Complexity of danger: the diverse nature of damage-associated molecular patterns

J Biol Chem. 2014 Dec 19;289(51):35237-45. doi: 10.1074/jbc.R114.619304. Epub 2014 Nov 12.


In reply to internal or external danger stimuli, the body orchestrates an inflammatory response. The endogenous triggers of this process are the damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). DAMPs represent a heterogeneous group of molecules that draw their origin either from inside the various compartments of the cell or from the extracellular space. Following interaction with pattern recognition receptors in cross-talk with various non-immune receptors, DAMPs determine the downstream signaling outcome of septic and aseptic inflammatory responses. In this review, the diverse nature, structural characteristics, and signaling pathways elicited by DAMPs will be critically evaluated.

Keywords: ATP; Autophagy; Biglycan; Decorin; Heat Shock Protein (HSP); Heparan Sulfate; Hyaluronan; Inflammasome; Necrosis (Necrotic Death); Small Leucine-rich Proteoglycan (SLRP); Toll-like Receptor (TLR).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytosol / immunology*
  • Cytosol / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / immunology*
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammasomes / immunology
  • Inflammasomes / metabolism
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Models, Immunological
  • Proteoglycans / immunology
  • Proteoglycans / metabolism
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / immunology*
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / immunology


  • Inflammasomes
  • Proteoglycans
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition