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Nat Immunol. 2009 Mar;10(3):241-7. doi: 10.1038/ni.1703.

The inflammasome: a caspase-1-activation platform that regulates immune responses and disease pathogenesis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology, Comprehensive Cancer Center, The University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.

Abstract

The inflammasome is a multiprotein complex that mediates the activation of caspase-1, which promotes secretion of the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin 1beta (IL-1beta) and IL-18, as well as 'pyroptosis', a form of cell death induced by bacterial pathogens. Members of the Nod-like receptor family, including NLRP1, NLRP3 and NLRC4, and the adaptor ASC are critical components of the inflammasome that link microbial and endogenous 'danger' signals to caspase-1 activation. Several diseases are associated with dysregulated activation of caspase-1 and secretion of IL-1beta. Thus, understanding inflammasome pathways may provide insight into disease pathogenesis that might identify potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

PMID:
19221555
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2820724
Free PMC Article
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