Sundaram, A.Y., Consuegra, S., Kiron, V., and Fernandes, J.M. (2012) Positive selection pressure within teleost toll-like receptors tlr21 and tlr22 subfamilies and their response to temperature stress and microbial components in zebrafish. Molecular biology reports. 39(9):8965-8975.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a crucial role in host defence, since they trigger immune response following recognition of
pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) in potential infectious agents. TLRs have been found in numerous organisms,
including mammals, birds and teleosts. Some TLR members are commonly retained across all species, whilst others were lost,
gained or diverged independently during evolution. Our knowledge about the evolution and specific functions of tlr21, tlr22 and tlr23 in teleosts are still scarce. Phylogenetic analysis of 18 tlr13, tlr21, tlr22 and tlr23 genes from 9 different fish species divided them in two groups. All tlr21 genes were under the first clade, while the second comprised tlr22, tlr23 and tlr13 from Atlantic salmon. Evidence of positive selection was detected at three sites within the leucine-rich repeat regions of
Tlr22, which may influence PAMP recognition. Immunostimulation experiments revealed that expression of zebrafish tlr22 is modulated by several unrelated PAMPs. Up to a 3-fold increase in tlr21 and tlr22 expression was detected in larvae exposed to immunostimulants such as lipopolysaccharide, peptidoglycan or poly I:C. We found
that zebrafish tlrs are expressed mainly in immune-related organs, such as spleen and kidney as well as in testis and temperature stress did
not have an effect on the expression of tlr21 and tlr22 in the early stages of development in zebrafish larvae. Our data indicates that these teleost tlrs may play a role in innate host defence. In particular, tlr22 is evolving under positive selection, which indicates functional diversification and adaptation of the response to different