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Cell Host Microbe. 2007 Sep 13;2(3):147-59.

Microbial pathogen-induced necrotic cell death mediated by the inflammasome components CIAS1/cryopyrin/NLRP3 and ASC.

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Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Cryopyrin (CIAS1, NLRP3) and ASC are components of the inflammasome, a multiprotein complex required for caspase-1 activation and cytokine IL-1beta production. CIAS1 mutations underlie autoinflammation characterized by excessive IL-1beta secretion. Disease-associated cryopyrin also causes a program of necrosis-like cell death in macrophages, the mechanistic details of which are unknown. We find that patient monocytes carrying disease-associated CIAS1 mutations exhibit excessive necrosis-like death by a process dependent on ASC and cathepsin B, resulting in spillage of the proinflammatory mediator HMGB1. Shigella flexneri infection also causes cryopyrin-dependent macrophage necrosis with features similar to the death caused by mutant CIAS1. This necrotic death is independent of caspase-1 and IL-1beta, and thus independent of the inflammasome. Furthermore, necrosis of primary macrophages requires the presence of Shigella virulence genes. While similar proteins mediate pathogen-induced cell death in plants, this report identifies cryopyrin as an important host regulator of programmed pathogen-induced necrosis in animals, a process we term pyronecrosis.

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