Post-phagocytosis activation of NLRP3 inflammasome by two novel T6SS effectors

Hadar Cohen, Noam Baram, Chaya Mushka Fridman, Liat Edry-Botzer, Dor Salomon, Motti Gerlic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The type VI secretion system (T6SS) is used by bacteria to deliver toxic effectors directly into target cells. Most T6SSs mediate antibacterial activities, whereas the potential anti-eukaryotic role of T6SS remains understudied. Here, we found a Vibrio T6SS that delivers two novel effectors into mammalian host immune cells. We showed that these effectors induce a pyroptotic cell death in a phagocytosis-dependent manner; we identified the NLRP3 inflammasome as being the underlying mechanism leading to the T6SS-induced pyroptosis. Moreover, we identified a compensatory T6SS-induced pathway that is activated upon inhibition of the canonical pyroptosis pathway. Genetic analyses revealed possible horizontal spread of this T6SS and its anti-eukaryotic effectors into emerging pathogens in the marine environment. Our findings reveal novel T6SS effectors that activate the host inflammasome and possibly contribute to virulence and to the emergence of bacterial pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere82766
StatePublished - Sep 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience


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