Kallikrein-related peptidase 6 (KLK6) is a secreted serine protease hypothesized to promote inflammation via cleavage of protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1) and PAR2. KLK6 levels are elevated in multiple inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, but no definitive role in pathogenesis has been established. Here, we show that skin-targeted overexpression of KLK6 causes generalized, severe psoriasiform dermatitis with spontaneous development of debilitating psoriatic arthritis-like joint disease. The psoriatic skin and joint phenotypes are reversed by normalization of skin KLK6 levels and attenuated following genetic elimination of PAR1 but not PAR2. Conservation of this regulatory pathway was confirmed in human psoriasis using vorapaxar, an FDA-approved PAR1 antagonist, on explanted lesional skin from patients with psoriasis. Beyond defining a critical role for KLK6/PAR1 signaling in promoting psoriasis, our results demonstrate that KLK6/PAR1-mediated inflammation in the skin alone is sufficient to drive inflammatory joint disease. Further, we identify PAR1 as a promising cytokine-independent target in therapy of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Allison C. Billi, Jessica E. Ludwig, Yi Fritz, Richard Rozic, William R. Swindell, Lam C. Tsoi, Dennis Gruzska, Shahla Abdollahi-Roodsaz, Xianying Xing, Doina Diaconu, Ranjitha Uppala, Maya I. Camhi, Philip A. Klenotic, Mrinal K. Sarkar, M. Elaine Husni, Jose U. Scher, Christine McDonald, J. Michelle Kahlenberg, Ronald J. Midura, Johann E. Gudjonsson, Nicole L. Ward
KLK6 expression is significantly elevated in psoriatic lesions and parallels disease activity.