Molecular mechanisms regulating NLRP3 inflammasome activation

Cell Mol Immunol. 2016 Mar;13(2):148-59. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2015.95. Epub 2015 Nov 9.


Inflammasomes are multi-protein signaling complexes that trigger the activation of inflammatory caspases and the maturation of interleukin-1β. Among various inflammasome complexes, the NLRP3 inflammasome is best characterized and has been linked with various human autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Thus, the NLRP3 inflammasome may be a promising target for anti-inflammatory therapies. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the mechanisms by which the NLRP3 inflammasome is activated in the cytosol. We also describe the binding partners of NLRP3 inflammasome complexes activating or inhibiting the inflammasome assembly. Our knowledge of the mechanisms regulating NLRP3 inflammasome signaling and how these influence inflammatory responses offers further insight into potential therapeutic strategies to treat inflammatory diseases associated with dysregulation of the NLRP3 inflammasome.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / pathology
  • Cytosol / immunology*
  • Cytosol / pathology
  • Humans
  • Inflammasomes / immunology*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Interleukin-1beta / immunology
  • NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein / immunology*
  • NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*


  • IL1B protein, human
  • Inflammasomes
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein
  • NLRP3 protein, human