Dynamic lipopolysaccharide transfer cascade to TLR4/MD2 complex via LBP and CD14

  • Kim, Soo Jin (Graduate School of Medical Science & Engineering, KAIST) ;
  • Kim, Ho Min (Graduate School of Medical Science & Engineering, KAIST)
  • Received : 2017.01.21
  • Published : 2017.02.28


Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) together with MD2, one of the key pattern recognition receptors for a pathogen-associated molecular pattern, activates innate immunity by recognizing lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Gram-negative bacteria. Although LBP and CD14 catalyze LPS transfer to the TLR4/MD2 complex, the detail mechanisms underlying this dynamic LPS transfer remain elusive. Using negative-stain electron microscopy, we visualized the dynamic intermediate complexes during LPS transfer-LBP/LPS micelles and ternary CD14/LBP/LPS micelle complexes. We also reconstituted the entire cascade of LPS transfer to TLR4/MD2 in a total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscope for a single molecule fluorescence analysis. These analyses reveal longitudinal LBP binding to the surface of LPS micelles and multi-round binding/unbinding of CD14 to single LBP/LPS micelles via key charged residues on LBP and CD14. Finally, we reveal that a single LPS molecule bound to CD14 is transferred to TLR4/MD2 in a TLR4-dependent manner. These discoveries, which clarify the molecular mechanism of dynamic LPS transfer to TLR4/MD2 via LBP and CD14, provide novel insights into the initiation of innate immune responses.


Supported by : Ministry of Health and Welfare

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