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Trends Immunol. 2005 Oct;26(10):509-11.

Of mice and man: TLR11 (finally) finds profilin.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Disease & Immunology, Department of Medicine, The University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are primordial pathogen-recognition proteins that function as sentinels for the innate immune system. One of the TLR mysteries relates to TLR11, a receptor present in mice, but not humans, and known to recognize uropathogenic Escherichia coli. The first defined ligand for TLR11 has now been described as a profilin-like protein from Toxoplasma gondii. This discovery potentially gives us important clues as to how a gene expressed in mice, but not humans, actually relates to human infectious diseases.

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