To die or not to die: Gasdermins in intestinal health and disease

Zhaoyu Lin, Qianyue Chen, Hai Bin Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Intestinal homeostasis is achieved by the balance among intestinal epithelium, immune cells, and gut microbiota. Gasdermins (GSDMs), a family of membrane pore forming proteins, can trigger rapid inflammatory cell death in the gut, mainly pyroptosis and NETosis. Importantly, there is increasing literature on the non-cell lytic roles of GSDMs in intestinal homeostasis and disease. While GSDMA is low and PJVK is not expressed in the gut, high GSDMB and GSDMC expression is found almost restrictively in intestinal epithelial cells. Conversely, GSDMD and GSDME show more ubiquitous expression among various cell types in the gut. The N-terminal region of GSDMs can be liberated for pore formation by an array of proteases in response to pathogen- and danger-associated signals, but it is not fully understood what cell type-specific mechanisms activate intestinal GSDMs. The host relies on GSDMs for pathogen defense, tissue tolerance, and cancerous cell death; however, pro-inflammatory milieu caused by pyroptosis and excessive cytokine release may favor the development and progression of inflammatory bowel disease and cancer. Therefore, a thorough understanding of spatiotemporal mechanisms that control gasdermin expression, activation, and function is essential for the development of future therapeutics for intestinal disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101865
JournalSeminars in Immunology
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd


  • GSDM
  • Immune cells
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intestinal epithelial cells
  • Pyroptosis

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


Dive into the research topics of 'To die or not to die: Gasdermins in intestinal health and disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this