Intracellular Sensing of DNA in Autoinflammation and Autoimmunity

Arthritis Rheumatol. 2022 Oct;74(10):1615-1624. doi: 10.1002/art.42256. Epub 2022 Sep 6.

Abstract

Evidence has shown that DNA is a pathogen-associated molecular pattern, posing a unique challenge in the discrimination between endogenous and foreign DNA. This challenge is highlighted by certain autoinflammatory diseases that arise from monogenic mutations and result in periodic flares of inflammation, typically in the absence of autoantibodies or antigen-specific T lymphocytes. Several autoinflammatory diseases arise due to mutations in genes that normally prevent the accrual of endogenous DNA or are due to mutations that cause activation of intracellular DNA-sensing pathway components. Evidence from genetically modified murine models further support an ability of endogenous DNA and DNA sensing to drive disease pathogenesis, prompting the question of whether endogenous DNA can also induce inflammation in human autoimmune diseases. In this review, we discuss the current understanding of intracellular DNA sensing and downstream signaling pathways as they pertain to autoinflammatory disease, including the development of monogenic disorders such as Stimulator of interferon genes-associated vasculopathy with onset in infancy and Aicardi-Goutières syndrome. In addition, we discuss systemic rheumatic diseases, including certain forms of systemic lupus erythematosus, familial chilblain lupus, and other diseases with established links to intracellular DNA-sensing pathways, and highlight the lessons learned from these examples as they apply to the development of therapies targeting these pathways.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoimmune Diseases* / genetics
  • Autoimmunity
  • DNA
  • Hereditary Autoinflammatory Diseases*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Interferons
  • Mice
  • Pathogen-Associated Molecular Pattern Molecules

Substances

  • Autoantibodies
  • Pathogen-Associated Molecular Pattern Molecules
  • DNA
  • Interferons