Inflammasomes as molecular mediators of inflammation and cancer: potential role in melanoma

Cancer Lett. 2012 Jan 1;314(1):24-33. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2011.10.001. Epub 2011 Oct 12.


The inflammasome is a multi-protein complex that mediates immune responses to microbial, host, and environmental signals. When active, inflammasomes regulate caspase-1 activation and IL-1β secretion. There is a strong link between inflammation and cancer, and IL-1β is one of the major molecules involved in both of these disease processes. Here we review the role of inflammasomes in regulating IL-1β secretion, and the impact of this pathway on cancer pathogenesis, with a focus on melanoma. This represents an exciting new area of research, and could potentially result in new targets for melanoma therapeutics in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Inflammasomes / physiology*
  • Inflammation / etiology*
  • Interleukin-1 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Interleukin-1 / physiology
  • Melanoma / drug therapy
  • Melanoma / etiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Inflammasomes
  • Interleukin-1