Inflammasome activation culminates in activation of caspase-1, which leads to the maturation and subsequent release of cytokines of the interleukin 1 (IL-1) family and results in a particular form of cell death known as pyroptosis. In addition, in the murine system, a so-called non-canonical inflammasome involving caspase-11 has been described that directly responds to cytosolic LPS. Here, we show that the human monocytic cell line THP1 activates the inflammasome in response to cytosolic LPS in a TLR4-independent fashion. This response is mediated by caspase-4 and accompanied by caspase-1 activation, pyroptosis, and IL-1β maturation. In addition to caspase-4, efficient IL-1β conversion upon intracellular LPS delivery relies on potassium efflux, NLRP3, ASC, and caspase-1, indicating that although caspase-4 activation alone is sufficient to induce pyroptosis, this process depends on the NLRP3 inflammasome activation to drive IL-1β maturation. Altogether, this study provides evidence for the presence of a non-canonical inflammasome in humans and its dependence on caspase-4.
Keywords: Caspase-4; Myeloid cells; NLRP3; Non-canonical inflammasome.
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