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Therapeutic targeting of innate immunity with Toll-like receptor agonists and antagonists


The identification of the antigen recognition receptors for innate immunity, most notably the Toll-like receptors, has sparked great interest in therapeutic manipulation of the innate immune system. Toll-like receptor agonists are being developed for the treatment of cancer, allergies and viral infections, and as adjuvants for potent new vaccines to prevent or treat cancer and infectious diseases. As recognition grows of the role of inappropriate Toll-like receptor stimulation in inflammation and autoimmunity, significant efforts have begun to develop antagonists to Toll-like receptors as well.

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Figure 1: Human Toll-like receptors.

Kim Caesar


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We thank T. Matray for critical reading of the manuscript and J. Carroll for help with research on the status of clinical programs.

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Competing interests

H.K., F.J.B., E.M.H. and R.L.C. are employees of Dynavax Technologies, a company that is developing products targeting TLR9 to treat or prevent allergies, infectious diseases, cancer and autoimmunity.

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Kanzler, H., Barrat, F., Hessel, E. et al. Therapeutic targeting of innate immunity with Toll-like receptor agonists and antagonists. Nat Med 13, 552–559 (2007).

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