Lipoprotein is a predominant Toll-like receptor 2 ligand in Staphylococcus aureus cell wall components

Int Immunol. 2006 Feb;18(2):355-62. doi: 10.1093/intimm/dxh374. Epub 2005 Dec 22.


Lipoteichoic acid (LTA) derived from Staphylococcus aureus is reported to be a ligand of Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2). In this study, we demonstrated that lipoproteins obtained from S. aureus are potent activators of TLR2. A fraction obtained by Triton X-114 phase partitioning activated cells through TLR2. The fraction contained proteins and LTA. The activity was detected in compounds in a mass range of 12-40 kDa. Proteinase K digested the active compounds into lower molecular weight active materials <10 kDa. In contrast, hydrofluoric acid treatment, which decomposes LTA, did not alter the molecular mass of the active compounds. Further, most of the activity was abrogated by lipoprotein lipase digestion. These results suggested that lipoproteins are predominant TLR2 ligands in S. aureus cell wall components.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Wall / metabolism
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Immune System / cytology
  • Immune System / immunology
  • Ligands
  • Lipoproteins / immunology
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Staphylococcus aureus / immunology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / metabolism*
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2 / metabolism*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cytokines
  • Ligands
  • Lipoproteins
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Nonidet P-40