The IL-1 family cytokines are regulated on transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. Pattern recognition and cytokine receptors control pro-IL-1beta transcription whereas inflammasomes regulate the proteolytic processing of pro-IL-1beta. The NLRP3 inflammasome, however, assembles in response to extracellular ATP, pore-forming toxins, or crystals only in the presence of proinflammatory stimuli. How the activation of gene transcription by signaling receptors enables NLRP3 activation remains elusive and controversial. In this study, we show that cell priming through multiple signaling receptors induces NLRP3 expression, which we identified to be a critical checkpoint for NLRP3 activation. Signals provided by NF-kappaB activators are necessary but not sufficient for NLRP3 activation, and a second stimulus such as ATP or crystal-induced damage is required for NLRP3 activation.