Neutrophil inflammasomes sense the subcellular delivery route of translocated bacterial effectors and toxins

Cell Rep. 2022 Nov 22;41(8):111688. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111688.


In neutrophils, caspase-11 cleaves gasdermin D (GSDMD), causing pyroptosis to clear cytosol-invasive bacteria. In contrast, caspase-1 also cleaves GSDMD but seems to not cause pyroptosis. Here, we show that this pyroptosis-resistant caspase-1 activation is specifically programmed by the site of translocation of the detected microbial virulence factors. We find that pyrin and NLRC4 agonists do not trigger pyroptosis in neutrophils when they access the cytosol from endosomal compartment. In contrast, when the same ligands penetrate through the plasma membrane, they cause pyroptosis. Consistently, pyrin detects extracellular Yersinia pseudotuberculosis ΔyopM in neutrophils, driving caspase-1-GSDMD pyroptosis. This pyroptotic response drives PAD4-dependent H3 citrullination and results in extrusion of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). Our data indicate that caspase-1, GSDMD, or PAD4 deficiency renders mice more susceptible to Y. pseudotuberculosis ΔyopM infection. Therefore, neutrophils induce pyroptosis in response to caspase-1-activating inflammasomes triggered by extracellular bacterial pathogens, but after they phagocytose pathogens, they are programmed to forego pyroptosis.

Keywords: CP: Immunology; NETs; PAD4; Yersinia pseudotuberculosis; caspase-1; gasdermin D; inflammasome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Caspase 1 / metabolism
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Inflammasomes* / metabolism
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Phosphate-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Pyrin / metabolism
  • Toxins, Biological*


  • Inflammasomes
  • Phosphate-Binding Proteins
  • Pyrin
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Caspase 1
  • Caspases
  • Toxins, Biological