Since the discovery of Toll, in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, as the first described pattern recognition receptor (PRR) in 1996, many families of these receptors have been discovered and characterized. PRRs play critically important roles in pathogen recognition to initiate innate immune responses that ultimately link to the generation of adaptive immunity. Activation of PRRs leads to the induction of immune and inflammatory genes, including proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. It is increasingly clear that many PRRs are linked to a range of inflammatory, infectious, immune, and chronic degenerative diseases. Several drugs to modulate PRR activity are already in clinical trials and many more are likely to appear in the near future. Here, we review the different families of mammalian PRRs, the ligands they recognize, the mechanisms of activation, their role in disease, and the potential of targeting these proteins to develop the anti-inflammatory therapeutics of the future.
Copyright © 2015 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.