Caspase-4 activation by a bacterial surface protein is mediated by cathepsin G in human gingival fibroblasts
Caspase-4 is an inflammatory caspase; however, its mechanism of activation is poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrate that Td92, a surface protein of the periodontal pathogen Treponema denticola and a homolog of the Treponema pallidum surface protein Tp92, activates caspase-4 and induces pyroptosis in primary cultured human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs) via cathepsin G activation. Cathepsin G inhibition or siRNA knockdown of cathepsin G inhibited Td92-induced caspase-4 activation and cell death. Td92-induced cell death was significantly inhibited by siRNA knockdown of gasdermin D. Td92 treatment resulted in the binding of cathepsin G to caspase-4 and the coaggregation of these two molecules. In addition, Td92 induced IL-1α expression and secretion, and this was inhibited by caspase-4 knockdown. Cytochalasin D did not block Td92-induced caspase-4 activation, suggesting that Td92 internalization is not required for caspase-4 activation. Our results demonstrate that cathepsin G is directly engaged in caspase-4 activation by a bacterial ligand, which is responsible for cell death and IL-1α secretion in HGFs.
Publisher URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/cdd2017167
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