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Biochem Pharmacol. 2010 Dec 15;80(12):2021-31. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2010.07.016. Epub 2010 Jul 17.

The protein Nod2: an innate receptor more complex than previously assumed.

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Laboratory of Virology and Immunology, GIGA-Research, GIGA B34, University of Liège, 4000 Liège, Belgium.


For almost 10 years, Nod2 has been known as a cytosolic innate receptor able to sense peptidoglycan from Gram-positive and -negative bacteria and to trigger RIP2- and NF-κB-mediated pro-inflammatory and antibacterial response. Mutations in the gene encoding Nod2 in humans have been associated with Crohn's disease (CD). Mechanisms by which Nod2 variants can lead to CD development are still under investigation. The most admitted hypothesis suggests that the impaired function of Nod2 variants in intestinal epithelial and phagocytic cells results in deficiencies in epithelial-barrier function which subsequently lead to increased bacterial invasion and inflammation at intestinal sites. Very recent results have just reinforced this hypothesis by demonstrating that Nod2 wild-type (unlike Nod2 variants) could mediate autophagy, allowing an efficient bacterial clearance and adaptative immune response. Other recent data have attributed new roles to Nod2. Indeed, Nod2 has been shown to activate antiviral innate immune responses involving IRF3-dependent IFN-β production after viral ssRNA recognition through a RIP2-independent mechanism requiring the mitochondrial adaptor protein MAVS. Recently, Nod2 has been also shown to be exquisitely tuned to detect mycobacterial infections and mount a protective immunity against these pathogens.

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