Cytoplasmic DNA: sources, sensing, and role in aging and disease

Karl N. Miller, Stella G. Victorelli, Hanna Salmonowicz, Nirmalya Dasgupta, Tianhui Liu, João F. Passos, Peter D. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Endogenous cytoplasmic DNA (cytoDNA) species are emerging as key mediators of inflammation in diverse physiological and pathological contexts. Although the role of endogenous cytoDNA in innate immune activation is well established, the cytoDNA species themselves are often poorly characterized and difficult to distinguish, and their mechanisms of formation, scope of function and contribution to disease are incompletely understood. Here, we summarize current knowledge in this rapidly progressing field with emphases on similarities and differences between distinct cytoDNAs, their underlying molecular mechanisms of formation and function, interactions between cytoDNA pathways, and therapeutic opportunities in the treatment of age-associated diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5506-5526
Number of pages21
Issue number22
StatePublished - Oct 28 2021


  • aging
  • cancer
  • cytoplasmic DNA
  • cytoplasmic chromatin fragment
  • micronucleus
  • mitochondrial DNA
  • retrotransposon
  • senescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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