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      Inflammasomes: mechanism of action, role in disease, and therapeutics

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      Nature Medicine

      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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          Abstract

          The inflammasomes are innate immune system receptors and sensors that regulate the activation of caspase-1 and induce inflammation in response to infectious microbes and molecules derived from host proteins. They have been implicated in a host of inflammatory disorders. Recent developments have greatly enhanced our understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which different inflammasomes are activated. Additionally, increasing evidence in mouse models, supported by human data, strongly implicates an involvement of the inflammasome in the initiation or progression of diseases with a high impact on public health, such as metabolic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, recent developments pointing toward promising therapeutics that target inflammasome activity in inflammatory diseases have been reported. This review will focus on these three areas of inflammasome research.

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          Most cited references 139

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          Pattern recognition receptors and inflammation.

          Infection of cells by microorganisms activates the inflammatory response. The initial sensing of infection is mediated by innate pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), which include Toll-like receptors, RIG-I-like receptors, NOD-like receptors, and C-type lectin receptors. The intracellular signaling cascades triggered by these PRRs lead to transcriptional expression of inflammatory mediators that coordinate the elimination of pathogens and infected cells. However, aberrant activation of this system leads to immunodeficiency, septic shock, or induction of autoimmunity. In this Review, we discuss the role of PRRs, their signaling pathways, and how they control inflammatory responses. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Protein misfolding, functional amyloid, and human disease.

            Peptides or proteins convert under some conditions from their soluble forms into highly ordered fibrillar aggregates. Such transitions can give rise to pathological conditions ranging from neurodegenerative disorders to systemic amyloidoses. In this review, we identify the diseases known to be associated with formation of fibrillar aggregates and the specific peptides and proteins involved in each case. We describe, in addition, that living organisms can take advantage of the inherent ability of proteins to form such structures to generate novel and diverse biological functions. We review recent advances toward the elucidation of the structures of amyloid fibrils and the mechanisms of their formation at a molecular level. Finally, we discuss the relative importance of the common main-chain and side-chain interactions in determining the propensities of proteins to aggregate and describe some of the evidence that the oligomeric fibril precursors are the primary origins of pathological behavior.
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              Multiple sclerosis.

              Multiple sclerosis is primarily an inflammatory disorder of the brain and spinal cord in which focal lymphocytic infiltration leads to damage of myelin and axons. Initially, inflammation is transient and remyelination occurs but is not durable. Hence, the early course of disease is characterised by episodes of neurological dysfunction that usually recover. However, over time the pathological changes become dominated by widespread microglial activation associated with extensive and chronic neurodegeneration, the clinical correlate of which is progressive accumulation of disability. Paraclinical investigations show abnormalities that indicate the distribution of inflammatory lesions and axonal loss (MRI); interference of conduction in previously myelinated pathways (evoked electrophysiological potentials); and intrathecal synthesis of oligoclonal antibody (examination by lumbar puncture of the cerebrospinal fluid). Multiple sclerosis is triggered by environmental factors in individuals with complex genetic-risk profiles. Licensed disease modifying agents reduce the frequency of new episodes but do not reverse fixed deficits and have questionable effects on the long-term accumulation of disability and disease progression. We anticipate that future studies in multiple sclerosis will provide a new taxonomy on the basis of mechanisms rather than clinical empiricism, and so inform strategies for improved treatment at all stages of the disease.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Medicine
                Nat Med
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1078-8956
                1546-170X
                July 2015
                June 29 2015
                July 2015
                : 21
                : 7
                : 677-687
                10.1038/nm.3893
                26121197
                © 2015

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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