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Mucosal Immunol. 2008 Mar;1(2):156-68. doi: 10.1038/mi.2007.13. Epub 2008 Jan 9.

The contribution of PARs to inflammation and immunity to fungi.

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Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Science, University of Perugia, Via del Giochetto, Perugia, Italy.


During inflammation, host- and microbial-derived proteases trigger the activation of protease-activated receptors (PARs), a family of G-protein-coupled receptors. We report here that activation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) by fungi unmasks an essential and divergent role for PAR(1) and PAR(2) in downstream signaling and inflammation. TLRs activated PARs and triggered distinct signal transduction pathways involved in inflammation and immunity to Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus. Inflammation was promoted by PAR(1) and PAR(2) activation in response to Candida and by PAR(2) inhibition in response to Aspergillus. This occurred by TLR regulation of PAR signaling, with TLR2 promoting PAR(1) activity, and TLR4 suppressing PAR(2) activity. Thus, tissue injury and pathogens induce signals that are integrated at the level of distinct TLR/PAR-dependent pathways, the exploitation or subversion of which contributes to divergence in microbial promotion of inflammatory response.

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