Functional crosstalk between membrane lipids and TLR biology

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2016 Apr;39:28-36. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2016 Feb 16.


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are important transmembrane proteins of the innate immune system that detect invading pathogens and subsequently orchestrate an immune response. The ensuing inflammatory processes are connected to lipid metabolism at multiple levels. Here, we describe different aspects of how membrane lipids can shape the response of TLRs. Recent reports have uncovered the role of individual lipid species on membrane protein function and mouse models have contributed to the understanding of how changes in lipid metabolism alter TLR signaling, endocytosis, and cytokine secretion. Finally, we discuss the importance of systematic approaches to identify the function of individual lipid species or the composition of membrane lipids in TLR-related processes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Endocytosis
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Toll-Like Receptors / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • Membrane Lipids
  • Toll-Like Receptors