The role of NOD1 and NOD2 in host defense against chlamydial infection

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Abstract

Chlamydial species are common intracellular parasites that cause various diseases, mainly characterized by persistent infection, which lead to inflammatory responses modulated by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). The best understood PRRs are the extracellular Toll-like receptors, but recent significant advances have focused on two important proteins, NOD1 and NOD2, which are members of the intracellular nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain receptor family and are capable of triggering the host innate immune signaling pathways. This results in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which is vital for an adequate host defense against intracellular chlamydial infection. NOD1/2 ligands are known to derive from peptidoglycan, and the latest research has resolved the paradox of whether chlamydial species possess this bacterial cell wall component; this finding is likely to promote in-depth investigations into the interaction between the NOD proteins and chlamydial pathogens. In this review, we summarize the basic characteristics and signal transduction functions of NOD1 and NOD2 and highlight the new research on the roles of NOD1 and NOD2 in the host defense against chlamydial infection.

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