DOI: 10.1111/tra.12918 ISSN:

Interferon induction by STING requires its translocation to the late endosomes

Chenyao Wang, Nikhil Sharma, Patricia M. Kessler, Ganes C. Sen
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Structural Biology


To combat microbial infections, mammalian cells use a variety of innate immune response pathways to induce synthesis of anti‐microbial proteins. The cGAS/STING pathway recognizes cytoplasmic viral or cellular DNA to elicit signals that lead to type I interferon and other cytokine synthesis. cGAMP, synthesized by DNA‐activated cGAS, activates the ER‐associated protein, STING, which oligomerizes and translocates to other intracellular membrane compartments to trigger different branches of signaling. We have reported that, in the ER, EGFR‐mediated phosphorylation of Tyr245 of STING is required for its transit to the late endosomes, where it recruits and activates the transcription factor IRF3 required for IFN induction. In the current study, we inquired whether STING Tyr245 phosphorylation per se or STING's location in the late endosomes was critical for its ability to recruit IRF3 and induce IFN. Using pharmacological inhibitors or genetic ablation of proteins that are essential for specific steps of STING trafficking, we demonstrated that the presence of STING in the late endosomal membranes, even without Tyr245 phosphorylation, was sufficient for IRF3‐mediated IFN induction.

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