Date: 17 Sep 2010

NF-κB and Innate Immunity

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Members of the NF-κB transcription factor family play a critical role in the development of innate immunity. Upon recognition of pathogen infections or tissue damage, the NF-κB pathway is strongly activated by cellular pattern recognition receptors, including Toll-like receptors and multiple cytosolic receptors such as RIG-I-like helicases and NOD family proteins. NF-κB is required not only for the expression, but also for subsequent signal transduction of numerous downstream cytokines. NF-κB-responsive genes affect a diverse array of cellular processes including apoptosis and cell survival, and often directly control the course of a pathogen infection. In this review, we will examine signaling pathways leading to NF-κB activation during the innate immune response and mechanisms of pathogen-modulation of these pathways; the specifics of NF-κB-dependent gene programs, and the physiological consequences for the immune system caused by the absence of individual NF-κB subunits.