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      Transcriptional analysis of the three Nlrp1 paralogs in mice


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          Signals of danger and damage in the cytosol of cells are sensed by NOD-like receptors (NLRs), which are components of multiprotein complexes called inflammasomes. Inflammasomes activate caspase-1, resulting in IL-1-beta and IL-18 secretion and an inflammatory response. To date, the only known activator of rodent Nlrp1 is anthrax lethal toxin (LT), a protease secreted by the bacterial pathogen Bacillus anthracis. Although susceptibility of mouse macrophages to LT has been genetically linked to Nlrp1b, mice harbor two additional Nlrp1 paralogs in their genomes ( Nlrp1a and Nlrp1c). However, little is known about their expression profile and sequence in different mouse strains. Furthermore, simultaneous expression of these paralogs may lead to competitional binding of Nlrp1b interaction partners needed for inflammasome activation, thus influencing macrophages susceptibility to LT. To more completely understand the role(s) of Nlrp1 paralogs in mice, we surveyed for their expression in a large set of LT-resistant and sensitive mouse macrophages. In addition, we provide sequence comparisons for Nlrp1a and report on previously unrecognized splice variants of Nlrp1b.


          Our results show that macrophages from some inbred mouse strains simultaneously express different splice variants of Nlrp1b. In contrast to the highly polymorphic Nlrp1b splice variants, sequencing of expressed Nlrp1a showed the protein to be highly conserved across all mouse strains. We found that Nlrp1a was expressed only in toxin-resistant macrophages, with the sole exception of expression in LT-sensitive CAST/EiJ macrophages.


          Our data present a complex picture of Nlrp1 protein variations and provide a basis for elucidating their roles in murine macrophage function. Furthermore, the high conservation of Nlrp1a implies that it might be an important inflammasome sensor in mice.

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          The inflammasomes: guardians of the body.

          The innate immune system relies on its capacity to rapidly detect invading pathogenic microbes as foreign and to eliminate them. The discovery of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) provided a class of membrane receptors that sense extracellular microbes and trigger antipathogen signaling cascades. More recently, intracellular microbial sensors have been identified, including NOD-like receptors (NLRs). Some of the NLRs also sense nonmicrobial danger signals and form large cytoplasmic complexes called inflammasomes that link the sensing of microbial products and metabolic stress to the proteolytic activation of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1beta and IL-18. The NALP3 inflammasome has been associated with several autoinflammatory conditions including gout. Likewise, the NALP3 inflammasome is a crucial element in the adjuvant effect of aluminum and can direct a humoral adaptive immune response. In this review, we discuss the role of NLRs, and in particular the inflammasomes, in the recognition of microbial and danger components and the role they play in health and disease.
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            The NLRC4 inflammasome receptors for bacterial flagellin and type III secretion apparatus.

            Inflammasomes are large cytoplasmic complexes that sense microbial infections/danger molecules and induce caspase-1 activation-dependent cytokine production and macrophage inflammatory death. The inflammasome assembled by the NOD-like receptor (NLR) protein NLRC4 responds to bacterial flagellin and a conserved type III secretion system (TTSS) rod component. How the NLRC4 inflammasome detects the two bacterial products and the molecular mechanism of NLRC4 inflammasome activation are not understood. Here we show that NAIP5, a BIR-domain NLR protein required for Legionella pneumophila replication in mouse macrophages, is a universal component of the flagellin-NLRC4 pathway. NAIP5 directly and specifically interacted with flagellin, which determined the inflammasome-stimulation activities of different bacterial flagellins. NAIP5 engagement by flagellin promoted a physical NAIP5-NLRC4 association, rendering full reconstitution of a flagellin-responsive NLRC4 inflammasome in non-macrophage cells. The related NAIP2 functioned analogously to NAIP5, serving as a specific inflammasome receptor for TTSS rod proteins such as Salmonella PrgJ and Burkholderia BsaK. Genetic analysis of Chromobacterium violaceum infection revealed that the TTSS needle protein CprI can stimulate NLRC4 inflammasome activation in human macrophages. Similarly, CprI is specifically recognized by human NAIP, the sole NAIP family member in human. The finding that NAIP proteins are inflammasome receptors for bacterial flagellin and TTSS apparatus components further predicts that the remaining NAIP family members may recognize other unidentified microbial products to activate NLRC4 inflammasome-mediated innate immunity. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved
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              Inhibition of death receptor signals by cellular FLIP.

              The widely expressed protein Fas is a member of the tumour necrosis factor receptor family which can trigger apoptosis. However, Fas surface expression does not necessarily render cells susceptible to Fas ligand-induced death signals, indicating that inhibitors of the apoptosis-signalling pathway must exist. Here we report the characterization of an inhibitor of apoptosis, designated FLIP (for FLICE-inhibitory protein), which is predominantly expressed in muscle and lymphoid tissues. The short form, FLIPs, contains two death effector domains and is structurally related to the viral FLIP inhibitors of apoptosis, whereas the long form, FLIP(L), contains in addition a caspase-like domain in which the active-centre cysteine residue is substituted by a tyrosine residue. FLIPs and FLIP(L) interact with the adaptor protein FADD and the protease FLICE, and potently inhibit apoptosis induced by all known human death receptors. FLIP(L) is expressed during the early stage of T-cell activation, but disappears when T cells become susceptible to Fas ligand-mediated apoptosis. High levels of FLIP(L) protein are also detectable in melanoma cell lines and malignant melanoma tumours. Thus FLIP may be implicated in tissue homeostasis as an important regulator of apoptosis.

                Author and article information

                BMC Genomics
                BMC Genomics
                BMC Genomics
                BioMed Central
                18 March 2013
                : 14
                : 188
                [1 ]Microbial Pathogenesis Section, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 33 North Drive, Bethesda, MD, 20892-3202, USA
                [2 ]The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Inflammation Division, 1G Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria, 3052, Australia
                Copyright © 2013 Sastalla et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 27 November 2012
                : 6 February 2013
                Research Article

                nlrp1,inflammasome,anthrax toxins,lethal toxin,bacillus anthracis,splice variants
                nlrp1, inflammasome, anthrax toxins, lethal toxin, bacillus anthracis, splice variants


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