Recognition of microbial infection by Toll-like receptors

Curr Opin Immunol. 2003 Aug;15(4):396-401. doi: 10.1016/s0952-7915(03)00080-3.


The Toll-like receptors (TLRs) of the innate immune system detect host invasion by pathogens and initiate immune responses. All of the TLRs use the adaptor MyD88 to transduce a signal; however, two newly identified signaling molecules, TIRAP and TRIF, interact with a subset of the TLRs, suggesting a signaling specificity that may be relevant to the type of infection. Activation of the TRIF pathway, for example, leads to the production of antiviral gene products via the transcription factor, IRF3. In vivo experiments in TLR-deficient mice underscore the importance of TLRs in overcoming infection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infections / immunology*
  • Infections / microbiology*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / immunology*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Toll-Like Receptors


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • MYD88 protein, human
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Toll-Like Receptors