Specific IL-1 family cytokines are expressed by cells as cytosolic pro-forms that require cleavage for their activity and cellular release. IL-1β, IL-18, and IL-37 maturation and secretion is governed by inflammatory caspases within signaling platforms called inflammasomes. By inducing pyroptosis, inflammasomes can also drive the release of the alarmin IL-1α. Recent advances have transformed our mechanistic understanding of inflammasome signaling, cell death decisions, and cytokine activation and secretion. Here, we provide an updated view of inflammasome signaling; mechanisms underpinning IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-18, and IL-37 maturation and release; and the functions of these cytokines in protective and pathological inflammation.

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