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NLRP3: a sophisticated drug target

NLRP3 (NOD-like receptor pyrin domain-containing protein 3, cryopyrin or NALP3) is the best described inflammasome sensor and an attractive drug target. NLRP3 assembles into a multiprotein inflammasome complex to induce the secretion of IL-1β/IL-18 and pyroptosis in response to infections and cellular damage. However, NLRP3 inflammasome functions can also be detrimental to the host, as its abberant or chronic activation is linked with pathologies such as type-2 diabetes, gouty arthritis, cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s diseases, and rare genetic disorders such as CAPS (cryopyrin-associated-periodic-syndrome). Fast-paced research now aims at filling the gaps in the comprehension of NLRP3 inflammasome activation and regulation to develop novel therapeutics.

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