Brd4 regulates NLRC4 inflammasome activation by facilitating IRF8-mediated transcription of Naips

Xingchen Dong, Xiangming Hu, Yan Bao, Guo Li, Xiao Dong Yang, James M. Slauch, Lin Feng Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


NLRC4 inflammasome activation and the subsequent maturation of IL-1β and IL-18 are critical for protection against infection by bacterial pathogens. The epigenetic regulator Brd4 has emerged as a key player in inflammation by regulating the expression of inflammatory cytokines. However, whether Brd4 has any role in inflammasome activation remains undetermined. Here, we demonstrated that Brd4 is an important regulator of NLRC4 inflammasome activation in response to Salmonella typhimurium infection. Brd4-deficient bone marrow–derived macrophages (BMDMs) displayed impaired caspase-1 activation, ASC oligomerization, IL-1β maturation, gasdermin-D cleavage, and pyroptosis in response to S. typhimurium infection. RNA sequencing and RT-PCR results revealed that the transcription of Naips was decreased in Brd4-deficient BMDMs. Brd4 formed a complex with IRF8/PU.1 and bound to the IRF8 and PU.1 binding motifs on the promoters of Naips to maintain the expression of Naips. Furthermore, myeloid lineage–specific Brd4 conditional knockout mice were more susceptible to S. typhimurium infection with increased mortality, bacterial loads, and tissue damage; impaired inflammasome-dependent cytokine production; and pyroptosis. Our studies identify a novel function of Brd4 in innate immunity by controlling inflammasome-mediated cytokine release and pyroptosis to effectively battle S. typhimurium infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere202005148
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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