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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.02463

El Tor biotype Vibrio cholerae activates the caspase-11-independent canonical Nlrp3 and Pyrin inflammasomes

Michail Mamantopoulos1,  Geert Van Loo1, Mo Lamkanfi2 and  Andy Wullaert1*
  • 1Ghent University, Belgium
  • 2Janssen Research and Development (Belgium), Belgium

Vibrio cholerae is a Gram-negative enteropathogen causing potentially life-threatening cholera disease outbreaks, for which the World Health Organisation currently registers 2-4 million cases and approximately 100.000 cholera-associated deaths annually worldwide. Genomic Vibrio cholerae research revealed that the strains causing this ongoing cholera pandemic are members of the El Tor biotype, which fully replaced the Classical biotype that caused former cholera pandemics. While both of these biotypes express the characteristic Cholera Toxin (CT), the El Tor biotype additionally expresses the accessory toxins hemolysin (hlyA) and multifunctional auto-processing repeat-in-toxin (MARTX). Previous studies demonstrated that the Classical biotype of Vibrio cholerae triggers caspase-11-dependent non-canonical inflammasome activation in macrophages following CT-mediated cytosolic delivery of LPS. In contrast to the Classical biotype, we here show that El Tor Vibrio cholerae induces IL-1β maturation and secretion in a caspase-11- and CT-independent manner. Instead, we show that El Tor Vibrio cholerae engages the canonical Nlrp3 inflammasome for IL-1β secretion through its accessory hlyA toxin. We further reveal the capacity of this enteropathogen to engage the canonical Pyrin inflammasome as an accessory mechanism for IL-1β secretion in conditions when the pro-inflammatory hlyA-Nlrp3 axis is blocked. Thus, we show that the V. cholerae El Tor biotype does not trigger caspase-11 activation, but instead triggers parallel Nlrp3- and Pyrin-dependent pathways towards canonical inflammasome activation to induce IL-1β-mediated inflammatory responses. These findings further unravel the complex inflammasome activating mechanisms that can be triggered when macrophages face the full arsenal of El Tor Vibrio cholerae toxins, and as such increase our understanding of host-pathogen interactions in the context of the Vibrio cholerae biotype associated with the ongoing cholera pandemic.

Keywords: Vibrio cholerae El Tor biotype, caspase-1 (CASP1), caspase-11 (CASP4), NLRP3, pyrin

Received: 11 Jun 2019; Accepted: 02 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Mamantopoulos, Van Loo, Lamkanfi and Wullaert. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Andy Wullaert, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium,