ASC is an adaptor protein which contains two protein-protein interaction domains; N-terminal – pyrin domain (PYC) and C-terminal – caspase recruitment domain (CARD).
ASC plays an important role in inflammation and apoptosis. It is a component of several inflammatory complexes, inflammasomes, which are important for caspase-1 activation, processing and secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-18). It promotes pyropoptosis in macrophages and induces caspase-mediated apoptosis (involving caspase-8 and caspase-9).
Additionally, ASC is involved in transcriptional control of cytokine and chemokine expression independent of the inflammasome.