Recent studies have offered a glimpse into the sophisticated mechanisms by which inflammasomes respond to danger and promote secretion of interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18. Activation of caspases 1 and 11 in canonical and noncanonical inflammasomes, respectively, also protects against infection by triggering pyroptosis, a proinflammatory and lytic mode of cell death. The therapeutic potential of inhibiting these proinflammatory caspases in infectious and autoimmune diseases is raised by the successful deployment of anti-IL-1 therapies to control autoinflammatory diseases associated with aberrant inflammasome signaling. This Review summarizes recent insights into inflammasome biology and discusses the questions that remain in the field.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.