Recent articles have highlighted the role the STING cell signalling pathway may be playing in drug development, whether via its inhibition to control innate immunity and inflammation (Nature Biotechnology, March 2019 : “Drug developers switch gears to inhibit STING”), through activation of STING to boost checkpoint inhibitors in their fight against cancer (C&EN 2018 “STING fever is sweeping through the cancer immunotherapy world”), or using STING ligand cGAMP as a vaccine adjuvant for anti-tumour or anti-viral vaccines. More specifically, Aduro has demonstrated how their compound ADU-S100 activates the STING pathway to increase immune reponse against cancer cells. This interesting interview on their clinical trials program (AACR 2016) relates its potential synergy with immune checkpoint inhibitors and potent effect in systemic tumour regression.
How does the STING pathway work? And which tools can be of help to study its potential activation or inhibition is what this post aims to illustrate.