MTORC1 activation regulates beta-cell mass and proliferation by modulation of cyclin D2 synthesis and stability.
ABSTRACT: Growth factors, insulin signaling, and nutrients are important regulators of beta-cell mass and function. The events linking these signals to the regulation of beta-cell mass are not completely understood. The mTOR pathway integrates signals from growth factors and nutrients. Here, we evaluated the role of the mTOR/raptor (mTORC1) signaling in proliferative conditions induced by controlled activation of Akt signaling. These experiments show that the mTORC1 is a major regulator of beta-cell cycle progression by modulation of cyclin D2, D3, and Cdk4 activity. The regulation of cell cycle progression by mTORC1 signaling resulted from modulation of the synthesis and stability of cyclin D2, a critical regulator of beta-cell cycle, proliferation, and mass. These studies provide novel insights into the regulation of cell cycle by the mTORC1, provide a mechanism for the antiproliferative effects of rapamycin, and imply that the use of rapamycin could negatively impact the success of islet transplantation and the adaptation of beta-cells to insulin resistance.
Project description:mTOR is an evolutionarily conserved kinase that plays a critical role in sensing and responding to environmental determinants. Recent studies have shown that fine-tuning of the activity of mTOR complexes contributes to organogenesis and tumorigenesis. Although rapamycin, an allosteric mTOR inhibitor, is an effective immunosuppressant, the precise roles of mTOR complexes in early T-cell development remain unclear. Here we show that mTORC1 plays a critical role in the development of both early T-cell progenitors and leukemia. Deletion of Raptor, an essential component of mTORC1, produced defects in the earliest development of T-cell progenitors in vivo and in vitro. Deficiency of Raptor resulted in cell cycle abnormalities in early T-cell progenitors that were associated with instability of the Cyclin D2/D3-CDK6 complexes; deficiency of Rictor, an mTORC2 component, did not have the same effect, indicating that mTORC1 and -2 control T-cell development in different ways. In a model of myeloproliferative neoplasm and T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) evoked by Kras activation, Raptor deficiency dramatically inhibited the cell cycle in oncogenic Kras-expressing T-cell progenitors, but not myeloid progenitors, and specifically prevented the development of T-ALL. Although rapamycin treatment significantly prolonged the survival of recipient mice bearing T-ALL cells, rapamycin-insensitive leukemia cells continued to propagate in vivo. In contrast, Raptor deficiency in the T-ALL model resulted in cell cycle arrest and efficient eradication of leukemia. Thus, understanding the cell-context-dependent role of mTORC1 illustrates the potential importance of mTOR signals as therapeutic targets.
Project description:The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) functions as an environmental sensor to promote critical cellular processes such as protein synthesis, cell growth, and cell proliferation in response to growth factors and nutrients. While diverse stimuli regulate mTORC1 signaling, the direct molecular mechanisms by which mTORC1 senses and responds to these signals remain poorly defined. Here we investigated the role of mTOR phosphorylation in mTORC1 function. By employing mass spectrometry and phospho-specific antibodies, we demonstrated novel phosphorylation on S2159 and T2164 within the mTOR kinase domain. Mutational analysis of these phosphorylation sites indicates that dual S2159/T2164 phosphorylation cooperatively promotes mTORC1 signaling to S6K1 and 4EBP1. Mechanistically, S2159/T2164 phosphorylation modulates the mTOR-raptor and raptor-PRAS40 interactions and augments mTORC1-associated mTOR S2481 autophosphorylation. Moreover, mTOR S2159/T2164 phosphorylation promotes cell growth and cell cycle progression. We propose a model whereby mTOR kinase domain phosphorylation modulates the interaction of mTOR with regulatory partner proteins and augments intrinsic mTORC1 kinase activity to promote biochemical signaling, cell growth, and cell cycle progression.
Project description:The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 1 (mTORC1) functions as a rapamycin-sensitive environmental sensor that promotes cellular biosynthetic processes in response to growth factors and nutrients. While diverse physiological stimuli modulate mTORC1 signaling, the direct biochemical mechanisms underlying mTORC1 regulation remain poorly defined. Indeed, while three mTOR phosphorylation sites have been reported, a functional role for site-specific mTOR phosphorylation has not been demonstrated. Here we identify a new site of mTOR phosphorylation (S1261) by tandem mass spectrometry and demonstrate that insulin-phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling promotes mTOR S1261 phosphorylation in both mTORC1 and mTORC2. Here we focus on mTORC1 and show that TSC/Rheb signaling promotes mTOR S1261 phosphorylation in an amino acid-dependent, rapamycin-insensitive, and autophosphorylation-independent manner. Our data reveal a functional role for mTOR S1261 phosphorylation in mTORC1 action, as S1261 phosphorylation promotes mTORC1-mediated substrate phosphorylation (e.g., p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 [S6K1] and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E binding protein 1) and cell growth to increased cell size. Moreover, Rheb-driven mTOR S2481 autophosphorylation and S6K1 phosphorylation require S1261 phosphorylation. These data provide the first evidence that site-specific mTOR phosphorylation regulates mTORC1 function and suggest a model whereby insulin-stimulated mTOR S1261 phosphorylation promotes mTORC1 autokinase activity, substrate phosphorylation, and cell growth.
Project description:Oncogenic transformation leads to dysregulated cell proliferation, nutrient deficiency, and hypoxia resulting in metabolic stress and increased DNA damage. In normal cells, such metabolic stress leads to inhibition of signaling through the mammalian Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 (mTORC1), reduction of protein translation, cell cycle arrest, and conservation of energy. In contrast, negative regulation of mTORC1 signaling by DNA damage is abrogated in many cancer cells, thus mTORC1 signaling remains active under microenvironmental conditions that potentially promote endogenous DNA damage. Here we report that mTORC1 signaling suppresses endogenous DNA damage and replication stress. Pharmacological inhibition of mTOR signaling resulted in phosphorylation of H2AX concomitant with the decrease of CHK1 levels both in cell culture and mouse rhadomyosarcoma xenografts. Further results demonstrated that mTORC1-S6K1 signaling controls transcription of CHK1 via Rb-E2F by upregulating cyclin D and E. Consistent with these results, downregulation of CHK1 by inhibition of mTOR kinase resulted in defects in the slow S phase progression following DNA damage. These results indicate that, under stressful conditions, maintained mTORC1 signaling in cancer cells promotes survival by suppressing endogenous DNA damage, and may control cell fate through the regulation of CHK1.
Project description:An important goal in diabetes research is to understand the processes that trigger endogenous ?-cell proliferation. Hyperglycemia induces ?-cell replication, but the mechanism remains debated. A prime candidate is insulin, which acts locally through the insulin receptor. Having previously developed an in vivo mouse hyperglycemia model, we tested whether glucose induces ?-cell proliferation through insulin signaling. By using mice lacking insulin signaling intermediate insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS2), we confirmed that hyperglycemia-induced ?-cell proliferation requires IRS2 both in vivo and ex vivo. Of note, insulin receptor activation was not required for glucose-induced proliferation, and insulin itself was not sufficient to drive replication. Glucose and insulin caused similar acute signaling in mouse islets, but chronic signaling differed markedly, with mammalian target of rapamycin (MTOR) and extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) activation by glucose and AKT activation by insulin. MTOR but not ERK activation was required for glucose-induced proliferation. Cyclin D2 was necessary for glucose-induced ?-cell proliferation. Cyclin D2 expression was reduced when either IRS2 or MTOR signaling was lost, and restoring cyclin D2 expression rescued the proliferation defect. Human islets shared many of these regulatory pathways. Taken together, these results support a model in which IRS2, MTOR, and cyclin D2, but not the insulin receptor, mediate glucose-induced proliferation.
Project description:The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase acts downstream of phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt to regulate cellular growth, metabolism, and cytoskeleton. Because approximately 60% of sporadic colorectal cancers (CRC) exhibit high levels of activated Akt, we determined whether downstream mTOR signaling pathway components are overexpressed and activated in CRCs.HCT116, KM20, Caco-2, and SW480 human CRC cells were used to determine the effects of pharmacologic (using rapamycin) or genetic (using RNAi) blockade of mTOR signaling on cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell cycle progression, and subcutaneous growth in vivo.We show that the mTOR complex proteins mTOR, Raptor, and Rictor are overexpressed in CRC. Treatment with rapamycin significantly decreased proliferation of certain CRC cell lines (rapamycin sensitive), whereas other cell lines were resistant to its effects (rapamycin resistant). Transient siRNA-mediated knockdown of the mTORC2 protein, Rictor, significantly decreased proliferation of both rapamycin-sensitive and rapamycin-resistant CRC cells. Stable shRNA-mediated knockdown of both mTORC1 and mTORC2 decreased proliferation, increased apoptosis, and attenuated cell cycle progression in rapamycin-sensitive CRCs. Moreover, stable knockdown of both mTORC1 and mTORC2 decreased proliferation and attenuated cell cycle progression, whereas only mTORC2 knockdown increased apoptosis in rapamycin-resistant CRCs. Finally, knockdown of both mTORC1 and mTORC2 inhibited growth of rapamycin-sensitive and rapamycin-resistant CRCs in vivo when implanted as tumor xenografts.Targeted inhibition of the mTORC2 protein, Rictor, leads to growth inhibition and induces apoptosis in both rapamycin-sensitive and rapamycin-resistant CRCs, suggesting that selective targeting of mTORC2 may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for treatment of CRC.
Project description:Glioblastomas (GBs) frequently display activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). mTOR exists as part of two multiprotein complexes, mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) and 2 (mTORC2). In GBs, mTORC1 inhibitors such as rapamycin have performed poorly in clinical trials, and in vitro protect GB cells from nutrient and oxygen deprivation. Next generation ATP-competitive mTOR inhibitors with affinity for both mTOR complexes have been developed, but data exploring their effects on GB metabolism are scarce. In this study, we compared the ATP-competitive mTORC1/2 inhibitors torin2, INK-128 and NVP-Bez235 to the allosteric mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin under conditions that mimic the glioma microenvironment. In addition to inhibiting mTORC2 signaling, INK-128 and NVP-Bez235 more effectively blocked mTORC1 signaling and prompted a stronger cell growth inhibition, partly by inducing cell cycle arrest. However, under hypoxic and nutrient-poor conditions mTORC1/2 inhibitors displayed even stronger cytoprotective effects than rapamycin by reducing oxygen and glucose consumption. Thus, therapies that arrest proliferation and inhibit anabolic metabolism must be expected to improve energy homeostasis of tumor cells. These results mandate caution when treating physiologically or therapeutically induced hypoxic GBs with mTOR inhibitors.
Project description:Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) promotes a multitude of diverse biological processes, including growth arrest of epithelial cells and proliferation of fibroblasts. Although the TGF-beta signaling pathways that promote inhibition of epithelial cell growth are well characterized, less is known about the mechanisms mediating the positive response to this growth factor. Given that TGF-beta has been shown to promote fibrotic diseases and desmoplasia, identifying the fibroblast-specific TGF-beta signaling pathways is critical. Here, we investigate the role of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a known effector of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and promoter of cell growth, in the fibroblast response to TGF-beta. We show that TGF-beta activates mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) in fibroblasts but not epithelial cells via a PI3K-Akt-TSC2-dependent pathway. Rapamycin, the pharmacologic inhibitor of mTOR, prevents TGF-beta-mediated anchorage-independent growth without affecting TGF-beta transcriptional responses or extracellular matrix protein induction. In addition to mTORC1, we also examined the role of mTORC2 in TGF-beta action. mTORC2 promotes TGF-beta-induced morphologic transformation and is required for TGF-beta-induced Akt S473 phosphorylation but not mTORC1 activation. Interestingly, both mTOR complexes are necessary for TGF-beta-mediated growth in soft agar. These results define distinct and overlapping roles for mTORC1 and mTORC2 in the fibroblast response to TGF-beta and suggest that inhibitors of mTOR signaling may be useful in treating fibrotic processes, such as desmoplasia.
Project description:The mTOR signaling complex integrates signals from growth factors and nutrient availability to control cell growth and proliferation, in part through effects on the protein-synthetic machinery. Protein synthesis rates fluctuate throughout the cell cycle but diminish significantly during the G(2)/M transition. The fate of the mTOR complex and its role in coordinating cell growth and proliferation signals with protein synthesis during mitosis remain unknown. Here we demonstrate that the mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway, which stimulates protein synthesis, is actually hyperactive during mitosis despite decreased protein synthesis and reduced activity of mTORC1 upstream activators. We describe previously unknown G(2)/M-specific phosphorylation of a component of mTORC1, the protein raptor, and demonstrate that mitotic raptor phosphorylation alters mTORC1 function during mitosis. Phosphopeptide mapping and mutational analysis demonstrate that mitotic phosphorylation of raptor facilitates cell cycle transit through G(2)/M. Phosphorylation-deficient mutants of raptor cause cells to delay in G(2)/M, whereas depletion of raptor causes cells to accumulate in G(1). We identify cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (cdk1 [cdc2]) and glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) pathways as two probable mitosis-regulated protein kinase pathways involved in mitosis-specific raptor phosphorylation and altered mTORC1 activity. In addition, mitotic raptor promotes translation by internal ribosome entry sites (IRES) on mRNA during mitosis and is demonstrated to be associated with rapamycin resistance. These data suggest that this pathway may play a role in increased IRES-dependent mRNA translation during mitosis and in rapamycin insensitivity.
Project description:The appropriate control of mitotic entry and exit is reliant on a series of interlocking signaling events that coordinately drive the biological processes required for accurate cell division. Overlaid onto these signals that promote orchestrated cell division are checkpoints that ensure appropriate mitotic spindle formation, a lack of DNA damage, kinetochore attachment, and that each daughter cell has the appropriate complement of DNA. We recently discovered that AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) modulates the G2/M phase of cell cycle progression in part through its suppression of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling. AMPK directly phosphorylates the critical mTOR binding partner raptor inhibiting mTORC1 (mTOR-raptor rapamycin sensitive mTOR kinase complex 1). As mTOR has been previously tied to mitotic control, we examined further how raptor may contribute to this process.We have discovered that raptor becomes highly phosphorylated in cells in mitosis. Utilizing tandem mass spectrometry, we identified a number of novel phosphorylation sites in raptor, and using phospho-specific antibodies demonstrated that raptor becomes phosphorylated on phospho-serine/threonine-proline sites in mitosis. A combination of site-directed mutagenesis in a tagged raptor cDNA and analysis with a series of new phospho-specific antibodies generated against different sites in raptor revealed that Serine 696 and Threonine 706 represent two key sites in raptor phosphorylated in mitosis. We demonstrate that the mitotic cyclin-dependent kinase cdc2/CDK1 is the kinase responsible for phosphorylating these sites, and its mitotic partner Cyclin B efficiently coimmunoprecipitates with raptor in mitotic cells.This study demonstrates that the key mTOR binding partner raptor is directly phosphorylated during mitosis by cdc2. This reinforces previous studies suggesting that mTOR activity is highly regulated and important for mitotic progression, and points to a direct modulation of the mTORC1 complex during mitosis.