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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Dec 7;96(25):14459-63.

Toll-like receptor-2 mediates mycobacteria-induced proinflammatory signaling in macrophages.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


The recognition of mycobacterial cell wall components causes macrophages to secrete tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and other cytokines that are essential for the development of a protective inflammatory response. We show that toll-like receptors are required for the induction of TNF-alpha in macrophages by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Expression of a dominant negative form of MyD88 (a signaling component required for toll-like receptor signaling) in a mouse macrophage cell line blocks TNF-alpha production induced by M. tuberculosis. We identify toll-like receptor-2 (TLR2) as the specific toll-like receptor required for this induction by showing that expression of an inhibitory TLR2 (TLR2-P681H) blocks TNF-alpha production induced by whole M. tuberculosis. Further, we show that TLR2-dependent signaling mediates responses to mycobacterial cell wall fractions enriched for lipoarrabinomannan, mycolylarabinogalactan-peptidoglycan complex, or M. tuberculosis total lipids. Thus, although many mycobacterial cell wall fractions are identified to be inflammatory, all require TLR2 for induction of TNF-alpha in macrophages. These data suggest that TLR2 is essential for the induction of a protective immune response to mycobacteria.

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