Recently, Prof. ZHOU Rongbin and Prof. JIANG Wei of USTC were invited to publish a review article on Trends Immunol titled ‘Orchestration of NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation by Ion Fluxes’, giving a systematic review and discussion of the role and mechanism of intracellular ion changes in the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome. The two professors are also from Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale, the CAS Key Laboratory of Innate Immunity and Chronic Disease.
The NLRP3 inflammasome is a multiprotein complex whose core elements are intracellular innate immune receptor NLRP3, adaptor protein ASC and protease caspase-1. With the capability of inducing the maturity, alongside secretion of proinflammatory factors IL-1β (interleukin 1β) and IL-18 (interleukin 18), they promote the occurrence of inflammatory reactions. As NLRP3 can be activated by manifold ‘danger signals’ (including hyperglycemia, saturated fatty acids, cholesterol crystals, uric acid crystals, β-amyloid protein etc., ) , it plays a pivotal role in the occurrence of type 2 diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, gout, neurodegenerative disease, multiple sclerosis as well as other diseases.
Hence, how NLRP3 senses various signals with completely different structures to initiate self-activation and assembly of inflammasomes is of great concern to the immunology community. Zhou Rongbin, Jiang Wei and their peers have found hitherto that changes of intracellular potassium ions, calcium ions and that chloridion proved important in the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome, especially in two key upstream signal events of NLRP3 activation—the outflow of potassium ions and chloridion. In the review, they gave an elaborate summarization and a clear outlook of the roles and mechanisms of NLRP3 inflammasome activation controlled by multiple ions.
Prof. ZHOU Rongbin’s and Prof. JIANG Wei’s teams are committed to molecular mechanism and disease intervention strategies for the immune system to identify the ‘danger signal’. Over years, their efforts—the design of small molecule drugs for the activation, regulation and targeting of NLRP3 inflammasome—have promoted the development in this field.
Related research reveiced funds from the National Natural Science Foundation, the Organizing Department of CCCPC, Ministry of Science and Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences.
(Written by LIU Ziyu, edit by GUO Jianjian, YANG Xinqi, Department of Life Sciences, USTC.)
On May 11, the Nature Publishing Group released Nature Publishing Index 2010 China, remarking “a dramatic rise in the quality of research being published by China”. University of Science and Technology of China is ranked 3rd of TOP 10 Institutions in Index 2010 China.
This article came from News Center of USTC.