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The Toll genes encode members of the Toll-like receptor class of proteins. ("Toll" is German for "amazing" or "great".)[1] Toll genes were originally identified in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster in 1985[2] , and cloned in 1988.[3] Since then, eleven known mammalian Toll genes have been identified.

In flies, Toll was first identified as a gene important in embryogenesis in establishing the dorsal-ventral axis. In 1996, Toll was found to have a role in the fly's immunity to fungal infections. Both mammalian and invertebrate Toll genes are required for innate immunity.

Toll-like receptors in mammals were identified in 1997 at Yale University by Ruslan Medzhitov and Charles Janeway.[4]. Concurrently, Bruce A. Beutler and colleagues discovered that the Toll-like receptors (TLRs) act as the principal sensors of infection in mammals. This latter discovery hinged on the positional cloning of the mammalian lipopolysaccharide (LPS) response locus, which identified the LPS receptor as TLR4 [5].

Their name derives from Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard's 1985 exclamation, "Das war ja toll!"[2] The exclamation, which translates as "That's weird!" or "that´s cool/great", was in reference to the underdeveloped ventral portion of a fruit fly larva.

References

  1. ^ "toll - LEO Deutsch-English Worterbuch". http://dict.leo.org/ende?lp=ende&lang=de&searchLoc=0&cmpType=relaxed&sectHdr=on&spellToler=on&chinese=both&pinyin=diacritic&search=toll&relink=on. Retrieved 2008-12-02.  
  2. ^ a b Hansson GK, Edfeldt K (2005). "Toll to be paid at the gateway to the vessel wall". Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. 25 (6): 1085–7. doi:10.1161/01.ATV.0000168894.43759.47. PMID 15923538. http://atvb.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/25/6/1085.  
  3. ^ Hashimoto C, Hudson KL, Anderson KV (1988). "The Toll gene of Drosophila, required for dorsal-ventral embryonic polarity, appears to encode a transmembrane protein". Cell 52 (2): 269–79. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(88)90516-8. PMID 2449285.  
  4. ^ Medzhitov R, Preston-Hurlburt P, Janeway CA (1997). "A human homologue of the Drosophila Toll protein signals activation of adaptive immunity". Nature 388 (6640): 394–7. doi:10.1038/41131. PMID 9237759.  
  5. ^ Alexander Poltorak, Xiaolong He, * Irina Smirnova, Mu-Ya Liu, dagger Christophe Van Huffel, ddagger Xin Du, Dale Birdwell, Erica Alejos, Maria Silva, Chris Galanos, Marina Freudenberg, Paola Ricciardi-Castagnoli, Betsy Layton, Bruce Beutler § Defective LPS Signaling in C3H/HeJ and C57BL/10ScCr Mice: Mutations in Tlr4 Gene http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/282/5396/2085

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