Inflammasome-independent functions of NAIPs and NLRs in the intestinal epithelium

Lisa Scarfe, Gillian M Mackie, Kendle M Maslowski

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The gut relies on the complex interaction between epithelial, stromal and immune cells to maintain gut health in the face of food particles and pathogens. Innate sensing by the intestinal epithelium is critical for maintaining epithelial barrier function and also orchestrating mucosal immune responses. Numerous innate pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) are involved in such sensing. In recent years, several Nucleotide-binding-domain and Leucine-rich repeat-containing receptors (NLRs) have been found to partake in pathogen or damage sensing while also being implicated in gut pathologies, such as colitis and colorectal cancer (CRC). Here, we discuss the current literature focusing on NLR family apoptosis inhibitory proteins (NAIPs) and other NLRs that have non-inflammasome roles in the gut. The mechanisms behind NLR-mediated protection often converges on similar signalling pathways, such as STAT3, MAPK and NFκB. Further understanding of how these NLRs contribute to the maintenance of gut homeostasis will be important for understanding gut pathologies and developing new therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2601-2610
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical Society Transactions
Issue number6
Early online date2 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2021


  • biochemistry
  • epithelial cells
  • host–pathogen interactions
  • inflammasome
  • innate immunity
  • nod-like receptors


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