Structure/function relationships of lipoteichoic acids

Siegfried Morath, Sonja von Aulock, Thomas Hartung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


The role of lipoteichoic acids (LTAs) from Gram-positive bacteria as immunostimulatory molecules was controversial for many years, as inadequate preparation methods as well as heterogeneous and endotoxin-contaminated commercial preparations led to conflicting results. An improved purification methodology for LTA now yields potent bioactive and chemically defined material, which is currently being characterized in various models. A synthetic analogue of Staphylococcus aureus LTA has proven the structure/function relationship. The key role of D-alanine esters for the immune response of LTA was confirmed by synthetic derivatives. The glycolipid anchor of LTA plays a central role analogous to the lipid A of LPS. Methodological aspects and criteria for quality assessment of LTA preparations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-356
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Endotoxin Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Lipoteichoic acid
  • Purification
  • Structural identification
  • Structure/function relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Toxicology


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