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Nat Commun. 2014 Oct 10;5:5166. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6166.

Inflammation-driven carcinogenesis is mediated through STING.

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Department of Cell Biology and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33136, USA.
Department of Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33136, USA.


Chronic stimulation of innate immune pathways by microbial agents or damaged tissue is known to promote inflammation-driven tumorigenesis by mechanisms that are not well understood. Here we demonstrate that mutagenic 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA), cisplatin and etoposide induce nuclear DNA leakage into the cytosol that intrinsically activates stimulator of interferon genes (STING)-dependent cytokine production. Inflammatory cytokine levels are subsequently augmented in a STING-dependent extrinsic manner by infiltrating phagocytes purging dying cells. Consequently, STING(-/-) mice, or wild-type mice adoptively transferred with STING(-/-) bone marrow, are almost completely resistant to DMBA-induced skin carcinogenesis compared with their wild-type counterparts. Our data establish a role for STING in the control of cancer, shed significant insight into the causes of inflammation-driven carcinogenesis and may provide a basis for therapeutic strategies to help prevent malignant disease.

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