Regulation and function of the nucleotide binding domain leucine-rich repeat-containing receptor, pyrin domain-containing-3 inflammasome in lung disease

Seonmin Lee, Gee Young Suh, Stefan W. Ryter, Augustine M.K. Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Inflammasomes are specialized inflammatory signaling platforms that govern the maturation and secretion of proinflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1β and IL-18, through the regulation of caspase-1-dependent proteolytic processing. Several nucleotide binding domain leucine-rich repeat-containing receptor (NLR) family members (i.e., NLR family, pyrin domain containing [NLRP] 1, NLRP3, and NLR family, caspase recruitment domain containing-4 [NLRC4]) as well as the pyrin and hemopoietic expression, interferon-inducibility, nuclear localization domain-containing family member, absent in melanoma 2, can form inflammasome complexes in human cells. In particular, the NLRP3 inflammasome is activated in response to cellular stresses through a two-component pathway, involving Toll-like receptor 4-ligand interaction (priming) followed by a second signal, such as ATP-dependent P2X purinoreceptor 7 receptor activation. Emerging studies suggest that the NLRP3 inflammasome can exert pleiotropic effects in human diseases with potentially both pro- and antipathogenic sequelae. Whereas NLRP3 inflammasome activation can serve as a vital component of host defense against invading bacteria and pathogens, excessive activation of the inflammasome can lead to inflammation-associated tissue injury in the setting of chronic disease. In addition, pyroptosis, an inflammasomeassociated mode of cell death, contributes to host defense. Recent research has described the regulation and function of the NLRP3 inflammasome in various pulmonary diseases, including acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The NLRP3 and related inflammasomes, and their regulated cytokines or receptors, may represent novel diagnostic or therapeutic targets in pulmonary diseases and other diseases in which inflammation contributes to pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-160
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2016


  • Inflammasomes
  • Inflammation
  • Pulmonary diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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