- The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling pathway is activated by intracellular nutritional sufficiency and extracellular growth signals. It has been reported that mTORC1 acts as a hub that integrates these inputs to orchestrate a number of cellular responses, including translation, nucleotide synthesis, lipid synthesis, and lysosome biogenesis. However, little is known about specific control of mTORC1 signaling downstream of this complex. Here, we demonstrate that Ragulator, a heteropentameric protein complex required for mTORC1 activation in response to amino acids, is critical for inhibiting the nuclear translocation of transcription factor EB (TFEB).
- The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 2 (mTORC2) signaling controls cell metabolism, promotes cell survival, and contributes to tumorigenesis, yet its upstream regulation remains poorly defined. Although considerable evidence supports the prevailing view that amino acids activate mTOR complex 1 but not mTORC2, several studies reported paradoxical activation of mTORC2 signaling by amino acids. We noted that after amino acid starvation of cells in culture, addition of an amino acid solution increased mTORC2 signaling.
- mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) senses nutrients to mediate anabolic processes within the cell. Exactly how mTORC1 promotes cell growth remains unclear. Here, we identified a novel mTORC1-interacting protein called protein kinase A anchoring protein 8L (AKAP8L). Using biochemical assays, we found that the N-terminal region of AKAP8L binds to mTORC1 in the cytoplasm. Importantly, loss of AKAP8L decreased mTORC1-mediated processes such as translation, cell growth, and cell proliferation. AKAPs anchor protein kinase A (PKA) through PKA regulatory subunits, and we show that AKAP8L can anchor PKA through regulatory subunit Iα.
- Nutrient sensing by cells is crucial, and when this sensing mechanism is disturbed, human disease can occur. mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) senses amino acids to control cell growth, metabolism, and autophagy. Leucine, arginine, and methionine signal to mTORC1 through the well-characterized Rag GTPase signaling pathway. In contrast, glutamine activates mTORC1 through a Rag GTPase–independent mechanism that requires ADP-ribosylation factor 1 (Arf1). Here, using several biochemical and genetic approaches, we show that eight amino acids filter through the Rag GTPase pathway.