AAT Bioquest

What are cytosolic pattern recognition receptors (PRRs)?

Posted October 15, 2021


Cytosolic Pattern Recognition Receptors (PRRs) are special types of receptor proteins that are capable of recognizing molecules often found in pathogens (PAMPS or Pathogen-Associated Molecular Patterns) and molecules released by damaged cells (DAMPS or Damage-Associated Molecular Patterns).

Pattern Recognition Receptors are a vital component of the immune system. They enable the immune system to detect pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. These PRRs are strategically located in various areas of the cell, including the cell surface, endosomes, and cytoplasm. Their location determines their function. PRRs located at the surface of the cell help in the detection of extracellular invaders such as bacteria and fungi, while those present in the endosomes recognize intracellular pathogens such as viruses. PRRs in the cytoplasm detect ‘danger’ signals resulting from perturbations of regular cellular processes.

The PRRs are divided into four families that differ in their signal transduction, ligand recognition and sub-cellular localization. When activated, they trigger various cellular responses that ultimately result in the elimination of the pathogen. Although the PRRs are specialized in their recognition, they cooperate with each other to ensure an optimum response. 

Additional resources

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