Nucleotidyltransferase that catalyzes the formation of cyclic GMP-AMP (cGAMP) from ATP and GTP and plays a key role in innate immunity. Catalysis involves both the formation of a 2',5' phosphodiester linkage at the GpA step and the formation of a 3',5' phosphodiester linkage at the ApG step, producing c[G(2',5')pA(3',5')p]. 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 responses. Binds cytosolic DNA directly, leading to activation and synthesis of cGAMP, a second messenger that binds to and activates TMEM173/STING, thereby triggering type-I interferon production. Preferentially recognizes and binds curved long DNAs. In contrast to other mammals, human CGAS displays species-specific mechanisms of DNA recognition and produces less cyclic GMP-AMP (cGAMP), allowing a more fine-tuned response to pathogens. Has antiviral activity by sensing the presence of dsDNA from DNA viruses in the cytoplasm. Also acts as an innate immune sensor of infection by retroviruses, such as HIV-1, by detecting the presence of reverse-transcribed DNA in the cytosol. Detection of retroviral reverse-transcribed DNA in the cytosol may be indirect and be mediated via interaction with PQBP1, which directly binds reverse-transcribed retroviral DNA. Also detects the presence of DNA from bacteria, such as M.tuberculosis. cGAMP can be transferred from producing cells to neighboring cells through gap junctions, leading to promote TMEM173/STING activation and convey immune response to connecting cells. cGAMP can also be transferred between cells by virtue of packaging within viral particles contributing to IFN-induction in newly infected cells in a cGAS-independent but TMEM173/STING-dependent manner. In addition to antiviral activity, also involved in the response to cellular stresses, such as senescence, DNA damage or genome instability. Acts as a regulator of cellular senescence by binding to cytosolic chromatin fragments that are present in senescent cells, leading to trigger type-I interferon production via TMEM173/STING and promote cellular senescence. Also involved in the inflammatory response to genome instability and double-stranded DNA breaks: acts by localizing to micronuclei arising from genome instability. Micronuclei, which as frequently found in cancer cells, consist of chromatin surrounded by its own nuclear membrane: following breakdown of the micronuclear envelope, a process associated with chromothripsis, CGAS binds self-DNA exposed to the cytosol, leading to cGAMP synthesis and subsequent activation of TMEM173/STING and type-I interferon production. Acts as a suppressor of DNA repair in response to DNA damage: translocates to the nucleus following dephosphorylation at Tyr-215 and inhibits homologous recombination repair by interacting with PARP1, the CGAS-PARP1 interaction leading to impede the formation of the PARP1-TIMELESS complex. Belongs to the mab-21 family. Expressed in the monocytic cell line THP1. 2 alternatively spliced human isoforms have been reported. Note: This description may include information from UniProtKB.
Cellular Component: cytosol; nucleus; plasma membrane; site of double-strand break
Molecular Function: ATP binding; chromatin binding; cyclic-GMP-AMP synthase activity; DNA binding; double-stranded DNA binding; GTP binding; metal ion binding; phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate binding; protein binding
Biological Process: activation of innate immune response; cellular response to DNA damage stimulus; cellular response to exogenous dsRNA; defense response to virus; determination of adult lifespan; DNA repair; innate immune response; negative regulation of double-strand break repair via homologous recombination; paracrine signaling; positive regulation of cAMP-mediated signaling; positive regulation of cellular senescence; positive regulation of cGMP-mediated signaling; positive regulation of defense response to virus by host; positive regulation of type I interferon production; regulation of immunoglobulin production; regulation of T cell activation; viral process