Pathogen recognition in the innate immune response

Biochem J. 2009 Apr 28;420(1):1-16. doi: 10.1042/BJ20090272.


Immunity against microbial pathogens primarily depends on the recognition of pathogen components by innate receptors expressed on immune and non-immune cells. Innate receptors are evolutionarily conserved germ-line-encoded proteins and include TLRs (Toll-like receptors), RLRs [RIG-I (retinoic acid-inducible gene-I)-like receptors] and NLRs (Nod-like receptors). These receptors recognize pathogens or pathogen-derived products in different cellular compartments, such as the plasma membrane, the endosomes or the cytoplasm, and induce the expression of cytokines, chemokines and co-stimulatory molecules to eliminate pathogens and instruct pathogen-specific adaptive immune responses. In the present review, we will discuss the recent progress in the study of pathogen recognition by TLRs, RLRs and NLRs and their signalling pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DEAD Box Protein 58
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*
  • Nod Signaling Adaptor Proteins / immunology
  • Receptors, Immunologic / immunology
  • Toll-Like Receptors / immunology


  • Nod Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • DDX58 protein, human
  • DEAD Box Protein 58
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases