Val-boroPro (PT-100, Talabostat) induces powerful anti-tumor immune responses in syngeneic cancer models, but its mechanism of action has not yet been established. Val-boroPro is a non-selective inhibitor of post-proline-cleaving serine proteases, and the inhibition of the highly related cytosolic serine proteases Dpp8 and Dpp9 (Dpp8/9) by Val-boroPro was recently demonstrated to trigger an immunostimulatory form of programmed cell death known as pyroptosis selectively in monocytes and macrophages. Here we show that Dpp8/9 inhibition activates the inflammasome sensor protein Nlrp1b, which in turn activates pro-caspase-1 to mediate pyroptosis. This work reveals a previously unrecognized mechanism for activating an innate immune pattern recognition receptor and suggests that Dpp8/9 serve as an intracellular checkpoint to restrain Nlrp1b and the innate immune system.
Pubmed ID: 29396289 RIS Download
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