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J Immunol. 2013 Nov 1;191(9):4818-27. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1301301. Epub 2013 Sep 27.

Cooperation of TLR12 and TLR11 in the IRF8-dependent IL-12 response to Toxoplasma gondii profilin.

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Department of Immunology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390;


TLRs play a central role in the innate recognition of pathogens and the activation of dendritic cells (DCs). In this study, we establish that, in addition to TLR11, TLR12 recognizes the profilin protein of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii and regulates IL-12 production by DCs in response to the parasite. Similar to TLR11, TLR12 is an endolysosomal innate immune receptor that colocalizes and interacts with UNC93B1. Biochemical experiments revealed that TLR11 and TLR12 directly bind to T. gondii profilin and are capable of forming a heterodimer complex. We also establish that the transcription factor IFN regulatory factor 8, not NF-κB, plays a central role in the regulation of the TLR11- and TLR12-dependent IL-12 response of DCs. These results suggest a central role for IFN regulatory factor 8-expressing CD8(+) DCs in governing the TLR11- and TLR12-mediated host defense against T. gondii.

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