February 2013

Toll-like Receptors — New Words for a New World in Lupus Research Led by the LRI

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and drugs to control them have made headlines in treating cancer, sepsis and hepatitis. Now breakthroughs in their potential for lupus patients are taking center stage. 

Toll-like receptors — a family of immune cell proteins. It's well worth learning the phrase because we'll be hearing more and more about this burgeoning area of lupus research.

Lupus Research Institute (LRI)-funded scientists pioneered the line of inquiry that first linked Toll-like receptors with lupus. Discovered for their role in protecting against infection, TLRs have emerged as possible instigators of lupus, and several drugs to inhibit them are now approaching clinical trials. 

Our LRI Novel Research Grant recipients continue to lead the pursuit of TLRs in lupus from a wide range of angles. Just recently, Dr. Kevin Nickerson from Yale and Dr. Edward Chan of University of Florida published the results of their LRI-funded work with papers in The Journal of Immunology that provide insights into how Toll-like receptor proteins can be targeted in developing new treatments for lupus. Click here to learn more. In addition, our first $1 Million Distinguished Innovator Award recipients are examining these receptors as key to uncovering the cause of lupus. Their goal is to find ways to control specific TLRs, harnessing benefit and suppressing harmful effects.

“Which Toll-like receptors should be treated as villains to inhibit or as avengers to promote is one of the most critical questions in lupus research today,” said Margaret Dowd, President and CEO, LRI.  “Our researchers continue to provide new answers, advancing this exciting area to provide further insight as the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries pursue targets for potential new drug development.”

LRI: Closing in on the Cause, Going for the Cure

Donate Now

About the LRI
The world’s leading private supporter of innovative research in lupus, the LRI champions scientific risk-taking in the hunt for solutions to this complex and dangerous autoimmune disease. To make a donation, visit www.lupusresearchinstitute.org.

Lupus Research Institute
330 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1701, New York, NY 10001
T: 212.812.9881 F: 212.545.1843
e-mail: Lupus@LupusNY.org