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Int J Biol Sci 2015; 11(5):587-594. doi:10.7150/ijbs.10945

Research Paper

Recognition of Cytosolic DNA Attenuates Glucose Metabolism and Induces AMPK Mediated Energy Stress Response

Min Zheng1,2,*,✉, Linna Xie1,3*, Yaoji Liang4, Suqin Wu4, Huijuan Xu2, Yuedong Zhang2, Hekun Liu2, Dexin Lin1, Jiahuai Han4, Kunping Lu2,5

1. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, Fujian, 350108, China.
2. Translational Medicine Institute, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, Fujian, 350108, China.
3. Department of Bioengineering, Fujian Vocational College of Bioengineering, Fuzhou, Fujian, 350007, China
4. State Key Laboratory of Cellular Stress Biology and School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian, 361102, China
5. Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA
*These two authors contributed equally to this work.


Both viral infection and DNA transfection expose single-stranded or double-stranded DNA to the cytoplasm of mammalian cells. Recognition of cytosolic DNA activates a series of cellular responses, including induction of pro-inflammatory genes such as type I interferon through the well-known cGAS-STING pathway. Here we show for the first time that intracellular administration of either single or double stranded interferon stimulating DNA (ISD), but not poly(dA) suppresses cell growth in many different cell types. Suppression of cell growth by cytosolic DNA is cGAS/STING independent and associated with inhibition of glucose metabolism, ATP depletion and subsequent cellular energy stress responses including activation of AMPK and inactivation of mTORC1. Our results suggest that in concert with but independent of innate immune response, recognition of cytosolic DNA induced cellular energy stress potentially functions as a metabolic barrier to viral replication.

Keywords: Cytosolic DNA, Glycolysis, ATP depletion, Energy stress, AMPK

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Zheng M, Xie L, Liang Y, Wu S, Xu H, Zhang Y, Liu H, Lin D, Han J, Lu K. Recognition of Cytosolic DNA Attenuates Glucose Metabolism and Induces AMPK Mediated Energy Stress Response. Int J Biol Sci 2015; 11(5):587-594. doi:10.7150/ijbs.10945. Available from