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J Immunol. 2005 Aug 15;175(4):2630-4.

IL-converting enzyme/caspase-1 inhibitor VX-765 blocks the hypersensitive response to an inflammatory stimulus in monocytes from familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome patients.

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  • 1Vertex Pharmaceuticals, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.


Familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome (FCAS) and the related autoinflammatory disorders, Muckle-Wells syndrome and neonatal onset multisystem inflammatory disease, are characterized by mutations in the CIAS1 gene that encodes cryopyrin, an adaptor protein involved in activation of IL-converting enzyme/caspase-1. Mutations in cryopyrin are hypothesized to result in abnormal secretion of caspase-1-dependent proinflammatory cytokines, IL-1beta and IL-18. In this study, we examined cytokine secretion in PBMCs from FCAS patients and found a marked hyperresponsiveness of both IL-1beta and IL-18 secretion to LPS stimulation, but no evidence of increased basal secretion of these cytokines, or alterations in basal or stimulated pro-IL-1beta levels. VX-765, an orally active IL-converting enzyme/caspase-1 inhibitor, blocked IL-1beta secretion with equal potency in LPS-stimulated cells from FCAS and control subjects. These results further link mutations in cryopyrin with abnormal caspase-1 activation, and support the clinical testing of caspase-1 inhibitors such as VX-765 in autoinflammatory disorders.

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