Human NACHT, LRR, and PYD domain–containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome activity is regulated by and potentially targetable through Bruton tyrosine kinase

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Background:The Nod-like receptor NACHT, LRR, and PYD domain–containing protein 3 (NLRP3) and Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) are protagonists in innate and adaptive immunity, respectively. NLRP3 senses exogenous and endogenous insults, leading to inflammasome activation, which occurs spontaneously in patients with Muckle-Wells syndrome;BTKmutations cause the genetic immunodeficiency X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA). However, to date, few proteins that regulate NLRP3 inflammasome activity in human primary immune cells have been identified, and clinically promising pharmacologic targeting strategies remain elusive.Objective:We sought to identify novel regulators of the NLRP3 inflammasome in human cells with a view to exploring interference with inflammasome activity at the level of such regulators.Methods:After proteome-wide phosphoproteomics, the identified novel regulator BTK was studied in human and murine cells by using pharmacologic and genetic BTK ablation.Results:Here we show that BTK is a critical regulator of NLRP3 inflammasome activation: pharmacologic (using the US Food and Drug Administration–approved inhibitor ibrutinib) and genetic (in patients with XLA andBtkknockout mice) BTK ablation in primary immune cells led to reduced IL-1β processing and secretion in response to nigericin and theStaphylococcus aureustoxin leukocidin AB (LukAB). BTK affected apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD (ASC) speck formation and caspase-1 cleavage and interacted with NLRP3 and ASC.S aureusinfection controlin vivoand IL-1β release from cells of patients with Muckle-Wells syndrome were impaired by ibrutinib. Notably, IL-1β processing and release from immune cells isolated from patients with cancer receiving ibrutinib therapy were reduced.Conclusion:Our data suggest that XLA might result in part from genetic inflammasome deficiency and that NLRP3 inflammasome–linked inflammation could potentially be targeted pharmacologically through BTK.Graphical abstract

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