Implications of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and their signaling mechanisms in human cancers

Pathol Res Pract. 2023 Aug:248:154673. doi: 10.1016/j.prp.2023.154673. Epub 2023 Jul 4.


Most essential pattern-recognition receptors regulating innate immune functions are toll-like receptors (TLRs). TLRs are characterized by lack of concurrent epithelial markers and are typically identified by their gene expressions. One major mechanism by which TLRs generate their effector functions is by triggering inflammatory responses. Activation of TLRs can impact initiation, advancement, and control of cancers by regulating the inflammatory microenvironment. Several TLRs have been implicated in human cancers and some of them are identified as cancer biomarkers as well; for example, TLRs 2, 3, 5 are expressed more frequently in most cancers. Knowing the upregulation and downregulation of the TLR genes in human cancers will be useful for the development of newer therapeutic targets which can disrupt the pathways associated with such deregulation. We present here the various TLRs and their functions in human lung, gastric, breast, prostate, oral, ovarian, colorectal, cervical, esophageal, bladder and hepatic cancers.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Cancers; Deregulation; Gene Expression; TLR; Therapy.

Publication types

  • Review