Mammalian target of rapamycin protein complex 2 regulates differentiation of Th1 and Th2 cell subsets via distinct signaling pathways.
ABSTRACT: Many functions of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 1 (mTORC1) have been defined, but relatively little is known about the biology of an alternative mTOR complex, mTORC2. We showed that conditional deletion of rictor, an essential subunit of mTORC2, impaired differentiation into T helper 1 (Th1) and Th2 cells without diversion into FoxP3(+) status or substantial effect on Th17 cell differentiation. mTORC2 promoted phosphorylation of protein kinase B (PKB, or Akt) and PKC, Akt activity, and nuclear NF-kappaB transcription factors in response to T cell activation. Complementation with active Akt restored only T-bet transcription factor expression and Th1 cell differentiation, whereas activated PKC-theta reverted only GATA3 transcription factor and the Th2 cell defect of mTORC2 mutant cells. Collectively, the data uncover vital mTOR-PKC and mTOR-Akt connections in T cell differentiation and reveal distinct pathways by which mTORC2 regulates development of Th1 and Th2 cell subsets.
Project description:Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) plays a range of crucial roles in cell survival, growth, proliferation, metabolism, and morphology. However, mTOR forms two distinct complexes, mTOR complex 1 and mTOR complex 2 (mTORC1 and mTORC2), via association with a series of different components; this allows the complexes to execute their wide range of functions. This study explores further the composition of the mTORC2 complex. Utilizing Rictor knock-out cells, immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry, a novel Rictor associated protein, heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein M (hnRNP M), was identified. The association between hnRNP M and Rictor was verified using recombinant and endogenous protein and the binding site was found to be within aa 1~532 of hnRNP M. The presence of hnRNP M significantly affects phosphorylation of SGK1 S422, but not of Akt S473, PKC? S657 and PKC? T560. Furthermore, hnRNP M also plays a critical role in muscle differentiation because knock-down of either hnRNP M or Rictor in C2C12 myoblasts reduced differentiation. This decrease is able to be rescued by overexpression SGK S422D in hnRNP M knockdown C2C12 myoblasts. Taken together, we have identified a novel Rictor/mTOR binding molecule, hnRNP M, that allows mTORC2 signaling to phosphorylate SGK1 thus regulating muscle differentiation.
Project description:Protein kinase C (PKC) is involved in a wide array of cellular processes such as cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. Phosphorylation of both turn motif (TM) and hydrophobic motif (HM) are important for PKC function. Here, we show that the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) has an important function in phosphorylation of both TM and HM in all conventional PKCs, novel PKCepsilon as well as Akt. Ablation of mTORC2 components (Rictor, Sin1 or mTOR) abolished phosphorylation on the TM of both PKCalpha and Akt and HM of Akt and decreased HM phosphorylation of PKCalpha. Interestingly, the mTORC2-dependent TM phosphorylation is essential for PKCalpha maturation, stability and signalling. Our study demonstrates that mTORC2 is involved in post-translational processing of PKC by facilitating TM and HM phosphorylation and reveals a novel function of mTORC2 in cellular regulation.
Project description:Akt phosphorylation is a major driver of cell survival, motility, and proliferation in development and disease, causing increased interest in upstream regulators of Akt like mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2). We used genetic disruption of Rictor to impair mTORC2 activity in mouse mammary epithelia, which decreased Akt phosphorylation, ductal length, secondary branching, cell motility, and cell survival. These effects were recapitulated with a pharmacological dual inhibitor of mTORC1/mTORC2, but not upon genetic disruption of mTORC1 function via Raptor deletion. Surprisingly, Akt re-activation was not sufficient to rescue cell survival or invasion, and modestly increased branching of mTORC2-impaired mammary epithelial cells (MECs) in culture and in vivo. However, another mTORC2 substrate, protein kinase C (PKC)-alpha, fully rescued mTORC2-impaired MEC branching, invasion, and survival, as well as branching morphogenesis in vivo. PKC-alpha-mediated signaling through the small GTPase Rac1 was necessary for mTORC2-dependent mammary epithelial development during puberty, revealing a novel role for Rictor/mTORC2 in MEC survival and motility during branching morphogenesis through a PKC-alpha/Rac1-dependent mechanism.
Project description:Mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 2 (mTORC2) plays an essential role in regulating cell proliferation through phosphorylating AGC protein kinase family members, including AKT, PKC and SGK1. The functional core complex consists of mTOR, mLST8, and two mTORC2-specific components, Rictor and mSin1. Here we investigated the intermolecular interactions within mTORC2 complex and determined its cryo-electron microscopy structure at 4.9?Å resolution. The structure reveals a hollow rhombohedral fold with a 2-fold symmetry. The dimerized mTOR serves as a scaffold for the complex assembly. The N-terminal half of Rictor is composed of helical repeat clusters and binds to mTOR through multiple contacts. mSin1 is located close to the FRB domain and catalytic cavity of mTOR. Rictor and mSin1 together generate steric hindrance to inhibit binding of FKBP12-rapamycin to mTOR, revealing the mechanism for rapamycin insensitivity of mTORC2. The mTOR dimer in mTORC2 shows more compact conformation than that of mTORC1 (rapamycin sensitive), which might result from the interaction between mTOR and Rictor-mSin1. Structural comparison shows that binding of Rictor and Raptor (mTORC1-specific component) to mTOR is mutually exclusive. Our study provides a basis for understanding the assembly of mTORC2 and a framework to further characterize the regulatory mechanism of mTORC2 pathway.
Project description:Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a central regulator of growth and metabolism. mTOR resides in two distinct multi-protein complexes - mTORC1 and mTORC2 - with distinct upstream regulators and downstream targets. While it is possible to specifically inhibit mTORC1 with rapamycin, or inhibit both mTOR complexes together with ATP pocket directed mTOR kinase inhibitors, it is not possible to assess the specific roles for mTORC2 pharmacologically. To overcome this, we have developed a novel, inducible, dominant negative system for disrupting substrate recruitment to mTORC2. Previously we identified the mTORC2 specific subunit Sin1 as a direct binding partner for AGC kinases Akt and PKC. Sin1 mutants, which retain the ability to bind Rictor and mTOR, but fail to recruit their AGC client kinases, inhibit AKT and PKC priming and block cell growth. In this study, we demonstrate that uncoupling mTORC2 from AGC kinases in DLD1 colon cancer cells inhibits Akt activation and blocks tumour growth in vivo. Further we demonstrate, using time resolved two-site amplified FRET (A-FRET) analysis of xenograft tumours, that inhibition of tumour growth correlates with the degree of mTORC2 uncoupling from its downstream targets, as demonstrated for Akt. These data add weight to the body of evidence that mTORC2 represents a pharmacological target in cancer independently of mTORC1.
Project description:A small molecule which specifically blocks the interaction of Rictor and mTOR was identified utilizing a high-throughput yeast two-hybrid screen and evaluated as a potential inhibitor of mTORC2 activity in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). In vitro, CID613034 inhibited mTORC2 kinase activity at submicromolar concentrations and in cellular assays specifically inhibited phosphorylation of mTORC2 substrates, including AKT (Ser-473), NDRG1 (Thr-346) and PKC? (Ser-657), while having no appreciable effects on the phosphorylation status of the mTORC1 substrate S6K (Thr-389) or mTORC1-dependent negative feedback loops. CID613034 demonstrated significant inhibitory effects on cell growth, motility and invasiveness in GBM cell lines and sensitivity correlated with relative Rictor or SIN1 expression. Structure-activity relationship analyses afforded an inhibitor, JR-AB2-011, with improved anti-GBM properties and blocked mTORC2 signaling and Rictor association with mTOR at lower effective concentrations. In GBM xenograft studies, JR-AB2-011 demonstrated significant anti-tumor properties. These data support mTORC2 as a viable therapeutic target in GBM and suggest that targeting protein-protein interactions critical for mTORC2 function is an effective strategy to achieve therapeutic responses.
Project description:The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) functions within two distinct complexes (mTORC1 and mTORC2) to control cell growth, proliferation, survival, and metabolism. While there has been great progress in our understanding of mTORC1 regulation, the signaling mechanisms that regulate mTORC2 have not been defined. In this study, we use liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analyses to identify 21 phosphorylation sites on the core mTORC2 component Rictor. We find that one site, T1135, undergoes growth factor-responsive phosphorylation that is acutely sensitive to rapamycin and is phosphorylated downstream of mTORC1. We find that Rictor-T1135 is directly phosphorylated by the mTORC1-dependent kinase S6K1. Although this phosphorylation event does not affect mTORC2 integrity or in vitro kinase activity, expression of a phosphorylation site mutant of Rictor (T1135A) in either wild-type or Rictor null cells causes an increase in the mTORC2-dependent phosphorylation of Akt on S473. However, Rictor-T1135 phosphorylation does not appear to regulate mTORC2-mediated effects on SGK1 or PKC alpha. While the precise molecular mechanism affecting Akt is unknown, phosphorylation of T1135 stimulates binding of Rictor to 14-3-3 proteins. We provide evidence that Rictor-T1135 phosphorylation acts in parallel with other mTORC1-dependent feedback mechanisms, such as those affecting IRS-1 signaling to PI3K, to regulate the response of Akt to insulin.
Project description:The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) assembles into two distinct multi-protein complexes called mTORC1 and mTORC2. Whereas mTORC1 is known to regulate cell and organismal growth, the role of mTORC2 is less understood. We describe two mouse lines that are devoid of the mTORC2 component rictor in the entire central nervous system or in Purkinje cells. In both lines neurons were smaller and their morphology and function were strongly affected. The phenotypes were accompanied by loss of activation of Akt, PKC, and SGK1 without effects on mTORC1 activity. The striking decrease in the activation and expression of several PKC isoforms, the subsequent loss of activation of GAP-43 and MARCKS, and the established role of PKCs in spinocerebellar ataxia and in shaping the actin cytoskeleton strongly suggest that the morphological deficits observed in rictor-deficient neurons are mediated by PKCs. Together our experiments show that mTORC2 has a particularly important role in the brain and that it affects size, morphology, and function of neurons.
Project description:The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) assembles into two different multi-protein complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2. The mTORC2 complex is distinct due to the unique expression of the specific core regulatory protein Rictor (rapamycin-insensitive companion of mTOR). mTORC2 has been implicated in regulating actin cytoskeletal reorganization but its role in gonadotrope function is unknown. Using the gonadotrope-derived L?T2 cell line, we find that the GnRH agonist buserelin (GnRHa) phosphorylates both mTOR and Rictor. Interestingly, inhibition of mTORC2 blunts GnRHa-induced cyto-architectural rearrangements. Coincident with blunting of actin reorganization, inhibition of mTORC2 also attenuates GnRHa-mediated activation of both protein kinase C (PKC) and extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK). Collectively, our data suggests that GnRHa-mediated mTORC2 activation is important in facilitating actin reorganization events critical for initiating PKC activity and subsequent ERK phosphorylation in the gonadotrope-derived L?T2 cell line.
Project description:The serine/threonine protein kinase Akt is a critical regulator of cell growth and survival in response to growth factors. A key step in Akt activation is phosphorylation at Ser-473 by the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 2 (mTORC2). Although Rictor is required for the stability and activity of mTORC2, little is known about functional regions or post-translational modifications within Rictor that are responsible for regulating mTORC2. Here, we demonstrate that Rictor contains two distinct central regions critical for mTORC2 function. One we refer to as the stability region because it is critical for interaction with Sin1.1 and LST8, and a second adjacent region is required for multisite acetylation. p300-mediated acetylation of Rictor increases mTORC2 activity toward Akt, whereas site-directed mutants within the acetylation region of Rictor exhibit reduced insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)-stimulated mTORC2 kinase activity. Inhibition of deacetylases, including the NAD+-dependent sirtuins, promotes Rictor acetylation and IGF-1-mediated Akt phosphorylation. These results suggest that multiple-site acetylation of Rictor signals for increased activation of mTORC2, providing a critical link between nutrient-sensitive deacetylases and mTORC2 signaling to Akt.