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Nat Rev Immunol. 2018 Apr;18(4):243-254. doi: 10.1038/nri.2017.136. Epub 2018 Jan 2.

Peptidoglycan recognition by the innate immune system.

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Research Division of Immunology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Inflammatory Bowel and Immunobiology Research Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 8700 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90048, USA.


The innate immune system recognizes microbial products using germline-encoded receptors that initiate inflammatory responses to infection. The bacterial cell wall component peptidoglycan is a prime example of a conserved pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) for which the innate immune system has evolved sensing mechanisms. Peptidoglycan is a direct target for innate immune receptors and also regulates the accessibility of other PAMPs to additional innate immune receptors. Subtle structural modifications to peptidoglycan can influence the ability of the innate immune system to detect bacteria and can allow bacteria to evade or alter host defences. This Review focuses on the mechanisms of peptidoglycan recognition that are used by mammalian cells and discusses new insights into the role of peptidoglycan recognition in inflammation, metabolism, immune homeostasis and disease.


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