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Inflammasomes: mechanism of action, role in disease, and therapeutics.

ABSTRACT

The inflammasomes are innate immune system receptors and sensors that regulate the activation of caspase-1 and induce inflammation in response to infectious microbes and molecules derived from host proteins. They have been implicated in a host of inflammatory disorders. Recent developments have greatly enhanced our understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which different inflammasomes are activated. Additionally, increasing evidence in mouse models, supported by human data, strongly implicates an involvement of the inflammasome in the initiation or progression of diseases with a high impact on public health, such as metabolic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, recent developments pointing toward promising therapeutics that target inflammasome activity in inflammatory diseases have been reported. This review will focus on these three areas of inflammasome research.