Transcriptional regulation of Tlr11 gene expression in epithelial cells

Zhenyu Cai, Zhongcheng Shi, Amir Sanchez, Tingting Zhang, Mingyao Liu, Jianghua Yang, Fen Wang, Dekai Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


As sensors of invading microorganisms, Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are expressed not only on macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs) but also on epithelial cells. In the TLR family, Tlr11 appears to have the unique feature in that it is expressed primarily on epithelial cells, although it is also expressed on DCs and macrophages. Here, we demonstrate that transcription of the Tlr11 gene is regulated through two cis-acting elements, one Ets-binding site and one interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-binding site. The Ets element interacts with the epithelium-specific transcription factors, ESE-1 and ESE-3, and the IRF motif interacts with IRF-8. Thus, Tlr11 expression on epithelial cells is regulated by the transcription factors that are presumably distinct from transcription factors that regulate the expression of TLRs in innate immune cells such as macrophages and DCs. Our results imply that the distinctive transcription regulatory machinery for TLRs on epithelium may represent a promising new avenue for the development of epithelia-specific therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33088-33096
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number48
StatePublished - Nov 27 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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