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      Innate recognition of non-self nucleic acids

      , 1 , , 2

      Genome Biology

      BioMed Central

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          Abstract

          A variety of innate immune system receptors recognize and respond to the nucleic acids of invading pathogens.

          Abstract

          The immune system has evolved a plethora of innate receptors that detect microbial DNA and RNA, including Toll-like receptors in the endosomal compartment and RIG-I-like receptors and Nod-like receptors in the cytosol. Here we discuss the recognition of and responses to non-self nucleic acids via these receptors as well as their involvement in autoimmune diseases.

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          Most cited references 61

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          Pathogen recognition and innate immunity.

          Microorganisms that invade a vertebrate host are initially recognized by the innate immune system through germline-encoded pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs). Several classes of PRRs, including Toll-like receptors and cytoplasmic receptors, recognize distinct microbial components and directly activate immune cells. Exposure of immune cells to the ligands of these receptors activates intracellular signaling cascades that rapidly induce the expression of a variety of overlapping and unique genes involved in the inflammatory and immune responses. New insights into innate immunity are changing the way we think about pathogenesis and the treatment of infectious diseases, allergy, and autoimmunity.
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            Recognition of double-stranded RNA and activation of NF-kappaB by Toll-like receptor 3.

            Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a family of innate immune-recognition receptors that recognize molecular patterns associated with microbial pathogens, and induce antimicrobial immune responses. Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is a molecular pattern associated with viral infection, because it is produced by most viruses at some point during their replication. Here we show that mammalian TLR3 recognizes dsRNA, and that activation of the receptor induces the activation of NF-kappaB and the production of type I interferons (IFNs). TLR3-deficient (TLR3-/-) mice showed reduced responses to polyinosine-polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C)), resistance to the lethal effect of poly(I:C) when sensitized with d-galactosamine (d-GalN), and reduced production of inflammatory cytokines. MyD88 is an adaptor protein that is shared by all the known TLRs. When activated by poly(I:C), TLR3 induces cytokine production through a signalling pathway dependent on MyD88. Moreover, poly(I:C) can induce activation of NF-kappaB and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases independently of MyD88, and cause dendritic cells to mature.
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              A Toll-like receptor recognizes bacterial DNA.

               T Kawai,  S. Sato,  H Hemmi (2000)
              DNA from bacteria has stimulatory effects on mammalian immune cells, which depend on the presence of unmethylated CpG dinucleotides in the bacterial DNA. In contrast, mammalian DNA has a low frequency of CpG dinucleotides, and these are mostly methylated; therefore, mammalian DNA does not have immuno-stimulatory activity. CpG DNA induces a strong T-helper-1-like inflammatory response. Accumulating evidence has revealed the therapeutic potential of CpG DNA as adjuvants for vaccination strategies for cancer, allergy and infectious diseases. Despite its promising clinical use, the molecular mechanism by which CpG DNA activates immune cells remains unclear. Here we show that cellular response to CpG DNA is mediated by a Toll-like receptor, TLR9. TLR9-deficient (TLR9-/-) mice did not show any response to CpG DNA, including proliferation of splenocytes, inflammatory cytokine production from macrophages and maturation of dendritic cells. TLR9-/- mice showed resistance to the lethal effect of CpG DNA without any elevation of serum pro-inflammatory cytokine levels. The in vivo CpG-DNA-mediated T-helper type-1 response was also abolished in TLR9-/- mice. Thus, vertebrate immune systems appear to have evolved a specific Toll-like receptor that distinguishes bacterial DNA from self-DNA.
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Immunology, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA
                [2 ]Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA
                Contributors
                Journal
                Genome Biol
                Genome Biology
                BioMed Central
                1465-6906
                1465-6914
                2008
                10 March 2008
                : 9
                : 3
                : 211
                2397494
                gb-2008-9-3-211
                18341708
                10.1186/gb-2008-9-3-211
                Copyright © 2008 BioMed Central Ltd
                Categories
                Review

                Genetics

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