Caspase-8 is an initiator and apical activator caspase that plays a central role in apoptosis. Caspase-8-deficient mice are embryonic lethal, which makes study of caspase-8 in primary immune cells difficult. Recent advances have rescued caspase-8-deficient mice by crossing them to mice deficient in receptor-interacting serine-threonine kinase 3 (RIPK3). These genetic tools have made it possible to study the role of caspase-8 in vivo and in primary immune cells. Several recent studies have identified novel roles for caspase-8 in modulating IL-1β and inflammation, showing that caspase-8 directly regulates IL-1β independent of inflammasomes or indirectly through the regulation of inflammasomes, depending on the stimulus or stimuli that initiate the signaling cascade. Here, we address recent findings on caspase-8 and its role in modulating IL-1β and inflammation.
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