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    Oridonin is a covalent NLRP3 inhibitor with strong anti-inflammasome activity. He Hongbin,Jiang Hua,Chen Yun,Ye Jin,Wang Aoli,Wang Chao,Liu Qingsong,Liang Gaolin,Deng Xianming,Jiang Wei,Zhou Rongbin Nature communications Oridonin (Ori) is the major active ingredient of the traditional Chinese medicinal herb Rabdosia rubescens and has anti-inflammatory activity, but the target of Ori remains unknown. NLRP3 is a central component of NLRP3 inflammasome and has been involved in a wide variety of chronic inflammation-driven human diseases. Here, we show that Ori is a specific and covalent inhibitor for NLRP3 inflammasome. Ori forms a covalent bond with the cysteine 279 of NLRP3 in NACHT domain to block the interaction between NLRP3 and NEK7, thereby inhibiting NLRP3 inflammasome assembly and activation. Importantly, Ori has both preventive or therapeutic effects on mouse models of peritonitis, gouty arthritis and type 2 diabetes, via inhibition of NLRP3 activation. Our results thus identify NLRP3 as the direct target of Ori for mediating Ori's anti-inflammatory activity. Ori could serve as a lead for developing new therapeutics against NLRP3-driven diseases. 10.1038/s41467-018-04947-6
    NEK7 is an essential mediator of NLRP3 activation downstream of potassium efflux. He Yuan,Zeng Melody Y,Yang Dahai,Motro Benny,Núñez Gabriel Nature Inflammasomes are intracellular protein complexes that drive the activation of inflammatory caspases. So far, four inflammasomes involving NLRP1, NLRP3, NLRC4 and AIM2 have been described that recruit the common adaptor protein ASC to activate caspase-1, leading to the secretion of mature IL-1β and IL-18 proteins. The NLRP3 inflammasome has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several acquired inflammatory diseases as well as cryopyrin-associated periodic fever syndromes (CAPS) caused by inherited NLRP3 mutations. Potassium efflux is a common step that is essential for NLRP3 inflammasome activation induced by many stimuli. Despite extensive investigation, the molecular mechanism leading to NLRP3 activation in response to potassium efflux remains unknown. Here we report the identification of NEK7, a member of the family of mammalian NIMA-related kinases (NEK proteins), as an NLRP3-binding protein that acts downstream of potassium efflux to regulate NLRP3 oligomerization and activation. In the absence of NEK7, caspase-1 activation and IL-1β release were abrogated in response to signals that activate NLRP3, but not NLRC4 or AIM2 inflammasomes. NLRP3-activating stimuli promoted the NLRP3-NEK7 interaction in a process that was dependent on potassium efflux. NLRP3 associated with the catalytic domain of NEK7, but the catalytic activity of NEK7 was shown to be dispensable for activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Activated macrophages formed a high-molecular-mass NLRP3-NEK7 complex, which, along with ASC oligomerization and ASC speck formation, was abrogated in the absence of NEK7. NEK7 was required for macrophages containing the CAPS-associated NLRP3(R258W) activating mutation to activate caspase-1. Mouse chimaeras reconstituted with wild-type, Nek7(-/-) or Nlrp3(-/-) haematopoietic cells showed that NEK7 was required for NLRP3 inflammasome activation in vivo. These studies demonstrate that NEK7 is an essential protein that acts downstream of potassium efflux to mediate NLRP3 inflammasome assembly and activation. 10.1038/nature16959
    Structural mechanism for NEK7-licensed activation of NLRP3 inflammasome. Sharif Humayun,Wang Li,Wang Wei Li,Magupalli Venkat Giri,Andreeva Liudmila,Qiao Qi,Hauenstein Arthur V,Wu Zhaolong,Núñez Gabriel,Mao Youdong,Wu Hao Nature The NLRP3 inflammasome can be activated by stimuli that include nigericin, uric acid crystals, amyloid-β fibrils and extracellular ATP. The mitotic kinase NEK7 licenses the assembly and activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in interphase. Here we report a cryo-electron microscopy structure of inactive human NLRP3 in complex with NEK7, at a resolution of 3.8 Å. The earring-shaped NLRP3 consists of curved leucine-rich-repeat and globular NACHT domains, and the C-terminal lobe of NEK7 nestles against both NLRP3 domains. Structural recognition between NLRP3 and NEK7 is confirmed by mutagenesis both in vitro and in cells. Modelling of an active NLRP3-NEK7 conformation based on the NLRC4 inflammasome predicts an additional contact between an NLRP3-bound NEK7 and a neighbouring NLRP3. Mutations to this interface abolish the ability of NEK7 or NLRP3 to rescue NLRP3 activation in NEK7-knockout or NLRP3-knockout cells. These data suggest that NEK7 bridges adjacent NLRP3 subunits with bipartite interactions to mediate the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. 10.1038/s41586-019-1295-z
    NLRP3 activation and mitosis are mutually exclusive events coordinated by NEK7, a new inflammasome component. Shi Hexin,Wang Ying,Li Xiaohong,Zhan Xiaoming,Tang Miao,Fina Maggy,Su Lijing,Pratt David,Bu Chun Hui,Hildebrand Sara,Lyon Stephen,Scott Lindsay,Quan Jiexia,Sun Qihua,Russell Jamie,Arnett Stephanie,Jurek Peter,Chen Ding,Kravchenko Vladimir V,Mathison John C,Moresco Eva Marie Y,Monson Nancy L,Ulevitch Richard J,Beutler Bruce Nature immunology The NLRP3 inflammasome responds to microbes and danger signals by processing and activating proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukin 1β (IL-1β) and IL-18. We found here that activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome was restricted to interphase of the cell cycle by NEK7, a serine-threonine kinase previously linked to mitosis. Activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome required NEK7, which bound to the leucine-rich repeat domain of NLRP3 in a kinase-independent manner downstream of the induction of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). This interaction was necessary for the formation of a complex containing NLRP3 and the adaptor ASC, oligomerization of ASC and activation of caspase-1. NEK7 promoted the NLRP3-dependent cellular inflammatory response to intraperitoneal challenge with monosodium urate and the development of experimental autoimmune encephalitis in mice. Our findings suggest that NEK7 serves as a cellular switch that enforces mutual exclusivity of the inflammasome response and cell division. 10.1038/ni.3333