Innate immune sensing of lysosomal dysfunction drives multiple lysosomal storage disorders

Nat Cell Biol. 2024 Feb;26(2):219-234. doi: 10.1038/s41556-023-01339-x. Epub 2024 Jan 22.


Lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs), which are characterized by genetic and metabolic lysosomal dysfunctions, constitute over 60 degenerative diseases with considerable health and economic burdens. However, the mechanisms driving the progressive death of functional cells due to lysosomal defects remain incompletely understood, and broad-spectrum therapeutics against LSDs are lacking. Here, we found that various gene abnormalities that cause LSDs, including Hexb, Gla, Npc1, Ctsd and Gba, all shared mutual properties to robustly autoactivate neuron-intrinsic cGAS-STING signalling, driving neuronal death and disease progression. This signalling was triggered by excessive cytoplasmic congregation of the dsDNA and DNA sensor cGAS in neurons. Genetic ablation of cGAS or STING, digestion of neuronal cytosolic dsDNA by DNase, and repair of neuronal lysosomal dysfunction alleviated symptoms of Sandhoff disease, Fabry disease and Niemann-Pick disease, with substantially reduced neuronal loss. We therefore identify a ubiquitous mechanism mediating the pathogenesis of a variety of LSDs, unveil an inherent connection between lysosomal defects and innate immunity, and suggest a uniform strategy for curing LSDs.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Lysosomal Storage Diseases* / genetics
  • Lysosomal Storage Diseases* / metabolism
  • Lysosomal Storage Diseases* / pathology
  • Lysosomes / metabolism
  • Niemann-Pick Disease, Type C* / genetics
  • Niemann-Pick Disease, Type C* / pathology
  • Nucleotidyltransferases / genetics
  • Nucleotidyltransferases / metabolism


  • Nucleotidyltransferases