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Binding and Cellular Activation Studies Reveal That Toll-like Receptor 2 Can Differentially Recognize Peptidoglycan from Gram-positive and Gram-negative Bacteria.

Abstract

Although much progress has been made toward the identification of innate immune receptors, far less is known about how these receptors recognize specific microbial products. Such studies have been hampered by the need to purify compounds from microbial sources and a reliance on biological assays rather than direct binding to monitor recognition. We have employed surface plasmon resonance (SPR) binding studies using a wide range of well defined synthetic muropeptides derived from Gram-positive (lysine-containing) and Gram-negative (diaminopimelic acid (DAP)-containing) bacteria to demonstrate that Toll-like receptor 2 can recognize peptidoglycan (PGN). In the case of lysine-containing muropeptides, a limited number of compounds, which were derived from PGN remodeled by bacterial autolysins, was recognized. However, a wider range of DAP-containing muropeptides was bound with high affinity, and these compounds were derived from nascent and remodeled PGN. The difference in recognition of the two classes of muropeptides is proposed to be a strategy by the host to respond appropriately to Gram-negative and -positive bacteria, which produce vastly different quantities of PGN. It was also found that certain modifications of the carboxylic acids of isoglutamine and DAP can dramatically reduce binding, and thus, bacterial strains may employ such modifications to evade innate immune detection. Cellular activation studies employing highly purified PGN from Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus plantarum, Micrococcus luteus, and Staphylococcus aureus support the structure binding relationship. The data firmly establish Toll-like receptor 2 as an innate immune sensor for PGN and provides an understanding of host-pathogen interactions at the molecular level.

Authors: Asong J, Wolfert MA, Maiti KK, Miller D, Boons GJ.
Journal: J Biol Chem. 284(13):8643-53
Year: 2009
PubMed: Find in PubMed