MyD88 adaptor-like is not essential for TLR2 signaling and inhibits signaling by TLR3

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease & Immunology

Publication Date


Document Type



Immunity | Immunology and Infectious Disease | Immunology of Infectious Disease | Infectious Disease | Virology


Although a clear role for the adaptor protein myeloid differentiation factor-88 (MyD88) adaptor-like (Mal, or TIRAP) in TLR4 signaling has been demonstrated, there is limited information on its role in TLR2 signaling. Here we have systematically analyzed the role of Mal in signaling by TLR2, TLR4, and as a control TLR3 in murine macrophages and dendritic cells. Mal was not required for the induction of IL-6 or NFkappaB activation at high concentrations of the TLR1/2 ligand Pam(3)Cys-Ser-(Lys)(4) or the TLR2/6 ligand macrophage-activating lipopeptide-2 and was required for these responses only at low ligand concentrations. Similarly, induction of IL-6 by Salmonella typhimurium, which is sensed by TLR2, required Mal only at low levels of bacteria. Mal was required for IL-6 induction at all concentrations of the TLR4 ligand LPS. Mal deficiency boosted IL-6 induction by the TLR3 ligand polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid. Activation of JNK, but not p38 or IkappaB degradation, was similarly potentiated in response to polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid in Mal-deficient macrophages. MyD88 was vital for all TLR2 and TLR4 responses and, similar to Mal, was also inhibitory for TLR3-dependent IL-6 and JNK induction. MyD88 interacted with the Toll/IL-1R domains of TLR1, TLR2, TLR4, and TLR6. Mal interacted with the Toll/Il-1R domains of TLR1, TLR2, and TLR4 but not with TLR6. Our study, therefore, reveals that Mal is dispensable in TLR2 signaling at high ligand concentrations in macrophages and dendritic cells, with MyD88 probably coupling to the TLR2 receptor complex at sufficient levels to allow activation. An inhibitory role for Mal in TLR3 signaling to JNK was also demonstrated.

DOI of Published Version



J Immunol. 2009 Sep 15;183(6):3642-51. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0901140. Epub 2009 Aug 28. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID