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Trends Microbiol. 2004 Apr;12(4):186-92.

Innate recognition of lipopolysaccharide by Toll-like receptor 4-MD-2.

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Division of Infectious Genetics, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are pathogen recognition molecules that activate the immune system as part of the innate immune response. Microbial recognition by TLRs plays a crucial role in the host immune system's decision to respond or not to a particular microbial infection. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a membrane glycolipid of Gram-negative bacteria, exhibits strong immunostimulating activity among TLR ligands and has been studied in great detail. Recent studies have shown that cell surface TLR4-MD-2 physically interacts with LPS and triggers the release of an LPS signal, revealing a host-pathogen interaction mediated by TLR.

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