to circumvent innate immunity was demonstrated (Cirl et al. 2008, Nature Medicine 14, 399-406). This involves a bacterial TIR domain-containing protein (Tcp) that is secreted by bacterial pathogens and inhibits Toll-like receptor (TLR) signalling. <p> Toll-like receptors have a central role in innate immunity. They recognise molecules from microbial pathogens and trigger an immune response through a signalling domain called TIR. Bacterial Tcps contain a TIR domain that mimics the TIR domain of Toll-like receptors. TLR signalling is interrupted when MyD88, a downstream component of TLR signalling, binds to the TIR domain of a bacterial Tcp instead of to the TIR domain of a Toll-like receptor. This way, secreted Tcps impair the release of cytokines and, subsequently, prevent an inflammatory response. <p>
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