Amino acids 89-96 of Salmonella typhimurium flagellin represent the major domain responsible for TLR5-independent adjuvanticity in the humoral immune response

Cell Mol Immunol. 2015 Sep;12(5):625-32. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2014.76. Epub 2014 Sep 8.


Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) signaling in response to flagellin is dispensable for inducing humoral immunity, but alterations of aa 89-96, the TLR5 binding site, significantly reduced the adjuvanticity of flagellin. These observations indicate that the underlying mechanism remains incompletely understood. Here, we found that the native form of Salmonella typhimurium aa 89-96-mutant flagellin extracted from flagella retains some TLR5 recognition activity, indicating that aa 89-96 is the primary, but not the only site that imparts TLR5 activity. Additionally, this mutation impaired the production of IL-1β and IL-18. Using TLR5KO mice, we found that aa 89-96 is critical for the humoral adjuvant effect, but this effect was independent of TLR5 activation triggered by this region of flagellin. In summary, our findings suggest that aa 89-96 of flagellin is not only the crucial site responsible for TLR5 recognition, but is also important for humoral immune adjuvanticity through a TLR5-independent pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / chemistry*
  • Amino Acids / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Flagellin / chemistry*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Humoral*
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Recombination, Genetic / genetics
  • Salmonella typhimurium / metabolism*
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Toll-Like Receptor 5 / metabolism*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Amino Acids
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin-6
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Toll-Like Receptor 5
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Flagellin