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Mol Biotechnol. 2001 Nov;19(3):279-96.

The biology of endotoxin.

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Research Center Borstel, Center for Medicine and Biosciences, Parkallee 22, D-23845 Borstel, Germany.


Endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) is the major component of the outer leaflet of Gram-negative bacteria and has profound immunostimulatory and inflammatory capacity. The septic shock syndrome caused by endotoxin still has an unacceptably high mortality rate and, owing to increasing numbers of resistant strains, remains an ongoing threat throughout the world. However, the past years have provided new insights especially into the receptors of the innate immune system that are involved into the recognition of LPS and the initial signal transduction pathways that are engaged after the primary recognition on the cell surface. The knowledge about the molecular basis for the responses to endotoxin may eventually lead to the development of new drugs to fight the fatal effects of bacterial infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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