Human Toll-like receptor 8 can be cool too: implications for foreign RNA sensing

J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2012 Aug;32(8):350-61. doi: 10.1089/jir.2012.0014. Epub 2012 Jul 20.


Recent advances in our understanding of foreign nucleic acid sensing indicate an important role for the human Toll-like receptor (TLR) 8 in the initiation of immune responses to certain pathogens. However, TLR8, far too often grouped together with TLR7 for its common ability to detect RNA, has a function on its own in the initiation of specific proinflammatory responses to viruses and bacteria. Here, we present an overview of what is currently known of human TLR8 biology, from genetic regulation to its function in innate immunity, and discuss how TLR8 could present novel therapeutic opportunities in viral and cancer diseases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / genetics
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology*
  • Ligands
  • RNA / immunology*
  • RNA, Bacterial / immunology
  • RNA, Viral / immunology
  • Toll-Like Receptor 8 / genetics
  • Toll-Like Receptor 8 / metabolism
  • Toll-Like Receptor 8 / physiology*


  • Ligands
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Viral
  • Toll-Like Receptor 8
  • RNA