The caspase-1 protease is a core component of multiprotein inflammasome complexes, which play a critical role in regulating the secretion of mature, bioactive pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18. The activity of caspase-1 is often measured indirectly, by monitoring cleavage of cellular caspase-1 substrates, processing of caspase-1 itself, or by quantifying cell death. Here we describe methods for eliciting caspase-1 activity in murine macrophages, via activation of the NLRP3, NAIP/NLRC4 or AIM2 inflammasomes. We then describe a simple fluorogenic assay for directly quantifying cellular caspase-1 activity.
Keywords: Biochemistry; Inflammasome; Inflammatory caspases; Protease.