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ATP acts as a canonical activator to induce NLRP3 (NOD-like receptor family, pyrin domain containing 3) inflammasome activation in macrophages, leading to caspase-1/gasdermin D (GSDMD)-mediated pyroptosis. It remains unclear whether ATP can induce pyroptosis in macrophages when the NLRP3 pathway is blocked by pathogenic infection. In this study, we used cellular models to mimic such blockade of NLRP3 activation: bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) treated with NLRP3-specific inhibitor MCC950 and RAW264.7 cells deficient in ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain) expression. The results showed that ATP treatment induced lytic cell death morphologically resembling canonical pyroptosis in both MCC950-treated BMDMs and RAW264.7 cells, but did not cause the activation of caspase-1 (by detecting caspase-1p10 and mature interleukin-1β) and cleavage of GSDMD. Instead, both apoptotic initiator (caspase-8 and -9) and executioner (caspase-3 and -7) caspases were evidently activated and gasdermin E (GSDME) was cleaved to generate its N-terminal fragment (GSDME-NT) which executes pyroptosis. The GSDME-NT production and lytic cell death induced by ATP were diminished by caspase-3 inhibitor. In BMDMs without MCC950 treatment, ATP induced the formation of ASC specks which were co-localized with caspase-8; with MCC950 treatment, however, ATP did not induced the formation of ASC specks. In RAW264.7 cells, knockdown of GSDME by small interfering RNA attenuated ATP-induced lytic cell death and HMGB1 release into culture supernatants. Collectively, our results indicate that ATP induces pyroptosis in macrophages through the caspase-3/GSDME axis when the canonical NLRP3 pathway is blocked, suggestive of an alternative mechanism for combating against pathogen evasion.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Apoptosis : an international journal on programmed cell death
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Type of programmed cell death associated with infection by intracellular pathogens. It is characterized by INFLAMMASOME formation; activation of CASPASE 1; and CYTOKINES mediated inflammation.
An inhibitor of apoptosis protein that is translated by a rare cap-independent mechanism. It blocks caspase-mediated cellular destruction by inhibiting CASPASE 3; CASPASE 7; and CASPASE 9.
A short pro-domain caspase that plays an effector role in APOPTOSIS. It is activated by INITIATOR CASPASES such as CASPASE 7; CASPASE 8; and CASPASE 10. Isoforms of this protein exist due to multiple alternative splicing of its MESSENGER RNA.
A short pro-domain caspase that plays an effector role in APOPTOSIS. It is activated by INITIATOR CASPASES such as CASPASE 3 and CASPASE 10. Several isoforms of this protein exist due to multiple alternative splicing of its MESSENGER RNA.
A long pro-domain caspase that contains a caspase recruitment domain in its pro-domain region. Activation of this enzyme can occur via the interaction of its caspase recruitment domain with CARD SIGNALING ADAPTOR PROTEINS. Caspase 2 plays a role in APOPTOSIS by cleaving and activating effector pro-caspases. Several isoforms of this protein exist due to multiple alternative splicing of its MESSENGER RNA.
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