Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2003 Dec 5;278(49):49044-52. Epub 2003 Sep 23.

Human peptidoglycan recognition protein-L is an N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase.

Author information

  • 1Northwest Center for Medical Education, Indiana University School of Medicine, Gary, Indiana 46408, USA.


Peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGRPs) are pattern recognition molecules coded by up to 13 genes in insects and 4 genes in mammals. In insects PGRPs activate antimicrobial pathways in the hemolymph and cells, or are peptidoglycan (PGN)-lytic amidases. In mammals one PGRP is an antibacterial neutrophil protein. We report that human PGRP-L is a Zn2+-dependent N-acetylmuramoyl-l-alanine amidase (EC, an enzyme that hydrolyzes the amide bond between MurNAc and l-Ala of bacterial PGN. The minimum PGN fragment hydrolyzed by PGRP-L is MurNAc-tripeptide. PGRP-L has no direct bacteriolytic activity. The other members of the human PGRP family, PGRP-Ialpha, PGRP-Ibeta, and PGRP-S, do not have the amidase activity. The C-terminal region of PGRP-L, homologous to bacteriophage and bacterial amidases, is required and sufficient for the amidase activity of PGRP-L, although its activity (in the N-terminal delta1-343 deletion mutant) is reduced. The Zn2+ binding amino acids (conserved in PGRP-L and T7 amidase) and Cys-419 (not conserved in T7 amidase) are required for the amidase activity of PGRP-L, whereas three other amino acids, needed for the activity of T7 amidase, are not required for the activity of PGRP-L. These amino acids, although required, are not sufficient for the amidase activity, because changing them to the "active" configuration does not convert PGRP-S into an active amidase. In conclusion, human PGRP-L is an N-acetylmuramoyl-l-alanine amidase and this function is conserved in prokaryotes, insects, and mammals.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk