Enemy attraction: bacterial agonists for leukocyte chemotaxis receptors

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2015 Feb;13(2):95-104. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3390. Epub 2014 Dec 15.


The innate immune system recognizes conserved microorganism-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs), some of which are sensed by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and this leads to chemotactic leukocyte influx. Recent studies have indicated that these processes are crucial for host defence and rely on a larger set of chemotactic MAMPs and corresponding GPCRs than was previously thought. Agonists, such as bacterial formyl peptides, enterococcal pheromone peptides, staphylococcal peptide toxins, bacterial fermentation products and the Helicobacter pylori peptide HP(2-20), stimulate specific GPCRs. The importance of leukocyte chemotaxis in host defence is highlighted by the fact that some bacterial pathogens produce chemotaxis inhibitors. How the various chemoattractants, receptors and antagonists shape antibacterial host defence represents an important topic for future research.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / physiology*
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology*
  • Leukocytes / physiology*
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / agonists*
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / physiology*


  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition