Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Immunol. 2009 Sep 15;183(6):3942-8. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0900729. Epub 2009 Aug 28.

A critical role for hemolysins and bacterial lipoproteins in Staphylococcus aureus-induced activation of the Nlrp3 inflammasome.

Author information

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


The mechanism by which bacterial pathogens activate caspase-1 via Nlrp3 remains poorly understood. In this study, we show that the ability of Staphylococcus aureus, a leading cause of infection in humans, to activate caspase-1 and induce IL-1beta secretion resides in culture supernatants of growing bacteria. Caspase-1 activation induced by S. aureus required alpha-, beta-, and gamma-hemolysins and the host Nlrp3 inflammasome. Mechanistically, alpha- and beta-hemolysins alone did not trigger caspase-1 activation, but they did so in the presence of bacterial lipoproteins released by S. aureus. Notably, caspase-1 activation induced by S. aureus supernatant was independent of the P2X7 receptor and the essential TLR adaptors MyD88 and TIR domain-containing adapter-inducing IFN-beta, but was inhibited by extracellular K(+). These results indicate that S. aureus hemolysins circumvent the requirement of ATP and the P2X7 receptor to induce caspase-1 activation via Nlrp3. Furthermore, these studies revealed that hemolysins promote in the presence of lipoproteins the activation of the Nlrp3 inflammasome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk