The evolution and genetics of innate immunity

Deborah A. Kimbrell, Bruce Beutler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

510 Scopus citations


The immune system provides protection from a wide range of pathogens. One component of immunity, the phylogenetically ancient innate immune response, fights infections from the moment of first contact and is the fundamental defensive weapon of multicellular organisms. The Toll family of receptors has a crucial role in immune defence. Studies in fruitflies and in mammals reveal that the defensive strategies of invertebrates and vertebrates are highly conserved at the molecular level, which raises the exciting prospects of an increased understanding of innate immunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-267
Number of pages12
JournalNature Reviews Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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