The Opto-inflammasome in zebrafish as a tool to study cell and tissue responses to speck formation and cell death

Eva Hasel de Carvalho, Shivani S. Dharmadhikari, Kateryna Shkarina, Jingwei Rachel Xiong, Bruno Reversade, Petr Broz, Maria Leptin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The inflammasome is a conserved structure for the intracellular detection of danger or pathogen signals. As a large intracellular multiprotein signaling platform, it activates downstream effectors that initiate a rapid necrotic programmed cell death (PCD) termed pyroptosis and activation and secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines to warn and activate surrounding cells. However, inflammasome activation is difficult to control experimentally on a single-cell level using canonical triggers. We constructed Opto-ASC, a light-responsive form of the inflammasome adaptor protein ASC (Apoptosis-Associated Speck-Like Protein Containing a CARD) which allows tight control of inflammasome formation in vivo. We introduced a cassette of this construct under the control of a heat shock element into zebrafish in which we can now induce ASC inflammasome (speck) formatioin individual cells of the skin. We find that cell death resulting from ASC speck formation is morpho-logically distinct from apoptosis in periderm cells but not in basal cells. ASC-induced PCD can lead to apical or basal extrusion from the periderm. The apical extrusion in periderm cells depends on Caspb and triggers a strong Ca2+ signaling response in nearby cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere86373
StatePublished - 2023

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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