N-terminal degradation activates the NLRP1B inflammasome.
ABSTRACT: 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: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: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.
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: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:Eukaryotes have evolved the ubiquitin (Ub)/proteasome system to degrade polypeptides. The Ub/proteasome system is one way that cells regulate cytosolic protein and amino acids levels through the recognition and ubiquitination of a protein's N-terminus via E1, E2, and E3 enzymes. The process by which the N-terminus stimulates intracellular protein degradation is referred to as the N-end rule. Characterization of the N-end rule has been limited to only the natural l-amino acids. Using a cytosolic delivery platform derived from anthrax lethal toxin, we probed the stability of mixed chirality proteins, containing one d-amino acid on the N-terminus of otherwise all l-proteins. In all cases, we observed that one N-terminal d-amino acid stabilized the cargo protein to proteasomal degradation with respect to the N-end rule. We found that since the mixed chirality proteins were not polyubiquitinated, they evaded N-end-mediated proteasomal degradation. Evidently, a subtle change on the N-terminus of a natural protein can enhance its intracellular lifetime.
Project description:Anthrax lethal toxin (LT) is known to induce NLRP1B inflammasome activation and pyroptotic cell death in macrophages from certain mouse strains in its metalloprotease activity-dependent manner, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. Here, we establish a simple but robust cell system bearing dual-fluorescence reporters for LT-induced ASC specks formation and pyroptotic lysis. A genome-wide siRNA screen and a CRISPR-Cas9 knockout screen were applied to this system for identifying genes involved in LT-induced inflammasome activation. UBR2, an E3 ubiquitin ligase of the N-end rule degradation pathway, was found to be required for LT-induced NLRP1B inflammasome activation. LT is known to cleave NLRP1B after Lys44. The cleaved NLRP1B, bearing an N-terminal leucine, was targeted by UBR2-mediated ubiquitination and degradation. UBR2 partnered with an E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme UBE2O in this process. NLRP1B underwent constitutive autocleavage before the C-terminal CARD domain. UBR2-mediated degradation of LT-cleaved NLRP1B thus triggered release of the noncovalent-bound CARD domain for subsequent caspase-1 activation. Our study illustrates a unique mode of inflammasome activation in cytosolic defense against bacterial insults.
Project description:Anthrax lethal toxin (LT) is known to induce NLRP1B inflammasome activation and pyroptotic cell death in macrophages from certain mouse strains in its metalloprotease activity-dependent manner, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. Here we establish a simple but robust cell system bearing dual fluorescence reporters for LT-induced ASC specks formation and pyroptotic lysis. A genome-wide siRNA screen and a CRISPR-Cas9 knockout screen were applied to this system for identifying genes involved in LT-induced inflammasome activation. UBR2, an E3 ubiquitin ligase of the N-end rule degradation pathway, was found to be required for LT-induced NLRP1B inflammasome activation. LT is known to cleave NLRP1B after Lys-44. The cleaved NLRP1B, bearing an N-terminal leucine, was targeted by UBR2-mediated ubiquitination and degradation. UBR2 partnered with an E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme UBE2O in this process. NLRP1B underwent constitutive autocleavage before the C-terminal CARD domain. UBR2-mediated degradation of LT-cleaved NLRP1B thus triggered release of the noncovalent-bound CARD domain for subsequent capase-1 activation. Our study illustrates a unique mode of inflammasome activation in cytosolic defense against bacterial insults.
Project description:Canonical inflammasomes are innate immune signaling platforms that are formed in response to intracellular pathogen-associated signals and trigger caspase-1-dependent pyroptosis. Inflammasome formation and signaling is thought to mainly occur in myeloid cells, and in particular monocytes and macrophages. Here we show that small molecule inhibitors of dipeptidyl peptidases 8 and 9 (DPP8/9), which activate the related CARD8 and NLRP1 inflammasomes, also activate pyroptosis in human and rodent resting lymphocytes. We found that both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were particularly sensitive to these inhibitors, although the sensitivity of T cells, like macrophages, varied considerably between species. In human T cells, we show that CARD8 mediates DPP8/9 inhibitor-induced pyroptosis. Intriguingly, although activated human T cells express the key proteins known to be required for CARD8-mediated pyroptosis, these cells were completely resistant to DPP8/9 inhibitors. Overall, these data show that resting lymphoid cells can activate at least one inflammasome, revealing additional cell types and states poised to undergo rapid pyroptotic cell death in response to danger-associated signals.
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:Pattern recognition receptors monitor for signs of infection or cellular dysfunction and respond to these events by initiating an immune response. NLRP1B is a receptor that upon activation recruits multiple copies of procaspase-1, which promotes cytokine processing and a proinflammatory form of cell death termed pyroptosis. NLRP1B detects anthrax lethal toxin when the toxin cleaves an amino-terminal fragment from the protein. In addition, NLRP1B is activated when cells are deprived of glucose or treated with metabolic inhibitors, but the mechanism by which the resulting reduction in cytosolic ATP is sensed by NLRP1B is unknown. Here, we addressed whether these two activating signals of NLRP1B converge on a common sensing system. We show that an NLRP1B mutant lacking the amino-terminal region exhibits some spontaneous activity and fails to be further activated by lethal toxin. This mutant was still activated in cells depleted of ATP, however, indicating that the amino-terminal region is not the sole sensing domain of NLRP1B. Mutagenesis of the leucine-rich repeat domain of NLRP1B provided evidence that this domain is involved in autoinhibition of the receptor, but none of the mutants tested was specifically defective at sensing activating signals. Comparison of two alleles of NLRP1B that differed in their response to metabolic inhibitors, but not to lethal toxin, led to the finding that a repeated sequence in the function to find domain (FIIND) that arose from exon duplication facilitated detection of ATP depletion. These results suggest that distinct regions of NLRP1B detect activating signals.