Toll-like receptors expressed in tumor cells: targets for therapy

Li Yu, Shangwu Chen
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy: CII 2008, 57 (9): 1271-8
Toll-like receptors (TLRs), mainly expressing in human immune related cells and epithelial cells, play an essential role in the host defense against microbes by recognizing conserved bacterial molecules. Recently, the expression or up-regulation of TLRs has been detected in many tumor cell lines or tumors, especially epithelial derived cancers. Although the TLR profile varies on different tumor cells, the current evidences indicate that the expression of TLRs is functionally associated with tumor progression. TLR expression may promote malignant transformation of epithelial cells. Engagement of TLRs increases tumor growth and tumor immune escape, and induces apoptosis resistance and chemoresistance in some tumor cells. These findings demonstrate that TLR is a promising target for the development of anticancer drugs and make TLR agonists or antagonists the potential agents for tumor therapy.

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