Innate Immune Responses to Microbial Poisons: Discovery and Function of the Toll-Like Receptors

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67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There are many circumstances under which a toxin exploits an endogenous receptor or another protein of host origin to work its untoward effects. In most instances, the receptor normally fulfills a function that has nothing to do with the toxin per se; that is, the toxin is not the "natural" ligand. The situation with endotoxin, however, is a remarkable one. The endotoxin receptor evolved to detect endotoxin. Why have mammals maintained a gene that can undermine their survival? The search for the endotoxin receptor answered this question and also revealed the essential function and biological strategy of the Toll-like receptors: principal sensors of the innate immune system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-628
Number of pages20
JournalAnnual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Volume43
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

Fingerprint

Poisons
Toll-Like Receptors
Innate Immunity
Endotoxins
Mammals
Immune system
Immune System
Genes
Ligands
Sensors
Proteins
endotoxin receptor

Keywords

  • Innate immunity
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • LPS
  • TLR4
  • TNF
  • Toll-like receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology

Cite this

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AB - There are many circumstances under which a toxin exploits an endogenous receptor or another protein of host origin to work its untoward effects. In most instances, the receptor normally fulfills a function that has nothing to do with the toxin per se; that is, the toxin is not the "natural" ligand. The situation with endotoxin, however, is a remarkable one. The endotoxin receptor evolved to detect endotoxin. Why have mammals maintained a gene that can undermine their survival? The search for the endotoxin receptor answered this question and also revealed the essential function and biological strategy of the Toll-like receptors: principal sensors of the innate immune system.

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