Toll-like receptors (TLRs) in innate immune defense against Staphylococcus aureus

Giampiero Pietrocola, Carla Renata Arciola, Simonetta Rindi, Antonella di Poto, Antonino Missineo, Lucio Montanaro, Pietro Speziale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are the most important class of innate pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) by which host immune and non-immune cells are able to recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Most mammalian species have 10 to 15 types of TLRs. TLRs are believed to function as homo- or hetero-dimers. TLR2, which plays a crucial role in recognizing PAMPs from Staphylococcus aureus, forms heterodimers with TLR1 or TLR6 and each dimer has a different ligand specificity. Staphylococcal lipoproteins, Panton-Valentine toxin and Phenol Soluble Modulins have been identified as potent TLR2 ligands. Conversely, the ligand function attributed to peptidoglycan and LTA remains controversial. TLR2 uses a MyD88-dependent signaling pathway that results in NF-κB translocation into the nucleus and activation of the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine genes. Recognition rouses both an inflammatory response, culminating in the phagocytosis of bacteria, and an adaptive immune response, with the presentation of resulting bacterial compounds to T cells. Here, recent advances on the recognition of S. aureus by TLRs are presented and discussed, as well as the new therapeutic opportunities deriving from this new knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799-810
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • Innate immunity
  • Ligand
  • Staphylococcus
  • TLR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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