Innate immunity comprises several inflammation-related modulatory pathways which receive signals from an array of membrane-bound and cytoplasmic pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). The NLRs (NACHT (NAIP (neuronal apoptosis inhibitor protein), C2TA (MHC class 2 transcription activator), HET-E (incompatibility locus protein from Podospora anserina) and TP1 (telomerase-associated protein) and Leucine-Rich Repeat (LRR) domain containing proteins) relate to a large family of cytosolic innate receptors, involved in detection of intracellular pathogens and endogenous byproducts of tissue injury. These receptors may recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and/or danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), activating host responses against pathogen infection and cellular stress. NLR-driven downstream signals trigger a number of signaling circuitries, which may either initiate the formation of inflammasomes and/or activate nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), stress kinases, interferon response factors (IRFs), inflammatory caspases and autophagy. Disruption of those signals may lead to a number of pro-inflammatory conditions, eventually promoting the onset of human malignancies. In this review, we describe the structures and f...Continue Reading
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Autophagy & Model Organisms
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Autophagy preserves the health of cells and tissues by replacing outdated and damaged cellular components with fresh ones. In starvation, it provides an internal source of nutrients for energy generation and, thus, survival. A powerful promoter of metabolic homeostasis at both the cellular and whole-animal level, autophagy prevents degenerative diseases. It does have a downside, however--cancer cells exploit it to survive in nutrient-poor tumors.