CAMP-dependent activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in thyroid cells. Implication in mitogenesis and activation of CDK4.
ABSTRACT: How cAMP-dependent protein kinases [protein kinase A (PKA)] transduce the mitogenic stimulus elicited by TSH in thyroid cells to late activation of cyclin D3-cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) remains enigmatic. Here we show in PC Cl3 rat thyroid cells that TSH/cAMP, like insulin, activates the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-raptor complex (mTORC1) leading to phosphorylation of S6K1 and 4E-BP1. mTORC1-dependent S6K1 phosphorylation in response to both insulin and cAMP required amino acids, whereas inhibition of AMP-activated protein kinase and glycogen synthase kinase 3 enhanced insulin but not cAMP effects. Unlike insulin, TSH/cAMP did not activate protein kinase B or induce tuberous sclerosis complex 2 phosphorylation at T1462 and Y1571. However, like insulin, TSH/cAMP produced a stable increase in mTORC1 kinase activity that was associated with augmented 4E-BP1 binding to raptor. This could be caused in part by T246 phosphorylation of PRAS40, which was found as an in vitro substrate of PKA. Both in PC Cl3 cells and primary dog thyrocytes, rapamycin inhibited DNA synthesis and retinoblastoma protein phosphorylation induced by TSH and insulin. Although rapamycin reduced cyclin D3 accumulation, the abundance of cyclin D3-CDK4 complexes was not affected. However, rapamycin inhibited the activity of these complexes by decreasing the TSH and insulin-mediated stimulation of activating T172 phosphorylation of CDK4. We propose that mTORC1 activation by TSH, at least in part through PKA-dependent phosphorylation of PRAS40, crucially contributes to mediate cAMP-dependent mitogenesis by regulating CDK4 T172-phosphorylation.
Project description:How cyclic AMP (cAMP) could positively or negatively regulate G1 phase progression in different cell types or in cancer cells versus normal differentiated counterparts has remained an intriguing question for decades. At variance with the cAMP-dependent mitogenesis of normal thyroid epithelial cells, we show here that cAMP and cAMP-dependent protein kinase activation inhibit S-phase entry in four thyroid carcinoma cell lines that harbor a permanent activation of the Raf/ERK pathway by different oncogenes. Only in Ret/PTC1-positive TPC-1 cells did cAMP markedly inhibit the Raf/ERK cascade, leading to mTOR pathway inhibition, repression of cyclin D1 and p21 and p27 accumulation. p27 knockdown did not prevent the DNA synthesis inhibition. In the other cells, cAMP little affected these signaling cascades and levels of cyclins D or CDK inhibitors. However, cAMP differentially inhibited the pRb-kinase activity and T172-phosphorylation of CDK4 complexed to cyclin D1 or cyclin D3, whereas CDK-activating kinase activity remained unaffected. At variance with current conceptions, our studies in thyroid carcinoma cell lines and previously in normal thyrocytes identify the activating phosphorylation of CDK4 as a common target of opposite cell cycle regulations by cAMP, irrespective of its impact on classical mitogenic signaling cascades and expression of CDK4 regulatory partners.
Project description:Cyclin D-CDK4/6 are the first cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) complexes to be activated by mitogenic/oncogenic pathways. They have a central role in the cell multiplication decision and in its deregulation in cancer cells. We identified T172 phosphorylation of CDK4 rather than cyclin D accumulation as the distinctly regulated step determining CDK4 activation. This finding challenges the view that the only identified metazoan CDK-activating kinase, cyclin H-CDK7-Mat1 (CAK), which is constitutively active, is responsible for the activating phosphorylation of all cell cycle CDKs. We previously showed that T172 phosphorylation of CDK4 is conditioned by an adjacent proline (P173), which is not present in CDK6 and CDK1/2. Although CDK7 activity was recently shown to be required for CDK4 activation, we proposed that proline-directed kinases might specifically initiate the activation of CDK4. Here, we report that JNKs, but not ERK1/2 or CAK, can be direct CDK4-activating kinases for cyclin D-CDK4 complexes that are inactivated by p21-mediated stabilization. JNKs and ERK1/2 also phosphorylated p21 at S130 and T57, which might facilitate CDK7-dependent activation of p21-bound CDK4, however, mutation of these sites did not impair the phosphorylation of CDK4 by JNKs. In two selected tumor cells, two different JNK inhibitors inhibited the phosphorylation and activation of cyclin D1-CDK4-p21 but not the activation of cyclin D3-CDK4 that is mainly associated to p27. Specific inhibition by chemical genetics in MEFs confirmed the involvement of JNK2 in cyclin D1-CDK4 activation. Therefore, JNKs could be activating kinases for cyclin D1-CDK4 bound to p21, by independently phosphorylating both CDK4 and p21.
Project description:Cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4)/cyclin D complexes are expressed early in the G(1) phase of the cell cycle and stimulate the expression of genes required for G(1) progression by phosphorylation of the product of the retinoblastoma gene, pRb. To elaborate the molecular pathway of CDK4 activation and substrate selection we have determined the structure of nonphosphorylated CDK4/cyclin D3. This structure of an authentic CDK/cyclin complex shows that cyclin binding may not be sufficient to drive the CDK active site toward an active conformation. Phosphorylated CDK4/cyclin D3 is active as a pRb kinase and is susceptible to inhibition by p27(Kip1). Unlike CDK2/cyclin A, CDK4/cyclin D3 can be inactivated by treatment with lambda-phosphatase, implying that phosphorylated T172 is accessible to a generic phosphatase while bound to a cyclin. Taken together, these results suggest that the structural mechanism of CDK4/cyclin D3 activation differs markedly from that of previously studied CDK/cyclin complexes.
Project description:Signaling by mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) promotes anabolic cellular processes in response to growth factors, nutrients, and hormonal cues. Numerous clinical trials employing the mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin (aka sirolimus) to immuno-suppress patients following organ transplantation have documented the development of hypertriglyceridemia and elevated serum free fatty acids (FFA). We therefore investigated the cellular role of mTORC1 in control of triacylglycerol (TAG) metabolism using cultured murine 3T3-L1 adipocytes. We found that treatment of adipocytes with rapamycin reduced insulin-stimulated TAG storage ~50%. To determine whether rapamycin reduces TAG storage by upregulating lipolytic rate, we treated adipocytes in the absence and presence of rapamycin and isoproterenol, a β2-adrenergic agonist that activates the cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) pathway to promote lipolysis. We found that rapamycin augmented isoproterenol-induced lipolysis without altering cAMP levels. Rapamycin enhanced the isoproterenol-stimulated phosphorylation of hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) on Ser-563 (a PKA site), but had no effect on the phosphorylation of HSL S565 (an AMPK site). Additionally, rapamycin did not affect the isoproterenol-mediated phosphorylation of perilipin, a protein that coats the lipid droplet to initiate lipolysis upon phosphorylation by PKA. These data demonstrate that inhibition of mTORC1 signaling synergizes with the β-adrenergic-cAMP/PKA pathway to augment phosphorylation of HSL to promote hormone-induced lipolysis. Moreover, they reveal a novel metabolic function for mTORC1; mTORC1 signaling suppresses lipolysis, thus augmenting TAG storage.
Project description:Cyclin D-CDK4/6 are the first CDK complexes to be activated in the G1 phase in response to oncogenic pathways. The specific CDK4/6 inhibitor PD0332991 (palbociclib) was recently approved by the FDA and EMA for treatment of advanced ER-positive breast tumors. Unfortunately, no reliable predictive tools are available for identifying potentially responsive or insensitive tumors. We had shown that the activating T172 phosphorylation of CDK4 is the central rate-limiting event that initiates the cell cycle decision and signals the presence of active CDK4. Here, we report that the profile of post-translational modification including T172 phosphorylation of CDK4 differs among breast tumors and associates with their subtypes and risk. A gene expression signature faithfully predicted CDK4 modification profiles in tumors and cell lines. Moreover, in breast cancer cell lines, the CDK4 T172 phosphorylation best correlated with sensitivity to PD0332991. This gene expression signature identifies tumors that are unlikely to respond to CDK4/6 inhibitors and could help to select a subset of patients with HER2-positive and basal-like tumors for clinical studies on this class of drugs.
Project description: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:Cell cycle progression, including genome duplication, is orchestrated by cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). CDK activation depends on phosphorylation of their T-loop by a CDK-activating kinase (CAK). In animals, the only known CAK for CDK2 and CDK1 is cyclin H-CDK7, which is constitutively active. Therefore, the critical activation step is dephosphorylation of inhibitory sites by Cdc25 phosphatases rather than unrestricted T-loop phosphorylation. Homologous CDK4 and CDK6 bound to cyclins D are master integrators of mitogenic/oncogenic signaling cascades by initiating the inactivation of the central oncosuppressor pRb and cell cycle commitment at the restriction point. Unlike the situation in CDK1 and CDK2 cyclin complexes, and in contrast to the weak but constitutive T177 phosphorylation of CDK6, we have identified the T-loop phosphorylation at T172 as the highly regulated step determining CDK4 activity. Whether both CDK4 and CDK6 phosphorylations are catalyzed by CDK7 remains unclear. To answer this question, we took a chemical-genetics approach by using analogue-sensitive CDK7(as/as) mutant HCT116 cells, in which CDK7 can be specifically inhibited by bulky adenine analogs. Intriguingly, CDK7 inhibition prevented activating phosphorylations of CDK4/6, but for CDK4 this was at least partly dependent on its binding to p21 (cip1) . In response to CDK7 inhibition, p21-binding to CDK4 increased concomitantly with disappearance of the most abundant phosphorylation of p21, which we localized at S130 and found to be catalyzed by both CDK4 and CDK2. The S130A mutation of p21 prevented the activating CDK4 phosphorylation, and inhibition of CDK4/6 and CDK2 impaired phosphorylations of both p21 and p21-bound CDK4. Therefore, specific CDK7 inhibition revealed the following: a crucial but partly indirect CDK7 involvement in phosphorylation/activation of CDK4 and CDK6; existence of CDK4-activating kinase(s) other than CDK7; and novel CDK7-dependent positive feedbacks mediated by p21 phosphorylation by CDK4 and CDK2 to sustain CDK4 activation, pRb inactivation, and restriction point passage.
Project description:The cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 (CDK4/6) kinase is dysregulated in melanoma, highlighting it as a potential therapeutic target. CDK4/6 inhibitors are being evaluated in trials for melanoma and additional cancers. While beneficial, resistance to therapy is a concern, and the molecular mechanisms of such resistance remain undefined. We demonstrate that reactivation of mammalian target of rapamycin 1 (mTORC1) signaling through increased expression of the amino acid transporter, solute carrier family 36 member 1 (SLC36A1), drives resistance to CDK4/6 inhibitors. Increased expression of SLC36A1 reflects two distinct mechanisms: (i) Rb loss, which drives SLC36A1 via reduced suppression of E2f; (ii) fragile X mental retardation syndrome-associated protein 1 overexpression, which promotes SLC36A1 translation and subsequently mTORC1. Last, we demonstrate that a combination of a CDK4/6 inhibitor with an mTORC1 inhibitor has increased therapeutic efficacy in vivo, providing an important avenue for improved therapeutic intervention in aggressive melanoma.
Project description:In addition to playing a cardinal role in androgen production, LH also regulates growth and proliferation of theca-interstitial (T-I) cells. Here, we show for the first time that LH/human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) regulates T-I cell proliferation via the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling network. LH/hCG treatment showed a time-dependent stimulation of T-I cell proliferation and phosphorylation of protein kinase B (AKT), ERK1/2, and ribosomal protein (rp)S6 kinase 1 (S6K1), and its downstream effector, rpS6. Pharmacological inhibition of ERK1/2 signaling did not block the hCG-induced phosphorylation of tuberin, the upstream regulator of mTORC1 or S6K1, the downstream target of mTORC1. However, inhibition of AKT signaling completely blocked the hCG response. Furthermore, the AKT-specific inhibitor abolished forskolin (FSK)-stimulated phosphorylation of AKT, tuberin, S6K1, and rpS6. Human CG and FSK-mediated phosphorylation of AKT and downstream targets of mTORC1 were attenuated by inhibition of adenylyl cyclase. Pharmacologic targeting of mTORC1 with rapamycin also abrogated hCG or FSK-induced phosphorylation of S6K1, rpS6, and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E binding protein 1. In addition, hCG or FSK-mediated up-regulation of the cell cycle regulatory proteins cyclin-dependent kinase 4, cyclin D3, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen was blocked by rapamycin. These results were further confirmed by demonstrating that knockdown of mTORC1 using small interfering RNA abolished hCG-mediated increases in cell proliferation and the expression of cyclin D3 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen. Taken together, the present studies show a novel intracellular signaling pathway for T-I cell proliferation involving LH/hCG-mediated activation of the AKT/mTORC1 signaling cascade.
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.