The CD14 molecule expressed on monocytes and macrophages is a high- affinity receptor for bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and hence an important component of the innate immune system. LPS binding protein (LBP) is required to facilitate the binding of LPS to CD14 in vitro and is necessary for the induction of an inflammatory response to LPS in vivo. Here we show that CD14 and LBP can also bind to lipoteichoic acid from the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Although CD14 does not interact with intact B. subtilis organisms, a brief exposure of the bacteria to serum converts them into a form which can bind to CD14 in an LBP-dependent reaction. When serum- pretreated B. subtilis organisms are incubated with the myelomonocytic cell line U937, which expresses CD14, the bacteria are rapidly phagocytosed. The phagocytosis is strictly dependent both on LBP and on CD14. These in vitro results suggest that LBP plays a role in the innate response not only to gram-negative but also to gram-positive infections.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases