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Chronic exposure to Cytolethal Distending Toxin (CDT) promotes a cGAS-dependent type I interferon response

Abstract : The Cytolethal Distending Toxin (CDT) is a bacterial genotoxin produced by pathogenic bacteria causing major foodborne diseases worldwide. CDT activates the DNA Damage Response and modulates the host immune response, but the precise relationship between these outcomes has not been addressed so far. Here, we show that chronic exposure to CDT in HeLa cells or mouse embryonic fibroblasts promotes a strong type I interferon (IFN) response that depends on the cytoplasmic DNA sensor cyclic guanosine monophosphate (GMP)-adenosine monophosphate (AMP) synthase (cGAS) through the recognition of micronuclei. Indeed, despite active cell cycle checkpoints and in contrast to other DNA damaging agents, cells exposed to CDT reach mitosis where they accumulate massive DNA damage, resulting in chromosome fragmentation and micronucleus formation in daughter cells. These mitotic phenotypes are observed with CDT from various origins and in cancer or normal cell lines. Finally, we show that CDT exposure in immortalized normal colonic epithelial cells is associated to cGAS protein loss and low type I IFN response, implying that CDT immunomodulatory function may vary depending on tissue and cell type. Thus, our results establish a direct link between CDT-induced DNA damage, genetic instability and the cellular immune response that may be relevant in the context of natural infection associated to chronic inflammation or carcinogenesis.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03306242
Contributor : Julien Vignard <>
Submitted on : Thursday, July 29, 2021 - 9:28:07 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 25, 2021 - 3:28:33 AM

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Benoît Pons, Aurélie Pettes-Duler, Claire Naylies, Frédéric Taieb, Catherine Bouchenot, et al.. Chronic exposure to Cytolethal Distending Toxin (CDT) promotes a cGAS-dependent type I interferon response. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, Springer Verlag, 2021, ⟨10.1007/s00018-021-03902-x⟩. ⟨hal-03306242⟩

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