Identification of the inflammasome Nlrp1b as the candidate gene conferring diabetes risk at the Idd4.1 locus in the nonobese diabetic mouse

Vinicius N. Motta, Janet G.M. Markle, Omid Gulban, Steven Mortin-Toth, Kuo Chien Liao, Jeremy Mogridge, Charles A. Steward, Jayne S. Danska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Type 1 diabetes in the NOD mouse model has been linked to >30 insulin-dependent diabetes (Idd) susceptibility loci. Idd4 on chromosome 11 consists of two subloci, Idd4.1 and Idd4.2. Using congenic analysis of alleles in NOD and NOD-resistant (NOR) mice, we previously defined Idd4.1 as an interval containing >50 genes that controlled expression of genes in the type 1 IFN pathway. In this study, we report refined mapping of Idd4.1 to a 1.1-Mb chromosomal region and provide genomic sequence analysis and mechanistic evidence supporting its role in innate immune regulation of islet-directed autoimmunity. Genetic variation at Idd4.1 was mediated by radiation-sensitive hematopoietic cells, and type 1 diabetes protection conferred by the NOR allele was abrogated in mice treated with exogenous type 1 IFN-β. Next generation sequence analysis of the full Idd4.1 genomic interval in NOD and NOR strains supported Nlrp1b as a strong candidate gene for Idd4.1. Nlrp1b belongs to the Nod-like receptor (NLR) gene family and contributes to inflammasome assembly, caspase-1 recruitment, and release of IL-1β. The Nlrp1b of NOR was expressed as an alternative spliced isoform that skips exon 9, resulting in a premature stop codon predicted to encode a truncated protein. Functional analysis of the truncated NOR Nlrp1b protein demonstrated that it was unable to recruit caspase-1 and process IL-1β. Our data suggest that Idd4.1-dependent protection from islet autoimmunity is mediated by differences in type 1 IFN- and IL-1β-dependent immune responses resulting from genetic variation in Nlrp1b.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5663-5673
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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