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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2009 Jun;8(6):465-79. doi: 10.1038/nrd2783.

Unleashing the therapeutic potential of NOD-like receptors.

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Department of Immunology, University of Toronto, 1 King's College Circle, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptors (NLRs) are a family of intracellular sensors that have key roles in innate immunity and inflammation. Whereas some NLRs - including NOD1, NOD2, NAIP (NLR family, apoptosis inhibitory protein) and NLRC4 - detect conserved bacterial molecular signatures within the host cytosol, other members of this family sense 'danger signals', that is, xenocompounds or molecules that when recognized alert the immune system of hazardous environments, perhaps independently of a microbial trigger. In the past few years, remarkable progress has been made towards deciphering the role and the biology of NLRs, which has shown that these innate immune sensors have pivotal roles in providing immunity to infection, adjuvanticity and inflammation. Furthermore, several inflammatory disorders have been associated with mutations in human NLRgenes. Here, we discuss the effect that research on NLRs will have on vaccination, treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders and acute bacterial infections.

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