STING (stimulator of interferon genes) is known to control the induction of innate immune genes in response to the recognition of cytosolic DNA species, including the genomes of viruses such as herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). However, while STING is essential for protection of the host against numerous DNA pathogens, sustained STING activity can lead to lethal inflammatory disease. It is known that STING utilizes interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) and nuclear factor kB (NF-kB) pathways to exert its effects, although the signal transduction mechanisms remain to be clarified fully. Here we demonstrate that in addition to the activation of these pathways, potent induction of the Jun N-terminal protein kinase/stress-activated protein kinase (JNK/SAPK) pathway was similarly observed in response to STING activation by double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). Furthermore, TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) associated with STING was found to facilitate dsDNA-mediated canonical activation of NF-kB as well as IRF3 to promote proinflammatory gene transcription. The triggering of NF-kB function was noted to require TRAF6 activation. Our findings detail a novel dsDNA-mediated NF-kB activation pathway facilitated through a STING-TRAF6-TBK1 axis and suggest a target for therapeutic intervention to plausibly stimulate antiviral activity or, alternatively, avert dsDNA-mediated inflammatory disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science