Caspase-8-driven apoptotic and pyroptotic crosstalk causes cell death and IL-1β release in X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) deficiency

Sebastian A. Hughes, Meng Lin, Ashley Weir, Bing Huang, Liya Xiong, Ngee Kiat Chua, Jiyi Pang, Jascinta P. Santavanond, Rochelle Tixeira, Marcel Doerflinger, Yexuan Deng, Chien Hsiung Yu, Natasha Silke, Stephanie A. Conos, Daniel Frank, Daniel S. Simpson, James M. Murphy, Kate E. Lawlor, Jaclyn S. Pearson, John SilkeMarc Pellegrini, Marco Herold, Ivan K.H. Poon, Seth L. Masters, Mingsong Li, Qin Tang, Yuxia Zhang, Maryam Rashidi, Lanlan Geng, James E. Vince

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Genetic lesions in X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) pre-dispose humans to cell death–associated inflammatory diseases, although the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we report that two patients with XIAP deficiency–associated inflammatory bowel disease display increased inflammatory IL-1β maturation as well as cell death–associated caspase-8 and Gasdermin D (GSDMD) processing in diseased tissue, which is reduced upon patient treatment. Loss of XIAP leads to caspase-8-driven cell death and bioactive IL-1β release that is only abrogated by combined deletion of the apoptotic and pyroptotic cell death machinery. Namely, extrinsic apoptotic caspase-8 promotes pyroptotic GSDMD processing that kills macrophages lacking both inflammasome and apoptosis signalling components (caspase-1, -3, -7, -11 and BID), while caspase-8 can still cause cell death in the absence of both GSDMD and GSDME when caspase-3 and caspase-7 are present. Neither caspase-3 and caspase-7-mediated activation of the pannexin-1 channel, or GSDMD loss, prevented NLRP3 inflammasome assembly and consequent caspase-1 and IL-1β maturation downstream of XIAP inhibition and caspase-8 activation, even though the pannexin-1 channel was required for NLRP3 triggering upon mitochondrial apoptosis. These findings uncouple the mechanisms of cell death and NLRP3 activation resulting from extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis signalling, reveal how XIAP loss can co-opt dual cell death programs, and uncover strategies for targeting the cell death and inflammatory pathways that result from XIAP deficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalThe EMBO Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • caspase-8
  • Gasdermin D
  • inflammasome
  • pyroptosis
  • XIAP

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