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Crystal structure of NLR family CARD domain containing 4 (NLRC4)

The crystal structure of NLRC4 could help guide the rational design of compounds against the target. NLRC4 is a component of the inflammasome, which helps to activate inflammatory cytokines. A crystal structure of NLRC4 lacking its caspase recruitment domain (CARD) identified a region critical for maintaining the inactive, autoinhibited form of the protein and also suggested a potential ligand-induced activation mechanism. Mutagenesis studies identified specific amino acid residues that contribute to autoinhibition. Next steps include collaborating with another lab to perform a virtual screen for candidate NLRC4 inhibitors.

SciBX 6(27); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.704
Published online July 18, 2013

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Hu, Z. et al. Science; published online June 13, 2013;
Contact: Jijie Chai, Tsinghua University and the Tsinghua University-Peking University Center for Life Sciences, Beijing, China