Detection of evolutionarily conserved molecules on microbial pathogens by host immune sensors represents the initial trigger of the immune response against infection. Cytosolic receptors sense viral and intracellular bacterial genomes, as well as nucleic acids produced during replication. Once activated, these sensors trigger multiple signaling cascades, converging on the production of type I interferons and proinflammatory cytokines. Although distinct classes of receptors are responsible for the RNA and DNA sensing, the downstream signaling components are physically and functionally interconnected. This review highlights the importance of the crosstalk between retinoic acid inducible gene-I (RIG-I)-mitochondrial antiviral-signaling protein (MAVS) RNA sensing and the cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS)- stimulator of interferon genes (STING) DNA sensing pathways in potentiating efficient antiviral responses. The potential of cGAS-STING manipulation as a component of cancer immunotherapy is also reviewed.
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