The SPRY domain of Pyrin, mutated in familial Mediterranean fever patients, interacts with inflammasome components and inhibits proIL-1beta processing

Cell Death Differ. 2007 Aug;14(8):1457-66. doi: 10.1038/sj.cdd.4402142. Epub 2007 Apr 13.


The autoinflammatory disorders Muckle-Wells syndrome, familial cold urtecaria and chronic infantile neurological cutaneous and articular syndrome are associated with mutations in the NALP3 (Cryopyrin) gene, which is the central platform of the proinflammatory caspase-1 activating complex, named the inflammasome. In patients with another autoinflammatory disorder, familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), mutations in the SPRY domain of the Pyrin protein are frequently found. Recent evidence suggests that Pyrin associates with ASC, an inflammasome component, via its Pyrin domain, thereby halting the inflammatory response. This interaction, however, does not explain the effects of mutations of the SPRY domain found in FMF patients. Here we show that the Pyrin SPRY domain not only interacts with NALP3, but also with caspase-1 and its substrate pro-interleukin(IL)-1beta. Whereas a Pyrin knockdown results in increased caspase-1 activation and IL-1beta secretion, overexpression of the SPRY domain alone blocks these processes. Thus Pyrin binds to several inflammasome components thereby modulating their activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmunity
  • Base Sequence
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Caspase 1 / metabolism
  • Caspase Inhibitors
  • Cell Line
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / chemistry*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • DNA / genetics
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / genetics*
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / immunology
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Precursors / metabolism*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Pyrin
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Transfection


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Caspase Inhibitors
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Interleukin-1
  • MEFV protein, human
  • NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein
  • NLRP3 protein, human
  • Protein Precursors
  • Pyrin
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • interleukin 1 precursor
  • DNA
  • Caspase 1