Published on Sat Aug 28 2021

Nuclear soluble cGAS senses DNA virus infection

Wu, Y., Song, K., Hao, W., Wang, L., Li, S.

The cytosolic DNA sensor cGAS detects foreign DNA from pathogens or self-DNA from cellular damage and instigates type I interferon (IFN) expression. Recent studies find that cGas also localizes in the nucleus and binds the chromatin.

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Abstract

The cytosolic DNA sensor cGAS detects foreign DNA from pathogens or self-DNA from cellular damage and instigates type I interferon (IFN) expression. Recent studies find that cGAS also localizes in the nucleus and binds the chromatin. Despite how cGAS is inhibited in the nucleus is well elucidated, whether nuclear cGAS participates in DNA sensing is not clear. Here, we report that herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) infection caused the release of cGAS from the chromatin into the nuclear soluble fraction. Like its cytosolic counterpart, the leaked nuclear soluble cGAS could sense viral DNA, produce cGAMP, and induce mRNA expression of type I IFN and interferon-stimulated genes. Furthermore, the nuclear cGAS limited HSV-1 infection. Taken together, our study demonstrates that HSV-1 infection releases cGAS from the chromatin tethering and, in turn, the nuclear soluble cGAS activates type I IFN production.