Increased AKT S473 phosphorylation after mTORC1 inhibition is rictor dependent and does not predict tumor cell response to PI3K/mTOR inhibition.
ABSTRACT: Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) regulates cellular processes important for progression of human cancer. RAD001 (everolimus), an mTORC1 (mTOR/raptor) inhibitor, has broad antitumor activity in preclinical models and cancer patients. Although most tumor lines are RAD001 sensitive, some are not. Selective mTORC1 inhibition can elicit increased AKT S473 phosphorylation, involving insulin receptor substrate 1, which is suggested to potentially attenuate effects on tumor cell proliferation and viability. Rictor may also play a role because rictor kinase complexes (including mTOR/rictor) regulate AKT S473 phosphorylation. The role of raptor and rictor in the in vitro response of human cancer cells to RAD001 was investigated. Using a large panel of cell lines representing different tumor histotypes, the basal phosphorylation of AKT S473 and some AKT substrates was found to correlate with the antiproliferative response to RAD001. In contrast, increased AKT S473 phosphorylation induced by RAD001 did not correlate. Similar increases in AKT phosphorylation occurred following raptor depletion using siRNA. Strikingly, rictor down-regulation attenuated AKT S473 phosphorylation induced by mTORC1 inhibition. Further analyses showed no relationship between modulation of AKT phosphorylation on S473 and T308 and AKT substrate phosphorylation patterns. Using a dual pan-class I phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/mTOR catalytic inhibitor (NVP-BEZ235), currently in phase I trials, concomitant targeting of these kinases inhibited AKT S473 phosphorylation, eliciting more profound cellular responses than mTORC1 inhibition alone. However, reduced cell viability could not be predicted from biochemical or cellular responses to mTORC1 inhibitors. These data could have implications for the clinical application of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/mTOR inhibitors.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: Tetrameric ?(2)-macroglobulin (?(2)M), a plasma panproteinase inhibitor, is activated upon interaction with a proteinase, and undergoes a major conformational change exposing a receptor recognition site in each of its subunits. Activated ?(2)M (?(2)M*) binds to cancer cell surface GRP78 and triggers proliferative and antiapoptotic signaling. We have studied the role of ?(2)M* in the regulation of mTORC1 and TORC2 signaling in the growth of human prostate cancer cells. METHODS: Employing immunoprecipitation techniques and Western blotting as well as kinase assays, activation of the mTORC1 and mTORC2 complexes, as well as down stream targets were studied. RNAi was also employed to silence expression of Raptor, Rictor, or GRP78 in parallel studies. RESULTS: Stimulation of cells with ?(2)M* promotes phosphorylation of mTOR, TSC2, S6-Kinase, 4EBP, Akt(T308), and Akt(S473) in a concentration and time-dependent manner. Rheb, Raptor, and Rictor also increased. ?(2)M* treatment of cells elevated mTORC1 kinase activity as determined by kinase assays of mTOR or Raptor immunoprecipitates. mTORC1 activity was sensitive to LY294002 and rapamycin or transfection of cells with GRP78 dsRNA. Down regulation of Raptor expression by RNAi significantly reduced ?(2)M*-induced S6-Kinase phosphorylation at T389 and kinase activity in Raptor immunoprecipitates. ?(2)M*-treated cells demonstrate about a twofold increase in mTORC2 kinase activity as determined by kinase assay of Akt(S473) phosphorylation and levels of p-Akt(S473) in mTOR and Rictor immunoprecipitates. mTORC2 activity was sensitive to LY294002 and transfection of cells with GRP78 dsRNA, but insensitive to rapamycin. Down regulation of Rictor expression by RNAi significantly reduces ?(2)M*-induced phosphorylation of Akt(S473) phosphorylation in Rictor immunoprecipitates. CONCLUSION: Binding of ?(2)M* to prostate cancer cell surface GRP78 upregulates mTORC1 and mTORC2 activation and promotes protein synthesis in the prostate cancer cells.
Project description:The mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2) containing mTOR and rictor is thought to be rapamycin insensitive and was recently shown to regulate the prosurvival kinase AKT by phosphorylation on Ser473. We investigated the molecular effects of mTOR inhibition by the rapamycin derivatives (RDs) temsirolimus (CCI-779) and everolimus (RAD001) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. Unexpectedly, RDs not only inhibited the mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) containing mTOR and raptor with decreased p70S6K, 4EPB1 phosphorylation, and GLUT1 mRNA, but also blocked AKT activation via inhibition of mTORC2 formation. This resulted in suppression of phosphorylation of the direct AKT substrate FKHR and decreased transcription of D-cyclins in AML cells. Similar observations were made in samples from patients with hematologic malignancies who received RDs in clinical studies. Our study provides the first evidence that rapamycin derivatives inhibit AKT signaling in primary AML cells both in vitro and in vivo, and supports the therapeutic potential of mTOR inhibition strategies in leukemias.
Project description:The AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway is regulated by 17?-estradiol (E2) signaling and mediates E2-induced proliferation and progesterone receptor (PgR) expression in breast cancer.Here we use deep sequencing analysis of previously published data from The Cancer Genome Atlas to demonstrate that expression of a key component of mTOR signaling, rapamycin-insensitive companion of mTOR (Rictor), positively correlated with an estrogen receptor-? positive (ER?+) breast tumor signature. Through increased microRNA-155 (miR-155) expression in the ER?+ breast cancer cells we demonstrate repression of Rictor enhanced activation of mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling with both qPCR and western blot. miR-155-mediated mTOR signaling resulted in deregulated ER? signaling both in cultured cells in vitro and in xenografts in vivo in addition to repressed PgR expression and activity. Furthermore we observed that miR-155 enhanced mTORC1 signaling (observed through western blot for increased phosphorylation on mTOR S2448) and induced inhibition of mTORC2 signaling (evident through repressed Rictor and tuberous sclerosis 1 (TSC1) gene expression). mTORC1 induced deregulation of E2 signaling was confirmed using qPCR and the mTORC1-specific inhibitor RAD001. Co-treatment of MCF7 breast cancer cells stably overexpressing miR-155 with RAD001 and E2 restored E2-induced PgR gene expression. RAD001 treatment of SCID/CB17 mice inhibited E2-induced tumorigenesis of the MCF7 miR-155 overexpressing cell line. Finally we demonstrated a strong positive correlation between Rictor and PgR expression and a negative correlation with Raptor expression in Luminal B breast cancer samples, a breast cancer histological subtype known for having an altered ER?-signaling pathway.miRNA mediated alterations in mTOR and ER? signaling establishes a new mechanism for altered estrogen responses independent of growth factor stimulation.
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:It has been shown that mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors activate Akt while inhibiting mTOR signaling. However, the underlying mechanisms and the effect of the Akt activation on mTOR-targeted cancer therapy are unclear. The present work focused on addressing the role of mTOR/rictor in mTOR inhibitor-induced Akt activation and the effect of sustained Akt activation on mTOR-targeted cancer therapy. Thus, we have shown that mTOR inhibitors increase Akt phosphorylation through a mechanism independent of mTOR/rictor because the assembly of mTOR/rictor was inhibited by mTOR inhibitors and the silencing of rictor did not abrogate mTOR inhibitor-induced Akt activation. Moreover, Akt activation during mTOR inhibition is tightly associated with development of cell resistance to mTOR inhibitors. Accordingly, cotargeting mTOR and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling prevents mTOR inhibition-initiated Akt activation and enhances antitumor effects both in cell cultures and in animal xenograft models, suggesting an effective cancer therapeutic strategy. Collectively, we conclude that inhibition of the mTOR/raptor complex initiates Akt activation independent of mTOR/rictor. Consequently, the sustained Akt activation during mTOR inhibition will counteract the anticancer efficacy of the mTOR inhibitors.
Project description:Previous studies support a role for mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway signaling, and more recently Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), in pediatric low-grade glioma (PLGG), including pilocytic astrocytoma (PA). Here we further evaluate the role of the mTORC1/mTORC2 pathway in order to better direct pharmacologic blockade in these common childhood tumors.We studied 177 PLGGs and PAs using immunohistochemistry and tested the effect of mTOR blockade on 2 PLGG cell lines (Res186 and Res259) in vitro.Moderate (2+) to strong (3+) immunostaining was observed for pS6 in 107/177 (59%) PAs and other PLGGs, while p4EBP1 was observed in 35/115 (30%), pElF4G in 66/112 (59%), mTOR (total) in 53/113 (47%), RAPTOR (mTORC1 component) in 64/102 (63%), RICTOR (mTORC2 component) in 48/101 (48%), and pAkt (S473) in 63/103 (61%). Complete phosphatase and tensin homolog protein loss was identified in only 7/101 (7%) of cases. In PA of the optic pathways, compared with other anatomic sites, there was increased immunoreactivity for pS6, pElF4G, mTOR (total), RICTOR, and pAkt (P < .05). We also observed increased pS6 (P = .01), p4EBP1 (P = .029), and RICTOR (P = .05) in neurofibromatosis type 1 compared with sporadic tumors. Treatment of the PLGG cell lines Res186 (PA derived) and Res259 (diffuse astrocytoma derived) with the rapalog MK8669 (ridaforolimus) led to decreased mTOR pathway activation and growth.These findings suggest that the mTOR pathway is active in PLGG but varies by clinicopathologic subtype. Additionally, our data suggest that mTORC2 is differentially active in optic pathway and neurofibromatosis type 1-associated gliomas. MTOR represents a potential therapeutic target in PLGG that merits further investigation.
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:Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a core component of raptor-mTOR (mTORC1) and rictor-mTOR (mTORC2) complexes that control diverse cellular processes. Both mTORC1 and mTORC2 regulate several elements downstream of type I insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-IR) and insulin receptor (InsR). However, it is unknown whether and how mTOR regulates IGF-IR and InsR themselves. Here we show that mTOR possesses unexpected tyrosine kinase activity and activates IGF-IR/InsR. Rapamycin induces the tyrosine phosphorylation and activation of IGF-IR/InsR, which is largely dependent on rictor and mTOR. Moreover, mTORC2 promotes ligand-induced activation of IGF-IR/InsR. IGF- and insulin-induced IGF-IR/InsR phosphorylation is significantly compromised in rictor-null cells. Insulin receptor substrate (IRS) directly interacts with SIN1 thereby recruiting mTORC2 to IGF-IR/InsR and promoting rapamycin- or ligand-induced phosphorylation of IGF-IR/InsR. mTOR exhibits tyrosine kinase activity towards the general tyrosine kinase substrate poly(Glu-Tyr) and IGF-IR/InsR. Both recombinant mTOR and immunoprecipitated mTORC2 phosphorylate IGF-IR and InsR on Tyr1131/1136 and Tyr1146/1151, respectively. These effects are independent of the intrinsic kinase activity of IGF-IR/InsR, as determined by assays on kinase-dead IGF-IR/InsR mutants. While both rictor and mTOR immunoprecitates from rictor(+/+) MCF-10A cells exhibit tyrosine kinase activity towards IGF-IR and InsR, mTOR immunoprecipitates from rictor(-/-) MCF-10A cells do not induce IGF-IR and InsR phosphorylation. Phosphorylation-deficient mutation of residue Tyr1131 in IGF-IR or Tyr1146 in InsR abrogates the activation of IGF-IR/InsR by mTOR. Finally, overexpression of rictor promotes IGF-induced cell proliferation. Our work identifies mTOR as a dual-specificity kinase and clarifies how mTORC2 promotes IGF-IR/InsR activation.
Project description:Mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a protein kinase regulating cell growth, survival, metabolism, and immunity. mTOR is usually assembled into several complexes such as mTOR complex 1/2 (mTORC1/2). In cooperation with raptor, rictor, LST8, and mSin1, key components in mTORC1 or mTORC2, mTOR catalyzes the phosphorylation of multiple targets such as ribosomal protein S6 kinase ?-1 (S6K1), eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E binding protein 1 (4E-BP1), Akt, protein kinase C (PKC), and type-I insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-IR), thereby regulating protein synthesis, nutrients metabolism, growth factor signaling, cell growth, and migration. Activation of mTOR promotes tumor growth and metastasis. Many mTOR inhibitors have been developed to treat cancer. While some of the mTOR inhibitors have been approved to treat human cancer, more mTOR inhibitors are being evaluated in clinical trials. Here, we update recent advances in exploring mTOR signaling and the development of mTOR inhibitors for cancer therapy. In addition, we discuss the mechanisms underlying the resistance to mTOR inhibitors in cancer cells.