Chloride regulates dynamic NLRP3-dependent ASC oligomerisation and inflammasome priming

Jack Green, Shi Yu, Fátima Martín-Sánchez, Pablo Pelegrin, Gloria Lopez-Castejon, Catherine B. Lawrence, David Brough

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The NLRP3 inflammasome is an important regulator of inflammation and immunity. It is a multimolecular platform formed within cells that facilitates the activation of proinflammatory caspases to drive secretion of cytokines such as interleukin-1β (IL-1β). Knowledge of the mechanisms regulating formation of the NLRP3 inflammasome is incomplete. Here we report Cl− channel-dependent formation of dynamic ASC oligomers and inflammasome specks that remain inactive in the absence of K+ efflux. Formed after Cl− efflux exclusively, ASC specks are NLRP3 dependent, reversible, and inactive, although they further prime inflammatory responses, accelerating and enhancing release of IL-1β in response to a K+ efflux-inducing stimulus. NEK7 is a specific K+ sensor and does not associate with NLRP3 under conditions stimulating exclusively Cl− efflux, but does after K+ efflux, activating the complex driving inflammation. Our investigation delivers mechanistic understanding into inflammasome activation and the regulation of inflammatory responses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E9371-E9380
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Issue number40
Early online date19 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2018

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