Mechanism of NLRP3 inflammasome activation

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Abstract

Inflammasomes continue to generate interest in an increasing number of disciplines owing to their unique ability to integrate a myriad of signals from pathogen- and damage-associated molecular patterns into a proinflammatory response. This potent caspase-1–dependent process is capable of activating the innate immune system, initiating pyroptosis (an inflammatory form of programmed cell death), and shaping adaptive immunity. The NLRP3 inflammasome is the most thoroughly studied of the inflammasome complexes that have been described thus far, perhaps owing to its disparate assortment of agonists. This review highlights our current understanding of the mechanisms of both priming and activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome.

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