[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Periodontitis is a chronic destructive infection of the tooth-supportive tissues, which is caused by pathogenic bacteria such as Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans. A severe form of periodontitis is found in Papillon-Lefèvre syndrome (PLS), an inheritable disease caused by loss-of-function mutations in the cathepsin C gene. Recently, we demonstrated that these patients lack the activity of the polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN)-derived serine proteinases elastase, cathepsin G, and proteinase 3. In the present study we identified possible pathways along which serine proteinases may be involved in the defense against A. actinomycetemcomitans. Serine proteinases are capable to convert the PMN-derived hCAP-18 into LL-37, an antimicrobial peptide with activity against A. actinomycetemcomitans. We found that the PMNs of PLS patients released lower levels of LL-37. Furthermore, because of their deficiency in serine proteases, the PMNs of PLS patients were incapable of neutralizing the leukotoxin produced by this pathogen, which resulted in increased cell damage. Finally, the capacity of PMNs from PLS patients to kill A. actinomycetemcomitans in an anaerobic environment, such as that found in the periodontal pocket, seemed to be reduced. Our report demonstrates a mechanism that suggests a direct link between an inheritable defect in PMN functioning and difficulty in coping with a periodontitis-associated pathogen.
Infection and Immunity 10/2006; 74(9):5284-91. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Papillon-Lefevre syndrome is characterized by increased susceptibility to early-onset periodontitis and is caused by mutations in the cathepsin C gene. How deficiency of the enzyme relates to an increased periodontal infection risk is still not entirely clear. One possibility is that the deficiency leads to changes in the structure of the periodontal tissues as a result of which its barrier function to pathogens is compromised. We studied the structure of the periodontium in 9-month-old cathepsin C-deficient mice (cathepsin C(-/-)) and compared this with age-matched wild-type mice. Our observations showed that the overall structure of the gingiva, periodontal ligament, alveolar process, and cementum layer are normal in cathepsin C(-/-) mice, with one exception, namely that epithelial rests of Malassez in the periodontal ligament of the cathepsin C(-/-) mice are slightly enlarged. In both experimental and control animals, we noted cyst formation in rests of Malassez. No signs of periodontal infection were observed. It is concluded that cathepsin C deficiency does not lead to major changes in the structure of the periodontium.
European Journal Of Oral Sciences 05/2006; 114(2):171-3. · 1.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Papillon-Lefèvre syndrome (PLS) is a rare autosomal recessive disease that involves severe periodontitis and hyperkeratosis of the hand palms and foot soles. Recently it was found that PLS patients carry loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding cathepsin C (CTSC). In the present study we have analyzed the CTSC gene in two unrelated families with PLS. In the first non-consanguineous family, mutation analysis revealed the previously reported c.815G>C/p.R272P mutation. The second consanguineous family displayed a c.1213C>A mutation which resulted in the novel mutation p.H405N and is the first mutation described in the active site of the enzyme. The PLS patients had, next to the absence of cathepsin C activity in polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs), no activity of the three serine proteinases elastase, cathepsin G and proteinase 3. Serine proteinases are supposed to be important in both the innate and adaptive immune systems. Their absence in PLS patients could explain the inadequate defense to periodontal infection.
Human Mutation 05/2004; 23(5):524. · 5.21 Impact Factor