Revealing the Salmo salar NLRP3 Inflammasome: Insights from Structural Modeling and Transcriptome Analysis

Waldo Acevedo, Rodrigo Morán-Figueroa, Luis Vargas-Chacoff, Francisco J. Morera, Juan Pablo Pontigo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The NLRP3, one of the most heavily studied inflammasome-related proteins in mammals, remains inadequately characterized in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), despite the significant commercial importance of this salmonid. The NLRP3 inflammasome is composed of the NLRP3 protein, which is associated with procaspase-1 via an adapter molecule known as ASC. This work aims to characterize the Salmo salar NLRP3 inflammasome through in silico structural modeling, functional transcript expression determination in the SHK-1 cell line in vitro, and a transcriptome analysis on Atlantic salmon. The molecular docking results suggested a similar arrangement of the ternary complex between NLRP3, ASC, and caspase-1 in both the Atlantic salmon and the mammalian NLRP3 inflammasomes. Moreover, the expression results confirmed the functionality of the SsNLRP3 inflammasome in the SHK-1 cells, as evidenced by the lipopolysaccharide-induced increase in the transcription of genes involved in inflammasome activation, including ASC and NLRP3. Additionally, the transcriptome results revealed that most of the inflammasome-related genes, including ASC, NLRP3, and caspase-1, were down-regulated in the Atlantic salmon following its adaptation to seawater (also known as parr–smolt transformation). This is correlated with a temporary detrimental effected on the immune system. Collectively, these findings offer novel insights into the evolutionarily conserved role of NLRP3.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14556
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • Atlantic salmon
  • NLRP3
  • inflammasome
  • innate immune response
  • molecular docking
  • transcriptomics


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