Inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome by HSP90 inhibitors

Sohaib Nizami, Kanisa Arunasalam, Jack Green, James Cook, Catherine B. Lawrence, Tryfon Zarganes-Tzitzikas, John B Davis, Elena Di Daniel, David Brough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Excessive and dysregulated inflammation is known to contribute to disease progression. HSP90 is an intracellular chaperone known to regulate inflammatory processes including the the NLRP3 inflammasome and secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin(IL)-1β. Here, primarily using an in vitro inflammasome ASC speck assay, and an in vivo model of murine peritonitis, we tested the utility of HSP90 inhibitors as anti-inflammatory molecules. We report that the HSP90 inhibitor EC144 effectively inhibited inflammatory processes including priming and activation of NLRP3 in vitro and in vivo. A specific inhibitor of the β HSP90 isoform was ineffective suggesting the importance of the α isoform in inflammatory signalling. EC144 inhibited IL-1β and IL-6 in vivo when administered orally, and was brain penetrant. These data suggest that HSP90 inhibitors may be useful for targeting inflammation in diverse diseases that are worsened by the presence of inflammation.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date20 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2020


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