Research ArticleBIOCHEMISTRY

Caspase-8–dependent gasdermin D cleavage promotes antimicrobial defense but confers susceptibility to TNF-induced lethality

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Science Advances  18 Nov 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 47, eabc3465
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc3465


Gasdermin D (GSDMD) is a pore-forming protein that promotes pyroptosis and release of proinflammatory cytokines. Recent studies revealed that apoptotic caspase-8 directly cleaves GSDMD to trigger pyroptosis. However, the molecular requirements for caspase-8–dependent GSDMD cleavage and the physiological impact of this signaling axis are unresolved. Here, we report that caspase-8–dependent GSDMD cleavage confers susceptibility to tumor necrosis factor (TNF)–induced lethality independently of caspase-1 and that GSDMD activation provides host defense against Yersinia infection. We further demonstrate that GSDMD inactivation by apoptotic caspases at aspartate 88 (D88) suppresses TNF-induced lethality but promotes anti-Yersinia defense. Last, we show that caspase-8 dimerization and autoprocessing are required for GSDMD cleavage, and provide evidence that the caspase-8 autoprocessing and activity on various complexes correlate with its ability to directly cleave GSDMD. These findings reveal GSDMD as a potential therapeutic target to reduce inflammation associated with mutations in the death receptor signaling machinery.

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