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Curr Biol. 2000 Sep 21;10(18):1139-42.

Recognition of CpG DNA is mediated by signaling pathways dependent on the adaptor protein MyD88.

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Section of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, 06520, USA.


The innate immune system evolved to recognize conserved microbial products, termed pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), which are invariant among diverse groups of microorganisms. PAMPs are recognized by a set of germ-line encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). Among the best characterized PAMPs are bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), peptidoglycan (PGN), mannans, and other constituents of bacterial and fungal cell walls, as well as bacterial DNA. Recognition of bacterial DNA is the most enigmatic of these, as it depends on a particular sequence motif, called the CpG motif, in which an unmethylated CpG present in a particular sequence context accounts for a potent immunostimulatory activity of CpG DNA. Receptor(s) of the innate immune system that mediate recognition of CpG DNA are currently unknown. Here, we report that recognition of CpG DNA requires MyD88, an adaptor protein involved in signal transduction by the Toll-like receptors (TLRs), essential components of innate immune recognition in both Drosophila and mammals [1,2]. Signaling induced by CpG DNA was found to be unaffected in cells deficient in TLR2 or TLR4, suggesting that some other member of the Toll family mediates recognition of bacterial DNA.

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