Doctor of Philosophy, University of Washington (2011)
Denise Monack, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Proinflammatory caspases play important roles in innate immunity. Much attention has focused on caspase-1, which acts to eliminate pathogens by obliterating their replicative niches as well as alerting the host to their presence. Now, emerging data have shed light on the lesser-studied proinflammatory caspase-11 in the combat between host and pathogens. Using the new tools available, researchers are further elucidating the mechanisms by which caspase-11 contributes to host defense. Here, we review the emerging understanding of caspase-11 functions and the mechanisms of activation and discuss the implications for human disease.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.chom.2013.06.009
View details for Web of Science ID 000330851300005
View details for PubMedID 23870309
Pattern recognition receptors recognize signals originating from pathogens and comprise a large part of the arsenal in innate immune responses. The NOD-like receptors (NLRs) are one particular class of these receptors that survey the cytoplasm for signs of pathogen invasion. Upon detection, they trigger the formation of a macromolecular complex called the inflammasome that is required for elimination of the pathogen, as well as amplifying a pro-inflammatory response. Although the core machinery has been defined, recent data emphasize the complexity of how NLR inflammasomes function. Here, we highlight new discoveries that reveal how precisely fine-tuned NLR inflammasome functions are, and how that may be modulated by antagonistic effects of concomitant inflammasome activation as well as novel regulatory factors.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.coi.2012.11.009
View details for Web of Science ID 000316777300005