Binding specificity of Toll-like receptor cytoplasmic domains



MyD88 participates in signal transduction by binding to the cytoplasmic Toll/IL-1 receptor (TIR) domains of activated Toll-like receptors (TLR). Yeast two-hybrid experiments reveal that the TIR domains of human TLR differ in their ability to associate with MyD88: The TIR of TLR2 binds to MyD88 but the TIR of the closely related TLR1, 6, or 10 do not. Using chimeric TIR domains, we define the critical region responsible for differential MyD88 binding, and use a computational analysis of the critical region to reveal the amino acids that differ between MyD88 binders and non-binders. Remarkably, a single missense mutation created in TLR1 (N672D) confers on it the ability to bind MyD88, without affecting its association with other proteins. Mutations identified as critical for MyD88 binding also affect signaling of TLR pairs in mammalian cells. To investigate the difference between MyD88 binders and non-binders, we identify novel interacting proteins for each cytoplasmic domain of TLR1, 2, 6, and 10. For example, heat shock protein (HSP)60 binds to TLR1 but not to TLR2, and HSP60 and MyD88 appear to bind the same region of the TIR domain. In summary, interactions between the TLR, MyD88, and novel associated proteins have been characterized.