Structure of S6 kinase 1 determines whether raptor-mTOR or rictor-mTOR phosphorylates its hydrophobic motif site
ABSTRACT The mTOR protein kinase is the target of the immunosuppressive and anti-cancer drug rapamycin and is increasingly recognized as a key regulator of cell growth in mammals. S6 kinase 1 (S6K1) is the best characterized effector of mTOR, and its regulation serves as a model for mTOR signaling. Nutrients and growth factors activate S6K1 by inducing the phosphorylation of threonine 389 in the hydrophobic motif of S6K1. As phosphorylation of Thr(389) is rapamycin sensitive and mTOR can phosphorylate the same site in vitro, it has been suggested that mTOR is the physiological Thr(389) kinase. This proposal is not supported, however, by the existence of mutants of S6K1 that are phosphorylated in vivo on Thr(389) in a rapamycin-resistant fashion. Here, we demonstrate that the raptor-mTOR complex phosphorylates the rapamycin-sensitive forms of S6K1, while the distinct rictor-mTOR complex phosphorylates the rapamycin-resistant mutants of S6K1. Phosphorylation of Thr(389) by rictor-mTOR is independent of the TOR signaling motif and depends on removal of the carboxyl terminal domain of S6K1. Because many members of the AGC family of kinases lack an analogous domain, rictor-mTOR may phosphorylate the hydrophobic motifs of other kinases.
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ABSTRACT: Ribosomal S6 kinase 1 (S6K1) is a major mTOR downstream signaling molecule that regulates cell size and translation efficiency. Here, we report that short isoforms of S6K1 are overproduced in breast cancer cell lines and tumors. Overexpression of S6K1 short isoforms induces transformation of human breast epithelial cells. The long S6K1 variant (Iso-1) induced opposite effects. It inhibits Ras-induced transformation and tumor formation, while its knockdown or knockout induces transformation, suggesting that Iso-1 has a tumor-suppressor activity. Furthermore, we found that S6K1 short isoforms bind and activate mTORC1, elevating 4E-BP1 phosphorylation, cap-dependent translation, and Mcl-1 protein levels. Both a phosphorylation-defective 4E-BP1 mutant and the mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin partially blocked the oncogenic effects of S6K1 short isoforms, suggesting that these are mediated by mTORC1 and 4E-BP1. Thus, alternative splicing of S6K1 acts as a molecular switch in breast cancer cells, elevating oncogenic isoforms that activate mTORC1.Cell Reports 12/2012; 3(1). DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2012.11.020 · 7.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Endothelial cells play a central role in inflammatory responses, mediating leukocyte and solute traffic from blood vessels into the tissue, and are therefore key targets for anti-inflammatory therapies. Phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) are important signal transducers in inflammation and cancer, however there are 8 different PI3K catalytic isoforms, several of which have been shown to play distinct roles in cellular responses. Isoform-selective inhibitors have recently been described, but their effects on endothelial cell responses have not been compared. Here we compare the effects of the pan-PI3K inhibitor wortmannin with that of four more isoform-selective inhibitors, PI-103, TGX-221, AS604850 and IC87114, on endothelial cells stimulated with the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα. We find that PI-103 and wortmannin are most effective at reducing both endothelial permeability and leukocyte transendothelial migration (TEM), which correlates with a decrease in both the activity of the tyrosine kinase Pyk2 and its association with VE-cadherin. PI-103-related compounds are therefore likely to be good candidates for treating chronic inflammatory responses involving TNFα.The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology 07/2012; 44(11):1929-36. DOI:10.1016/j.biocel.2012.07.009 · 4.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway regulates cell proliferation, survival and angiogenesis. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a protein kinase ubiquitously expressed within cells that regulates cell growth and survival by integrating nutrient and hormonal signals. mTOR exists in two complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2. Hyperactivation of the mTOR protein has been linked to development of cancer, raising mTOR as an attractive target for cancer therapy. Prodigiosin (PG) and obatoclax (OBX), two members of the prodiginines family, are small molecules with anticancer properties which are currently under clinical trials. In the present paper, we demonstrate that mTOR is a molecular target of both prodiginines in melanoma, a highly drug-resistant cancer model. The inhibition of mTORC1 and mTORC2 complexes by PG or OBX resulted in a loss of AKT phosphorylation at S473, preventing its full activation, with no significant effect on T308. The strongest activity inhibition (89%) was induced by PG on mTORC2. Binding assays using Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) provide kinetic and affinity data of the interaction of these small molecules with mTOR. In addition, in silico modeling produced a detailed atomic description of the binding modes. These results provide new data to understand the mechanism of action of these molecules, and provide new structural data that will allow the development of more specific mTOR inhibitors for cancer treatment.Biochemical pharmacology 12/2011; 83(4):489-96. DOI:10.1016/j.bcp.2011.11.027 · 4.65 Impact Factor