Critical role for calcium mobilization in activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome

Tomohiko Murakami, Johan Ockinger, Jiujiu Yu, Vanessa Byles, Aisleen McColl, Aldebaran M. Hofer, Tiffany Horng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

368 Scopus citations


The NLRP3 (nucleotide-binding domain, leucine-rich-repeat-containing family, pyrin domain-containing 3) inflammasome mediates production of inflammatory mediators, such as IL-1β and IL-18, and as such is implicated in a variety of inflammatory processes, including infection, sepsis, autoinflammatory diseases, and metabolic diseases. The proximal steps in NLRP3 inflammasome activation are not well understood. Here we elucidate a critical role for Ca2+mobilization in activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome by multiple stimuli. We demonstrate that blocking Ca2+ mobilization inhibits assembly and activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome complex, and that during ATP stimulation Ca2+ signaling is pivotal in promoting mitochondrial damage. C/EPB homologous protein, a transcription factor that can modulate Ca2+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum, amplifies NLRP3 inflammasome activation, thus linking endoplasmic reticulum stress to activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Our findings support a model for NLRP3 inflammasome activation by Ca2+-mediated mitochondrial damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11282-11287
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number28
StatePublished - Jul 10 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Innate immunity
  • Mitochondria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Critical role for calcium mobilization in activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this