Phagocytosis is a fundamental cellular process that is pivotal for immunity as it coordinates microbial killing, innate immune activation and antigen presentation. An essential step in this process is phagosome acidification, which regulates many functions of these organelles that allow phagosomes to participate in processes that are essential to both innate and adaptive immunity. Here we report that acidification of phagosomes containing Gram-positive bacteria is regulated by the NLRP3 inflammasome and caspase-1. Active caspase-1 accumulates on phagosomes and acts locally to control the pH by modulating buffering by the NADPH oxidase NOX2. These data provide insight into a mechanism by which innate immune signals can modify cellular defenses and establish a new function for the NLRP3 inflammasome and caspase-1 in host defense.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy