Wall teichoic acids prevent antibody binding to epitopes within the cell wall of Staphylococcus aureus

Samir Gautam, Taehan Kim, Evan Lester, Deeksha Deep, David A. Spiegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive bacterial pathogen that produces a range of infections including cellulitis, pneumonia, and septicemia. The principle mechanism in antistaphylococcal host defense is opsonization with antibodies and complement proteins, followed by phagocytic clearance. Here we use a previously developed technique for installing chemical epitopes in the peptidoglycan cell wall to show that surface glycopolymers known as wall teichoic acids conceal cell wall epitopes, preventing their recognition and opsonization by antibodies. Thus, our results reveal a previously unrecognized immunoevasive role for wall teichoic acids in S. aureus: repulsion of peptidoglycan-targeted antibodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-30
Number of pages6
JournalACS chemical biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 15 2016
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this