Innate immunity is a primordial system that has a primary role in lung antimicrobial defenses. Recent advances in understanding the recognition systems by which cells of the innate immune system recognize and respond to microbial products have revolutionized the understanding of host defenses in the lungs and other tissues. The innate immune system includes lung leukocytes and also epithelial cells lining the alveolar surface and the conducting airways. The innate immune system drives adaptive immunity in the lungs and has important interactions with other systems, including apoptosis pathways and signaling pathways induced by mechanical stretch. Human diversity in innate immune responses could explain some of the variability seen in the responses of patients to bacterial, fungal, and viral infections in the lungs. New strategies to modify innate immune responses could be useful in limiting the adverse consequences of some inflammatory reactions in the lungs.
endotoxin; innate immunity; lung inflammation; Toll-like receptors
Intrinsic innate immune mechanisms are the first line of defense against pathogens, and exist to control infection autonomously in infected cells. Here we show that autophagy, an intrinsic mechanism that can degrade cytoplasmic components, plays a direct anti-viral role against the mammalian viral pathogen Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) in the model organism Drosophila. We found that the surface glycoprotein, VSVG, is likely the pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) that initiates this cell-autonomous response. Once activated, autophagy decreases viral replication, and repression of autophagy leads to increased viral replication and pathogenesis in cells and animals. Lastly, we show that the antiviral response is controlled by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway which normally regulates autophagy in response to nutrient availability. Altogether these data uncover an intrinsic antiviral program that that links viral recognition to the evolutionarily conserved nutrient signaling and autophagy pathways.
Human skin and mucosal surfaces are in constant contact with resident and invasive microbes. Recognition of microbial products by receptors of the innate immune system triggers rapid innate defense and transduces signals necessary for initiating and maintaining the adaptive immune responses. Microbial sensing by innate pattern recognition receptors is not restricted to pathogens. Rather, proper development, function, and maintenance of innate and adaptive immunity rely on continuous recognition of products derived from the microorganisms indigenous to the internal and external surfaces of mammalian host. Tonic immune activation by the resident microbiota governs host susceptibility to intestinal and extra-intestinal infections including those caused by viruses. This review highlights recent developments in innate viral recognition leading to adaptive immunity, and discusses potential link between viruses, microbiota and the host immune system. Further, we discuss the possible roles of microbiome in chronic viral infection and pathogenesis of autoimmune disease, and speculate on the benefit for probiotic therapies against such diseases.
dendritic cells; T cells; viral; inflammation; AIDS; Toll-like receptors/PRR
The post-translational attachment of ubiquitin or ubiquitin-like modifiers (ULMs) to proteins regulates many cellular processes including the generation of innate and adaptive immune responses to pathogens. Vice versa, pathogens counteract immune defense by inhibiting or redirecting the ubiquitination machinery of the host. A common immune evasion strategy is for viruses to target host immunoproteins for proteasomal or lysosomal degradation by employing viral or host ubiquitin ligases. By degrading key host adaptor and signaling molecules, viruses thus disable multiple immune response pathways including the production of and response to interferons as well as other innate host defense mechanisms. Recent work further revealed that viruses inhibit the ligation of ubiquitin or ULMs or remove ubiquitin from host cell proteins. Thus, viruses succeed in either stabilizing negative regulators of innate immune signaling or thwart host cell proteins that are activated by ubiquitin or ULM-modification.
Summary of recent advances
The immune response to virus infection is initiated when pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs) of the host cell recognize specific non-self motifs within viral products to trigger intracellular signaling events that induce innate immunity, the front line of defense against microbial infection. The replication program of all viruses includes a cytosolic phase of genome amplification and/or mRNA metabolism and viral protein expression. Cytosolic recognition of viral infection by specific PRRs takes advantage of the dependence of viruses on the cytosolic component of their replication programs. Such PRR-PAMP interactions lead to PRR-dependent non-self recognition and the downstream induction of type I interferons and proinflammatory cytokines. These factors serve to induce innate immune programs and drive the maturation of adaptive immunity and inflammation for the control of infection. Recent studies have focused on identifying the particular viral ligands recognized as non-self by cytosolic PRRs, and on defining the nature of the PRRs and their signaling pathways involved in immunity. The RIG-I-like receptors, RIG-I and MDA5, have been defined as essential PRRs for host detection of a variety of RNA viruses. Novel PRRs and their signaling pathways involved in detecting DNA viruses through non-self recognition of viral DNA are also being elucidated. Moreover, studies to identify the PRRs and signaling factors of the host cell that mediate inflammatory signaling through inflammasome activation following virus infection are currently underway and have already revealed specific NOD-like receptors (NLRs) as inflammatory triggers. This review summarizes recent progress and current areas of focus in pathogen recognition and immune triggering by cytosolic PRRs.
Eradication of HCV infection requires a complex and coordinated interplay between innate and adaptive immune responses that, when it fails, leads to chronic infection. Increasing evidence suggest that defects in innate immune recognition and in innate immunity-induced activation of adaptive immune responses play a critical role in failure of HCV clearance. The evolutionarily preserved receptors of viral recognition in immune cells and in hepatocytes sense invading pathogens that results in induction of Type I IFNs, the central players in antiviral immunity. In this review the innate immune mechanisms by which HCV is sensed and by which HCV undermines host defense are discussed. The critical role of dendritic cells in antigen presentation/T cell activation and IFNα-production as well as interference of HCV with innate immune cell functions are reviewed. Finally, current and emerging therapeutic approaches targeting innate immune pathways will be evaluated.
Toll-like receptors; RNA Helicases; Dendritic cell; Macrophages; NK cell; Inflammation
HIV has evolved sophisticated mechanisms to avoid restriction by intracellular innate immune defenses that otherwise serve to control acute viral infection and virus dissemination. Innate defenses are triggered when pattern recognition receptor (PRR) proteins of the host cell engage pathogen-associated molecule patterns (PAMPs) present in viral products. Interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) plays a central role in PRR signaling of innate immunity to drive the expression of type I interferon (IFN) and interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), including a variety of HIV restriction factors, that serve to limit viral replication directly and/or program adaptive immunity. Productive infection of T cells by HIV is dependent upon the targeted proteolysis of IRF3 that occurs through a virus-directed mechanism that results in suppression of innate immune defenses. However, the mechanisms by which HIV controls innate immune signaling and IRF3 function are not defined. Here, we examined the innate immune response induced by HIV strains identified through their differential control of PRR signaling. We identified viruses that, unlike typical circulating HIV strains, lack the ability to degrade IRF3. Our studies show that IRF3 regulation maps specifically to the HIV accessory protein Vpu. We define a molecular interaction between Vpu and IRF3 that redirects IRF3 to the endolysosome for proteolytic degradation, thus allowing HIV to avoid the innate antiviral immune response. Our studies reveal that Vpu is an important IRF3 regulator that supports acute HIV infection through innate immune suppression. These observations define the Vpu-IRF3 interface as a novel target for therapeutic strategies aimed at enhancing the immune response to HIV.
During virus infection, multiple immune signaling pathways are triggered, both within the host cell and bystander cells of an infected tissue. These pathways act in concert to mediate innate antiviral immunity and to initiate the inflammatory response against infection. The RIG-I-like receptor (RLR) family of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) is a group of cytosolic RNA helicase proteins that can identify viral RNA as nonself via binding to pathogen associated molecular patter (PAMP) motifs within RNA ligands that accumulate during virus infection. This interaction then leads to triggering of an innate antiviral response within the infected cells through RLR induction of downstream effector molecules such as type I interferon (IFN) and other pro-inflammatory cytokines that serve to induce antiviral and inflammatory gene expression within the local tissue. Cellular regulation of RLR signaling is a critical process that can direct the outcome of infection and is essential for governance of the overall immune response and avoidance of immune toxicity. Mechanisms of positive and negative regulation of RLR signaling have been identified that include signaling crosstalk between RLR pathways and Nuclear Oligomerization Domain (NOD)-Like Receptor (NLR) pathways and Caspase networks. Furthermore, many viruses have evolved mechanisms to target these pathways to promote enhanced replication and spread within the host. These virus-host interactions therefore carry important consequences for host immunity and viral pathogenesis. Understanding the pivotal role of RLRs in immune regulation and signaling crosstalk in antiviral immunity may provide new insights into therapeutic strategies for the control of virus infection and immunity.
RIG-I-like receptors; immunity (author to check)
The innate immune response provides a first line of defense against pathogens by targeting generic differential features that are present in foreign organisms but not in the host. These innate responses generate selection forces acting both in pathogens and hosts that further determine their co-evolution. Here we analyze the nucleic acid sequence fingerprints of these selection forces acting in parallel on both host innate immune genes and ssRNA viral genomes. We do this by identifying dinucleotide biases in the coding regions of innate immune response genes in plasmacytoid dendritic cells, and then use this signal to identify other significant host innate immune genes. The persistence of these biases in the orthologous groups of genes in humans and chickens is also examined. We then compare the significant motifs in highly expressed genes of the innate immune system to those in ssRNA viruses and study the evolution of these motifs in the H1N1 influenza genome. We argue that the significant under-represented motif pattern of CpG in an AU context - which is found in both the ssRNA viruses and innate genes, and has decreased throughout the history of H1N1 influenza replication in humans - is immunostimulatory and has been selected against during the co-evolution of viruses and host innate immune genes. This shows how differences in host immune biology can drive the evolution of viruses that jump into species with different immune priorities than the original host.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) establishes a persistent infection in the human host and is associated with a variety of human cancers. Persistent infection results from a balance between the host immune response and viral immune evasion mechanisms. EBV infection is controlled initially by the innate immune response and later by T-cell-mediated adaptive immunity. EBV has evolved mechanisms to evade the host immune response so that it can persist for the lifetime of the host. Latent membrane protein 1 (LMP-1) is the EBV oncoprotein essential for B-cell immortalization by EBV. We show here that LMP-1 interacts with Tyk2, a signaling intermediate in the alpha interferon (IFN-α) signaling pathway, via a previously uncharacterized LMP-1 signaling domain. LMP-1 prevents Tyk2 phosphorylation and inhibits IFN-α-stimulated STAT2 nuclear translocation and interferon-stimulated response element transcriptional activity. Long-term culture of EBV+ lymphoblastoid cells in IFN-α is associated with outgrowth of a population expressing elevated LMP-1 protein levels, suggesting that cells expressing higher levels of LMP-1 survive the antiproliferative selective pressure imposed by IFN-α. These results show that LMP-1 can protect EBV+ cells from the IFN-α-stimulated antiviral/antiproliferative response and suggest that chronic IFN-α treatment may encourage the outgrowth of cells expressing elevated, and therefore potentially oncogenic, LMP-1 levels in EBV+ individuals.
Acute virus infection induces a cell-intrinsic innate immune response comprising our first line of immunity to limit virus replication and spread, but viruses have developed strategies to overcome these defenses. HIV-1 is a major public health problem; however, the virus-host interactions that regulate innate immune defenses against HIV-1 are not fully defined. We have recently identified the viral protein Vpu to be a key determinant responsible for HIV-1 targeting and degradation of interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3), a central transcription factor driving host cell innate immunity. IRF3 plays a major role in pathogen recognition receptor (PRR) signaling of innate immunity to drive the expression of type I interferon (IFN) and interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), including a variety of HIV restriction factors, that serve to limit viral replication directly and/or program adaptive immunity. Here we interrogate the cellular responses to target cell infection with Vpu-deficient HIV-1 strains. Remarkably, in the absence of Vpu, HIV-1 triggers a potent intracellular innate immune response that suppresses infection. Thus, HIV-1 can be recognized by PRRs within the host cell to trigger an innate immune response, and this response is unmasked only in the absence of Vpu. Vpu modulation of IRF3 therefore prevents virus induction of specific innate defense programs that could otherwise limit infection. These observations show that HIV-1 can indeed be recognized as a pathogen in infected cells and provide a novel and effective platform for defining the native innate immune programs of target cells of HIV-1 infection.
Positive selection of host proteins that interact with pathogens can indicate factors relevant for infection and potentially be a measure of pathogen driven evolution.
Our analysis of 1439 primate genes and 175 lentivirus genomes points to specific host factors of high genetic variability that could account for differences in susceptibility to disease and indicate specific mechanisms of host defense and pathogen adaptation. We find that the largest amount of genetic change occurs in genes coding for cellular membrane proteins of the host as well as in the viral envelope genes suggesting cell entry and immune evasion as the primary evolutionary interface between host and pathogen. We additionally detect the innate immune response as a gene functional group harboring large differences among primates that could potentially account for the different levels of immune activation in the HIV/SIV primate infection. We find a significant correlation between the evolutionary rates of interacting host and viral proteins pointing to processes of the host-pathogen biology that are relatively conserved among species and to those undergoing accelerated genetic evolution.
These results indicate specific host factors and their functional groups experiencing pathogen driven evolutionary selection pressures. Individual host factors pointed to by our analysis might merit further study as potential targets of antiretroviral therapies.
Host organisms have developed sophisticated antiviral responses in order to defeat emerging influenza A viruses (IAV). At the same time IAV have evolved immune evasion strategies. The immune system of mammals provides several lines of defense to neutralize invading pathogens or limit their replication. Here, we summarize the mammalian innate and adaptive immune mechanisms involved in host defense against viral infection and review strategies by which IAV avoid, circumvent or subvert these mechanisms. We highlight well-characterized, as well as recently described features of this intriguing virus-host molecular battle.
Acute respiratory tract infection (RTI) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and the majority of RTIs are caused by viruses, among which respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and the closely related human metapneumovirus (hMPV) figure prominently. Host innate immune response has been implicated in recognition, protection and immune pathological mechanisms. Host-viral interactions are generally initiated via host recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) of the virus. This recognition occurs through host pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) which are expressed on innate immune cells such as epithelial cells, dendritic cells, macrophages and neutrophils. Multiple PRR families, including Toll-like receptors (TLRs), RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) and NOD-like receptors (NLRs), contribute significantly to viral detection, leading to induction of cytokines, chemokines and type I interferons (IFNs), which subsequently facilitate the eradication of the virus. This review focuses on the current literature on RSV and hMPV infection and the role of PRRs in establishing/mediating the infection in both in vitro and in vivo models. A better understanding of the complex interplay between these two viruses and host PRRs might lead to efficient prophylactic and therapeutic treatments, as well as the development of adequate vaccines.
PRRs; RSV; hMPV; TLR; RLR; NLR; PAMP; IFN; innate immunity
The emergence of the highly pathogenic SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) has reignited interest in coronavirus biology and pathogenesis. An emerging theme in coronavirus pathogenesis is that the interaction between specific viral genes and the host immune system, specifically the innate immune system, functions as a key determinant in regulating virulence and disease outcomes. Using SARS-CoV as a model, we will review the current knowledge of the interplay between coronavirus infection and the host innate immune system in vivo, and then discuss the mechanisms by which specific gene products antagonize the host innate immune response in cell culture models. Our data suggests that the SARS-CoV uses specific strategies to evade and antagonize the sensing and signaling arms of the interferon pathway. We summarize by identifying future points of consideration that will contribute greatly to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing coronavirus pathogenesis and virulence, and the development of severe disease in humans and animals.
The initiation and progression of vascular inflammation are driven by the retention of cholesterol in the artery wall, where its modification by oxidation and/or enzymes triggers the innate immune host response. Although previously considered a broad, primitive defense mechanism against invading pathogens, it has become clear that pattern recognition receptors of the innate immune system can cooperate to precisely regulate signaling pathways essential for the proper initiation of both innate and acquired immunity. Recent evidence suggests that these pattern recognition receptors may orchestrate the host response to modified endogenous ligands involved in sterile chronic inflammatory syndromes, including atherosclerosis. In this review we will summarize the current understanding of innate immune receptors and the putative ligands that regulate the numerous responses that promote this disease, including monocyte recruitment, macrophage cholesterol uptake, and pro-inflammatory signaling cascades. Specific emphasis will be placed on the potential of these innate immune targets for therapeutic interventions to retard the progression of atherosclerosis or to induce its regression.
pattern recognition receptor; atherosclerosis; innate immunity; macrophage; scavenger receptor; chemokine; Toll-like receptor
The necessity for pathogen recognition of viral infection by the innate immune system in initiating early innate and adaptive host defenses is well documented. However, little is known about the role these receptors play in the maintenance of adaptive immune responses and their contribution to resolution of persistent viral infections. Here, we demonstrate a non-redundant functional requirement for both nucleic acid-sensing Toll-like receptors (TLR) and RIG-I-like receptors (RLR) in the control of a mouse model of chronic viral infection. Whereas the RLR pathway was important for production of type I interferons and optimal CD8+ T cell responses, nucleic acid-sensing TLRs were largely dispensable. In contrast, optimal anti-viral antibody responses required intact signaling through nucleic acid-sensing TLRs, and the absence of this pathway correlated with less virus-specific antibody and deficient long-term virus control of a chronic infection. Surprisingly, absence of the TLR pathway had only modest effects on antibody production in an acute infection with a closely related virus strain, suggesting that persistent TLR stimulation may be necessary for optimal antibody responses in a chronic infection. These results indicate that innate virus recognition pathways may play critical roles in the outcome of chronic viral infections through distinct mechanisms.
Nuclear Factor-κB (NF-κB)/Rel transcription factors form an integral part of innate immune defenses and are conserved throughout the animal kingdom. Studying the function, mechanism of activation and regulation of these factors is crucial for understanding host responses to microbial infections. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has proved to be a valuable model system to study these evolutionarily conserved NF-κB mediated immune responses. Drosophila combats pathogens through humoral and cellular immune responses. These humoral responses are well characterized and are marked by the robust production of a battery of anti-microbial peptides. Two NF-κB signaling pathways, the Toll and the IMD pathways, are responsible for the induction of these antimicrobial peptides. Signal transduction in these pathways is strikingly similar to that in mammalian TLR pathways. In this chapter, we discuss in detail the molecular mechanisms of microbial recognition, signal transduction and NF-κB regulation, in both the Toll and the IMD pathways. Similarities and differences relative to their mammalian counterparts are discussed, and recent advances in our understanding of the intricate regulatory networks in these NF-κB signaling pathways are also highlighted.
Host immune components play both beneficial and pathogenic roles in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. During the initial stage of viral infection, a complex network of innate immune factors are activated. For instance, the immune cells express a number of inflammatory proteins including cytokines, chemokines, and antiviral restriction factors. These factors, specifically, interferons (IFNs) play a crucial role in antiviral defense system by modulating the downstream signaling events, by inducing maturation of dendritic cells (DCs), and by activation of macrophages, natural killer (NK) cells, and B and T cells. However, HIV-1 has evolved to utilize a number of strategies to overcome the antiviral effects of the host innate immune system. This review discusses the pathways and strategies utilized by HIV-1 to establish latent and persistent infection by defeating host's innate defense system.
Innate and adaptive immune systems have important role in the pathogenesis of acute and chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV). These immune responses are mediated through complex interactions between the innate immune response and adaptive immune response. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a family of innate immune-recognition receptors that recognize the molecular patterns associated with microbial pathogens. So far, TLR1 to 13 were found in human or mice and investigated to detect the target molecules and the downstream mechanisms of these unique systems. Stimulation by their ligands initiates the activation of complex networks of intracellular signaling transduction and innate and adaptive immune-related cells (NK, NK-T, monocytes, dendritic cells, T cells, B cells, and Tregs, etc.). However, reports on such relationships between HBV and TLRs have been relatively rare in comparison to those on HCV and TLRs, but have recently been increasing. Thus, a review of TLRs involved in the pathogenesis of HBV infection may be needed toward better understanding of the immunopathogenesis of HBV infection.
The zebrafish has proven itself as an excellent model to study vertebrate innate immunity. It presents us with possibilities for in vivo imaging of host-pathogen interactions which are unparalleled in mammalian model systems. In addition, its suitability for genetic approaches is providing new insights on the mechanisms underlying the innate immune response. Here, we review the pattern recognition receptors that identify invading microbes, as well as the innate immune effector mechanisms that they activate in zebrafish embryos. We compare the current knowledge about these processes in mammalian models and zebrafish and discuss recent studies using zebrafish infection models that have advanced our general understanding of the innate immune system. Furthermore, we use transcriptome analysis of zebrafish infected with E. tarda, S. typhimurium, and M. marinum to visualize the gene expression profiles resulting from these infections. Our data illustrate that the two acute disease-causing pathogens, E. tarda and S. typhimurium, elicit a highly similar proinflammatory gene induction profile, while the chronic disease-causing pathogen, M. marinum, induces a weaker and delayed innate immune response.
Upon viral infection, the major defense mounted by the host immune system is activation of the interferon (IFN)-mediated antiviral pathway that is mediated by IFN regulatory factors (IRFs). In order to complete their life cycle, viruses must modulate the host IFN-mediated immune response. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), a human tumor-inducing herpesvirus, has developed a unique mechanism for antagonizing cellular IFN-mediated antiviral activity by incorporating viral homologs of the cellular IRFs, called vIRFs. Here, we report a novel immune evasion mechanism of KSHV vIRF3 to block cellular IRF7-mediated innate immunity in response to viral infection. KSHV vIRF3 specifically interacts with either the DNA binding domain or the central IRF association domain of IRF7, and this interaction leads to the inhibition of IRF7 DNA binding activity and, therefore, suppression of alpha interferon (IFN-α) production and IFN-mediated immunity. Remarkably, the central 40 amino acids of vIRF3, containing the double α helix motifs, are sufficient not only for binding to IRF7, but also for inhibiting IRF7 DNA binding activity. Consequently, the expression of the double α helix motif-containing peptide effectively suppresses IRF7-mediated IFN-α production. This demonstrates a remarkably efficient means of viral avoidance of host antiviral activity.
The innate immune response system is designed to alert the host rapidly to the presence of an invasive microbial pathogen that has breached the integument of multicellular eukaryotic organisms. Microbial invasion poses an immediate threat to survival, and a vigorous defense response ensues in an effort to clear the pathogen from the internal milieu of the host. The innate immune system is able to eradicate many microbial pathogens directly, or innate immunity may indirectly facilitate the removal of pathogens by activation of specific elements of the adaptive immune response (cell-mediated and humoral immunity by T cells and B cells). The coagulation system has traditionally been viewed as an entirely separate system that has arisen to prevent or limit loss of blood volume and blood components following mechanical injury to the circulatory system. It is becoming increasingly clear that coagulation and innate immunity have coevolved from a common ancestral substrate early in eukaryotic development, and that these systems continue to function as a highly integrated unit for survival defense following tissue injury. The mechanisms by which these highly complex and coregulated defense strategies are linked together are the focus of the present review.
coagulation; disseminated intravascular coagulation; inflammation; sepsis; septic shock
The human pathogenic fungus Candida albicans is the predominant cause of both superficial and invasive forms of candidiasis. Clinical observations indicate that mucocutaneous Candida infections are commonly associated with defective cell-mediated immune responses. The importance of the innate immune system as a first-line defense against pathogenic challenge has long been recognized. Over the last decade, many key molecules mediating innate host defense have been identified. Central to these developments is the discovery of pattern recognition receptors such as Toll-like receptors and C-type lectin-receptors that induce innate immune responses and also modulate cellular and humoral adaptive immunity during Candida infections. Although a large amount of information is now available in systemic infections, little is known about localized infections. We address the most relevant pattern recognition receptors and their signaling mechanisms in oral epithelial cells, to gain a better understanding of their contributions to antifungal innate immunity.
oral epithelium; innate immunity; Toll-like receptors; C-type lectin-receptors; Candida albicans
Adjuvants were reintroduced into modern immunology as the dirty little secret of immunologists by Janeway and thus began the molecular definition of innate immunity. It is now clear that the binding of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) on antigen presenting cells (APCs) activates the innate immune response and provides the host with a rapid mechanism for detecting infection by pathogens and initiates adaptive immunity. Ironically, in addition to advancing the basic science of immunology, Janeway's revelation on induction of the adaptive system has also spurred an era of rational vaccine design that exploits PRRs. Thus, defined PAMPs that bind to known PRRs are being specifically coupled to antigens to improve their immunogenicity. However, while PAMPs efficiently activate the innate immune response, they do not mediate the capture of antigen that is required to elicit the specific responses of the acquired immune system. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are molecular chaperones that are found complexed to client polypeptides and have been studied as potential cancer vaccines. In addition to binding PRRs and activating the innate immune response, HSPs have been shown to both induce the maturation of APCs and provide chaperoned polypeptides for specific triggering of the acquired immune response.