Author: Jan Scholten
Name: Lipoteichoic acid; LTA.
Origin: is a major constituent of the cell wall of gram-positive bacteria. These organisms have an inner (or cytoplasmic) membrane and, external to it, a thick (up to 80 nanometer) peptidoglycan layer. The structure of LTA varies between the different species of Gram positive bacteria and may contain long chains of ribitol or glycerol phosphate. LTA is anchored to the cell membrane via a diacylglycerol. It acts as regulator of autolytic wall enzymes (muramidases). It has antigenic properties being able to stimulate specific immune response and is released from the bacterial cells mainly after bacteriolysis induced by lysozyme, cationic peptides from leucocytes, or beta-lactam antibiotics.