Cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (CGAS)

Catalysis involves the creation of a 2',5' phosphodiester linkage at the GpA step and the creation of a 3',5' phosphodiester linkage at the ApG step, generating c[G(2',5')pA(3',5')p] (PubMed:28363908, PubMed:28214358). Acts as a key cytosolic DNA sensor, the presence of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) in the cytoplasm being a danger signal that triggers the immune reactions (PubMed:28363908).

Binds cytosolic DNA directly, resulting in activation and synthesis of cGAMP, another messenger that binds to and activates TMEM173/STING, thereby triggering type-I interferon production (PubMed:28363908, PubMed:28314590). Also functions as an innate immune sensor of infection by retroviruses, such as HIV-1, by detecting the presence of reverse-transcribed DNA in the cytosol (PubMed:23929945).