Microbial patterns signaling via Toll-like receptors 2 and 5 contribute to epithelial repair, growth and survival.
Toll-Like Receptor 2
Toll-Like Receptor 5
Epithelial cells (ECs) continuously interact with microorganisms and detect their presence via different pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) including Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Ligation of epithelial TLRs by pathogens is usually associated with the induction of pro-inflammatory mediators and antimicrobial factors. In this study, using human airway ECs as a model, we found that detection of microbial patterns via epithelial TLRs directly regulates tissue homeostasis. Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and microbial patterns signaling via TLR2 and TLR5 induce a set of non-immune epithelial responses including cell migration, wound repair, proliferation, and survival of primary and cancerous ECs. Using small interfering RNA (siRNA) gene targeting, receptor-tyrosine kinase microarray and inhibition studies, we determined that TLR and the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mediate the stimulating effect of microbial patterns on epithelial repair. Microbial patterns signaling via Toll-like receptors 2 and 5 contribute to epithelial repair, growth and survival. This effect is independent of hematopoietic and other cells as well as inflammatory cytokines suggesting that epithelia are able to regulate their integrity in an autonomous non-inflammatory manner by sensing microbes directly via TLRs.