Inflammasome Activation and Pyroptosis via a Lipid-regulated SIRT1-p53-ASC Axis in Macrophages From Male Mice and Humans

Yimao Huang, Peter Yong, Deborah Dickey, Setu M. Vora, Hao Wu, David A. Bernlohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Obesity-linked diabetes is associated with accumulation of proinflammatory macrophages into adipose tissue leading to inflammasome activation and pyroptotic secretion of interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18. Targeting fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) uncouples obesity from inflammation, attenuates characteristics of type 2 diabetes and is mechanistically linked to the cellular accumulation of monounsaturated fatty acids in macrophages. Herein we show that pharmacologic inhibition or genetic deletion of FABP4 activates silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1 (SIRT1) and deacetylates its downstream targets p53 and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). Pharmacologic inhibition of fatty acid synthase or stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase inhibits, whereas exogenous addition of C16:1 or C18:1 but not their saturated acyl chain counterparts, activates SIRT1 and p53/STAT3 signaling and IL-1β/IL-18 release. Expression of the p53 target gene ASC [apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a C-terminal caspase recruitment domain (CARD)] required for assembly of the NLR family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome is downregulated in FABP4 null mice and macrophage cell lines leading to loss of procaspase 1 activation and pyroptosis. Concomitant with loss of ASC expression in FABP4-/- macrophages, inflammasome activation, gasdermin D processing, and functional activation of pyroptosis are all diminished in FABP4 null macrophages but can be rescued by silencing SIRT1 or exogenous expression of ASC. Taken together, these results reveal a novel lipid-regulated pathway linking to SIRT1-p53-ASC signaling and activation of inflammasome action and pyroptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberbqac014
JournalEndocrinology (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Endocrine Society. All rights reserved.


  • ASC
  • SIRT1
  • fatty acid binding protein 4
  • inflammasome
  • p53
  • pyroptosis

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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