Haplotype variation in bovine Toll-like receptor 4 and computational prediction of a positively selected ligand-binding domain. Academic Article uri icon


  • Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is a cell-surface receptor that activates innate and adaptive immune responses. Because it recognizes a broad class of pathogen-associated molecular patterns presented by lipopolysaccharides and lipoteichoic acid, TLR4 is a candidate gene for resistance to a large number of diseases. In particular, mouse models suggest TLR4 as a candidate gene for resistance to major agents in bovine respiratory disease and Johne's disease. The coding sequence of bovine TLR4 is divided into three exons, with intron/exon boundaries and intron sizes similar to those of human TLR4 transcript variant 1. We amplified each exon in 40 individuals from 11 breeds and screened the sequence for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We identified 32 SNPs, 28 of which are in the coding sequence, for an average of one SNP per 90 bp of coding sequence. Eight SNPs were nonsynonymous and potentially alter specificity of pathogen recognition or efficiency of signaling. To evaluate the functional importance of these SNPs, we used codon-substitution models to detect diversifying selection in an extracellular region that may physically interact with ligands. One nonsynonymous SNP is located within this region, and other substitutions are in adjacent regions that may interact with coreceptor molecules. The 32 SNPs were found in 20 haplotypes that can be assigned to geographic ranges of origin. Haplotype-tagging SNP analysis indicated that 12 SNPs need to be genotyped to distinguish these 20 haplotypes. These data provide a basic understanding of bovine TLR4 sequence variation and supply haplotype markers for disease association studies.

published proceedings

  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • White, S. N., Taylor, K. H., Abbey, C. A., Gill, C. A., & Womack, J. E.

citation count

  • 85

complete list of authors

  • White, Stephen N||Taylor, Kristen H||Abbey, Colette A||Gill, Clare A||Womack, James E

publication date

  • September 2003