Nlrp9b inflammasome restricts rotavirus infection in intestinal epithelial cells

Shu Zhu, Siyuan Ding, Penghua Wang, Zheng Wei, Wen Pan, Noah W. Palm, Yi Yang, Hua Yu, Hua Bing Li, Geng Wang, Xuqiu Lei, Marcel R. De Zoete, Jun Zhao, Yunjiang Zheng, Haiwei Chen, Yujiao Zhao, Kellie A. Jurado, Ningguo Feng, Liang Shan, Yuval KlugerJun Lu, Clara Abraham, Erol Fikrig, Harry B. Greenberg, Richard A. Flavell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


Rotavirus, a leading cause of severe gastroenteritis and diarrhoea in young children, accounts for around 215,000 deaths annually worldwide. Rotavirus specifically infects the intestinal epithelial cells in the host small intestine and has evolved strategies to antagonize interferon and NF-KB signalling2-5, raising the question as to whether other host factors participate in antiviral responses in intestinal mucosa. The mechanism by which enteric viruses are sensed and restricted in vivo, especially by NOD-like receptor (NLR) inflammasomes, is largely unknown. Here we uncover and mechanistically characterize the NLR Nlrp9b that is specifically expressed in intestinal epithelial cells and restricts rotavirus infection. Our data show that, via RNA helicase Dhx9, Nlrp9b recognizes short double-stranded RNA stretches and forms inflammasome complexes with the adaptor proteins Asc and caspase-1 to promote the maturation of interleukin (Il)-18 and gasdermin D (Gsdmd)-induced pyroptosis. Conditional depletion of Nlrp9b or other inflammasome components in the intestine in vivo resulted in enhanced susceptibility of mice to rotavirus replication. Our study highlights an important innate immune signalling pathway that functions in intestinal epithelial cells and may present useful targets in the modulation of host defences against viral pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-670
Number of pages4
Issue number7660
StatePublished - Jun 29 2017


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