Research Items (26)
- Sep 2017
NLRP3 is a receptor important for host responses to infection, yet is also known to contribute to devastating diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and others, making inhibitors for NLRP3 sought after. One of the inhibitors currently in use is 2-aminoethoxy diphenylborinate (2APB). Unfortunately, in addition to inhibiting NLRP3, 2APB also displays non-selective effects on cellular Ca(2+) homeostasis. Here, we use 2APB as a chemical scaffold to build a series of inhibitors, the NBC series, which inhibit the NLRP3 inflammasome in vitro and in vivo without affecting Ca(2+) homeostasis. The core chemical insight of this work is that the oxazaborine ring is a critical feature of the NBC series, and the main biological insight the use of NBC inhibitors led to was that NLRP3 inflammasome activation was independent of Ca(2+). The NBC compounds represent useful tools to dissect NLRP3 function, and may lead to oxazaborine ring-containing therapeutics.
In the conventional pathway of protein secretion, leader sequence-containing proteins leave the cell following processing through the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi body. However, leaderless proteins also enter the extracellular space through mechanisms collectively known as unconventional secretion. Unconventionally secreted proteins often have vital roles in cell and organism function such as inflammation. Amongst the best-studied inflammatory unconventionally secreted proteins are interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-1α, IL-33 and high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1). In this review we discuss the current understanding of the unconventional secretion of these proteins and highlight future areas of research such as the role of nuclear localisation.
Infection and injury of the gut are associated with cell damage and release of molecules such as extracellular adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP), which is recognised by the purinergic P2X7 receptor (P2X7R). P2X7R is widely expressed in the gut by antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and epithelial cells, but the role of the P2X7R on epithelial cells is poorly understood. We investigated P2X7R in intestinal epithelium in vitro and in vivo using two model infections, Toxoplasma gondii and Trichinella spiralis. Lipopolysaccharide and ATP treatment of intestinal epithelial cells and infection with T. gondii in vitro did not promote inflammasome-associated interleukin-1β (IL-1β) or IL-18 secretion, but promoted C–C motif chemokine ligand 5 (CCL5), tumour necrosis factor-α and IL-6 production that were significantly reduced when the P2X7R was blocked. Similarly, in vivo, infection with either T. spiralis or T. gondii induced rapid upregulation of epithelial CCL5 in wild-type (wild-type (WT)) mice that was significantly reduced in P2X7R-/- littermate controls. The effects of reduced epithelial CCL5 were assayed by investigating recruitment of dendritic cells (DCs) to the epithelium. Infection induced a rapid recruitment of CD11c⁺CD103⁺ DC subsets into the epithelial layer of WT mice but not P2X7R-/- mice. In vitro chemotaxis assays and bone marrow chimeras demonstrated the importance of epithelial P2X7R in DC recruitment. P2X7R signalling in epithelial cells mediates chemokine responses to promote initiation of host immunity to infection.Immunology and Cell Biology advance online publication, 20 September 2016; doi:10.1038/icb.2016.75.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) inhibit cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and COX-2 enzymes. The NLRP3 inflammasome is a multi-protein complex responsible for the processing of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β and is implicated in many inflammatory diseases. Here we show that several clinically approved and widely used NSAIDs of the fenamate class are effective and selective inhibitors of the NLRP3 inflammasome via inhibition of the volume-regulated anion channel in macrophages, independently of COX enzymes. Flufenamic acid and mefenamic acid are efficacious in NLRP3-dependent rodent models of inflammation in air pouch and peritoneum. We also show therapeutic effects of fenamates using a model of amyloid beta induced memory loss and a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. These data suggest that fenamate NSAIDs could be repurposed as NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors and Alzheimer's disease therapeutics.
Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is a critical regulator of the inflammatory response. IL-1β is not secreted through the conventional ER-Golgi route of protein secretion, and to date its mechanism of release has been unknown. Crucially, its secretion depends upon the processing of a precursor form following the activation of the multimolecular inflammasome complex. Using a novel and reversible pharmacological inhibitor of the IL-1β release process, in combination with biochemical, biophysical, and real-time single-cell confocal microscopy with macrophage cells expressing Venus-labelled IL-1β, we have discovered that the secretion of IL-1β after inflammasome activation requires membrane permeabilisation, and occurs in parallel with the death of the secreting cell. Thus, in macrophages the release of IL-1β in response to inflammasome activation appears to be a secretory process independent of nonspecific leakage of proteins during cell death. The mechanism of membrane permeabilisation leading to IL-1β release is distinct from the unconventional secretory mechanism employed by its structural homologues fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) or IL-1α, a process that involves the formation of membrane pores but does not result in cell death. These discoveries reveal key processes at the initiation of an inflammatory response and deliver new insights into the mechanisms of protein release.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 12 February 2016; doi:10.1038/cdd.2015.176.
- Oct 2012
At least 1 in 200 people have suffered a severe allergic reaction to a sting from a bee, wasp, or ant, and insect stings are the second most common cause of fatal allergic reactions in some countries. Treatment with insect venom, usually given by a course of injections (called venom immunotherapy), is thought to reduce the risk of allergic reactions to an insect sting. In this review, we evaluated the effectiveness of venom immunotherapy for preventing allergic reactions to insect stings. From analysis of 7 studies, which included 392 participants, we found that this treatment reduces the chance of having a serious allergic reaction to an insect sting by 90%, a consistent finding between studies. Venom immunotherapy also significantly improves the quality of life of people who have had a serious allergic reaction to an insect sting by reducing anxiety and possible limitation of activities caused by fear of insects. However, almost 1 in 10 people treated with venom immunotherapy during the trials had an allergic reaction to their treatment. We were unable to find out whether venom immunotherapy prevents fatal allergic reactions to insect stings, because these are so rare. The decision whether to start venom immunotherapy depends on an accurate diagnosis, followed by careful assessment of a person's risk of having another allergic reaction to a sting, the degree to which the insect sting allergy affects their quality of life, and the risk of an allergic reaction to their treatment.