Russell Vance

Vance Russell 250

One of our contributions has been our characterization of a cytosolic flagellin-sensing pathway that detects L. pneumophila. We demonstrated that NAIP proteins, members of the NLR superfamily, are direct receptors for flagellin and other bacterial proteins. In separate work, we also discovered a novel cytosolic immunosurveillance pathway that detects unique bacterial signaling molecules called cyclic-di-nucleotides. We used mouse mutagenesis to identify the host protein STING as essential for the response to cyclic-di-nucleotides, and proved biochemically, with recombinant purified protein, that STING is the cytosolic cyclic-di-nucleotide receptor. This discovery later proved to be critical for our understanding of the innate cytosolic DNA sensing, which we and others found involves production of a unique endogenous cyclic-di-nucleotide second messenger by the DNA-sensing enzyme cGAS.