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Supplementary Material for: Hydrogen Peroxide Is Crucial for NLRP3 Inflammasome-Mediated IL-1β Production and Cell Death in Pneumococcal Infections of Bronchial Epithelial Cells

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posted on 06.08.2021, 06:45 by Surabhi S., Jachmann L.H., Shumba P., Burchhardt G., Hammerschmidt S., Siemens N.
Epithelial cells play a crucial role in detection of the pathogens as well as in initiation of the host immune response. Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is a typical colonizer of the human nasopharynx, which can disseminate to the lower respiratory tract and subsequently cause severe invasive diseases such as pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is produced by pneumococci as a product of the pyruvate oxidase SpxB. However, its role as a virulence determinant in pneumococcal infections of the lower respiratory tract is not well understood. In this study, we investigated the role of pneumococcal-derived H2O2 in initiating epithelial cell death by analyzing the interplay between 2 key cell death pathways, namely, apoptosis and pyroptosis. We demonstrate that H2O2 primes as well as activates the NLRP3 inflammasome and thereby mediates IL-1β production and release. Furthermore, we show that pneumococcal H2O2 causes cell death via the activation of both apoptotic as well as pyroptotic pathways which are mediated by the activation of caspase-3/7 and caspase-1, respectively. However, H2O2-mediated IL-1β release itself occurs mainly via apoptosis.