News Releases & Research Results Elucidation of the complex structure of “Toll-like receptors” that recognize viral RNA and UNC93B1 involved in TLR transport

News Releases & Research Results


The results of research conducted by Researcher Hanako Ishida, Graduate Student Jinta Asami, Assistant Professor Zhikuan Zhang, Associate Professor Umeharu Ohto, and Professor Toshiyuki Shimizu of the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Science, the University of Tokyo, and Institute of Physical and Chemical Research.

The key results of research are as follows:

  • Of the innate immune “Toll-like receptors (TLRs)”, the combination of “TLR3” and “TLR7,” which recognize viral and bacterial nucleic acids, and “UNC93B1” protein, which carries these molecules to the endosomes, were structurally elucidated using a cryo-electron microscope.
  • The results of this research project should facilitate the development of new therapeutic agents for TLR3- and 7-related autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

This project was conducted with the support of the Platform Project for Supporting Drug Discovery and Life Science Research by AMED.

The results were published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology on January 12.


Ishida H., et al. Cryo-EM structures of Toll-like receptors in complex with UNC93B1 Nature Structural & Molecular Biology
DOI: 10.1038/s41594-020-00542-w


Last updated 01/12/21