Cellular Metabolites Regulate Central Nucleic Acid Sensing Pathways

Julia Blay-Cadanet*, Alice Pedersen, Christian Kanstrup Holm*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperReviewResearchpeer-review


Detection of pathogen-derived DNA or RNA species by cellular nucleic acid sensors prompts release of anti-microbial interferons and cytokines. In contrast to their protective anti-microbial functions, inappropriate or excessive activation of nucleic acid sensors can cause inflammatory diseases. Nucleic acid sensing is therefore tightly controlled by regulatory factors acting through both transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms. Recently, it has become clearer that metabolic pathways—previously thought to be unconnected with immune responses—can influence nucleic acid sensing. This regulation can be observed when immune system cells undergo metabolic reprogramming in response to stimulation with pathogen-associated molecular patterns such as lipopolysaccharide from gram negative bacteria. Metabolic reprogramming leads to accumulation and secretion of metabolites, which have been mostly viewed as end-products of processes providing cellular energy and building blocks. However, metabolites have now been identified as important regulators of nucleic acid sensing. This mini-review aims to outline current knowledge on regulation of central nucleic acid sensing pathways by metabolites during metabolic reprogramming.

Original languageEnglish
Article number635738
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • itaconate
  • lactate
  • MAVS
  • metabolites
  • succinate
  • toll-like receptors


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