Biochemical regulation of the inflammasome

Jennifer K. Dowling, Luke A J O'Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


The extensively studied cytokine IL-1β is an important mediator of the inflammatory response. However, dysregulated release of IL-1β can be detrimental and is attributed to the progression and pathogenesis of multiple inflammatory diseases including, rhuematoid arthritis (RA), atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes (T2D), Alzheimers disease and gout. IL-1β is encoded as a pro-protein. A multi-protein molecular scaffold termed the " Inflammasome" is responsible for the tightly controlled and coordinated processing of pro-IL-1β. The activation of several NLR (nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptor) family members and PYHIN (pyrin and HIN domain) proteins can drive the formation of inflammasomes. However, the exact biochemical mechanisms governing their activation have been the subject of much research. Different inflammasomes have been demonstrated to respond to the same pathogen inducing a cooperative immune response accountable for the clearance of infection. Here, we review current knowledge surrounding the biochemical regulation of the NLRP1, NLRP3, NLRC4, AIM2 and IFI16 inflammasomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-443
Number of pages20
JournalCritical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • AIM2
  • IL-1β
  • Inflammasome
  • NLRP3

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