Identification of full length bovine TLR1 and functional characterization of lipopeptide recognition by bovine TLR2/1 heterodimer

Katja Farhat, Sabine Riekenberg, Günther Jung, Karl-Heinz Wiesmüller, Thomas W Jungi, Artur J Ulmer
Veterinary Research 2010, 41 (3): 34
Toll-like receptors (TLR) are highly conserved pattern recognition receptors of the innate immune system. Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) recognizes bacterial lipopeptides in a heterodimeric complex with TLR6 or TLR1, thereby discriminating between di- or triacylated lipopeptides, respectively. Previously, we found that HEK293 cells transfected with bovine TLR2 (boTLR2) were able to respond to diacylated lipopeptides but did not recognize triacylated lipopeptides, even after cotransfection with the so far published sequence of boTLR1. In this study we now could show that primary bovine cells were in general able to detect triacylated lipopetides. A closer investigation of the boTLR1 gene locus revealed an additional ATG 195 base pairs upstream from the published start codon. Its transcription would result in an N-terminus with high identity to human and murine TLR1 (huTLR1, muTLR1). Cloning and cotransfection of this longer boTLR1 with boTLR2 now resulted in the recognition of triacylated lipopeptides by HEK293 cells, thereby resembling the ex vivo observation. Analysis of the structure-activity relationship showed that the ester-bound acid chains of these lipopeptides need to consist of at least 12 carbon atoms to activate the bovine heterodimer showing similarity to the recognition by huTLR2/huTLR1. In contrast, HEK293 cell cotransfected with muTLR2 and muTLR1 could already be activated by lipopeptides with shorter fatty acids of only 6 carbon atoms. Thus, our data indicate that the additional N-terminal nucleotides belong to the full length and functionally active boTLR1 (boTLR1-fl) which participates in a species-specific recognition of bacterial lipopeptides.

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