Faculty Advisor

Caitlin Karver


Inflammatory caspases-1, -4, and -5 play critical roles in mediating the innate immune response to pathogen- and damage-associated molecular patterns. Caspase-1 produces the cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β), while caspases-4 and -5 activate the NOD-like receptor protein 3 inflammasome via the non-canonical pathway. Overactivation of these enzymes is associated with an increased risk for inflammatory diseases such as lupus, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Small molecule inhibitors (SMIs) have been developed to attenuate the production of IL-1β, but unfavorable bioavailability and toxicity have provided an insurmountable barrier in clinical trials. This work is concerned with delivering an overview of current progress in the synthetic design of SMIs of the inflammatory caspases.