Ferroptotic damage promotes pancreatic tumorigenesis through a TMEM173/STING-dependent DNA sensor pathway

Enyong Dai, Leng Han, Jiao Liu, Yangchun Xie, Herbert J. Zeh, Rui Kang, Lulu Bai, Daolin Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Ferroptosis is a more recently recognized form of cell death that relies on iron-mediated oxidative damage. Here, we evaluate the impact of high-iron diets or depletion of Gpx4, an antioxidant enzyme reported as an important ferroptosis suppressor, in the pancreas of mice with cerulean- or L-arginine-induced pancreatitis, and in an oncogenic Kras murine model of spontaneous pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). We find that either high-iron diets or Gpx4 depletion promotes 8-OHG release and thus activates the TMEM173/STING-dependent DNA sensor pathway, which results in macrophage infiltration and activation during Kras-driven PDAC in mice. Consequently, the administration of liproxstatin-1 (a ferroptosis inhibitor), clophosome-mediated macrophage depletion, or pharmacological and genetic inhibition of the 8-OHG-TMEM173 pathway suppresses Kras-driven pancreatic tumorigenesis in mice. GPX4 is also a prognostic marker in patients with PDAC. These findings provide pathological and mechanistic insights into ferroptotic damage in PDAC tumorigenesis in mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6339
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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