The cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria is a complex network of surface proteins, capsular polysaccharides and wall teichoic acids (WTA) covalently linked to Peptidoglycan (PG). The absence of WTA has been associated with a reduced pathogenicity of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). Here, we assessed whether this was due to increased detection of PG, an important target of innate immune receptors. Antibiotic-mediated or genetic inhibition of WTA production in S. aureus led to increased binding of the non-lytic PG Recognition Protein-SA (PGRP-SA), and this was associated with a reduction in host susceptibility to infection. Moreover, PGRP-SD, another innate sensor required to control wild type S. aureus infection, became redundant. Our data imply that by using WTA to limit access of innate immune receptors to PG, under-detected bacteria are able to establish an infection and ultimately overwhelm the host. We propose that different PGRPs work in concert to counter this strategy.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2011|