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Gasdermin-D and Caspase-7 are the key Caspase-1/8 substrates downstream of the NAIP5/NLRC4 inflammasome required for restriction of Legionella pneumophila.

  • Author(s): Gonçalves, Augusto V
  • Margolis, Shally R
  • Quirino, Gustavo FS
  • Mascarenhas, Danielle PA
  • Rauch, Isabella
  • Nichols, Randilea D
  • Ansaldo, Eduard
  • Fontana, Mary F
  • Vance, Russell E
  • Zamboni, Dario S
  • et al.

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Inflammasomes are cytosolic multi-protein complexes that detect infection or cellular damage and activate the Caspase-1 (CASP1) protease. The NAIP5/NLRC4 inflammasome detects bacterial flagellin and is essential for resistance to the flagellated intracellular bacterium Legionella pneumophila. The effectors required downstream of NAIP5/NLRC4 to restrict bacterial replication remain unclear. Upon NAIP5/NLRC4 activation, CASP1 cleaves and activates the pore-forming protein Gasdermin-D (GSDMD) and the effector caspase-7 (CASP7). However, Casp1-/- (and Casp1/11-/-) mice are only partially susceptible to L. pneumophila and do not phenocopy Nlrc4-/-mice, because NAIP5/NLRC4 also activates CASP8 for restriction of L. pneumophila infection. Here we show that CASP8 promotes the activation of CASP7 and that Casp7/1/11-/- and Casp8/1/11-/- mice recapitulate the full susceptibility of Nlrc4-/- mice. Gsdmd-/- mice exhibit only mild susceptibility to L. pneumophila, but Gsdmd-/-Casp7-/- mice are as susceptible as the Nlrc4-/- mice. These results demonstrate that GSDMD and CASP7 are the key substrates downstream of NAIP5/NLRC4/CASP1/8 required for resistance to L. pneumophila.

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