Caspase-1 Engagement and TLR-Induced c-FLIP Expression Suppress ASC/Caspase-8-Dependent Apoptosis by Inflammasome Sensors NLRP1b and NLRC4.
ABSTRACT: The caspase activation and recruitment domain (CARD)-based inflammasome sensors NLRP1b and NLRC4 induce caspase-1-dependent pyroptosis independent of the inflammasome adaptor ASC. Here, we show that NLRP1b and NLRC4 trigger caspase-8-mediated apoptosis as an alternative cell death program in caspase-1-/- macrophages and intestinal epithelial organoids (IECs). The caspase-8 adaptor FADD was recruited to ASC specks, which served as cytosolic platforms for caspase-8 activation and NLRP1b/NLRC4-induced apoptosis. We further found that caspase-1 protease activity dominated over scaffolding functions in suppressing caspase-8 activation and induction of apoptosis of macrophages and IECs. Moreover, TLR-induced c-FLIP expression inhibited caspase-8-mediated apoptosis downstream of ASC speck assembly, but did not affect pyroptosis induction by NLRP1b and NLRC4. Moreover, unlike during pyroptosis, NLRP1b- and NLRC4-elicited apoptosis retained alarmins and the inflammasome-matured cytokines interleukin 1? (IL-1?) and IL-18 intracellularly. This work identifies critical mechanisms regulating apoptosis induction by the inflammasome sensors NLRP1b and NLRC4 and suggests converting pyroptosis into apoptosis as a paradigm for suppressing inflammation.
Project description:Despite its clinical importance in infection and autoimmunity, the activation mechanisms of the NLRP1b inflammasome remain enigmatic. Here we show that deletion of the inflammasome adaptor ASC in BALB/c mice and in C57BL/6 macrophages expressing a functional NLRP1b prevents anthrax lethal toxin (LeTx)-induced caspase-1 autoproteolysis and speck formation. However, ASC(-/-) macrophages undergo normal LeTx-induced pyroptosis and secrete significant amounts of interleukin (IL)-1?. In contrast, ASC is critical for caspase-1 autoproteolysis and IL-1? secretion by the NLRC4, NLRP3 and AIM2 inflammasomes. Notably, LeTx-induced inflammasome activation is associated with caspase-1 ubiquitination, which is unaffected in ASC-deficient cells. In vivo, ASC-deficient mice challenged with LeTx produce significant levels of IL-1?, IL-18 and HMGB1 in circulation, although caspase-1 autoproteolysis is abolished. As a result, ASC(-/-) mice are sensitive to rapid LeTx-induced lethality. Together, these results demonstrate that ASC-driven caspase-1 autoprocessing and speck formation are dispensable for the activation of caspase-1 and the NLRP1b inflammasome.
Project description:Inflammasomes are caspase-1-activating multiprotein complexes. The mouse nucleotide-binding domain and leucine rich repeat pyrin containing 1b (NLRP1b) inflammasome was identified as the sensor of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LT) in mouse macrophages from sensitive strains such as BALB/c. Upon exposure to LT, the NLRP1b inflammasome activates caspase-1 to produce mature IL-1? and induce pyroptosis. Both processes are believed to depend on autoproteolysed caspase-1. In contrast to human NLRP1, mouse NLRP1b lacks an N-terminal pyrin domain (PYD), indicating that the assembly of the NLRP1b inflammasome does not require the adaptor apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD (ASC). LT-induced NLRP1b inflammasome activation was shown to be impaired upon inhibition of potassium efflux, which is known to play a major role in NLRP3 inflammasome formation and ASC dimerization. We investigated whether NLRP3 and/or ASC were required for caspase-1 activation upon LT stimulation in the BALB/c background. The NLRP1b inflammasome activation was assessed in both macrophages and dendritic cells lacking either ASC or NLRP3. Upon LT treatment, the absence of NLRP3 did not alter the NLRP1b inflammasome activity. Surprisingly, the absence of ASC resulted in IL-1? cleavage and pyroptosis, despite the absence of caspase-1 autoprocessing activity. By reconstituting caspase-1/caspase-11(-/-) cells with a noncleavable or catalytically inactive mutant version of caspase-1, we directly demonstrated that noncleavable caspase-1 is fully active in response to the NLRP1b activator LT, whereas it is nonfunctional in response to the NLRP3 activator nigericin. Taken together, these results establish variable requirements for caspase-1 cleavage depending on the pathogen and the responding NLR.
Project description:Legionella pneumophila is a Gram-negative, flagellated bacterium that survives in phagocytes and causes Legionnaires' disease. Upon infection of mammalian macrophages, cytosolic flagellin triggers the activation of Naip/NLRC4 inflammasome, which culminates in pyroptosis and restriction of bacterial replication. Although NLRC4 and caspase-1 participate in the same inflammasome, Nlrc4-/- mice and their macrophages are more permissive to L. pneumophila replication compared with Casp1/11-/-. This feature supports the existence of a pathway that is NLRC4-dependent and caspase-1/11-independent. Here, we demonstrate that caspase-8 is recruited to the Naip5/NLRC4/ASC inflammasome in response to flagellin-positive bacteria. Accordingly, caspase-8 is activated in Casp1/11-/- macrophages in a process dependent on flagellin, Naip5, NLRC4 and ASC. Silencing caspase-8 in Casp1/11-/- cells culminated in macrophages that were as susceptible as Nlrc4-/- for the restriction of L. pneumophila replication. Accordingly, macrophages and mice deficient in Asc/Casp1/11-/- were more susceptible than Casp1/11-/- and as susceptible as Nlrc4-/- for the restriction of infection. Mechanistically, we found that caspase-8 activation triggers gasdermin-D-independent pore formation and cell death. Interestingly, caspase-8 is recruited to the Naip5/NLRC4/ASC inflammasome in wild-type macrophages, but it is only activated when caspase-1 or gasdermin-D is inhibited. Our data suggest that caspase-8 activation in the Naip5/NLRC4/ASC inflammasome enable induction of cell death when caspase-1 or gasdermin-D is suppressed.
Project description:The NLRC4 inflammasome recognizes bacterial flagellin and components of the type III secretion apparatus. NLRC4 stimulation leads to caspase-1 activation followed by a rapid lytic cell death known as pyroptosis. NLRC4 is linked to pathogen-free auto-inflammatory diseases, suggesting a role for NLRC4 in sterile inflammation. Here, we show that NLRC4 activates an alternative cell death program morphologically similar to apoptosis in caspase-1-deficient BMDMs. By performing an unbiased genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 screen with subsequent validation studies in gene-targeted mice, we highlight a critical role for caspase-8 and ASC adaptor in an alternative apoptotic pathway downstream of NLRC4. Furthermore, caspase-1 catalytically dead knock-in (Casp1 C284A KI) BMDMs genetically segregate pyroptosis and apoptosis, and confirm that caspase-1 does not functionally compete with ASC for NLRC4 interactions. We show that NLRC4/caspase-8-mediated apoptotic cells eventually undergo plasma cell membrane damage in vitro, suggesting that this pathway can lead to secondary necrosis. Unexpectedly, we found that DFNA5/GSDME, a member of the pore-forming gasdermin family, is dispensable for the secondary necrosis that follows NLRC4-mediated apoptosis in macrophages. Together, our data confirm the existence of an alternative caspase-8 activation pathway diverging from the NLRC4 inflammasome in primary macrophages.
Project description:Activating germline mutations in the human inflammasome sensor NLRP1 causes palmoplantar dyskeratosis and susceptibility to Mendelian autoinflammatory diseases. Recent studies have shown that the cytosolic serine dipeptidyl peptidases DPP8 and DPP9 suppress inflammasome activation upstream of NLRP1 and CARD8 in human keratinocytes and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of DPP8/DPP9 protease activity was shown to induce pyroptosis in murine C57BL/6 macrophages without eliciting other inflammasome hallmark responses. Here, we show that DPP8/DPP9 inhibition in macrophages that express a Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LeTx)-sensitive Nlrp1b allele triggered significantly accelerated pyroptosis concomitant with caspase-1 maturation, ASC speck assembly, and secretion of mature IL-1β and IL-18. Genetic ablation of ASC prevented DPP8/DPP9 inhibition-induced caspase-1 maturation and partially hampered pyroptosis and inflammasome-dependent cytokine release, whereas deletion of caspase-1 or gasdermin D triggered apoptosis in the absence of IL-1β and IL-18 secretion. In conclusion, blockade of DPP8/DPP9 protease activity triggers rapid pyroptosis and canonical inflammasome hallmarks in primary macrophages that express a LeTx-responsive Nlrp1b allele.
Project description:Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptors (NLRs) detect pathogens and danger-associated signals within the cell. Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, an intracellular pathogen, activates caspase-1 required for the processing of the proinflammatory cytokines, pro-IL-1? and pro-IL-18, and pyroptosis. In this study, we show that Salmonella infection induces the formation of an apoptosis-associated specklike protein containing a CARD (ASC)-Caspase-8-Caspase-1 inflammasome in macrophages. Caspase-8 and caspase-1 are recruited to the ASC focus independently of one other. Salmonella infection initiates caspase-8 proteolysis in a manner dependent on NLRC4 and ASC, but not NLRP3, caspase-1 or caspase-11. Caspase-8 primarily mediates the synthesis of pro-IL-1?, but is dispensable for Salmonella-induced cell death. Overall, our findings highlight that the ASC inflammasome can recruit different members of the caspase family to induce distinct effector functions in response to Salmonella infection.
Project description:The inflammasome is a signalling platform leading to caspase-1 activation. Caspase-1 causes pyroptosis, a necrotic-like cell death. AIM2 is an inflammasome sensor for cytosolic DNA. The adaptor molecule ASC mediates AIM2-dependent caspase-1 activation. To date, no function besides caspase-1 activation has been ascribed to the AIM2/ASC complex. Here, by comparing the effect of gene inactivation at different levels of the inflammasome pathway, we uncovered a novel cell death pathway activated in an AIM2/ASC-dependent manner. Francisella tularensis, the agent of tularaemia, triggers AIM2/ASC-dependent caspase-3-mediated apoptosis in caspase-1-deficient macrophages. We further show that AIM2 engagement leads to ASC-dependent, caspase-1-independent activation of caspase-8 and caspase-9 and that caspase-1-independent death is reverted upon caspase-8 inhibition. Caspase-8 interacts with ASC and active caspase-8 specifically colocalizes with the AIM2/ASC speck thus identifying the AIM2/ASC complex as a novel caspase-8 activation platform. Furthermore, we demonstrate that caspase-1-independent apoptosis requires the activation of caspase-9 and of the intrinsic pathway in a typical type II cell manner. Finally, we identify the AIM2/ASC-dependent caspase-1-independent pathway as an innate immune mechanism able to restrict bacterial replication in vitro and control IFN-? levels in vivo in Casp1(KO) mice. This work underscores the crosstalk between inflammasome components and the apoptotic machinery and highlights the versatility of the pathway, which can switch from pyroptosis to apoptosis.
Project description:Caspase-mediated cleavage of the DNA damage sensor poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) is a hallmark of apoptosis. However, it remains unclear whether PARP1 is processed during pyroptosis, a specialized cell-death program that occurs upon activation of caspase-1 in inflammasome complexes. In this article, we show that activation of the Nlrp3 and Nlrc4 inflammasomes induces processing of full-length PARP1 into a fragment of 89 kDa in a stimulus-dependent manner. Macrophages deficient for caspase-1 and those lacking the inflammasome adaptors Nlrp3, Nlrc4, and ASC were highly resistant to cleavage, whereas macrophages lacking the downstream inflammasome effector caspase-7 were partially protected. A modest, but statistically significant, reduction in Nlrp3 inflammasome-induced pyroptosis was observed in PARP1 knockout macrophages. Thus, protease-mediated inactivation of PARP1 is a shared feature of apoptotic, necrotic, and pyroptotic cells.
Project description:NAIP5/NLRC4 (neuronal apoptosis inhibitory protein 5/nucleotide oligomerization domain-like receptor family, caspase activation recruitment domain domain-containing 4) inflammasome activation by cytosolic flagellin results in caspase-1-mediated processing and secretion of IL-1?/IL-18 and pyroptosis, an inflammatory cell death pathway. Here, we found that although NLRC4, ASC, and caspase-1 are required for IL-1? secretion in response to cytosolic flagellin, cell death, nevertheless, occurs in the absence of these molecules. Cytosolic flagellin-induced inflammasome-independent cell death is accompanied by IL-1? secretion and is temporally correlated with the restriction of Salmonella Typhimurium infection. Despite displaying some apoptotic features, this peculiar form of cell death do not require caspase activation but is regulated by a lysosomal pathway, in which cathepsin B and cathepsin D play redundant roles. Moreover, cathepsin B contributes to NAIP5/NLRC4 inflammasome-induced pyroptosis and IL-1? and IL-1? production in response to cytosolic flagellin. Together, our data describe a pathway induced by cytosolic flagellin that induces a peculiar form of cell death and regulates inflammasome-mediated effector mechanisms of macrophages.
Project description:Pathogen-related signals induce a number of cytosolic pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) to form canonical inflammasomes, which activate pro-caspase-1 and trigger pyroptotic cell death. All well-studied inflammasome-forming PRRs oligomerize with the adapter protein ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD) to generate a large structure in the cytosol, which induces the dimerization, autoproteolysis, and activation of the pro-caspase-1 zymogen. However, several PRRs can also directly interact with pro-caspase-1 without ASC, forming smaller "ASC-independent" inflammasomes. It is currently thought that little, if any, pro-caspase-1 autoproteolysis occurs during, and is not required for, ASC-independent inflammasome signaling. Here, we show that the related human PRRs NLRP1 and CARD8 exclusively form ASC-dependent and ASC-independent inflammasomes, respectively, identifying CARD8 as the first canonical inflammasome-forming PRR that does not form an ASC-containing signaling platform. Despite their different structures, we discovered that both the NLRP1 and CARD8 inflammasomes require pro-caspase-1 autoproteolysis between the small and large catalytic subunits to induce pyroptosis. Thus, pro-caspase-1 self-cleavage is a required regulatory step for pyroptosis induced by human canonical inflammasomes.