cGAS–STING signaling and function in metabolism and kidney diseases

Juli Bai, Feng Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The cyclic GMP–AMP synthase (cGAS)–stimulator of interferon genes (STING) signaling pathway senses the presence of cytosolic DNA and, in turn, triggers downstream signaling to induce the expression of inflammatory and type I interferon genes in immune cells. Whereas the innate immune function of the cGAS–STING pathway is well studied over the past years, emerging evidence suggests that this signaling pathway may have additional functions beyond innate immune surveillance. Consistent with this notion, dysregulation of the cGAS–STING signaling pathway in adipocytes, hepatocytes, and renal proximal tubule epithelial cells are associated with metabolic dysfunction, impaired energy homeostasis, and kidney diseases. In this review, we summarize current understanding of the cGAS–STING pathway in several metabolic diseases such as obesity, insulin resistance, alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases, as well as acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease. We also review the interaction between the cGAS–STING pathway and lipid metabolism. Lastly, we discuss potential mechanisms by which cGAS–STING signaling regulates metabolism and point toward future avenues of research targeting the cGAS–STING pathway as possible means to treat common metabolic disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)728-738
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of molecular cell biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • AKI
  • CDK
  • NASH
  • cGAS
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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