Innate immune response orchestrates phosphoribosyl pyrophosphate synthetases to support DNA repair

Cell Metab. 2021 Oct 5;33(10):2076-2089.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2021.07.009. Epub 2021 Aug 2.


Ionizing radiation-induced DNA damages cause genome instability and are highly cytotoxic. Deoxyribonucleotide metabolism provides building blocks for DNA repair. Nevertheless, how deoxyribonucleotide metabolism is timely regulated to coordinate with DNA repair remains elusive. Here, we show that ionizing radiation results in TBK1-mediated phosphorylation of phosphoribosyl pyrophosphate synthetase (PRPS)1/2 at T228, thereby enhancing PRPS1/2 catalytic activity and promoting deoxyribonucleotide synthesis. DNA damage-elicited activation of cGAS/STING axis and ATM-mediated PRPS1/2 S16 phosphorylation are required for PRPS1/2 T228 phosphorylation under ionizing radiation. Furthermore, T228 phosphorylation overrides allosteric regulator-mediated effects and preserves PRPS1/2 with high activity. The expression of non-phosphorylatable PRPS1/2 mutants or inhibition of cGAS/STING axis counteracts ionizing radiation-induced PRPS1/2 activation, deoxyribonucleotide synthesis, and DNA repair, and further impairs cell viability. This study highlights a novel and important mechanism underlying an innate immune response-guided deoxyribonucleotide metabolism, which supports DNA repair.

Keywords: ATM; DNA repair; STING; TBK1; cGAS; innate immune; ionizing radiation; nucleotide metabolism; phosphoribosyl pyrophosphate synthetase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA Repair
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Ligases / metabolism
  • Nucleotidyltransferases* / metabolism
  • Phosphoribosyl Pyrophosphate*
  • Phosphorylation


  • Phosphoribosyl Pyrophosphate
  • Nucleotidyltransferases
  • Ligases