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Cancer Res. 2016 Apr 15;76(8):2137-52. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-15-1885. Epub 2016 Mar 7.

Agonist-Mediated Activation of STING Induces Apoptosis in Malignant B Cells.

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The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Department of Chemistry, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.
The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress responses through the IRE-1/XBP-1 pathway are required for the function of STING (TMEM173), an ER-resident transmembrane protein critical for cytoplasmic DNA sensing, IFN production, and cancer control. Here we show that the IRE-1/XBP-1 pathway functions downstream of STING and that STING agonists selectively trigger mitochondria-mediated apoptosis in normal and malignant B cells. Upon stimulation, STING was degraded less efficiently in B cells, implying that prolonged activation of STING can lead to apoptosis. Transient activation of the IRE-1/XBP-1 pathway partially protected agonist-stimulated malignant B cells from undergoing apoptosis. In Eμ-TCL1 mice with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, injection of the STING agonist 3'3'-cGAMP induced apoptosis and tumor regression. Similarly efficacious effects were elicited by 3'3'-cGAMP injection in syngeneic or immunodeficient mice grafted with multiple myeloma. Thus, in addition to their established ability to boost antitumoral immune responses, STING agonists can also directly eradicate malignant B cells. Cancer Res; 76(8); 2137-52.

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