized BD-2 and its liposome significantly inhibited adhesion of P. gingivalis to oral epithelial cells. These results suggest that artificially synthesized BD-2 and liposome-encapsulated BD-2 show antimicrobial activity and can potentially play a role in oral healthcare for periodontal diseases.
Keywords: Cell-free protein synthesis system; Drug delivery system; Liposome; Porphyromonas gingivalis; β-defensin 2.