Toll-like receptors (TLRs), a family of transmembrane and cytosolic proteins, detect microbial patterns, initiating innate immune responses in various organisms. Although they are abundant, genetic characterization and functional differences of TLRs in economically important avian species such as chickens and turkeys have not been investigated in detail. In this study, the putative TLR5 coding region from turkey genome was sequenced, and its homology to other vertebrate species was analyzed. Secondary structure analysis revealed protein motifs typical of the chicken TLR5 protein structure, with 97% amino acid identity between them. mRNA expression profiling in adult turkeys revealed abundant TLR5 expression in a broad range of tissues. Stimulation with the TLR5 ligand flagellin resulted in the production of the inflammatory mediators interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and nitric oxide in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. To our knowledge, this is the first complete turkey TLR5 coding DNA sequence reported in sequence databases.
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Vol. 55 • No. 3