Research ArticleINNATE IMMUNITY

IL-1β is an innate immune sensor of microbial proteolysis

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Science Immunology  19 Aug 2016:
Vol. 1, Issue 2, pp. eaah3539
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aah3539

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A new trick for IL-1β

One strategy to tame the symptoms of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis is to block the pain-causing inflammation. For rheumatoid arthritis, one such therapy is the interleukin-1β (IL-1β) receptor antagonist anakinra; LaRock et al. have documented that patients who receive anakinra have an increased susceptibility to group A Streptococcus (GAS) infections. They found that GAS protease SpeB directly activates IL-1β independent of host inflammasome proteins and propose a new role for IL-1β as a sensor of GAS infection. This may account for more frequent GAS infections in rheumatoid arthritis patients receiving anakinra.