Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have been established to play an essential role in the activation of innate immunity by recognizing specific patterns of microbial components. TLR signaling pathways arise from intracytoplasmic TIR domains, which are conserved among all TLRs. Recent accumulating evidence has demonstrated that TIR domain-containing adaptors, such as MyD88, TIRAP, and TRIF, modulate TLR signaling pathways. MyD88 is essential for the induction of inflammatory cytokines triggered by all TLRs. TIRAP is specifically involved in the MyD88-dependent pathway via TLR2 and TLR4, whereas TRIF is implicated in the TLR3- and TLR4-mediated MyD88-independent pathway. Thus, TIR domain-containing adaptors provide specificity of TLR signaling.
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