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Gasdermin D (GSDMD) is a pore-forming protein that promotes pyroptosis and release of proinflammatory cytokines. Recent studies revealed that apoptotic caspase-8 directly cleaves GSDMD to trigger pyroptosis. However, the molecular requirements for caspase-8–dependent GSDMD cleavage and the physiological impact of this signaling axis are unresolved. Here, we report that caspase-8–dependent GSDMD cleavage confers susceptibility to tumor necrosis factor (TNF)–induced lethality independently of caspase-1 and that GSDMD activation provides host defense against Yersinia infection. We further demonstrate that GSDMD inactivation by apoptotic caspases at aspartate 88 (D88) suppresses TNF-induced lethality but promotes anti-Yersinia defense. Last, we show that caspase-8 dimerization and autoprocessing are required for GSDMD cleavage, and provide evidence that the caspase-8 autoprocessing and activity on various complexes correlate with its ability to directly cleave GSDMD. These findings reveal GSDMD as a potential therapeutic target to reduce inflammation associated with mutations in the death receptor signaling machinery.

Original publication




Journal article


Science advances


American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Publication Date





eabc3465 - eabc3465