Discrimination of bacterial lipoproteins by Toll-like receptor 6.
Bacterial lipoproteins (BLP) trigger immune responses via Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) and their immunostimulatory properties are attributed to the presence of a lipoylated N-terminus. Most BLP are triacylated at the N-terminus cysteine residue, but mycoplasmal macrophage-activating lipopeptide-2 kD (MALP-2) is only diacylated. Here we show that TLR6-deficient (TLR6(-/-)) cells are unresponsive to MALP-2 but retain their normal responses to lipopeptides of other bacterial origins. Reconstitution experiments in TLR2(-/-) TLR6(-/-) embryonic fibroblasts reveal that co-expression of TLR2 and TLR6 is absolutely required for MALP-2 responsiveness. Taken together, these results show that TLR6 recognizes MALP-2 cooperatively with TLR2, and appears to discriminate between the N-terminal lipoylated structures of MALP-2 and lipopeptides derived from other bacteria.