Select Inflammasome Assembly

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Science  27 Apr 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6080, pp. 420-421
DOI: 10.1126/science.1222362

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Some pairs of interacting proteins have homologous domains in other species that are fused together to form a single multidomain protein. This observation has been successfully exploited by various computational methods that predict inter actions between different protein domains (1, 2). On page 481 in this issue, Shenoy et al. (3) use a similar approach to identify a protein in macrophages that selectively induces the assembly of a large multiprotein complex called the inflammasome. There are distinct types of inflammasomes, differentiated by their protein constituents, activators, and effectors. What has not been clear is how the assembly of these large multiprotein structures is controlled.