Role of pyroptosis in inflammation and cancer

Cell Mol Immunol. 2022 Sep;19(9):971-992. doi: 10.1038/s41423-022-00905-x. Epub 2022 Aug 15.


Pyroptosis is a form of programmed cell death mediated by gasdermin and is a product of continuous cell expansion until the cytomembrane ruptures, resulting in the release of cellular contents that can activate strong inflammatory and immune responses. Pyroptosis, an innate immune response, can be triggered by the activation of inflammasomes by various influencing factors. Activation of these inflammasomes can induce the maturation of caspase-1 or caspase-4/5/11, both of which cleave gasdermin D to release its N-terminal domain, which can bind membrane lipids and perforate the cell membrane. Here, we review the latest advancements in research on the mechanisms of pyroptosis, newly discovered influencing factors, antitumoral properties, and applications in various diseases. Moreover, this review also provides updates on potential targeted therapies for inflammation and cancers, methods for clinical prevention, and finally challenges and future directions in the field.

Keywords: Pyroptosis; antitumor; inflammasome; influencing factors; pyroptosis-associated diseases; targeted therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammasomes / metabolism
  • Inflammation
  • Neoplasms*
  • Pyroptosis*


  • Inflammasomes
  • Caspases