Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 1 (NOD1) is an intracellular sensor that detects small peptides derived from the cell wall component of intestinal microflora. NOD1 is expressed in both non-hematopoietic cells such as epithelial cells and hematopoietic cells such as antigen-presenting cells. Detection of its ligand by NOD1 leads to innate immune responses through activation of nuclear factor kappa B and type I interferon as well as induction of autophagy. Innate immune responses through NOD1 activation play an indispensable role both in host defense against microbial infection and in the development of gastrointestinal disorders. Of particular importance, NOD1-mediated innate immune responses are associated with mucosal host defenses against Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection of the stomach and with the development of pancreatitis. In this review, we discuss the molecular mechanisms by which NOD1 activation leads to the development of H. pylori-related gastric diseases and pancreatitis.
2017 The Japan Academy