Host defenses against Staphylococcus aureus infection require recognition of bacterial lipoproteins

Juliane Bubeck Wardenburg, Wade A. Williams, Dominique Missiakas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Scopus citations


Toll-like receptors and other immune-signaling pathways play important roles as sensors of bacterial pattern molecules, such as peptidoglycan, lipoprotein, or teichoic acid, triggering innate host immune responses that prevent infection. Immune recognition of multiple bacterial products has been viewed as a safeguard against stealth infections; however, this hypothesis has never been tested for Staphylococcus aureus, a frequent human pathogen. By generating mutations that block the diacylglycerol modification of lipoprotein precursors, we show here that S. aureus variants lacking lipoproteins escape immune recognition and cause lethal infections with disseminated abscess formation, failing to elicit an adequate host response. Thus, lipoproteins appear to play distinct, nonredundant roles in pathogen recognition and host innate defense mechanisms against S. aureus infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13831-13836
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number37
StatePublished - Sep 12 2006


  • Innate immunity
  • Virulence


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