Agonist and antagonist ligands of toll-like receptors 7 and 8: Ingenious tools for therapeutic purposes

Cindy Patinote, Nour Bou Karroum, Georges Moarbess, Natalina Cirnat, Issam Kassab, Pierre-Antoine Bonnet, Carine Deleuze-Masquéfa
European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 2020 March 17, 193: 112238
The discovery of the TLRs family and more precisely its functions opened a variety of gates to modulate immunological host responses. TLRs 7/8 are located in the endosomal compartment and activate a specific signaling pathway in a MyD88-dependant manner. According to their involvement into various autoimmune, inflammatory and malignant diseases, researchers have designed diverse TLRs 7/8 ligands able to boost or block the inherent signal transduction. These modulators are often small synthetic compounds and most act as agonists and to a much lesser extent as antagonists. Some of them have reached preclinical and clinical trials, and only one has been approved by the FDA and EMA, imiquimod. The key to the success of these modulators probably lies in their combination with other therapies as recently demonstrated. We gather in this review more than 360 scientific publications, reviews and patents, relating the extensive work carried out by researchers on the design of TLRs 7/8 modulators, which are classified firstly by their biological activities (agonist or antagonist) and then by their chemical structures, which total syntheses are not discussed here. This review also reports about 90 clinical cases, thereby showing the biological interest of these modulators in multiple pathologies.

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