Cells respond to inflammatory disease states by releasing exosomes containing highly specific protein and RNA cargos, but how inflammation alters cargo specificity and secretion of exosomes is unknown. We show that increases in exosome secretion induced by either viral infection or LPS/ATP exposure result from inflammasome activation and subsequent caspase-1–dependent cleavage of the trafficking adaptor protein RILP. This cleaved form of RILP promotes the movement of multivesicular bodies toward the cell periphery and induces selective exosomal miRNA cargo loading. We have identified a common short sequence motif present in miRNAs that are selectively loaded into exosomes after RILP cleavage. This motif binds the RNA binding protein FMR1 and directs miRNA loading into exosomes via interaction with components of the ESCRT (endosomal sorting complex required for transport) pathway. These results indicate that inflammasome-mediated RILP cleavage, and sequence-specific interactions between miRNAs and FMR1, play a significant role in exosome cargo loading and enhanced secretion during cellular inflammatory responses.

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