Clostridioides difficile Flagellin Activates the Intracellular NLRC4 Inflammasome - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles International Journal of Molecular Sciences Year : 2022

Clostridioides difficile Flagellin Activates the Intracellular NLRC4 Inflammasome


Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile), is a major cause of nosocomial diarrhea and colitis. C. difficile flagellin FliC contributes toxins to gut inflammation by interacting with the immune Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) to activate nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways. Flagella of intracellular pathogens can activate the NLR family CARD domain-containing protein 4 (NLRC4) inflammasome pathway. In this study, we assessed whether flagellin of the extracellular bacterium C. difficile internalizes into epithelial cells and activates the NLRC4 inflammasome. Confocal microscopy showed internalization of recombinant green fluorescent protein (GFP)-FliC into intestinal Caco-2/TC7 cell line. Full-length GFP-FliC activates NLRC4 in Caco-2/TC7 cells in contrast to truncated GFP-FliC lacking the C-terminal region recognized by the inflammasome. FliC induced cleavage of pro-caspase-1 into two subunits, p20 and p10 as well as gasdermin D (GSDMD), suggesting the caspase-1 and NLRC4 inflammasome activation. In addition, colocalization of GFP-FliC and pro-caspase-1 was observed, indicating the FliC-dependent NLRC4 inflammasome activation. Overexpression of the inflammasome-related interleukin (interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-18, and IL-33) encoding genes as well as increasing of the IL-18 synthesis was detected after cell stimulation. Inhibition of I-kappa-B kinase alpha (IKK-α) decreased the FliC-dependent inflammasome interleukin gene expression suggesting a role of the NF-κB pathway in regulating inflammasome. Altogether, these results suggest that FliC internalizes into the Caco-2/TC7 cells and activates the intracellular NLRC4 inflammasome thus contributing to the inflammatory process of C. difficile infection.

Dates and versions

hal-04152941 , version 1 (05-07-2023)




Hiba Chebly, Jean Christophe Marvaud, Layale Safa, Assem Khalil Elkak, Philippe Hussein Kobeissy, et al.. Clostridioides difficile Flagellin Activates the Intracellular NLRC4 Inflammasome. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2022, 23 (20), pp.12366. ⟨10.3390/ijms232012366⟩. ⟨hal-04152941⟩
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