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Immunity. 2004 Mar;20(3):319-25.

NALP3 forms an IL-1beta-processing inflammasome with increased activity in Muckle-Wells autoinflammatory disorder.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Lausanne, Chemin des Boveresses 155, CH-1066 Epalinges, Switzerland.


Mutations within the NALP3/cryopyrin/CIAS1 gene are responsible for three autoinflammatory disorders: Muckle-Wells syndrome, familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome, and CINCA. The NALP3 protein is homologous to NALP1, which is a component of the inflammasome, a molecular platform that activates the proinflammatory caspases-1 and -5. NALP3 (and other members of the NALP family) lacks the C-terminal, CARD-containing sequence of NALP1, and its role in caspase activation is unclear. Here, we report that NALP2 and NALP3 associate with ASC, the CARD-containing protein Cardinal, and caspase-1 (but not caspase-5), thereby forming an inflammasome with high proIL-1beta-processing activity. Macrophages from Muckle-Wells patients spontaneously secrete active IL-1beta. Increased inflammasome activity is therefore likely to be the molecular basis of the symptoms associated with NALP3-dependent autoinflammatory disorders.

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