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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009;653:35-47.

NOD-like receptors--pivotal guardians of the immunological integrity of barrier organs.

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  • 1Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Kiel, Germany.


NOD-like receptors (NLRs) exert pivotal roles in innate immunity as sensors of exogenous or endogenous cellular danger signals. The NLR protein family has a characteristic domain architecture comprising a central nucleotide binding and oligomerization domain (NOD), an N-terminal effector binding domain and C-terminal leucine-rich repeats (LRRs). Mutations in NLR genes are genetically associated with a number of chronic inflammatory diseases of barrier organs. In this chapter, we focus on the influence of NLR regulation and function in the complex pathophysiology of mucosal homeostasis. The understanding of NLR biology may guide our future understanding of how the interaction between the human genome and the metagenome of transient and resident microbiota precipitates into chronic inflammatory disorders, such as Crohn's disease or atopy.

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