How fragile we are. Influence of STimulator of INterferon Genes, STING, variants on pathogen recognition and immune response efficiency [article]

Jeremy Morere, Cecilia Hognon, Tom Miclot, Tao Jiang, Elise Dumont, Giampaolo Barone, Emmanuelle Bignon, Antonio MONARI
2021 bioRxiv   pre-print
The STimulator of INterferon Genes (STING) protein is a cornerstone of the human immune response. Its activation by cGAMP upon the presence of cytosolic DNA stimulates the production of type I interferons and inflammatory cytokines which are crucial for protecting cells from infections. STING signaling pathway can also influence both tumor-suppressive and tumor-promoting mechanisms, rendering it an appealing target for drug design. In the human population, several STING variants exist and
more » ... t dramatic differences in their activity, impacting the efficiency of the host defense against infections. Understanding the differential molecular mechanisms exhibited by these variants is of utmost importance notably towards personalized medicine treatments against diseases such as viral infections (COVID-19, Dengue...), cancers, or auto-inflammatory diseases. Owing to micro-seconds scale molecular modeling simulations and post-processing by contacts analysis and Machine Learning techniques, we reveal the dynamical behavior of four STING variants (wild type, G230A, R293Q, and G230A-R293Q) and we rationalize the variability of efficiency observed experimentally. Our results show that the decrease of STING activity is linked to a stiffening of key-structural features of the binding cavity, together with changes of the interaction patterns within the protein.
doi:10.1101/2021.07.12.452045 fatcat:7fpn7ist4vhf3pc73qaeqf3uia