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Yonsei Med J. 2011 May;52(3):379-92. doi: 10.3349/ymj.2011.52.3.429.

Intrinsic and extrinsic regulation of innate immune receptors.

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School of Life Science, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Gwangju 500-712, Korea.


Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) in innate immune cells play a pivotal role in the first line of host defense system. PRRs recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) or danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) to initiate and regulate innate and adaptive immune responses. PRRs include Toll-like receptors (TLRs), RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) and NOD-like receptors (NLRs), which have their own features in ligand recognition and cellular location. Activated PRRs deliver signals to adaptor molecules (MyD88, TRIF, MAL/TIRAP, TRAM, IPS-1) which act as important messengers to activate downstream kinases (IKK complex, MAPKs, TBK1, RIP-1) and transcription factors (NF-κB, AP-1, IRF3), which produce effecter molecules including cytokines, chemokines, inflammatory enzymes, and type I interferones. Since excessive PRR activation is closely linked to the development of chronic inflammatory diseases, the role of intrinsic and extrinsic regulators in the prevention of over- or unnecessary activation of PRRs has been widely studied. Intracellular regulators include MyD88s, SOCS1, TOLLIP, A20, and CYLD. Extrinsic regulators have also been identified with their molecular targets in PRR signaling pathways. TLR dimerization has been suggested as an inhibitory target for small molecules such as curcumin, cinnamaldehyde, and sulforaphane. TBK1 kinase can be a target for certain flavonoids such as EGCG, luteolin, quercetin, chrysin, and eriodictyol to regulate TRIF-dependent TLR pathways. This review focuses on the features of PRR signaling pathways and the therapeutic targets of intrinsic and extrinsic regulators in order to provide beneficial strategies for controlling the activity of PRRs and the related inflammatory diseases and immune disorders.

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