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Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are critical sensors for the detection of potentially harmful microbes. They are instrumental in initiating innate and adaptive immune responses against pathogenic organisms. However, exaggerated activation of TLR receptor signaling can also be responsible for the onset of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. While positive regulators of TLR signaling, such as protein serine/threonine kinases, have been studied intensively, only little is known about phosphatases, which counterbalance and limit TLR signaling. In this review, we summarize protein phosphorylation events and their roles in the TLR pathway and highlight the involvement of protein phosphatases as negative regulators at specific steps along the TLR-initiated signaling cascade. Then, we focus on individual phosphatase families, specify the function of individual enzymes in TLR signaling in more detail and give perspectives for future research. A better understanding of phosphatase-mediated regulation of TLR signaling could provide novel access points to mitigate excessive immune activation and to modulate innate immune signaling. Video Abstract.


Clovis H T Seumen, Tanja M Grimm, Christof R Hauck. Protein phosphatases in TLR signaling. Cell communication and signaling : CCS. 2021 Apr 21;19(1):45

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PMID: 33882943

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