STING signaling and host defense against microbial infection

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47 Scopus citations


The first line of host defense against infectious agents involves activation of innate immune signaling pathways that recognize specific pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Key triggers of innate immune signaling are now known to include microbial-specific nucleic acid, which is rapidly detected in the cytosol of the cell. For example, RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) have evolved to detect viral RNA species and to activate the production of host defense molecules and cytokines that stimulate adaptive immune responses. In addition, host defense countermeasures, including the production of type I interferons (IFNs), can also be triggered by microbial DNA from bacteria, viruses and perhaps parasites and are regulated by the cytosolic sensor, stimulator of interferon genes (STING). STING-dependent signaling is initiated by cyclic dinucleotides (CDNs) generated by intracellular bacteria following infection. CDNs can also be synthesized by a cellular synthase, cGAS, following interaction with invasive cytosolic self-DNA or microbial DNA species. The importance of STING signaling in host defense is evident since numerous pathogens have developed strategies to prevent STING function. Here, we review the relevance of STING-controlled innate immune signaling in host defense against pathogen invasion, including microbial endeavors to subvert this critical process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number155
JournalExperimental and Molecular Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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