Author(s): Jungi TW, Farhat K, Burgener IA, Werling D
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Abstract Toll-like receptors are pattern recognition receptors with which hosts recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMP). This recognition process is translated rapidly into a meaningful defense reaction. This form of innate host defense is preserved in the animal kingdom: invertebrates heavily depend on it; higher vertebrates also have an adaptive immune system. Both adaptive and innate immune systems are intertwined in that the former also depends on an intact innate recognition and response system. Members of the TLR system cover recognition of parasitic, bacterial or viral germs. Due to the constraints imposed by the necessity to recognize PAMP and to interact with downstream signaling molecules, the TLR system is relatively conserved in evolution. Nevertheless, subtle species differences have been reported for several mammalian TLR members. Examples of this will be given. In all mammalian species investigated, part of the coding sequence is available for the most important TLR members, thus allowing study of expression of these TLR members in various tissues by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction in its classical (RT-PCR) and quantitative real time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) form. In some species, the whole coding sequences of the most important or even all TLR members are known. This allows construction of cDNA and transfection of common host cells, thus permitting functional studies. Extensive investigations were devoted to the study of non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms. In a few cases, expression of a given amino acid in the extracellular (ligand-binding) portion of TLR members could be associated with infectious diseases. This will be discussed below.
This article was published in Cell Tissue Res
and referenced in Medicinal Chemistry