Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play crucial roles in the innate immune system by recognizing pathogen-associated molecular patterns derived from various microbes. TLRs signal through the recruitment of specific adaptor molecules, leading to activation of the transcription factors NF-κB and IRFs, which dictate the outcome of innate immune responses. During the past decade, the precise mechanisms underlying TLR signaling have been clarified by various approaches involving genetic, biochemical, structural, cell biological, and bioinformatics studies. TLR signaling appears to be divergent and to play important roles in many aspects of the innate immune responses to given pathogens. In this review, we describe recent progress in our understanding of TLR signaling regulation and its contributions to host defense.
Keywords: IRFs; NF-κB; TLRs; adaptors; signal transduction.