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Curr Opin Immunol. 2003 Aug;15(4):396-401.

Recognition of microbial infection by Toll-like receptors.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Section of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


The Toll-like receptors (TLRs) of the innate immune system detect host invasion by pathogens and initiate immune responses. All of the TLRs use the adaptor MyD88 to transduce a signal; however, two newly identified signaling molecules, TIRAP and TRIF, interact with a subset of the TLRs, suggesting a signaling specificity that may be relevant to the type of infection. Activation of the TRIF pathway, for example, leads to the production of antiviral gene products via the transcription factor, IRF3. In vivo experiments in TLR-deficient mice underscore the importance of TLRs in overcoming infection.

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