Immunol Res 2012 Sep;53(1-3):78-90
Singapore Immunology Network, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), 8A Biomedical Grove, #04 Immunos, Biopolis, Singapore.
The Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain, Leucine-rich Repeat and Pyrin domain containing (NLRP) family and corresponding inflammasomes are important intracellular sensors of microbial pathogens and stress signals that promote caspase-1-mediated release of IL-1β and IL-18. Studies using targeted disruption of NLRP1 and NLRP3 have revealed key roles for these inflammasomes in innate immunity and inflammation, as well as in autoimmune diseases, metabolic disorders, and cancers. The newly identified family members NLRP6, NLRP10, and NLRP12 are emerging as important molecules regulating gut homeostasis in mouse models, as well as being correlated to human diseases. Here, we review our current knowledge of NLRP1 and NLRP3 biology, from molecular structure, function, and proposed models of activation to associations with several human disorders. New insights into novel NLRPs that act as regulators of intestinal immunity are also discussed.