Background and Objectives: The 3’ repair exonuclease 1 (TREX1) gene is the major DNA-specific
3’–5 ’exonuclease of mammalian cells which reduces single- and double-stranded DNA (ssDNA and dsDNA) to
prevent undue immune activation mediated by the nucleic acid. TREX1 is also a crucial suppressor of selfrecognition
that protects the host from inappropriate autoimmune activations. It has been revealed that TREX1
function is necessary to prevent host DNA accumulating after cell death which could actuate an autoimmune
response. In the manuscript, we will discuss in detail the latest advancement to study the role of TREX1 in autoimmune
Methods: As a pivotal cytoprotective, antioxidant, anti-apoptotic, immunosuppressive, as well as an antiinflammatory
molecule, the functional mechanisms of TREX1 were multifactorial. In this review, we will briefly
summarize the latest advancement in studying the role of TREX1 in autoimmune disease, and discuss its potential
as a therapeutic target for these diseases.
Results: Deficiency of TREX1 in human patients and murine models is characterized by systemic inflammation
and the disorder of TREX1 functions drives inflammatory responses leading to autoimmune disease. Moreover,
much more studies revealed that mutations in TREX1 have been associated with a range of autoimmune disorders.
But it is also unclear whether the mutations of TREX1 play a causal role in the disease progression, and
whether manipulation of TREX1 has a beneficial effect in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
Conclusion: Integration of functional TREX1 biology into autoimmune diseases may further deepen our understanding
of the development and pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and provide new clues and evidence for
the treatment of autoimmune diseases.