Review Paper

Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 60, Issue 9, pp 1793-1804

First online:

Recognition of bacterial peptidoglycan by the innate immune system

  • R. DziarskiAffiliated withNorthwest Center for Medical Education, Indiana University School of Medicine Email author 

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The innate immune system recognizes microorganisms through a series of pattern recognition receptors that are highly conserved in evolution. Peptidoglycan (PGN) is a unique and essential component of the cell wall of virtually all bacteria and is not present in eukaryotes, and thus is an excellent target for the innate immune system. Indeed, higher eukaryotes, including mammals, have several PGN recognition molecules, including CD14, Toll-like receptor 2, a family of peptidoglycan recognition proteins, Nod1 and Nod2, and PGN-lytic enzymes (lysozyme and amidases). These molecules induce host responses to microorganisms or have direct antimicrobial effects.

Innate immunity pattern recognition receptors peptidoglycan recognition proteins Nod Toll-like receptor-2 CD14 muramyl peptides bacterial cell wall