The NAIP/NLRC4 inflammasomes

Curr Opin Immunol. 2015 Feb;32:84-9. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2015.01.010. Epub 2015 Jan 24.


Inflammasomes comprise a family of cytosolic multi-protein complexes that sense infection, or other threats, and initiate inflammation via the recruitment and activation of the Caspase-1 protease. Although the precise molecular mechanism by which most inflammasomes are activated remains a subject of considerable debate, the NAIP/NLRC4 subfamily of inflammasomes is increasingly well understood. A crystal structure of NLRC4 was recently reported, and a domain in NAIPs that recognizes bacterial ligands was identified. In addition, gain-of-function mutations in NLRC4 have been shown to cause an auto-inflammatory syndrome in humans. Lastly, the NAIP/NLRC4 inflammasome has been shown to provide a novel form of cell intrinsic defense against Salmonella infection, involving expulsion of infected cells from the intestinal epithelium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins / chemistry
  • CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins / genetics
  • CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Inflammasomes / metabolism*
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Neuronal Apoptosis-Inhibitory Protein / chemistry
  • Neuronal Apoptosis-Inhibitory Protein / genetics
  • Neuronal Apoptosis-Inhibitory Protein / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding


  • CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Inflammasomes
  • Neuronal Apoptosis-Inhibitory Protein