Toll (gene)

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The Toll genes encode members of the Toll-like receptor class of proteins. ("Toll" is German for "amazing" or "mad".)[1] Toll genes were originally identified in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster in 1985, [2] , and cloned in 1988.[3] Since then, eleven known mammalian Toll genes have been identified.

In flies, Toll was first identified as a gene important in embryogenesis in establishing the dorsal-ventral axis. In 1996, Toll was found to have a role in the fly's immunity to fungal infections. Both mammalian and invertebrate Toll genes are required for innate immunity.

Toll-like receptors in mammals were identified in 1997 at Yale University by Ruslan Medzhitov and Charles Janeway.[4]

Their name derives from Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard's 1985 exclamation, "Das war ja toll!"[2]


  1. "toll - Wiktionary, das freie Wörterbuch – Das Wikiwörterbuch". Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hansson GK, Edfeldt K (2005). "Toll to be paid at the gateway to the vessel wall". Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. 25 (6): 1085–7. PMID 15923538. doi:10.1161/01.ATV.0000168894.43759.47. 
  3. Hashimoto C, Hudson KL, Anderson KV (1988). "The Toll gene of Drosophila, required for dorsal-ventral embryonic polarity, appears to encode a transmembrane protein". Cell. 52 (2): 269–79. PMID 2449285. 
  4. Medzhitov R, Preston-Hurlburt P, Janeway CA (1997). "A human homologue of the Drosophila Toll protein signals activation of adaptive immunity". Nature. 388 (6640): 394–7. PMID 9237759. doi:10.1038/41131. 

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