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P38 kinases mediate NLRP1 inflammasome activation after ribotoxic stress response and virus infection.

The Journal of experimental medicine

Authors: Lea-Marie Jenster, Karl-Elmar Lange, Sabine Normann, Anja vom Hemdt, Jennifer D Wuerth, Lisa D J Schiffelers, Yonas M Tesfamariam, Florian N Gohr, Laura Klein, Ines H Kaltheuner, Stefan Ebner, Dorothee J Lapp, Jacob Mayer, Jonas Moecking, Hidde L Ploegh, Eicke Latz, Felix Meissner, Matthias Geyer, Beate M Kümmerer, Florian I Schmidt

Inflammasomes integrate cytosolic evidence of infection or damage to mount inflammatory responses. The inflammasome sensor NLRP1 is expressed in human keratinocytes and coordinates inflammation in the skin. We found that diverse stress signals induce human NLRP1 inflammasome assembly by activating MAP kinase p38: While the ribotoxic stress response to UV and microbial molecules exclusively activates p38 through MAP3K ZAKα, infection with arthropod-borne alphaviruses, including Semliki Forest and Chikungunya virus, activates p38 through ZAKα and potentially other MAP3K. We demonstrate that p38 directly phosphorylates NLRP1 and that serine 107 in the linker region is critical for activation. NLRP1 phosphorylation is followed by ubiquitination of NLRP1PYD, N-terminal degradation of NLRP1, and nucleation of inflammasomes by NLRP1UPA-CARD. In contrast, activation of NLRP1 by nanobody-mediated ubiquitination, viral proteases, or inhibition of DPP9 was independent of p38 activity. Taken together, we define p38 activation as a unifying signaling hub that controls NLRP1 inflammasome activation by integrating a variety of cellular stress signals relevant to the skin.

© 2022 Jenster et al.

PMID: 36315050

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