TLR4 in skin cancer: From molecular mechanisms to clinical interventions

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14 Scopus citations


The health and economic burden imposed by skin cancer is substantial, creating an urgent need for the development of improved molecular strategies for its prevention and treatment. Cutaneous exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a causative factor in skin carcinogenesis, and TLR4-dependent inflammatory dysregulation is an emerging key mechanism underlying detrimental effects of acute and chronic UV exposure. Direct and indirect TLR4 activation, upstream of inflammatory signaling, is elicited by a variety of stimuli, including pathogen-associated molecular patterns (such as lipopolysaccharide) and damage-associated molecular patterns (such as HMGB1) that are formed upon exposure to environmental stressors, such as solar UV. TLR4 involvement has now been implicated in major types of skin malignancies, including nonmelanoma skin cancer, melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma. Targeted molecular interventions that positively or negatively modulate TLR4 signaling have shown promise in translational, preclinical, and clinical investigations that may benefit skin cancer patients in the near future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1086-1093
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Carcinogenesis
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • TLR4
  • molecular intervention
  • skin cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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