Human NAIP/NLRC4 and NLRP3 inflammasomes detect Salmonella type III secretion system activities to restrict intracellular bacterial replication

Nawar Naseer, Marisa S. Egan, Valeria M. Reyes Ruiz, William P. Scott, Emma N. Hunter, Tabitha Demissie, Isabella Rauch, Igor E. Brodsky, Sunny Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a Gram-negative pathogen that uses two distinct type III secretion systems (T3SSs), termed Salmonella pathogenicity island (SPI)-1 and SPI-2, to deliver virulence factors into the host cell. The SPI-1 T3SS enables Salmonella to invade host cells, while the SPI-2 T3SS facilitates Salmonella’s intracellular survival. In mice, a family of cytosolic immune sensors, including NAIP1, NAIP2, and NAIP5/6, recognizes the SPI-1 T3SS needle, inner rod, and flagellin proteins, respectively. Ligand recognition triggers assembly of the NAIP/NLRC4 inflammasome, which mediates caspase-1 activation, IL-1 family cytokine secretion, and pyroptosis of infected cells. In contrast to mice, humans encode a single NAIP that broadly recognizes all three ligands. The role of NAIP/NLRC4 or other inflammasomes during Salmonella infection of human macrophages is unclear. We find that although the NAIP/NLRC4 inflammasome is essential for detecting T3SS ligands in human macrophages, it is partially required for responses to infection, as Salmonella also activated the NLRP3 and CASP4/5 inflammasomes. Importantly, we demonstrate that combinatorial NAIP/NLRC4 and NLRP3 inflammasome activation restricts Salmonella replication in human macrophages. In contrast to SPI-1, the SPI-2 T3SS inner rod is not sensed by human or murine NAIPs, which is thought to allow Salmonella to evade host recognition and replicate intracellularly. Intriguingly, we find that human NAIP detects the SPI-2 T3SS needle protein. Critically, in the absence of both flagellin and the SPI-1 T3SS, the NAIP/NLRC4 inflammasome still controlled intracellular Salmonella burden. These findings reveal that recognition of Salmonella SPI-1 and SPI-2 T3SSs and engagement of both the NAIP/NLRC4 and NLRP3 inflammasomes control Salmonella infection in human macrophages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1009718
JournalPLoS pathogens
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Virology


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