Lipid Peroxidation Drives Gasdermin D-Mediated Pyroptosis in Lethal Polymicrobial Sepsis

Rui Kang, Ling Zeng, Shan Zhu, Yangchun Xie, Jiao Liu, Qirong Wen, Lizhi Cao, Min Xie, Qitao Ran, Guido Kroemer, Haichao Wang, Timothy R. Billiar, Jianxin Jiang, Daolin Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

386 Scopus citations


Sepsis is a life-threatening condition caused by pathogen infection and associated with pyroptosis. Pyroptosis occurs upon activation of proinflammatory caspases and their subsequent cleavage of gasdermin D (GSDMD), resulting in GSDMD N-terminal fragments that form membrane pores to induce cell lysis. Here, we show that antioxidant defense enzyme glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) and its ability to decrease lipid peroxidation, negatively regulate macrophage pyroptosis, and septic lethality in mice. Conditional Gpx4 knockout in myeloid lineage cells increases lipid peroxidation-dependent caspase-11 activation and GSDMD cleavage. The resultant N-terminal GSDMD fragments then trigger macrophage pyroptotic cell death in a phospholipase C gamma 1 (PLCG1)-dependent fashion. Administration of the antioxidant vitamin E that reduces lipid peroxidation, chemical inhibition of PLCG1, or genetic Caspase-11 deletion or Gsdmd inactivation prevents polymicrobial sepsis in Gpx4−/− mice. Collectively, this study suggests that lipid peroxidation drives GSDMD-mediated pyroptosis and hence constitutes a potential therapeutic target for lethal infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-108.e4
JournalCell Host and Microbe
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 11 2018


  • GPX4
  • caspase-11
  • ferroptosis
  • immunometabolism
  • inflammasome
  • lipid peroxidation
  • pyroptosis
  • sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Lipid Peroxidation Drives Gasdermin D-Mediated Pyroptosis in Lethal Polymicrobial Sepsis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this