The Toll signalling pathway, which is required for establishment of dorsoventral polarity in Drosophila embryos, plays an important role in the response to microbial infections. Recently, Tolllike receptors (TLRs) have also been identified in mammals. TLR4 has been shown to function as the transmembrane component of the lipopolysaccharide receptor, while TLR2 recognizes peptidoglycans from Gram-positive bacteria, lipoproteins and yeast. Although various microbial cell-wall components are recognized by different receptors, all of these responses are abrogated in MyD88-deficient cells. These results show that different TLRs recognize different microbial cell-wall components, and that MyD88 is an essential signalling molecule shared among interleukin-1 receptor/Toll family members.

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