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J Immunol. 2001 Nov 15;167(10):5887-94.

Lipopolysaccharide stimulates the MyD88-independent pathway and results in activation of IFN-regulatory factor 3 and the expression of a subset of lipopolysaccharide-inducible genes.

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  • 1Department of Host Defense, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.


Bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) triggers innate immune responses through Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4, a member of the TLR family that participates in pathogen recognition. TLRs recruit a cytoplasmic protein, MyD88, upon pathogen recognition, mediating its function for immune responses. Two major pathways for LPS have been suggested in recent studies, which are referred to as MyD88-dependent and -independent pathways. We report in this study the characterization of the MyD88-independent pathway via TLR4. MyD88-deficient cells failed to produce inflammatory cytokines in response to LPS, whereas they responded to LPS by activating IFN-regulatory factor 3 as well as inducing the genes containing IFN-stimulated regulatory elements such as IP-10. In contrast, a lipopeptide that activates TLR2 had no ability to activate IFN-regulatory factor 3. The MyD88-independent pathway was also activated in cells lacking both MyD88 and TNFR-associated factor 6. Thus, TLR4 signaling is composed of at least two distinct pathways, a MyD88-dependent pathway that is critical to the induction of inflammatory cytokines and a MyD88/TNFR-associated factor 6-independent pathway that regulates induction of IP-10.

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