Gasdermin D (GSDMD) induces pyroptosis via the pore-forming activity of its N-terminal domain, cleaved by activated caspases associated with the release of IL-1β. Here, we report a nonpyroptotic role of full-length GSDMD in guiding the release of IL-1β–containing small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) from intestinal epithelial cells (IECs). In response to caspase-8 inflammasome activation, GSDMD, chaperoned by Cdc37/Hsp90, recruits the E3 ligase, NEDD4, to catalyze polyubiquitination of pro–IL-1β, serving as a signal for cargo loading into secretory vesicles. GSDMD and IL-1β colocalize with the exosome markers CD63 and ALIX intracellularly, and GSDMD and NEDD4 are required for release of CD63+ sEVs containing IL-1β, GSDMD, NEDD4, and caspase-8. Importantly, increased expression of epithelial-derived GSDMD is observed both in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and those with experimental colitis. While GSDMD-dependent release of IL-1β–containing sEVs is detected in cultured colonic explants from colitic mice, GSDMD deficiency substantially attenuates disease severity, implicating GSDMD-mediated release of IL-1β sEVs in the pathogenesis of intestinal inflammation, such as that observed in IBD.


Katarzyna Bulek, Junjie Zhao, Yun Liao, Nitish Rana, Daniele Corridoni, Agne Antanaviciute, Xing Chen, Han Wang, Wen Qian, William A. Miller-Little, Shadi Swaidani, Fangqiang Tang, Belinda B. Willard, Keith McCrae, Zizhen Kang, George R. Dubyak, Fabio Cominelli, Alison Simmons, Theresa T. Pizarro, Xiaoxia Li


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