The primary structure of lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP), a trace plasma protein that binds to the lipid A moiety of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPSs), was deduced by sequencing cloned complementary DNA. LBP shares sequence identity with another LPS binding protein found in granulocytes, bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein, and with cholesterol ester transport protein of the plasma. LBP may control the response to LPS under physiologic conditions by forming high-affinity complexes with LPS that bind to monocytes and macrophages, which then secrete tumor necrosis factor. The identification of this pathway for LPS-induced monocyte stimulation may aid in the development of treatments for diseases in which Gram-negative sepsis or endotoxemia are involved.

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