First published February 6, 2018 - More info
In these studies we evaluated the contribution of the NLRP3 inflammasome to Crohn’s disease (CD) in a kindred containing individuals having a missense mutation in CARD8, a protein known to inhibit this inflammasome. Whole exome sequencing and PCR studies identified that the affected individuals had a V44I mutation in a single allele of the T60 isoform of CARD8. The serum levels of IL-1β in the affected individuals were increased compared with that in healthy controls and their peripheral monocytes produced increased amounts of IL-1β when stimulated by NLRP3 activators. Immunoblot studies probing the basis of these findings showed that mutated T60 CARD8 fails to down-regulate the NLRP3 inflammasome because it does not bind to NLRP3 and inhibit its oligomerization. In addition, these studies showed that mutated T60 CARD8 exerts a dominant negative effect by its capacity to bind to and form oligomers with unmutated T60 or T48 CARD8 that impede their binding to NLRP3. Finally, inflammasome activation studies revealed that intact but not mutated CARD8 prevents NLRP3 deubiquitination and serine dephosphorylation. CD due to a CARD8 mutation was not effectively treated by anti-TNF-α, but did respond to IL-1β inhibitors. Thus, patients with anti-TNF-α-resistant CD may respond to this treatment option.