Recruitment of TLR adapter TRIF to TLR4 signaling complex is mediated by the second helical region of TRIF TIR domain

Wenji Piao, Lisa W. Ru, Kurt H. Piepenbrink, Eric J. Sundberg, Stefanie N. Vogel, Vladimir Y. Toshchakov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Toll/IL-1R resistance (TIR) domain-containing adapter-inducing IFN-? (TRIF) is a Toll-like receptor (TLR) adapter that mediates MyD88-independent induction of type I interferons through activation of IFN regulatory factor 3 and NF?B. We have examined peptides derived from the TRIF TIR domain for ability to inhibit TLR4. In addition to a previously identified BB loop peptide (TF4), a peptide derived from putative helix B of TRIF TIR (TF5) strongly inhibits LPS-induced cytokine and MAPK activation in wild-Type cells. TF5 failed to inhibit LPS-induced cytokine and kinase activation in TRIF-deficient immortalized bone-marrow-derived macrophage, but was fully inhibitory in MyD88 knockout cells. TF5 does not block macrophage activation induced by TLR2, TLR3, TLR9, or retinoic acid-inducible gene 1/melanoma differentiation-Associated protein 5 agonists. Immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that TF4 binds to TLR4 but not TRIF-related adaptor molecule (TRAM), whereas TF5 binds to TRAM strongly and TLR4 to a lesser extent. Although TF5 prevented coimmunoprecipitation of TRIF with both TRAM and TLR4, site-directed mutagenesis of the TRIF B helix residues affected TRIF-TRAM coimmunoprecipitation selectively, as these mutations did not block TRIF-TLR4 association. These results suggest that the folded TRIF TIR domain associates with TRAM through the TRIF B helix region, but uses a different region for TRIF-TLR4 association. The B helix peptide TF5, however, can associate with either TRAM or TLR4. In a mouse model of TLR4-driven inflammation, TF5 decreased plasma cytokine levels and protected mice from a lethal LPS challenge. Our data identify TRIF sites that are important for interaction with TLR4 and TRAM, and demonstrate that TF5 is a potent TLR4 inhibitor with significant potential as a candidate therapeutic for human sepsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19036-19041
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 19 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Recruitment of TLR adapter TRIF to TLR4 signaling complex is mediated by the second helical region of TRIF TIR domain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this