Diverse roles of STING-dependent signaling on the development of cancer

Oncogene. 2015 Oct 8;34(41):5302-8. doi: 10.1038/onc.2014.457. Epub 2015 Feb 2.


Stimulator of interferon genes (STING) is a cellular sensor that controls cytosolic DNA-activated innate immune signaling. We have previously demonstrated that STING-deficient mice are resistant to carcinogen-induced skin cancer, similar to myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88) deficient mice, since the production of STING-dependent DNA-damage-induced proinflammatory cytokines, that likely require MyD88 signaling to exert their growth-promoting activity, are prevented. In contrast, MyD88-deficient mice are sensitive to colitis-associated cancer (CAC), since selected cytokines generated following DNA-damage also activate repair pathways, which can help prevent tumor development. Here, we demonstrate that STING signaling facilitates wound repair processes and that analogous to MyD88-deficient mice, STING-deficient mice (SKO) are prone to CAC induced by DNA-damaging agents. SKO mice harboring tumors exhibited low levels of tumor-suppressive interleukin-22 binding protein (IL-22BP) compared to normal mice, a cytokine considered critical for preventing colon-related cancer. Our data indicate that STING constitutes a critical component of the host early response to intestinal damage and is essential for invigorating tissue repair pathways that may help prevent tumorigenesis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Azoxymethane / pharmacology
  • Carcinogenesis / metabolism*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcriptional Activation / drug effects


  • Membrane Proteins
  • STING protein, human
  • Azoxymethane