Relevance of single-nucleotide polymorphisms in humanTLRgenes to infectious and inflammatory diseases and cancer

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Innate and adaptive immune responses in humans have evolved as protective mechanisms against infectious microorganisms. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have an important role in the recognition of invading microorganisms. TLRs are the first receptors to detect potential pathogens and to initiate the immune response, and they form the crucial link between the innate and adaptive immune responses. TLRs also have an important role in the pathophysiology of infectious and inflammatory diseases. Increasing data suggest that the ability of certain individuals to respond properly to TLR ligands may be impaired by single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within TLR genes, resulting in an altered susceptibility to infectious or inflammatory disease that might contribute to the pathogenesis of complex diseases such as cancer. The associations between diseases and SNPs are in the early stage of discovery. Important clinical insights are emerging, and these polymorphisms provide new understanding of common diseases. This review summarizes and discusses the studies that shed light on the relevance of these polymorphisms in human infectious and inflammatory diseases and cancer.

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