Tofacitinib Represses the Janus Kinase-Signal Transducer and Activators of Transcription Signalling Pathway in Keratinocytes
Ankit Srivastava, Mona Ståhle, Andor Pivarcsi, Enikö Sonkoly
Tofacitinib is a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor, which has shown efficacy in treating psoriasis. The mode of action of tofacitinib is not completely understood but it has been thought to be mediated by the inhibition of CD4+ T-cell activation. Here, we investigated whether the molecular targets of tofacitinib are expressed in keratinocytes, and whether tofacitinib can modulate the activity of the JAK/Signal Transducer and Activators of Transcription (STAT)-pathway in keratinocytes. Transcriptomic profiling of human keratinocytes treated with IL-22 in combination with tofacitinib revealed that tofacitinib could prevent the majority of IL-22-mediated gene expression changes. Pathway analysis of tofacitinib-regulated genes in keratinocytes revealed enrichment of genes involved in the JAK/STAT signalling pathway. Quantitative real-time-PCR confirmed the upregulation of S100A7 and downregulation of EGR1 expression by IL-22, which was prevented by tofacitinib pre-treatment. These results indicate a direct effect of tofacinitib on keratinocytes, which can have relevance for systemic as well as for topical treatment of psoriasis with tofacitinib.