How Toll-like receptors signal: what we know and what we don't know

Curr Opin Immunol. 2006 Feb;18(1):3-9. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2005.11.012. Epub 2005 Dec 15.


Signal transduction pathways activated by Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have continued to be a major focus of research for investigators interested in the initiation of innate immune responses and the induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and type I interferons during infection. Biochemical details of the major signalling pathways have now been obtained, and the specific signalling pathways activated by different TLRs are being elucidated. New insights into the activation of IRF family members, notably IRF3, IRF5 and IRF7, have been obtained, and interesting spatiotemporal aspects of signalling by MyD88 leading to IRF7 activation revealed. Adapters in TLR signalling are targets for inhibition, both by endogenous regulators and by virally derived proteins. Selective targeting of pathways by anti-inflammatory glucocorticoids also indicates the potential for modulating TLR signalling therapeutically.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Communicable Diseases / immunology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*
  • Toll-Like Receptors / immunology*
  • Toll-Like Receptors / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / physiology


  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • Transcription Factors