Immunology

A bat's STING is less potent

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  30 Mar 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6383, pp. 1481-1482
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6383.1481-c

Bat immune responses to viruses are compromised.

PHOTO: MERLIN D. TUTTLE/SCIENCE SOURCE

Bats have evolved enhanced oxidative phosphorylation pathways in response to the increased metabolic demands of flight. One effect of this is DNA damage and release. Additionally, bats serve as reservoirs for a multitude of viruses, which raises the question of how these animals are able to tune cytosolic DNA sensing and innate immune activation. Xie et al. report that STING (stimulator of interferon genes)—the main adaptor in several DNA-sensing pathways—is mutated in bats at the serine-358 residue, which is critical for downstream interferon (IFN) activation. They found that bat STING was less effective at inducing IFN production and viral inhibition. These findings add to previous work showing bat-specific changes in other DNA sensors such as AIM2, IFI16, and TLR9 that elicit more harmonious immune responses to pathogens.

Cell Host Microbe 23, 297 (2018).

Navigate This Article