, Volume 68, Issue 7, pp 1157-1165,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 15 Dec 2010

The STING pathway and regulation of innate immune signaling in response to DNA pathogens


The innate immune system has evolved a variety of sensing mechanisms to detect and counter microbial invasion. These include the Toll-like receptor (TLR), cytoplasmic, nucleotide binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptor and RIG-I-like helicase (RLH) pathways. However, how the cell detects pathogen-associated DNA to trigger host defense, including the production of interferon, remains to be fully clarified. Understanding these processes could have profound implications into how we understand and treat a variety of microbial-related disease, including viral-associated cancers, as well as autoimmune disorders. Recently, an endoplasmic reticulum-associated molecule referred to as STING (for stimulator of interferon genes) was isolated and shown to be critical for regulating the production of IFN in response to cytoplasmic DNA. Here, we review recent discoveries relating to the detection of foreign DNA, including the importance of the STING and inflammasome pathways and the triggering of innate signaling processes.