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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2006 Sep;1758(9):1513-22. Epub 2006 Jun 2.

Lipopolysaccharide (Endotoxin)-host defense antibacterial peptides interactions: role in bacterial resistance and prevention of sepsis.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100 Israel.


Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is the major molecular component of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria and serves as a physical barrier providing the bacteria protection from its surroundings. LPS is also recognized by the immune system as a marker for the detection of bacterial pathogen invasion, responsible for the development of inflammatory response, and in extreme cases to endotoxic shock. Because of these functions, the interaction of LPS with LPS binding molecules attracts great attention. One example of such molecules are antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). These are large repertoire of gene-encoded peptides produced by living organisms of all types, which serve as part of the innate immunity protecting them from pathogen invasion. AMPs are known to interact with LPS with high affinities. The biophysical properties of AMPs and their mode of interaction with LPS determine their biological function, susceptibility of bacteria to them, as well as the ability of LPS to activate the immune system. This review will discuss recent studies on the molecular mechanisms underlying these interactions, their effects on the resistance of the bacteria to AMPs, as well as their potential to neutralize LPS-induced endotoxic shock.

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