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NLR gene family

Reviewed September 2008

What are the NLR genes?

Genes in the NLR family provide instructions for making proteins called nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptors, which are found in the fluid inside cells (cytoplasm). NOD-like receptors are involved in starting and regulating the immune system's response to injury, toxins, or invasion by microorganisms.

NOD-like receptors recognize specific molecules that fit into the receptors like a key into a lock. Some of these molecules are found in the cell walls or other components of microorganisms. When the receptor recognizes them, it helps activate the immune system to fight the microorganisms.

Some NOD-like receptors initiate a process that releases transcription factors, proteins that attach (bind) to specific regions of DNA and help control the activity of particular genes, such as certain genes related to the immune system. Other NOD-like receptors assemble themselves along with other proteins into structures called inflammasomes, which are involved in the process of inflammation.

Inflammation occurs when the immune system sends signaling molecules as well as white blood cells to a site of injury or disease to fight microbial invaders and facilitate tissue repair. In some cases, inflammation can be triggered inappropriately and result in damage to the body's own cells and tissues, as seen in autoinflammatory diseases such as Crohn disease and sarcoidosis. Variations in NLR genes have been linked with a number of these disorders.

Which genes are included in the NLR gene family?

The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) provides a list of genes in the NLR familyThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference..

Genetics Home Reference provides additional information about these members of the NLR gene family: NLRP12, NLRP3, and NOD2.

What conditions are related to genes in the NLR gene family?

Genetics Home Reference includes these conditions related to genes in the NLR gene family:

Where can I find general information about genes and gene families?

The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.

What glossary definitions help with understanding the NLR (nucleotide-binding domain and leucine rich repeat containing family) gene family?

cell ; cytoplasm ; DNA ; domain ; gene ; immune system ; inflammation ; injury ; leucine ; molecule ; nucleotide ; protein ; receptor ; sarcoidosis ; tissue ; toxin ; transcription ; transcription factor ; white blood cells

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.

References (8 links)


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.

Reviewed: September 2008
Published: January 30, 2009