TLRs: differential adapter utilization by toll-like receptors mediates TLR-specific patterns of gene expression

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology; Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing; Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport; Amino Acid Sequence; Antigens, Differentiation; *Gene Expression Regulation; Humans; Membrane Glycoproteins; Molecular Sequence Data; Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88; Protein Structure, Tertiary; Receptors, Cell Surface; Receptors, Immunologic; Receptors, Interleukin; Receptors, Interleukin-1; Signal Transduction; Toll-Like Receptors


Immunology and Infectious Disease


In response to microbial or environmental "danger" signals, represented by structural motifs not normally expressed by cells, Toll-like receptors mediate intracellular signaling that leads to inflammatory gene expression. In response to agonists, TLR aggregation enables the recruitment and/or activation of TLR-specific adapter molecules. To date, four adapter proteins have been identified: MyD88, TIRAP/Mal, TRIF/TICAM-1, and TIRP/TRAM/TICAM-2. The interaction of the different TLRs with distinct combinations of adapter molecules creates a platform to which additional kinases, transacting factors, and possibly other molecules are recruited, events that lead, ultimately, to gene expression. Given the rapidity with which such interactions have been described, we have attempted to summarize our current understanding of the adapters that are so essential for TLR signaling and provide a working model for future studies.

DOI of Published Version



Mol Interv. 2003 Dec;3(8):466-77. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Molecular interventions

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID