The NAIP/NLRC4 inflammasome in infection and pathology

Renate Bauer, Isabella Rauch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


In this review we give an overview of the NAIP/NLRC4 activation mechanism as well as the described roles of this inflammasome, with a focus on in vivo infection and pathology. After ligand recognition by NAIP sensor proteins the NAIP/NLRC4 inflammasome forms through oligomerization with the NLRC4 adaptor to activate Caspase-1. The activating ligands are intracellular bacterial flagellin or type-3 secretion system components, delivered by pathogens. In vivo experiments indicate a role in macrophages during lung, spleen and liver infection and systemic sepsis like conditions, as well as in intestinal epithelial cells. Upon NAIP/NLRC4 activation in the intestine, epithelial cell extrusion is triggered in addition to the canonical inflammasome outcomes of cytokine cleavage and pyroptosis. Human patients with auto-activating mutations in NLRC4 present with an autoinflammatory syndrome including enterocolitis. Although one of the better understood inflammasomes in terms of mechanism, tissue specific functions of NAIP/NLRC4 are only beginning to be understood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100863
JournalMolecular Aspects of Medicine
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Caspase
  • Inflammasome
  • NAIP
  • NLRC4
  • bacterial infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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