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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2016 Feb;29:37-42. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2015.10.003. Epub 2015 Nov 9.

Diverse mechanisms for inflammasome sensing of cytosolic bacteria and bacterial virulence.

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National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing 102206, China.
National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing 102206, China. Electronic address:


The inflammasomes are emerging cytosolic defenses against bacterial infections. The inflammasomes converge on inflammatory caspases activation that triggers pyroptosis, and interleukin-1β/18 maturation in the case of caspase-1 activation. The inflammasomes not only detect major bacterial molecules but also sense bacterial virulence activity. Among the canonical caspase-1-activating inflammasomes, the NAIP subfamily of NLR proteins serves as the receptors for bacterial flagellin and type III secretion apparatus; Pyrin indirectly senses Rho modification/inactivation by various bacterial agents; NLRP1 in mice/rats detects the protease activity of anthrax lethal toxin by serving as its substrate. Caspase-11 and caspase-4/5 directly recognize bacterial LPS and then become activated. Inflammasome sensing of cytosolic bacteria employs much more diversified biochemical mechanisms, compared with Toll-like receptors-mediated recognition on the membrane.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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