Post-translational modification control of viral DNA sensors and innate immune signaling

Bokai Song, Dawei Liu, Todd M. Greco, Ileana M. Cristea

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Scopus citations


The vertebrate innate immune system confers host cells with mechanisms to protect against both evolutionarily ancient pathogens and newly emerging pathogenic strains. Innate immunity relies on the host cell's ability to distinguish between self and pathogen-derived molecules. To achieve this, the innate immune system uses germline encoded receptors called pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), which recognize various molecular signatures, including nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, glycans and glycolipids. Among these molecules, the recognition of pathogenic, mislocalized, or damaged DNA by cellular protein receptors, commonly called DNA sensors, represents a major surveillance pathway for initiating immune signaling. The ability of cells to temporally regulate DNA sensor activation and subsequent signal termination is critical for effective immune signaling. These same mechanisms are also co-opted by pathogens to promote their replication. Therefore, there is significant interest in understanding DNA sensor regulatory networks during microbial infections and autoimmune disease. One emerging aspect of DNA sensor regulation is through post-translational modifications (PTMs), including phosphorylation, acetylation, ubiquitination, ADP-ribosylation, SUMOylation, methylation, deamidation, glutamylation. In this chapter, we discuss how PTMs have been shown to positively or negatively impact DNA sensor functions via diverse mechanisms, including direct regulation of enzymatic activity, protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions, protein translocations and protein turnover. In addition, we highlight the ability of virus-induced PTMs to promote immune evasion. We also discuss the recent evidence linking PTMs on DNA sensors with human diseases and more broadly, highlight promising directions for future research on PTM-mediated regulation of DNA sensor-dependent immune signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProteomics Approaches to Unravel Virus - Vertebrate Host Interactions
EditorsGisa Gerold, Gisa Gerold, Gisa Gerold, Gisa Gerold
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages37
ISBN (Print)9780128230428
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Publication series

NameAdvances in Virus Research
ISSN (Print)0065-3527
ISSN (Electronic)1557-8399

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


  • DNA sensing
  • IFI16
  • Immunoaffinity purification
  • Innate immunity
  • Mass spectrometry
  • PTM
  • Post-translational modification
  • Proteomics
  • Targeted mass spectrometry
  • Virus
  • cGAS


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