Nat Immunol. 2010 Feb;11(2):136-40. Epub 2009 Dec 20.
Department of Biochemistry, University of Lausanne, Epalinges, Switzerland.
The NLRP3 inflammasome has a major role in regulating innate immunity. Deregulated inflammasome activity is associated with several inflammatory diseases, yet little is known about the signaling pathways that lead to its activation. Here we show that NLRP3 interacted with thioredoxin (TRX)-interacting protein (TXNIP), a protein linked to insulin resistance. Inflammasome activators such as uric acid crystals induced the dissociation of TXNIP from thioredoxin in a reactive oxygen species (ROS)-sensitive manner and allowed it to bind NLRP3. TXNIP deficiency impaired activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome and subsequent secretion of interleukin 1beta (IL-1beta). Akin to Txnip(-/-) mice, Nlrp3(-/-) mice showed improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. The participation of TXNIP in the NLRP3 inflammasome activation may provide a mechanistic link to the observed involvement of IL-1beta in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.