Activation of cGAS-STING by Lethal Malaria N67C Dictates Immunity and Mortality through Induction of CD11b+Ly6Chi Proinflammatory Monocytes

Yang Du, Yien Luo, Zhiqiang Hu, Jiansen Lu, Xin Liu, Changsheng Xing, Jian Wu, Tianhao Duan, Junjun Chu, Helen Y. Wang, Xin zhuan Su, Xiao Yu, Rong Fu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) and stimulator of interferon genes (STING) play critical roles in the innate immunity against infectious diseases and are required to link pathogen DNA sensing to immune responses. However, the mechanisms by which cGAS-STING-induced cytokines suppress the adaptive immune response against malaria infections remain poorly understood. Here, cGAS-STING signaling is identified to play a detrimental role in regulating anti-malaria immunity. cGAS or STING deficiency in mice markedly prolongs mouse survival during lethal malaria Plasmodium yoelii nigeriensis N67C infections by reducing late interleukin (IL)-6 production. Mechanistically, cGAS/STING recruits myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) and specifically induces the p38-dependent signaling pathway for late IL-6 production, which, in turn, expands CD11b+Ly6Chi proinflammatory monocytes to inhibit immunity. Moreover, the blockage or ablation of the cGAS-STING-MyD88-p38-IL-6 signaling axis or the depletion of CD11b+Ly6Chi proinflammatory monocytes provides mice a significant survival benefit during N67C and other lethal malaria-strain infections. Taken together, these findings identify a previously unrecognized detrimental role of cGAS-STING-MyD88-p38 axis in infectious diseases through triggering the late IL-6 production and proinflammatory monocyte expansion and provide insight into how targeting the DNA sensing pathway, dysregulated cytokines, and proinflammatory monocytes enhances immunity against infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2103701
Pages (from-to)e2103701
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number22
StatePublished - Aug 5 2022


  • Cyclic GMP-AMP synthase /STING signaling
  • interleukin-6
  • malaria
  • proinflammatory monocytes
  • Nucleotidyltransferases/genetics
  • Membrane Proteins/genetics
  • Malaria/immunology
  • Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88/metabolism
  • Animals
  • Interleukin-6/metabolism
  • Monocytes/immunology
  • DNA
  • Mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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