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J Cell Sci. 2004 Aug 1;117(Pt 17):4007-14.

Lateral diffusion of Toll-like receptors reveals that they are transiently confined within lipid rafts on the plasma membrane.

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Infection and Immunity Group, School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QG, UK.


The innate immune system utilises pattern recognition receptors in order to recognise microbial conserved molecular patterns. The family of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) has been shown to act as the main pattern recognition receptors for the innate immune system. Using biochemical as well as fluorescence imaging techniques, TLR2 and TLR4 were found to be recruited within microdomains upon stimulation by bacterial products. Furthermore their lateral diffusion in the cell membrane as determined by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching revealed that upon stimulation by bacterial products TLRs encounter barriers to their lateral movement, thus supporting the notion that specialised domains on the plasma membrane facilitate the innate recognition.

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