Bacterial Outer Membrane Vesicle-Mediated Cytosolic Delivery of Flagellin Triggers Host NLRC4 Canonical Inflammasome Signaling

Jungmin Yang, Inhwa Hwang, Eunju Lee, Sung Jae Shin, Eun Jin Lee, Joon Haeng Rhee, Je Wook Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Bacteria-released components can modulate host innate immune response in the absence of direct host cell–bacteria interaction. In particular, bacteria-derived outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) were recently shown to activate host caspase-11-mediated non-canonical inflammasome pathway via deliverance of OMV-bound lipopolysaccharide. However, further precise understanding of innate immune-modulation by bacterial OMVs remains elusive. Here, we present evidence that flagellated bacteria-released OMVs can trigger NLRC4 canonical inflammasome activation via flagellin delivery to the cytoplasm of host cells. Salmonella typhimurium-derived OMVs caused a robust NLRC4-mediated caspase-1 activation and interleukin-1β secretion in macrophages in an endocytosis-dependent, but guanylate-binding protein-independent manner. Notably, OMV-associated flagellin is crucial for Salmonella OMV-induced inflammasome response. Flagellated Pseudomonas aeruginosa-released OMVs consistently promoted robust NLRC4 inflammasome activation, while non-flagellated Escherichia coli-released OMVs induced NLRC4-independent non-canonical inflammasome activation leading to NLRP3-mediated interleukin-1β secretion. Flagellin-deficient Salmonella OMVs caused a weak interleukin-1β production in a NLRP3-dependent manner. These findings indicate that Salmonella OMV triggers NLRC4 inflammasome activation via OMV-associated flagellin in addition to a mild induction of non-canonical inflammasome signaling via OMV-bound lipopolysaccharide. Intriguingly, flagellated Salmonella-derived OMVs induced more rapid inflammasome response than flagellin-deficient Salmonella OMV and non-flagellated Escherichia coli-derived OMVs. Supporting these in vitro results, Nlrc4-deficient mice showed significantly reduced interleukin-1β production after intraperitoneal challenge with Salmonella-released OMVs. Taken together, our results here propose that NLRC4 inflammasome machinery is a rapid sensor of bacterial OMV-bound flagellin as a host defense mechanism against bacterial pathogen infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number581165
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 18

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2020 Yang, Hwang, Lee, Shin, Lee, Rhee and Yu.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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