Potential role of pyrin, the protein mutated in familial Mediterranean fever, during inflammatory cell migration

Clin Exp Rheumatol. Nov-Dec 2018;36(6 Suppl 115):116-124. Epub 2018 Dec 12.


Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), the most common of the systemic autoinflammatory disorders, is caused by mutations in the MEFV (Mediterranean Fever) gene, which encodes the protein pyrin. Neutrophils, one of the major components during inflammation, are the main cell type that expresses pyrin. In response to an inflammatory stimulus, neutrophils migration to their main active site. To date, several pyrin-interacting proteins have been demonstrated to co-localise with the cytoskeletal protein actin, which is important in the process of neutrophil migration and raises the question of whether pyrin plays a role in the actin cytoskeletal network during inflammatory cell migration. In this study, we examined the possible role of pyrin during inflammatory cell migration in neutrophils. We generated a cell migration assay with neutrophils and primary neutrophils from patients. We also knocked down pyrin expression using siRNA and then performed cell migration assay. We showed co-localisation of pyrin and F-actin at the leading edge during inflammatory cell migration. In pyrin knocked down cells, we identified a significant decrease in neutrophil migration. In addition, we demonstrated a dramatic increase in migration in the neutrophils of FMF patients compared with a healthy control group. These data together provide new insight into the cellular function of pyrin and demonstrate an important link between pyrin and polymerising actin in the process of inflammatory cell migration.

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Actins / metabolism
  • Adolescent
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / genetics*
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / immunology
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / metabolism
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • HL-60 Cells
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutation*
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Neutrophils / metabolism*
  • Phenotype
  • Pyrin / genetics*
  • Pyrin / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Actins
  • MEFV protein, human
  • Pyrin