USP7 and USP47 deubiquitinases regulate NLRP3 inflammasome activation

Pablo Palazón-Riquelme, Jonathan D Worboys, Jack Green, Ana Valera, Fatima Martín-Sánchez, Carolina Pellegrini, David Brough, Gloria López-Castejón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The assembly and activation of the inflammasomes are tightly regulated by post-translational modifications, including ubiquitin. Deubiquitinases (DUBs) counteract the addition of ubiquitin and are essential regulators of immune signalling pathways, including those acting on the inflammasome. How DUBs control the assembly and activation of inflammasomes is unclear. Here, we show that the DUBs USP7 and USP47 regulate inflammasome activation in macrophages. Chemical inhibition of USP7 and USP47 blocks inflammasome formation, independently of transcription, by preventing ASC oligomerisation and speck formation. We also provide evidence that the ubiquitination status of NLRP3 itself is altered by inhibition of USP7 and USP47. Interestingly, we found that the activity of USP7 and USP47 increased in response to inflammasome activators. Using CRISPR/Cas9 in the macrophage cell line THP-1, we show that inflammasome activation is reduced when both USP7 and USP47 are knocked down. Altogether, these data reveal a new post-transcriptional role for USP47 and USP7 in inflammation by regulating inflammasome activation and the release of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-18, and implicate dual USP7 and USP47 inhibitors as potential therapeutic agents for inflammatory disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere44766
JournalEMBO reports
Issue number10
Early online date11 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • inflammasome
  • deubiquitination
  • USP7
  • USP47
  • macrophages
  • interleukin-1


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