PLK4 deubiquitination by Spata2-CYLD suppresses NEK7-mediated NLRP3 inflammasome activation at the centrosome

Xiao Dong Yang, Wenguo Li, Shuangyan Zhang, Dandan Wu, Xiaoli Jiang, Rong Tan, Xiaoyin Niu, Qijun Wang, Xuefeng Wu, Zhiduo Liu, Lin Feng Chen, Jun Qin, Bing Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The innate immune sensor NLRP3 assembles an inflammasome complex with NEK7 and ASC to activate caspase-1 and drive the maturation of proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-18. NLRP3 inflammasome activity must be tightly controlled, as its over-activation is involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases. Here, we show that NLRP3 inflammasome activation is suppressed by a centrosomal protein Spata2. Spata2 deficiency enhances NLRP3 inflammasome activity both in the macrophages and in an animal model of peritonitis. Mechanistically, Spata2 recruits the deubiquitinase CYLD to the centrosome for deubiquitination of polo-like kinase 4 (PLK4), the master regulator of centrosome duplication. Deubiquitination of PLK4 facilitates its binding to and phosphorylation of NEK7 at Ser204. NEK7 phosphorylation in turn attenuates NEK7 and NLRP3 interaction, which is required for NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Pharmacological or shRNA-mediated inhibition of PLK4, or mutation of the NEK7 Ser204 phosphorylation site, augments NEK7 interaction with NLRP3 and causes increased NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Our study unravels a novel centrosomal regulatory pathway of inflammasome activation and may provide new therapeutic targets for the treatment of NLRP3-associated inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere102201
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2020


  • CYLD
  • NEK7
  • NLRP3
  • Spata2
  • deubiquitination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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