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Nat Immunol. 2003 Nov;4(11):1144-50. Epub 2003 Oct 12.

TRAM is specifically involved in the Toll-like receptor 4-mediated MyD88-independent signaling pathway.

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Department of Host Defense, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, 3-1 Yamada-oka, Suita Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


Recognition of pathogens by Toll-like receptors (TLRs) triggers innate immune responses through signaling pathways mediated by Toll-interleukin 1 receptor (TIR) domain-containing adaptors such as MyD88, TIRAP and TRIF. MyD88 is a common adaptor that is essential for proinflammatory cytokine production, whereas TRIF mediates the MyD88-independent pathway from TLR3 and TLR4. Here we have identified a fourth TIR domain-containing adaptor, TRIF-related adaptor molecule (TRAM), and analyzed its physiological function by gene targeting. TRAM-deficient mice showed defects in cytokine production in response to the TLR4 ligand, but not to other TLR ligands. TLR4- but not TLR3-mediated MyD88-independent interferon-beta production and activation of signaling cascades were abolished in TRAM-deficient cells. Thus, TRAM provides specificity for the MyD88-independent component of TLR4 signaling.

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