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J Endotoxin Res. 2005;11(5):304-10.

Peptidoglycan recognition in innate immunity.

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


The innate immune system recognizes micro-organisms 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, is not present in eukaryotes, and 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 (TLR2), nucleotide oligomerization domain (Nod)-containing proteins, a family of peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGRPs), and PGN-lytic enzymes (lysozyme and amidase). These molecules induce host responses to micro-organisms, degrade PGN, or have direct antimicrobial effects.

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