NOD-like receptors: ancient sentinels of the innate immune system

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2008 May;65(9):1361-77. doi: 10.1007/s00018-008-7502-y.


NOD-like receptors (NLRs) comprise a family of cytosolic proteins that have been implicated as ancient cellular sentinels mediating protective immune responses elicited by intracellular pathogens or endogenous danger signals. Genetic variants in NLR genes have been associated with complex chronic inflammatory barrier diseases (e.g. Crohn disease, bronchial asthma). In this review, we focus on the molecular pathophysiology of NLRs in the context of chronic inflammatory diseases and pinpoint recent advances in the evolutionary understanding of NLR biology. We propose that the field of NLRs may serve as a prototype for how a comprehensive understanding of an element of the immunological barrier will eventually lead to the development of targeted diagnostic, therapeutic and/or preventive strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins / chemistry
  • CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins / genetics
  • CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins / metabolism
  • Chronic Disease
  • Genes, Plant
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Ligands
  • Nod2 Signaling Adaptor Protein / chemistry
  • Nod2 Signaling Adaptor Protein / genetics
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / genetics*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism


  • CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Ligands
  • Nod2 Signaling Adaptor Protein
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear