Recognition of bacterial peptidoglycan by the innate immune system

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

128 Scopus citations


The innate immune system recognizes microorganisms 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 and is not present in eukaryotes, and thus 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, a family of peptidoglycan recognition proteins, Nod1 and Nod2, and PGN-lytic enzymes (lysozyme and amidases). These molecules induce host responses to microorganisms or have direct antimicrobial effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1793-1804
Number of pages12
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003


  • Bacterial cell wall
  • CD 14
  • Innate immunity
  • Muramyl peptides
  • Nod
  • Pattern recognition receptors
  • Peptidoglycan recognition proteins
  • Toll-like receptor-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Cell Biology

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