Mitochondrial dysfunction promotes alternative gasdermin D-mediated inflammatory cell death and susceptibility to infection Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • SUMMARYHuman mutations in mitochondrial-associated genes are associated with inflammatory diseases and susceptibility to infection. However, their mechanistic contributions to immune outcomes remain ill-defined. We discovered that the disease-associated gain-of-function allele Lrrk2G2019S (leucine-rich repeat kinase 2) promotes mitochondrial hyper-fission, depolarization, and oxidative stress in macrophages. In the presence of Lrrk2G2019S-dependent mitochondrial perturbations, AIM2 inflammasome activation promotes more cell death but not more pyroptotic IL-1b release. Instead, inflammasome activation in Lrrk2G2019S macrophages triggers gasdermin D (GSDMD)-mediated mitochondrial pores, driving up ROS-mediated RIPK1/RIPK3/MLKL dependent necroptosis. Consequently, infection of Lrrk2G2019S mice with Mycobacterium tuberculosis elicits hyperinflammation and immunopathology via enhanced neutrophil infiltration. By uncovering that GSDMD promotes non-pyroptotic cell death in Lrrk2G2019S macrophages, our findings demonstrate that altered mitochondrial function can reprogram cell death modalities to elicit distinct immune outcomes. This provides mechanistic insights into why mutations in LRRK2 are associated with susceptibility to chronic inflammatory and infectious diseases.HIGHLIGHTSAltered mitochondrial homeostasis reprograms cell death modalitiesGSDMD associates with and depolarizes mitochondrial membranes following AIM2 activationGSDMD initiates a shift from pyroptotic to necroptotic cell death in Lrrk2G2019S macrophagesLrrk2G2019S elicits hyperinflammation and susceptibility to infection in flies and mice

altmetric score

  • 7.7

author list (cited authors)

  • Weindel, C. G., Zhao, X., Martinez, E., Bell, S. L., Vail, K. J., Coleman, A. K., ... Watson, R. O.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Weindel, Chi G||Zhao, Xiao||Martinez, Eduardo||Bell, Samantha L||Vail, Krystal J||Coleman, Aja K||VanPortfliet, Jordyn J||Zhao, Baoyu||Mabry, Cory J||Li, Pingwei||West, A Phillip||Karpac, Jason||Patrick, Kristin L||Watson, Robert O

Book Title

  • bioRxiv

publication date

  • November 2021