mTOR signaling regulates the processing of pre-rRNA in human cells.

School of Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK.
Nucleic Acids Research (Impact Factor: 8.81). 11/2011; 40(6):2527-39. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkr1040
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Signaling through the mammalian target of rapamycin, complex 1 (mTORC1), positively regulates the transcription of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and the synthesis of ribosomal proteins, thereby promoting the complex process of ribosome biogenesis. The major rRNAs are transcribed as a single precursor, which must be processed to create the 5.8S, 18S and 28S rRNAs. We used a new non-radioactive labeling approach to study the effects of rapamycin, an inhibitor of mTORC1, on rRNA synthesis. Rapamycin not only impaired synthesis of new 18S, 28S or 5S rRNA but also induced their decay. This prompted us to examine the effects of rapamycin on rRNA processing. We show that rapamycin also interferes with the processing events that generate 18S and 28S rRNA. rRNA transcription and processing occur in regions of the nucleus known as nucleoli. We find that the mTORC1 components raptor and mTOR are both present in nucleoli, where they may regulate rRNA maturation events. While rapamycin has no effect on overall nucleolar morphology or its proteome, it does induce loss of mTOR and raptor from them. These data show that mTORC1 is located in nucleoli where it acts to regulate events involved in ribosome biogenesis including the maturation of rRNA molecules.

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    ABSTRACT: Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) controls cell growth and survival downstream of integrin-matrix receptors. Upon adhesion loss or FAK inhibition, FAK can translocate to the nucleus. The nucleolus is a non-membrane nuclear structure that regulates ribosome biogenesis and cell proliferation. Nucleostemin (NS), a nucleolar-localized protein, modulates cell cycle progression, stemness, and three-dimensional tumor spheroid formation. The signaling pathways that regulate NS levels in tumors remain undefined. Human breast carcinoma cells were evaluated for growth in culture (adherent and anchorage-independent spheroid) and as orthotopic tumors. FAK signaling was evaluated by pharmacological FAK inhibitor addition (PF-271, IC50 ~ 0.1 μM) and by small hairpin RNA (shRNA) knockdown followed by re-expression of FAK wildtype (WT) or a kinase-dead (KD, K454R) FAK point mutant. Immunoblotting was used to evaluate FAK, NS, nucleolar phosphoprotein B23, and nucleolin levels. Total and phosphospecific antibody imunoblotting were used to detect changes in FAK, Akt kinase (Akt also known as protein kinase B), and 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) phosphorylation, a translation repressor protein and target of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex. Immunohistochemical, co-immunoprecipitation, and cellular fractionation analyses were used to evaluate FAK association with nucleoli. Pharmacological (0.1 μM PF-271) or genetic inhibition of FAK activity prevents MDA-MB-231 and 4T1L breast carcinoma growth as spheroids and as orthotopic tumors. FAK inhibition triggers proteasome-mediated decreased NS levels but no changes in other nucleolar proteins such as B23 or nucleolin. Active FAK was associated with purified nucleoli of anchorage-independent cells and present within nucleoli of human invasive ductal carcinoma tumor samples. FAK co-immunoprecipitated with B23 that binds NS and a complex between FAK, NS, Akt, and mTOR was detected. Constitutively-active Akt kinase promoted tumor spheroid growth, stabilized NS levels, and promoted p65 4E-BP1 phosphorylation in the presence of inhibited FAK. Rapamycin lowered NS levels and inhibited p65 4E-BP1 phosphorylation in cells with activated Akt-mTOR signaling. FAK signaling occurs in the nucleolus, active FAK protects NS, and Akt-mTOR pathway regulates NS protein stability needed for breast carcinoma spheroid and tumor growth.
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    ABSTRACT: The PI3K/Akt signaling pathway is a major driving force in a variety of cellular functions. Dysregulation of this pathway has been implicated in many human diseases including cancer. While the activity of the cytoplasmic PI3K/Akt pathway has been extensively studied, the functions of these molecules and their effector proteins within the nucleus are poorly understood. Harboring key cellular processes such as DNA replication and repair as well as nascent messenger RNA transcription, the nucleus provides a unique compartmental environment for protein-protein and protein-DNA/RNA interactions required for cell survival, growth, and proliferation. Here we summarize recent advances made towards elucidating the nuclear PI3K/Akt signaling cascade and its key components within the nucleus as they pertain to cell growth and tumorigenesis. This review covers the spatial and temporal localization of the major nuclear kinases having PI3K activities and the counteracting phosphatases as well as the role of nuclear PI3K/Akt signaling in mRNA processing and exportation, DNA replication and repair, ribosome biogenesis, cell survival, and tumorigenesis.
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    ABSTRACT: The proteome of cells is synthesized by ribosomes, complex ribonucleoproteins that in eukaryotes contain 79-80 proteins and four ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) more than 5,400 nucleotides long. How these molecules assemble together and how their assembly is regulated in concert with the growth and proliferation of cells remain important unanswered questions. Here, we review recently emerging principles to understand how eukaryotic ribosomal proteins drive ribosome assembly in vivo. Most ribosomal proteins assemble with rRNA cotranscriptionally; their association with nascent particles is strengthened as assembly proceeds. Each subunit is assembled hierarchically by sequential stabilization of their subdomains. The active sites of both subunits are constructed last, perhaps to prevent premature engagement of immature ribosomes with active subunits. Late-assembly intermediates undergo quality-control checks for proper function. Mutations in ribosomal proteins that affect mostly late steps lead to ribosomopathies, diseases that include a spectrum of cell type-specific disorders that often transition from hypoproliferative to hyperproliferative growth. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biochemistry Volume 84 is June 02, 2015. Please see for revised estimates.

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