STING Recognition of Cytoplasmic DNA Instigates Cellular Defense

Takayuki Abe, Ai Harashima, Tianli Xia, Hiroyasu Konno, Keiko Konno, Alejo Morales, Jeonghyun Ahn, Delia Gutman, Glen N Barber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

136 Scopus citations


How the cell recognizes cytosolic DNA including DNA-based microbes to trigger host-defense-related gene activation remains to be fully resolved. Here, we demonstrate that STING (stimulator of interferon genes), an endoplasmic reticulum translocon-associated transmembrane protein, acts to detect cytoplasmic DNA species. STING homodimers were able to complex with self- (apoptotic, necrotic) or pathogen-related ssDNA and dsDNA and were indispensible for HSV-1-mediated transcriptional activation of a wide array of innate immune and proinflammatory genes in addition to type I IFN. Our data indicate that STING instigates cytoplasmic DNA-mediated cellular defense gene transcription and facilitates adoptive responses that are required for protection of the host. In contrast, chronic STING activation may manifest inflammatory responses and possibly autoimmune disease triggered by self-DNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-15
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 11 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Abe, T., Harashima, A., Xia, T., Konno, H., Konno, K., Morales, A., Ahn, J., Gutman, D., & Barber, G. N. (2013). STING Recognition of Cytoplasmic DNA Instigates Cellular Defense. Molecular Cell, 50(1), 5-15.