Background: The Nod-like receptor NACHT, LRR, and PYD domain-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) and Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) are protagonists in innate and adaptive immunity, respectively. NLRP3 senses exogenous and endogenous insults, leading to inflammasome activation, which occurs spontaneously in patients with Muckle-Wells syndrome; BTK mutations cause the genetic immunodeficiency X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA). However, to date, few proteins that regulate NLRP3 inflammasome activity in human primary immune cells have been identified, and clinically promising pharmacologic targeting strategies remain elusive.
Objective: We sought to identify novel regulators of the NLRP3 inflammasome in human cells with a view to exploring interference with inflammasome activity at the level of such regulators.
Methods: After proteome-wide phosphoproteomics, the identified novel regulator BTK was studied in human and murine cells by using pharmacologic and genetic BTK ablation.
Results: Here we show that BTK is a critical regulator of NLRP3 inflammasome activation: pharmacologic (using the US Food and Drug Administration-approved inhibitor ibrutinib) and genetic (in patients with XLA and Btk knockout mice) BTK ablation in primary immune cells led to reduced IL-1β processing and secretion in response to nigericin and the Staphylococcus aureus toxin leukocidin AB (LukAB). BTK affected apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD (ASC) speck formation and caspase-1 cleavage and interacted with NLRP3 and ASC. S aureus infection control in vivo and IL-1β release from cells of patients with Muckle-Wells syndrome were impaired by ibrutinib. Notably, IL-1β processing and release from immune cells isolated from patients with cancer receiving ibrutinib therapy were reduced.
Conclusion: Our data suggest that XLA might result in part from genetic inflammasome deficiency and that NLRP3 inflammasome-linked inflammation could potentially be targeted pharmacologically through BTK.
Keywords: Bruton tyrosine kinase; IL-1; Muckle-Wells syndrome; NLRP3; Staphylococcus aureus; X-linked agammaglobulinemia; ibrutinib; inflammasome; inflammation; macrophage.
Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.