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J Biol Chem. 2017 Jul 21;292(29):12153-12164. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.791715. Epub 2017 Jun 5.

Prolonged fasting suppresses mitochondrial NLRP3 inflammasome assembly and activation via SIRT3-mediated activation of superoxide dismutase 2.

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From the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Branch, NHLBI and.
Autoimmunity Branch, NIAMS, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892 and.
the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois 60611.
From the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Branch, NHLBI and


Twenty-four hours of fasting is known to blunt activation of the human NLRP3 inflammasome. This effect might be mediated by SIRT3 activation, controlling mitochondrial reactive oxygen species. To characterize the molecular underpinnings of this fasting effect, we comparatively analyzed the NLRP3 inflammasome response to nutrient deprivation in wild-type and SIRT3 knock-out mice. Consistent with previous findings for human NLRP3, prolonged fasting blunted the inflammasome in wild-type mice but not in SIRT3 knock-out mice. In SIRT3 knock-out bone marrow-derived macrophages, NLRP3 activation promoted excess cytosolic extrusion of mitochondrial DNA along with increased reactive oxygen species and reduced superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) activity. Interestingly, the negative regulatory effect of SIRT3 on NLRP3 was not due to transcriptional control or priming of canonical inflammasome components but, rather, occurred via SIRT3-mediated deacetylation of mitochondrial SOD2, leading to SOD2 activation. We also found that siRNA knockdown of SIRT3 or SOD2 increased NLRP3 supercomplex formation and activation. Moreover, overexpression of wild-type and constitutively active SOD2 similarly blunted inflammasome assembly and activation, effects that were abrogated by acetylation mimic-modified SOD2. Finally, in vivo administration of lipopolysaccharide increased liver injury and the levels of peritoneal macrophage cytokines, including IL-1β, in SIRT3 KO mice. These results support the emerging concept that enhancing mitochondrial resilience against damage-associated molecular patterns may play a pivotal role in preventing inflammation and that the anti-inflammatory effect of fasting-mimetic diets may be mediated, in part, through SIRT3-directed blunting of NLRP3 inflammasome assembly and activation.


NLRP3; inflammasome; mitochondria; mtDNA; reactive oxygen species (ROS); sirtuin; superoxide dismutase (SOD)

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