Green thumbs co-exist for millions of years and so what is our connection with plants? Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have shown for the first time that humans and plants share a common pathogen recognition pathway as part of their innate immune systems. The data could help shed fresh light on how pathogen recognition proteins function and the role they play in certain chronic inflammatory diseases.
A study provides that a member of the Nod-like Receptor (NLR) protein family, is activated by the protein SGT1, which also activates Resistance (R) proteins in plants; R proteins protect plants from various pathogens. The study also confirms structural similarities between the Nod1 protein, which plays a pivotal role in the innate immune system’s recognition and response to bacterial infection and members of the R protein family.
Although there is a significant genetic crossover between plants and mammals, very little is known about this common human-plant regulatory pathway. Speculation that certain protein regulatory structures might exist in both plants and humans simply because they do the same thing in much the same way.