Partial structures of peptidoglycan were chemically synthesized for elucidation of their precise biological activities. By using an efficient synthetic strategy, mono-, di-, tetra- and octasaccharide fragments of peptidoglycan were synthesized in good yields. The biological activity of synthetic fragments of peptidoglycan was evaluated by induction of TNF-α from human monocytes, and TLR2 and NOD2 dependencies by using transfected HEK293 cells, respectively. We revealed that TLR2 was not stimulated by the series of synthetic peptidoglycan partial structures, whereas NOD2 recognizes the partial structures containing the MDP moiety. We also synthesized potent NOD1 agonists, which showed several hundred-fold stronger activity than γ-D-glutamyl-meso-diaminopimelic acid (iE-DAP). Interaction of PGRPs with synthetic peptidoglycan fragments is also described.
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