Nov 8, 2018

The innate immune DNA sensor cGAS is a negative regulator of DNA repair hence promotes genome instability and cell death

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Hui JiangNelson Ong'ondo Gekara


Stringent regulation of DNA repair is essential for organismal integrity, but the mechanisms are not fully understood. Cyclic cGMP-AMP synthase (cGAS), the DNA sensor that alerts the innate immune system to the presence of foreign or damaged self-DNA in the cytoplasm is critical for the outcome of infections, inflammatory diseases and cancer. Besides this cytoplasmic function as an innate immune sensor, whether cGAS fulfills other biological roles remains unknown. Here we report that cGAS has a distinct role in the nucleus: it inhibits homologous recombination DNA repair (HR) thereby promoting genome instability and associated micronuclear generation and mitotic death. We show that cGAS-mediated inhibition of HR requires its DNA binding and oligomerization but not its catalytic activity or the downstream innate immune signaling events. Mechanistically, we show that cGAS impede RAD51-mediated DNA strand invasion, a key step in HR. These results uncover a new function of cGAS relevant for understanding its involvement in genome instability- associated disorders.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Immune System
DNA Repair
Regulation of Biological Process
Cessation of Life
Chromogranin A
Inflammatory Disorder
Inhibition of HR
Cyclic AMP

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