The pannexin 1 channel activates the inflammasome in neurons and astrocytes

William R. Silverman, Juan Pablo P de Rivero Vaccari, Silviu Locovei, Feng Qiu, Steven K. Carlsson, Eliana Scemes, Robert Keane, Gerhard Dahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

328 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The inflammasome is a multiprotein complex involved in innate immunity. Activation of the inflammasome causes the processing and release of the cytokines interleukins 1β and 18. In primary macrophages, potassium ion flux and the membrane channel pannexin 1 have been suggested to play roles in inflammasome activation. However, the molecular mechanism(s) governing inflammasome signaling remains poorly defined, and it is undetermined whether these mechanisms apply to the central nervous system. Here we show that high extracellular potassium opens pannexin channels leading to caspase-1 activation in primary neurons and astrocytes. The effect of K+ on pannexin 1 channels was independent of membrane potential, suggesting that stimulation of inflammasome signaling was mediated by an allosteric effect. The activation of the inflammasome by K+ was inhibited by the pannexin 1 channel blocker probenecid, supporting a role of pannexin 1 in inflammasome activation. Co-immunoprecipitation of neuronal lysates indicates that pannexin 1 associates with components of the multiprotein inflammasome complex, including the P2X7 receptor and caspase-1. Moreover antibody neutralization of the adaptor protein ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD) blocked ATP-induced cell death in oocytes coexpressing P2X7 receptor and pannexin 1. Thus, in contrast to macrophages and monocytes in which low intracellular K+ has been suggested to trigger inflammasome activation, in neural cells, high extracellular K+ activates caspase-1 probably through pannexin 1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18143-18151
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume284
Issue number27
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2009

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Inflammasomes
Astrocytes
Neurons
Chemical activation
Caspase 1
Purinergic P2X7 Receptors
Multiprotein Complexes
Macrophages
Potassium
Probenecid
Interleukin-18
Neurology
Cell death
Interleukin-1
Ion Channels
Immunoprecipitation
Innate Immunity
Membrane Potentials
Oocytes
Monocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

The pannexin 1 channel activates the inflammasome in neurons and astrocytes. / Silverman, William R.; de Rivero Vaccari, Juan Pablo P; Locovei, Silviu; Qiu, Feng; Carlsson, Steven K.; Scemes, Eliana; Keane, Robert; Dahl, Gerhard.

In: Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 284, No. 27, 03.07.2009, p. 18143-18151.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Silverman, William R. ; de Rivero Vaccari, Juan Pablo P ; Locovei, Silviu ; Qiu, Feng ; Carlsson, Steven K. ; Scemes, Eliana ; Keane, Robert ; Dahl, Gerhard. / The pannexin 1 channel activates the inflammasome in neurons and astrocytes. In: Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2009 ; Vol. 284, No. 27. pp. 18143-18151.
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