DPP8/DPP9 inhibition elicits canonical Nlrp1b inflammasome hallmarks in murine macrophages.
ABSTRACT: 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:Intracellular pathogenic structures or activities stimulate the formation of inflammasomes, which recruit and activate caspase-1 and trigger an inflammatory form of cell death called pyroptosis. The well-characterized mammalian inflammasome sensor proteins all detect one specific type of signal, for example double-stranded DNA or bacterial flagellin. Remarkably, NLRP1 was the first protein discovered to form an inflammasome, but the pathogenic signal that NLRP1 detects has not yet been identified. NLRP1 is highly polymorphic, even among inbred rodent strains, and it has been suggested that these diverse NLRP1 alleles may have evolved to detect entirely different stimuli. Intriguingly, inhibitors of the serine proteases DPP8 and DPP9 (DPP8/9) were recently shown to activate human NLRP1, its homolog CARD8, and several mouse NLRP1 alleles. Here, we show now that DPP8/9 inhibitors activate all functional rodent NLRP1 alleles, indicating that DPP8/9 inhibition induces a signal detected by all NLRP1 proteins. Moreover, we discovered that the NLRP1 allele sensitivities to DPP8/9 inhibitor-induced and Toxoplasma gondii-induced pyroptosis are strikingly similar, suggesting that DPP8/9 inhibition phenocopies a key activity of T. gondii. Overall, this work indicates that the highly polymorphic NLRP1 inflammasome indeed senses a specific signal like the other mammalian inflammasomes.
Project description:Val-boroPro (PT-100, Talabostat) induces powerful anti-tumor immune responses in syngeneic cancer models, but its mechanism of action has not yet been established. Val-boroPro is a non-selective inhibitor of post-proline-cleaving serine proteases, and the inhibition of the highly related cytosolic serine proteases Dpp8 and Dpp9 (Dpp8/9) by Val-boroPro was recently demonstrated to trigger an immunostimulatory form of programmed cell death known as pyroptosis selectively in monocytes and macrophages. Here we show that Dpp8/9 inhibition activates the inflammasome sensor protein Nlrp1b, which in turn activates pro-caspase-1 to mediate pyroptosis. This work reveals a previously unrecognized mechanism for activating an innate immune pattern recognition receptor and suggests that Dpp8/9 serve as an intracellular checkpoint to restrain Nlrp1b and the innate immune system.
Project description:The inflammasome is a critical molecular complex that activates interleukin-1 driven inflammation in response to pathogen- and danger-associated signals. Germline mutations in the inflammasome sensor NLRP1 cause Mendelian systemic autoimmunity and skin cancer susceptibility, but its endogenous regulation remains less understood. Here we use a proteomics screen to uncover dipeptidyl dipeptidase DPP9 as a novel interacting partner with human NLRP1 and a related inflammasome regulator, CARD8. DPP9 functions as an endogenous inhibitor of NLRP1 inflammasome in diverse primary cell types from human and mice. DPP8/9 inhibition via small molecule drugs and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genetic deletion specifically activate the human NLRP1 inflammasome, leading to ASC speck formation, pyroptotic cell death, and secretion of cleaved interleukin-1?. Mechanistically, DPP9 interacts with a unique autoproteolytic domain (Function to Find Domain (FIIND)) found in NLRP1 and CARD8. This scaffolding function of DPP9 and its catalytic activity act synergistically to maintain NLRP1 in its inactive state and repress downstream inflammasome activation. We further identified a single patient-derived germline missense mutation in the NLRP1 FIIND domain that abrogates DPP9 binding, leading to inflammasome hyperactivation seen in the Mendelian autoinflammatory disease Autoinflammation with Arthritis and Dyskeratosis. These results unite recent findings on the regulation of murine Nlrp1b by Dpp8/9 and uncover a new regulatory mechanism for the NLRP1 inflammasome in primary human cells. Our results further suggest that DPP9 could be a multifunctional inflammasome regulator involved in human autoinflammatory diseases.
Project description:Small-molecule inhibitors of the serine dipeptidases DPP8 and DPP9 (DPP8/9) induce a lytic form of cell death called pyroptosis in mouse and human monocytes and macrophages1,2. In mouse myeloid cells, Dpp8/9 inhibition activates the inflammasome sensor Nlrp1b, which in turn activates pro-caspase-1 to mediate cell death3, but the mechanism of DPP8/9 inhibitor-induced pyroptosis in human myeloid cells is not yet known. Here we show that the CARD-containing protein CARD8 mediates DPP8/9 inhibitor-induced pro-caspase-1-dependent pyroptosis in human myeloid cells. We further show that DPP8/9 inhibitors induce pyroptosis in the majority of human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cell lines and primary AML samples, but not in cells from many other lineages, and that these inhibitors inhibit human AML progression in mouse models. Overall, this work identifies an activator of CARD8 in human cells and indicates that its activation by small-molecule DPP8/9 inhibitors represents a new potential therapeutic strategy for AML.
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:Inflammasomes are multiprotein complexes formed in response to pathogens. NLRP1 and CARD8 are related proteins that form inflammasomes, but the pathogen-associated signal(s) and the molecular mechanisms controlling their activation have not been established. Inhibitors of the serine dipeptidyl peptidases DPP8 and DPP9 (DPP8/9) activate both NLRP1 and CARD8. Interestingly, DPP9 binds directly to NLRP1 and CARD8, and this interaction may contribute to the inhibition of NLRP1. Here, we use activity-based probes, reconstituted inflammasome assays, and mass spectrometry-based proteomics to further investigate the DPP9-CARD8 interaction. We show that the DPP9-CARD8 interaction, unlike the DPP9-NLRP1 interaction, is not disrupted by DPP9 inhibitors or CARD8 mutations that block autoproteolysis. Moreover, wild-type, but not catalytically inactive mutant, DPP9 rescues CARD8-mediated cell death in <i>DPP9</i> knockout cells. Together, this work reveals that DPP9's catalytic activity and not its binding to CARD8 restrains the CARD8 inflammasome and thus suggests the binding interaction likely serves some other biological purpose.
Project description:Intracellular pathogens and danger signals trigger the formation of inflammasomes, which activate inflammatory caspases and induce pyroptosis. The anthrax lethal factor metalloprotease and small-molecule DPP8/9 inhibitors both activate the NLRP1B inflammasome, but the molecular mechanism of NLRP1B activation is unknown. In this study, we used genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 knockout screens to identify genes required for NLRP1B-mediated pyroptosis. We discovered that lethal factor induces cell death via the N-end rule proteasomal degradation pathway. Lethal factor directly cleaves NLRP1B, inducing the N-end rule-mediated degradation of the NLRP1B N terminus and freeing the NLRP1B C terminus to activate caspase-1. DPP8/9 inhibitors also induce proteasomal degradation of the NLRP1B N terminus but not via the N-end rule pathway. Thus, N-terminal degradation is the common activation mechanism of this innate immune sensor.
Project description: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:Several cytosolic pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) form multiprotein complexes called canonical inflammasomes in response to intracellular danger signals. Canonical inflammasomes recruit and activate caspase-1 (CASP1), which in turn cleaves and activates inflammatory cytokines and gasdermin D (GSDMD), inducing pyroptotic cell death. Inhibitors of the dipeptidyl peptidases DPP8 and DPP9 (DPP8/9) activate both the human NLRP1 and CARD8 inflammasomes. NLRP1 and CARD8 have different N-terminal regions but have similar C-terminal regions that undergo autoproteolysis to generate two non-covalently associated fragments. Here, we show that DPP8/9 inhibition activates a proteasomal degradation pathway that targets disordered and misfolded proteins for destruction. CARD8's N terminus contains a disordered region of ?160 amino acids that is recognized and destroyed by this degradation pathway, thereby freeing its C-terminal fragment to activate CASP1 and induce pyroptosis. Thus, CARD8 serves as an alarm to signal the activation of a degradation pathway for disordered and misfolded proteins.