MTORC1 to AMPK switching underlies ?-cell metabolic plasticity during maturation and diabetes.
ABSTRACT: Pancreatic beta cells (?-cells) differentiate during fetal life, but only postnatally acquire the capacity for glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). How this happens is not clear. In exploring what molecular mechanisms drive the maturation of ?-cell function, we found that the control of cellular signaling in ?-cells fundamentally switched from the nutrient sensor target of rapamycin (mTORC1) to the energy sensor 5'-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and that this was critical for functional maturation. Moreover, AMPK was activated by the dietary transition taking place during weaning, and this in turn inhibited mTORC1 activity to drive the adult ?-cell phenotype. While forcing constitutive mTORC1 signaling in adult ?-cells relegated them to a functionally immature phenotype with characteristic transcriptional and metabolic profiles, engineering the switch from mTORC1 to AMPK signaling was sufficient to promote ?-cell mitochondrial biogenesis, a shift to oxidative metabolism, and functional maturation. We also found that type 2 diabetes, a condition marked by both mitochondrial degeneration and dysregulated GSIS, was associated with a remarkable reversion of the normal AMPK-dependent adult ?-cell signature to a more neonatal one characterized by mTORC1 activation. Manipulating the way in which cellular nutrient signaling pathways regulate ?-cell metabolism may thus offer new targets to improve ?-cell function in diabetes.
Project description:Pancreatic beta cells (β-cells) differentiate during fetal life, but only postnatally acquire the capacity for glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). The molecular mechanisms driving this maturation of β-cell function remain incompletely understood. Here, we show that the control of cellular signaling in β-cells fundamentally switches from the nutrient sensor target of rapamycin (mTORC1) to the energy sensor 5'-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and that this is critical for functional maturation. Moreover, AMPK is activated by the dietary transition taking place during weaning, and this in turn inhibits mTORC1 activity to drive the adult β-cell phenotype. While forcing constitutive mTORC1 signaling in adult β-cells relegates them to a functionally immature phenotype with characteristic transcriptional and metabolic profiles, engineering the switch from mTORC1 to AMPK signaling is sufficient to promote β-cell mitochondrial biogenesis, a shift to oxidative metabolism, and functional maturation. We also show that type 2 diabetes, a condition marked by both mitochondrial degeneration and dysregulated GSIS, is associated with a remarkable reversion of the normal AMPK-dependent adult β-cell signature to a more neonatal one characterized by mTORC1 activation. Manipulating the way in which cellular nutrient signaling pathways regulate β-cell metabolism may thus offer new targets to improve β-cell function in diabetes. Overall design: 1- pancreatic β-cells mRNA profile of P6 (WT) and P45 (WT) were generated by deep sequencing in triplicate. 2- whole islets from βTSC1 KO and controls (CTRL) were genrated by deep sequencing in duplicate. 3- whole islets from db and control (Control) were genrated by deep sequencing in duplicate.
Project description:The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a sensor of cellular energy and nutrient status, expressed almost universally in eukaryotes as heterotrimeric complexes comprising catalytic (?) and regulatory (? and ?) subunits. Along with the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex-1 (mTORC1), AMPK may have been one of the earliest signaling pathways to have arisen during eukaryotic evolution. Recent crystal structures have provided insights into the mechanisms by which AMPK is regulated by phosphorylation and allosteric activators. Another recent development has been the realization that activation of AMPK by the upstream kinase LKB1 may primarily occur not in the cytoplasm, but at the surface of the lysosome, where AMPK and mTORC1 are regulated in a reciprocal manner by the availability of nutrients. It is also becoming clear that there is a substantial amount of crosstalk between the AMPK pathway and other signaling pathways that promote cell growth and proliferation, and this will be discussed.
Project description:Cellular homeostasis is controlled by an evolutionary conserved cellular digestive process called autophagy. This mechanism is tightly regulated by the two sensor elements called mTORC1 and AMPK. mTORC1 is one of the master regulators of proteostasis, while AMPK maintains cellular energy homeostasis. AMPK is able to promote autophagy by phosphorylating ULK1, the key inducer of autophagosome formation, while mTORC1 downregulates the self-eating process via ULK1 under nutrient rich conditions. We claim that the feedback loops of the AMPK-mTORC1-ULK1 regulatory triangle guarantee the appropriate response mechanism when nutrient and/or energy supply changes. In our opinion, there is an essential double negative feedback loop between mTORC1 and AMPK. Namely, not only does AMPK downregulate mTORC1, but mTORC1 also inhibits AMPK and this inhibition is required to keep AMPK inactive at physiological conditions. The aim of the present study was to explore the dynamical characteristic of AMPK regulation upon various cellular stress events. We approached our scientific analysis from a systems biology perspective by incorporating both theoretical and molecular biological techniques. In this study, we confirmed that AMPK is essential to promote autophagy, but is not sufficient to maintain it. AMPK activation is followed by ULK1 induction, where protein has a key role in keeping autophagy active. ULK1-controlled autophagy is always preceded by AMPK activation. With both ULK1 depletion and mTORC1 hyper-activation (i.e., TSC1/2 downregulation), we demonstrate that a double negative feedback loop between AMPK and mTORC1 is crucial for the proper dynamic features of the control network. Our computer simulations have further proved the dynamical characteristic of AMPK-mTORC1-ULK1 controlled cellular nutrient sensing.
Project description:Mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), a nutrient sensor and central controller of cell growth and proliferation, is altered in various models of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Even less studied or understood in AD is mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) that influences cellular metabolism, in part through the regulations of Akt/PKB and SGK. Dysregulation of insulin/PI3K/Akt signaling is another important feature of AD pathogenesis. We found that both total mTORC1 and C2 protein levels and individual C1 and C2 enzymatic activities were decreased in human AD brain samples. In two rodent AD models, mTORC1 and C2 activities were also decreased. In a neuronal culture model of AD characterized by accumulation of cellular amyloid-? (A?)42, mTORC1 activity was reduced. Autophagic vesicles and markers were correspondingly increased and new protein synthesis was inhibited, consistent with mTORC1 hypofunction. Interestingly, mTORC2 activity in neural culture seemed resistant to the effects of intracellular amyloid. In various cell lines, A? expression provoked insulin resistance, characterized by inhibition of stimulated Akt phosphorylation, and an increase in negative mTORC1 regular, p-AMPK, itself a nutrient sensor. Rapamycin decreased phospho-mTOR and to lesser degree p-Rictor. This further suppression of mTORC1 activity protected cells from A?-induced toxicity and insulin resistance. More striking, Rictor over-expression fully reversed the A?-effects on primary neuronal cultures. Finally, using in vitro assay, Rictor protein addition completely overcame oligomeric A?-induced inhibition of the PDK-Akt activation step. We conclude that striking a new balance by restoring mTORC2 abundance and/or inhibition of mTORC1 has therapeutic potential in AD.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Kinases mTORC1 and AMPK act as energy sensors, controlling nutrient responses and cellular growth. Changes in nutrient levels affect diverse transcriptional networks, making it challenging to identify downstream paths that regulate cellular growth or a switch to development via nutrient variation. The life cycle of Dictyostelium presents an excellent model to study the mTORC1 signaling function for growth and development. Dictyostelium grow as single cells in nutrient-rich media, but, upon nutrient withdrawal, growth ceases and cells enter a program for multi-cell development. While nearly half the genome shows gene expression changes upon nutrient removal, we hypothesized that not all of these genes are required for the switch to program development. Through manipulation of mTORC1 activity alone, without nutrient removal, we focused on a core network of genes that are required for switching between growth and development for regulation of cell fate decisions. RESULTS:To identify developmentally essential genes, we sought ways to promote development in the absence of nutrient loss. We first examined the activities of mTORC1 and AMPK in Dictyostelium during phases of rapid growth and starvation-induced development and showed they exhibited reciprocal patterns of regulation under various conditions. Using these as initial readouts, we identified rich media conditions that promoted rapid cell growth but, upon mTORC1 inactivation by rapamycin, led to a growth/development switch. Examination of gene expression during cell fate switching showed that changes in expression of most starvation-regulated genes were not required for developmental induction. Approximately 1000 genes which become downregulated upon rapamycin treatment comprise a cellular growth network involving ribosome biogenesis, protein synthesis, and cell cycle processes. Conversely, the upregulation of ~?500 genes by rapamycin treatment defines essential signaling pathways for developmental induction, and ~?135 of their protein products intersect through the well-defined cAMP/PKA network. Many of the rapamycin-induced genes we found are currently unclassified, and mutation analyses of 5 such genes suggest a novel gene class essential for developmental regulation. CONCLUSIONS:We show that manipulating activities of mTORC1/AMPK in the absence of nutrient withdrawal is sufficient for a growth-to-developmental fate switch in Dictyostelium, providing a means to identify transcriptional networks and signaling pathways essential for early development.
Project description:Folliculin interacting protein 1 (Fnip1) is a cytoplasmic protein originally discovered through its interaction with the master metabolic sensor 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and Folliculin, a protein mutated in individuals with Birt-Hogg-Dubé Syndrome. In response to low energy, AMPK stimulates catabolic pathways such as autophagy to enhance energy production while inhibiting anabolic pathways regulated by the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). We previously found that constitutive disruption of <i>Fnip1</i> in mice resulted in a lack of peripheral B cells because of a block in B cell development at the pre-B cell stage. Both AMPK and mTORC1 were activated in <i>Fnip1</i>-deficient B cell progenitors. In this study, we found inappropriate mTOR localization at the lysosome under nutrient-depleted conditions. Ex vivo lysine or arginine depletion resulted in increased apoptosis. Genetic inhibition of AMPK, inhibition of mTORC1, or restoration of cell viability with a Bcl-x<sub>L</sub> transgene failed to rescue B cell development in <i>Fnip1</i>-deficient mice. <i>Fnip1</i>-deficient B cell progenitors exhibited increased nuclear localization of transcription factor binding to IgHM enhancer 3 (TFE3) in developing B cells, which correlated with an increased expression of TFE3-target genes, increased lysosome numbers and function, and increased autophagic flux. These results indicate that Fnip1 modulates autophagy and energy response pathways in part through the regulation of AMPK, mTORC1, and TFE3 in B cell progenitors.
Project description:Engineered cardiac tissues hold promise for cell therapy and drug development, but exhibit inadequate function and maturity. In this study, we sought to significantly improve the function and maturation of rat and human engineered cardiac tissues. We developed dynamic, free-floating culture conditions for engineering "cardiobundles", 3-dimensional cylindrical tissues made from neonatal rat cardiomyocytes or human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) embedded in fibrin-based hydrogel. Compared to static culture, 2-week dynamic culture of neonatal rat cardiobundles significantly increased expression of sarcomeric proteins, cardiomyocyte size (?2.1-fold), contractile force (?3.5-fold), and conduction velocity of action potentials (?1.4-fold). The average contractile force per cross-sectional area (59.7 mN/mm2) and conduction velocity (52.5 cm/s) matched or approached those of adult rat myocardium, respectively. The inferior function of statically cultured cardiobundles was rescued by transfer to dynamic conditions, which was accompanied by an increase in mTORC1 activity and decline in AMPK phosphorylation and was blocked by rapamycin. Furthermore, dynamic culture effects did not stimulate ERK1/2 pathway and were insensitive to blockers of mechanosensitive channels, suggesting increased nutrient availability rather than mechanical stimulation as the upstream activator of mTORC1. Direct comparison with phenylephrine treatment confirmed that dynamic culture promoted physiological cardiomyocyte growth rather than pathological hypertrophy. Optimized dynamic culture conditions also augmented function of human cardiobundles made reproducibly from cardiomyocytes derived from multiple hPSC lines, resulting in significantly increased contraction force (?2.5-fold) and conduction velocity (?1.4-fold). The average specific force of 23.2 mN/mm2 and conduction velocity of 25.8 cm/s approached the functional metrics of adult human myocardium. In conclusion, we have developed a versatile methodology for engineering cardiac tissues with a near-adult functional output without the need for exogenous electrical or mechanical stimulation, and have identified mTOR signaling as an important mechanism for advancing tissue maturation and function in vitro.
Project description:AMPK is a central energy sensor linking extracellular milieu fluctuations with the autophagic machinery. In the current study we uncover that Poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation (PARylation), a post-translational modification (PTM) of proteins, accounts for the spatial and temporal regulation of autophagy by modulating AMPK subcellular localisation and activation. More particularly, we show that the minority AMPK pool needs to be exported to the cytosol in a PARylation-dependent manner for optimal induction of autophagy, including ULK1 phosphorylation and mTORC1 inactivation. PARP-1 forms a molecular complex with AMPK in the nucleus in non-starved cells. In response to nutrient deprivation, PARP-1 catalysed PARylation, induced the dissociation of the PARP-1/AMPK complex and the export of free PARylated nuclear AMPK to the cytoplasm to activate autophagy. PARP inhibition, its silencing or the expression of PARylation-deficient AMPK mutants prevented not only the AMPK nuclear-cytosolic export but also affected the activation of the cytosolic AMPK pool and autophagosome formation. These results demonstrate that PARylation of AMPK is a key early signal to efficiently convey extracellular nutrient perturbations with downstream events needed for the cell to optimize autophagic commitment before autophagosome formation.
Project description:The mTORC1 kinase is a master growth regulator that senses many environmental cues, including amino acids. Activation of mTORC1 by arginine requires SLC38A9, a poorly understood lysosomal membrane protein with homology to amino acid transporters. Here, we validate that SLC38A9 is an arginine sensor for the mTORC1 pathway, and we uncover an unexpectedly central role for SLC38A9 in amino acid homeostasis. SLC38A9 mediates the transport, in an arginine-regulated fashion, of many essential amino acids out of lysosomes, including leucine, which mTORC1 senses through the cytosolic Sestrin proteins. SLC38A9 is necessary for leucine generated via lysosomal proteolysis to exit lysosomes and activate mTORC1. Pancreatic cancer cells, which use macropinocytosed protein as a nutrient source, require SLC38A9 to form tumors. Thus, through SLC38A9, arginine serves as a lysosomal messenger that couples mTORC1 activation to the release from lysosomes of the essential amino acids needed to drive cell growth.
Project description:AMPK is a highly conserved sensor of cellular energy status that is activated under conditions of low intracellular ATP. AMPK responds to energy stress by suppressing cell growth and biosynthetic processes, in part through its inhibition of the rapamycin-sensitive mTOR (mTORC1) pathway. AMPK phosphorylation of the TSC2 tumor suppressor contributes to suppression of mTORC1; however, TSC2-deficient cells remain responsive to energy stress. Using a proteomic and bioinformatics approach, we sought to identify additional substrates of AMPK that mediate its effects on growth control. We report here that AMPK directly phosphorylates the mTOR binding partner raptor on two well-conserved serine residues, and this phosphorylation induces 14-3-3 binding to raptor. The phosphorylation of raptor by AMPK is required for the inhibition of mTORC1 and cell-cycle arrest induced by energy stress. These findings uncover a conserved effector of AMPK that mediates its role as a metabolic checkpoint coordinating cell growth with energy status.