Roles of N-linked glycans in the recognition of microbial lipopeptides and lipoproteins by TLR2

Cell Microbiol. 2006 Jul;8(7):1199-209. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2006.00702.x.


Details of roles of carbohydrates attached to Toll-like receptors (TLRs) in the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns and in the formation of the functional receptor complex still remain unknown. This study was designed to determine whether the glycans linked at Asn114, Asn199, Asn414 and Asn442 residues of TLR2 ectodomain were involved in the recognition of diacylated lipopeptide and lipoprotein. Single and multiple mutants were transfected into human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells together with a NF-kappaB luciferase reporter plasmid. All of these mutants were expressed on the surface. SDS-PAGE of the transfectants demonstrated that these mutants migrated lower than wild-type TLR2 and their molecular masses decreased as the number of mutated Asn residues increased. TLR2(N114A), TLR2(N199A) and TLR2(N414A) as well as wild-type TLR2 induced NF-kappaB activation when stimulated with these ligands, whereas TLR2(N442A) failed to induce NF-kappaB activation. All of triple and quadruple mutants failed to induce NF-kappaB activation, but were associated with both wild-type TLR2 and TLR6 in the transfectants. TLR2(N114A,N199A), TLR2(N114A,N414A) and, to a lesser extent, TLR2(N114A,N442A), in which two N-linked glycans are speculated to be exposed to the concave surface of TLR2 solenoid, not only induce NF-kappaB activation but also are associated with wild-type TLR2 and TLR6. These results suggest that the glycan at Asn442 and at least two N-linked glycans speculated to be exposed to the concave surface of TLR2 solenoid are involved in the recognition of ligands by TLR2 and/or in formation or maturation of a functional TLR2 receptor complex.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Glycosylation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Weight
  • Mutation
  • Mycoplasma salivarium*
  • Polysaccharides / physiology*
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2 / chemistry
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2 / genetics
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2 / metabolism*
  • Tunicamycin / pharmacology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Lipoproteins
  • Polysaccharides
  • TLR2 protein, human
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2
  • Tunicamycin