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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2004 Jul;61(14):1697-713.

Lipopolysaccharide-binding molecules: transporters, blockers and sensors.

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  • 1Endotoxin Group, UMR-8619 of the National Center for Scientific Research, B√Ętiment 430, University of Paris-Sud, 91405, Orsay, France.


Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a major component of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria, can be beneficial to the host by activating the innate immune system, or harmful, by inducing inflammation, disseminated intravascular coagulation, multiple organ failure, shock and often death. On the bacteria, and in host biological fluids and cells, LPS is never free but constantly attached to cognate-binding proteins. Understanding how LPS is transported and further recognized by sensors able to deliver a signal, or by inactivating molecules able to neutralize its biological effects, is an important goal. This review describes the large panel of peptides and proteins reported to associate with LPS, and provides information on their origin, their structure and the location of amino acid residues involved in their interaction with LPS. A better understanding of the mode of recognition of LPS by cognate proteins prompted many laboratories to design on a rational basis synthetic molecules which can be used to detect low amounts of endotoxin, or to act as efficient blockers of in vitro and in vivo responses to LPS.

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