Conventional and non-conventional Drosophila Toll signaling

Dev Comp Immunol. 2014 Jan;42(1):16-24. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2013.04.011. Epub 2013 Apr 28.


The discovery of Toll in Drosophila and of the remarkable conservation in pathway composition and organization catalyzed a transformation in our understanding of innate immune recognition and response. At the center of that picture is a cascade of interactions in which specific microbial cues activate Toll receptors, which then transmit signals driving transcription factor nuclear localization and activity. Experiments gave substance to the vision of pattern recognition receptors, linked phenomena in development, gene regulation, and immunity into a coherent whole, and revealed a rich set of variations for identifying non-self and responding effectively. More recently, research in Drosophila has illuminated the positive and negative regulation of Toll activation, the organization of signaling events at and beneath membranes, the sorting of information flow, and the existence of non-conventional signaling via Toll-related receptors. Here, we provide an overview of the Toll pathway of flies and highlight these ongoing realms of research.

Keywords: Drosophila; Innate immunity; NF-κB; Non-conventional pathway; Toll.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila Proteins / immunology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / immunology*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Infections / immunology*
  • NF-kappa B / immunology
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Receptor Cross-Talk
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • Toll-Like Receptors / immunology*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • Toll-Like Receptors