Negative regulation of immune pathways is essential to achieve resolution of immune responses and to avoid excess inflammation. DNA stimulates type I IFN expression through the DNA sensor cGAS, the second messenger cGAMP, and the adaptor molecule STING Here, we report that STING degradation following activation of the pathway occurs through autophagy and is mediated by p62/SQSTM1, which is phosphorylated by TBK1 to direct ubiquitinated STING to autophagosomes. Degradation of STING was impaired in p62-deficient cells, which responded with elevated IFN production to foreign DNA and DNA pathogens. In the absence of p62, STING failed to traffic to autophagy-associated vesicles. Thus, DNA sensing induces the cGAS-STING pathway to activate TBK1, which phosphorylates IRF3 to induce IFN expression, but also phosphorylates p62 to stimulate STING degradation and attenuation of the response.
Keywords: STING; DNA sensing; autophagy; innate immunity; p62/SQSTM1.
© 2018 The Authors.