Common skin bacteria protect their host from oxidative stress through secreted antioxidant RoxP

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Cutibacterium acnes is an abundant skin commensal with several proposed mutualistic functions. A protein with strong antioxidant activity was recently identified from the C. acnes secretome. This protein, termed RoxP, facilitated aerobic bacterial growth in vitro and ex vivo. As reducing events naturally occurred outside of the bacterial cell, it was further hypothesized that RoxP could also serve to modulate redox status of human skin. The biological function of RoxP was here assessed in vitro and in vivo, through oxidatively stressed cell cultures and through protein quantification from skin affected by oxidative disease (actinic keratosis and basal cell carcinoma), respectively. 16S rDNA amplicon deep sequencing and single locus sequence typing was used to correlate bacterial prevalence to cutaneous RoxP abundances. We show that RoxP positively influence the viability of monocytes and keratinocytes exposed to oxidative stress, and that a congruent concentration decline of RoxP can be observed in skin affected by oxidative disease. Basal cell carcinoma was moreover associated with microbial dysbiosis, characterized by reduced C. acnes prevalence. C. acnes's secretion of RoxP, an exogenous but naturally occurring antioxidant on human skin, is likely to positively influence the human host. Results furthermore attest to its prospective usability as a biopharmaceutical.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Aarhus University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Infectious Medicine
Original languageEnglish
Article number3596
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 5
Publication categoryResearch