, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 261-274
Date: 24 Aug 2007

Strategies that modulate inflammasomes—insights from host–pathogen interactions

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The innate immune system is a dynamic and complex network for recognizing and responding to cellular insult or tissue damage after infection or injury. The primary effector mechanism of innate immunity is the generation of acute and chronic inflammatory responses through regulation of the processing and activation of proinflammatory caspases, particularly caspase 1, and cytokines, most notably IL-1β and IL-18. Inflammasomes, cytosolic multi-protein complexes that function as molecular scaffolds for caspase activation, have recently emerged as the pivotal mechanism by which host innate immune and inflammatory responses are regulated. In this review, we investigate the mechanisms by which inflammasomes are modulated, both by endogenous host systems and by microbial pathogens.