Mouse toll-like receptor 4.MD-2 complex mediates lipopolysaccharide-mimetic signal transduction by Taxol

J Biol Chem. 2000 Jan 28;275(4):2251-4. doi: 10.1074/jbc.275.4.2251.


Taxol, an antitumor agent derived from a plant, mimics the action of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in mice but not in humans. Although Taxol is structurally unrelated to LPS, Taxol and LPS are presumed to share a receptor or signaling molecule. The LPS-mimetic activity of Taxol is not observed in LPS-hyporesponsive C3H/HeJ mice, which possess a point mutation in Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4); therefore, TLR4 appears to be involved in both Taxol and LPS signaling. In addition, TLR4 was recently shown to physically associate with MD-2, a molecule that confers LPS responsiveness on TLR4. To determine whether TLR4.MD-2 complex mediates a Taxol-induced signal, we constructed transformants of the mouse pro-B cell line, Ba/F3, expressing mouse TLR4 alone, both mouse TLR4 and mouse MD-2, and both mouse MD-2 and mouse TLR4 lacking the cytoplasmic portion, and then examined whether Taxol induced NFkappaB activation in these transfectants. Noticeable NFkappaB activation by Taxol was detected in Ba/F3 expressing mouse TLR4 and mouse MD-2 but not in the other transfectants. Coexpression of human TLR4 and human MD-2 did not confer Taxol responsiveness on Ba/F3 cells, suggesting that the TLR4. MD-2 complex is responsible for the species specificity with respect to Taxol responsiveness. Furthermore, Taxol-induced NFkappaB activation via TLR4.MD-2 was blocked by an LPS antagonist that blocks LPS-induced NFkappaB activation via TLR4.MD-2. These results demonstrated that coexpression of mouse TLR4 and mouse MD-2 is required for Taxol responsiveness and that the TLR4.MD-2 complex is the shared molecule in Taxol and LPS signal transduction in mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Humans
  • Lipopolysaccharides / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Lipopolysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Molecular Mimicry
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Paclitaxel / metabolism*
  • Paclitaxel / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Toll-Like Receptors


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • TLR4 protein, human
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • Paclitaxel