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Nat Immunol. 2011 Aug 18;12(9):817-26. doi: 10.1038/ni.2083.

NLR functions in plant and animal immune systems: so far and yet so close.

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Max-Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Department of Plant-Microbe Interactions, Köln, Germany.


In plants and animals, the NLR family of receptors perceives non-self and modified-self molecules inside host cells and mediates innate immune responses to microbial pathogens. Despite their similar biological functions and protein architecture, animal NLRs are normally activated by conserved microbe- or damage-associated molecular patterns, whereas plant NLRs typically detect strain-specific pathogen effectors. Plant NLRs recognize either the effector structure or effector-mediated modifications of host proteins. The latter indirect mechanism for the perception of non-self, as well as the within-species diversification of plant NLRs, maximize the capacity to recognize non-self through the use of a finite number of innate immunoreceptors. We discuss recent insights into NLR activation, signal initiation through the homotypic association of N-terminal domains and subcellular receptor dynamics in plants and compare those with NLR functions in animals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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