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J Endotoxin Res. 2001;7(3):232-6.

Involvement of TLR4/MD-2 complex in species-specific lipopolysaccharide-mimetic signal transduction by Taxol.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan.


Taxol, an antitumor agent derived from a plant, mimics the action of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in mice, but not in humans. The LPS-mimetic activity of Taxol is not observed in LPS-hyporesponsive C3H/HeJ mice which possess a point mutation in Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4); therefore, TLR4 appears to be involved in both Taxol and LPS signaling. In addition, TLR4 was recently shown to physically associate with MD-2, a molecule that confers LPS-responsiveness on TLR4. Here we examined whether or not TLR4/MD-2 complex mediates a Taxol-induced signal by using transformants of the mouse pro-B cell line, Ba/F3, expressing mouse TLR4 alone, both mouse TLR4 and mouse MD-2, and both mouse MD-2 and mouse TLR4 lacking the cytoplasmic portion. Our results demonstrated that co-expression of mouse TLR4 and mouse MD-2 was required for Taxol responsiveness, and that the TLR4/MD-2 complex is the shared molecule in Taxol and LPS signal transduction in mice. We also found that mouse MD-2, but not human MD-2, is involved in Taxol signaling, suggesting that MD-2 is responsible for the species-specific responsiveness to Taxol.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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