TOR (target of rapamycin) is a key regulator of triacylglycerol accumulation in microalgae.
ABSTRACT: Most microalgae abundantly accumulate lipid droplets (LDs) containing triacylglycerols (TAGs) under several stress conditions, but the underlying molecular mechanism of this accumulation remains unclear. In a recent study, we found that inhibition of TOR (target of rapamycin), a highly conserved protein kinase of eukaryotes, by rapamycin resulted in TAG accumulation in microalgae, indicating that TOR negatively regulates TAG accumulation. Here, we show that formation of intracellular LDs and TAG accumulation were also induced in the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii after exposure to Torin1 or AZD8055, which are novel TOR inhibitors that inhibit TOR activity in a manner different from rapamycin. These results supported quite well our previous conclusion that TOR is a central regulator of TAG accumulation in microalgae.
Project description:The target of rapamycin (TOR) kinase is a master metabolic regulator with roles in nutritional sensing, protein translation, and autophagy. In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a unicellular green alga, TOR has been linked to the regulation of increased triacylglycerol (TAG) accumulation, suggesting that TOR or a downstream target(s) is responsible for the elusive "lipid switch" in control of increasing TAG accumulation under nutrient limitation. However, while TOR has been well characterized in mammalian systems, it is still poorly understood in photosynthetic systems, and little work has been done to show the role of oxidative signaling in TOR regulation. In this study, the TOR inhibitor AZD8055 was used to relate reversible thiol oxidation to the physiological changes seen under TOR inhibition, including increased TAG content. Using oxidized cysteine resin-assisted capture enrichment coupled with label-free quantitative proteomics, 401 proteins were determined to have significant changes in oxidation following TOR inhibition. These oxidative changes mirrored characterized physiological modifications, supporting the role of reversible thiol oxidation in TOR regulation of TAG production, protein translation, carbohydrate catabolism, and photosynthesis through the use of reversible thiol oxidation. The delineation of redox-controlled proteins under TOR inhibition provides a framework for further characterization of the TOR pathway in photosynthetic eukaryotes.
Project description:Target of Rapamycin (TOR) signaling is an important regulator in multiple organisms including yeast, plants, and animals. However, the TOR signaling in plants is much less understood as compared to that in yeast and animals. TOR kinase can be efficiently suppressed by rapamycin in the presence of functional FK506 Binding Protein 12 KD (FKBP12) in yeast and animals. In most examined higher plants rapamycin fails to inhibit TOR kinase due to the non-functional FKBP12. Here we find that tomato plants showed obvious growth inhibition when treated with rapamycin and the inhibitory phenotype is similar to suppression of TOR causing by active-site TOR inhibitors (asTORis) such as KU63794, AZD8055, and Torin1. The chemical genetic assays using TOR inhibitors and heterologous expressing SlFKBP12 in Arabidopsis indicated that the TOR signaling is functional in tomato. The protein gel shifting and TOR inhibitors combination assays showed that SlFKBP12 can mediate the interaction between rapamycin and TOR. Furthermore, comparative expression profile analysis between treatments with rapamycin and KU63794 identified highly overlapped Differentially Expressed Genes (DEGs) which are involved in many anabolic and catabolic processes, such as photosynthesis, cell wall restructuring, and senescence in tomato. These observations suggest that SlFFBP12 is functional in tomato. The results provided basic information of TOR signaling in tomato, and also some new insights into how TOR controls plant growth and development through reprogramming the transcription profiles.
Project description:The target of rapamycin (TOR) kinase regulates cell growth and division. Rapamycin only inhibits a subset of TOR activities. Here we show that in contrast to the mild impact of rapamycin on cell division, blocking the catalytic site of TOR with the Torin1 inhibitor completely arrests growth without cell death in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. A mutation of the Tor2 glycine residue (G2040D) that lies adjacent to the key Torin-interacting tryptophan provides Torin1 resistance, confirming the specificity of Torin1 for TOR. Using this mutation, we show that Torin1 advanced mitotic onset before inducing growth arrest. In contrast to TOR inhibition with rapamycin, regulation by either Wee1 or Cdc25 was sufficient for this Torin1-induced advanced mitosis. Torin1 promoted a Polo and Cdr2 kinase-controlled drop in Wee1 levels. Experiments in human cell lines recapitulated these yeast observations: mammalian TOR (mTOR) was inhibited by Torin1, Wee1 levels declined and mitotic commitment was advanced in HeLa cells. Thus, the regulation of the mitotic inhibitor Wee1 by TOR signalling is a conserved mechanism that helps to couple cell cycle and growth controls.
Project description:Target of rapamycin (TOR) acts as a master regulator to control cell growth by integrating nutrient, energy, and growth factors in all eukaryotic species. TOR plays an evolutionarily conserved role in regulating the transcription of genes associated with anabolic and catabolic processes in Arabidopsis, but little is known about the functions of TOR in photosynthesis and phytohormone signaling, which are unique features of plants. In this study, AZD8055 (AZD) was screened as the strongest active-site TOR inhibitor (asTORi) in Arabidopsis compared with TORIN1 and KU63794 (KU). Gene expression profiles were evaluated using RNA-seq after treating Arabidopsis seedlings with AZD. More than three-fold differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in AZD-treated plants relative to rapamycin-treated plants in previous studies. Most of the DEGs and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways involved in cell wall elongation, ribosome biogenesis, and cell autophagy were common to both AZD- and rapamycin-treated samples, but AZD displayed much broader and more efficient inhibition of TOR compared with rapamycin. Importantly, the suppression of TOR by AZD resulted in remodeling of the expression profile of the genes associated with photosynthesis and various phytohormones, indicating that TOR plays a crucial role in modulating photosynthesis and phytohormone signaling in Arabidopsis. These newly identified DEGs expand the understanding of TOR signaling in plants. This study elucidates the novel functions of TOR in photosynthesis and phytohormone signaling and provides a platform to study the downstream targets of TOR in Arabidopsis.
Project description:Target of rapamycin (TOR) acts as an important regulator of cell growth, development and stress responses in most examined diploid eukaryotes. However, little is known about TOR in tetraploid species such as cotton. Here, we show that TORC1-S6K-RPS6, the major signaling components, are conserved and further expanded in cotton genome. Though the cotton seedlings are insensitive to rapamycin, AZD8055, the second-generation inhibitor of TOR, can significantly suppress the growth in cotton. Global transcriptome analysis revealed that genes associated with jasmonic acid (JA) biosynthesis and transduction were significantly altered in AZD8055 treated cotton seedlings, suggesting the potential crosstalk between TOR and JA signaling. Pharmacological and genetic approaches have been employed to get further insights into the molecular mechanism of the crosstalk between TOR and JA. Combination of AZD8055 with methyl jasmonate can synergistically inhibit cotton growth, and additionally JA levels were significantly increased when cotton seedlings were subjected to AZD8055. JA biosynthetic and signaling mutants including jar1, coi1-2 and myc2-2 displayed TOR inhibitor-resistant phenotypes, whereas COI1 overexpression transgenic lines and jaz10 exhibited sensitivity to AZD8055. Consistently, cotton JAZ can partially rescue TOR-suppressed phenotypes in Arabidopsis. These evidences revealed that the crosstalk between TOR and JA pathway operates in cotton and Arabidopsis.
Project description:Target of rapamycin (TOR) acts as a master regulator in coordination of cell growth with energy and nutrient availability. Despite the increased appreciation of the essential role of the TOR complex in interaction with phytohormone signaling, little is known about its function on ethylene signaling. Here, through expression analysis, genetic and biochemical approaches, we reveal that TOR functions in the regulation of ethylene signals. Transcriptional analysis indicates that TOR inhibition by AZD8055 upregulated senescence- and ethylene-related genes expression. Furthermore, ethylene insensitive mutants like etr1-1, ein2-5 and ein3 eil1, showed more hyposensitivity to AZD8055 than that of WT in hypocotyl growth inhibition. Similarly, blocking ethylene signals by ethylene action inhibitor Ag+ or biosynthesis inhibitor aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) largely rescued hypocotyl growth even in presence of AZD8055. In addition, we also demonstrated that Type 2A phosphatase-associated protein of 46 kDa (TAP46), a downstream component of TOR signaling, physically interacts with 1-aminocy-clopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) synthase ACS2 and ACS6. Arabidopsis overexpressing ACS2 or ACS6 showed more hypersensitivity to AZD8055 than WT in hypocotyl growth inhibition. Moreover, ACS2/ACS6 protein was accumulated under TOR suppression, implying TOR modulates ACC synthase protein levels. Taken together, our results indicate that TOR participates in negatively modulating ethylene signals and the molecular mechanism is likely involved in the regulation of ethylene biosynthesis by affecting ACSs in transcription and protein levels.
Project description:Target of Rapamycin (TOR) is an eukaryotic protein kinase and evolutionally conserved from the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) to humans. The growing evidences have shown that TOR signaling acts as a central controller of cell growth and development. The downstream effectors of TOR have been well-identified in yeast and animals by using the immunosuppression agent rapamycin. However, less is known about TOR in plants. This is largely due to the fact that plants are insensitive to rapamycin. In this study, AZD8055 (AZD), the novel ATP-competitive inhibitor of TOR, was employed to decipher the downstream effectors of TOR in Arabidopsis. One AZD insensitive mutant, T O R - i nhibitor i n sensitive- 1 (trin1), was screened from 10,000 EMS-induced mutation seeds. The cotyledons of trin1 can turn green when its seeds were germinated on ½ MS medium supplemented with 2 ?M AZD, whereas the cotyledons greening of wild-type (WT) can be completely blocked at this concentration. Through genetic mapping, TRIN1 was mapped onto the long arm of chromosome 2, between markers SGCSNP26 and MI277. Positional cloning revealed that TRIN1 was an allele of ABI4, which encoded an ABA-regulated AP2 domain transcription factor. Plants containing P35S::TRIN1 or P35S::TRIN1-GUS were hypersensitive to AZD treatment and displayed the opposite phenotype observed in trin1. Importantly, GUS signaling was significantly enhanced in P35S::TRIN1-GUS transgenic plants in response to AZD treatment, indicating that suppression of TOR resulted in the accumulation of TRIN1. These observations revealed that TOR controlled seed-to-seedling transition by negatively regulating the stability of TRIN1 in Arabidopsis. For the first time, TRIN1, the downstream effector of TOR signaling, was identified through a chemical genetics approach.
Project description:Target of rapamycin (TOR) is a serine/threonine protein kinase that plays a central regulating role in cell proliferation, growth, and metabolism, but little is known about the TOR signaling pathway in <i>Chlorella sorokiniana</i>. In this study, a <i>Chlorella sorokiniana</i> DP-1 strain was isolated and identified, and its nutritional compositions were analyzed. Based on homologous sequence analysis, the conserved CsTOR protein was found in the genome of <i>Chlorella sorokiniana</i>. In addition, the key components of TOR complex 1 (TORC1) were present, but the components of TORC2 (RICTOR and SIN1) were absent in <i>Chlorella sorokiniana</i>. Pharmacological assays showed that <i>Chlorella sorokiniana</i> DP-1 was insensitive to rapamycin, Torin1 and KU0063794, whereas AZD8055 could significantly inhibit the growth of <i>Chlorella sorokiniana</i>. RNA-seq analysis showed that CsTOR regulated various metabolic processes and signal transduction pathways in AZD8055-treated <i>Chlorella sorokiniana</i> DP-1. Most genes involved in photosynthesis and carbon fixation in <i>Chlorella sorokiniana</i> DP-1 were significantly downregulated under CsTOR inhibition, indicating that CsTOR positively regulated the photosynthesis in <i>Chlorella sorokiniana</i>. Furthermore, CsTOR controlled protein synthesis and degradation by positively regulating ribosome synthesis and negatively regulating autophagy. These observations suggested that CsTOR plays an important role in photosynthesis and cellular metabolism, and provide new insights into the function of CsTOR in <i>Chlorella sorokiniana</i>.
Project description:The target of rapamycin (TOR) kinase is a central regulatory hub that translates environmental and nutritional information into permissive or restrictive growth decisions. Although the TOR pathway is conserved among eukaryotes, plants developed unique adaptations to this pathway to cope with their autotrophic and sessile nature. Here, we captured for the first time a proteome-wide view of the plant TOR phosphorylation and interaction landscape. After sampling four biological repeats, proteins were extracted, digested and phosphopeptides were enriched. In total, 8302 phosphopeptides on 2558 proteins were identified from all samples. After label free quantitative analysis, a filtered dataset of 5500 phosphopeptides on 2056 proteins was retained. To identify TOR-dependent sites, the control-, AZD8055- and rapamycin-treated samples were statistically analyzed using a linear mixed model to evaluate the effect of the treatment, time and the interaction between both. For T10, T20 and T40, the sucrose control samples were compared to the AZD8055 or rapamycin samples. In addition, the AZD8055 samples were compared to the rapamycin samples, and the sucrose control samples (T10, T20, T40) were compared to T0. Overall, the strongest effect occurred with AZD8055. Therefore, an additional filter was applied retrieving only phosphopeptides that changed at least two-fold upon AZD8055 treatment. In total, 96 unambiguous TOR-dependent phosphosites were detected on 66 proteins, linking TOR to a plethora of biological processes.