The pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β is well known for its role in host defense and the initiation of potent inflammatory responses. It is processed from its inactive pro-form by the inflammatory caspase-1 into its mature bioactive form, which is then released from the cell via an unconventional secretion mechanism. Recently, gasdermin-D has been identified as a new target of caspase-1. After proteolytical cleavage of gasdermin-D, the N-terminal fragment induces pyroptosis, a lytic cell death, by forming large permeability pores in the plasma membrane. Here we show using the murine system that gasdermin-D is required for IL-1β secretion by macrophages, dendritic cells and partially in neutrophils, and that secretion is a cell-lysis-independent event. Liposome transport assays in vitro further demonstrate that gasdermin-D pores are large enough to allow the direct release of IL-1β. Moreover, IL-18 and other small soluble cytosolic proteins can also be released in a lysis-independent but gasdermin-D-dependent mode, suggesting that the gasdermin-D pores allow passive the release of cytosolic proteins in a size-dependent manner.
Keywords: Gasdermin-D pore; Inflammasome; Interleukin-1β; Pyroptosis; Unconventional protein secretion.
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