Evaluation of protein kinase D auto-phosphorylation as biomarker for NLRP3 inflammasome activation

Background: The NLRP3 inflammasome is a critical component of sterile inflammation, which is involved in many diseases. However, there is currently no known proximal biomarker for measuring NLRP3 activation in pathological conditions. Protein kinase D (PKD) has emerged as an important NLRP3 kinase that catalyzes the release of a phosphorylated NLRP3 species that is competent for inflammasome complex assembly.

Methods: To explore the potential for PKD activation to serve as a selective biomarker of the NLRP3 pathway, we tested various stimulatory conditions in THP-1 and U937 cell lines, probing the inflammasome space beyond NLRP3. We analyzed the correlation between PKD activation (monitored by its auto-phosphorylation) and functional inflammasome readouts.

Results: PKD activation/auto-phosphorylation always preceded cleavage of caspase-1 and gasdermin D, and treatment with the PKD inhibitor CRT0066101 could block NLRP3 inflammasome assembly and interleukin-1β production. Conversely, blocking NLRP3 either genetically or using the MCC950 inhibitor prevented PKD auto-phosphorylation, indicating a bidirectional functional crosstalk between NLRP3 and PKD. Further assessments of the pyrin and NLRC4 pathways, however, revealed that PKD auto-phosphorylation can be triggered by a broad range of stimuli unrelated to NLRP3 inflammasome assembly.

Conclusion: Although PKD and NLRP3 become functionally interconnected during NLRP3 activation, the promiscuous reactivity of PKD challenges its potential use for tracing the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway.

Related Products

Cat.No. Product Name Information
S8366 CRT0066101 dihydrochloride CRT0066101 dihydrochloride is a small molecule PKD family specific inhibitor which specifically blocks PKD1/2 activity and does not suppress PKCα/PKCβ/PKCε activity in multiple.

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