Irantzu Tato

University of Barcelona, Barcino, Catalonia, Spain

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Publications (6)21.88 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Reciprocal regulation of metabolism and signaling allows cells to modulate their activity in accordance with their metabolic resources. Thus, amino acids could activate signal transduction pathways that control cell metabolism. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed the effect of amino acids on fructose-2,6-bisphosphate (Fru-2,6-P2) metabolism. We demonstrate that amino acids increase Fru-2,6-P2 concentration in HeLa and in MCF7 human cells. In conjunction with this, 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase activity, glucose uptake and lactate concentration were increased. These data correlated with the specific phosphorylation of heart 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase (PFKFB2) isoenzyme at S483. This activation was mediated by the PI3K and p38 signaling pathways. Furthermore, Akt inactivation blocked PFKFB2 phosphorylation and Fru-2,6-P2 production, thereby suggesting that the above signaling pathways converge at Akt kinase. In accordance with these results, kinase assays showed that amino acid-activated Akt phosphorylated PFKFB2 at S483; and knock-down experiments confirmed that the increase in Fru-2,6-P2 concentration induced by amino acids was due to PFKFB2. In addition, similar effects on Fru-2,6-P2 metabolism were observed in freshly isolated rat cardiomyocytes treated with amino acids, which indicates that these effects are not restricted to human cancer cells. In these cardiomyocytes, the glucose consumption and the production of lactate and ATP suggest an increase of glycolytic flux. Taken together, these results demonstrate that amino acids stimulate Fru-2,6-P2 synthesis by Akt-dependent PFKFB2 phosphorylation and activation and show how signaling and metabolism are inextricably linked.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) is one of the most powerful tools used for protein analysis. We describe the use of Tris-acetate buffer and 3-15% polyacrylamide gradient gels to simultaneously separate proteins in the mass range of 10-500 kDa. We show that this system is highly sensitive, it has good resolution and high reproducibility, and that it can be used for general applications of PAGE such as Coomassie Brilliant Blue staining and immunoblotting. Moreover, we describe how to generate mini Tris-acetate polyacrylamide gels to use them in miniprotein electrophoresis systems. These economical gels are easy to generate and to manipulate and allow a rapid analysis of proteins. All these features make the Tris-acetate-PAGE system a very helpful tool for protein analysis.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2012; 869:205-13.
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    ABSTRACT: The activity of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complexes regulates essential cellular processes, such as growth, proliferation, or survival. Nutrients such as amino acids are important regulators of mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) activation, thus affecting cell growth, protein synthesis, and autophagy. Here, we show that amino acids may also activate mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2). This activation is mediated by the activity of class I PI3K and of Akt. Amino acids induced a rapid phosphorylation of Akt at Thr-308 and Ser-473. Whereas both phosphorylations were dependent on the presence of mTOR, only Akt phosphorylation at Ser-473 was dependent on the presence of rictor, a specific component of mTORC2. Kinase assays confirmed mTORC2 activation by amino acids. This signaling was functional, as demonstrated by the phosphorylation of Akt substrate FOXO3a. Interestingly, using different starvation conditions, amino acids can selectively activate mTORC1 or mTORC2. These findings identify a new signaling pathway used by amino acids underscoring the crucial importance of these nutrients in cell metabolism and offering new mechanistic insights.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2011; 286(8):6128-42. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The activity of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complexes regulates essential cellular processes, such as growth, proliferation or survival. Nutrients such as amino acids are important regulators of mTOR Complex 1 (mTORC1) activation, thus affecting cell growth, protein synthesis and autophagy. Here, we show that amino acids may also activate mTOR Complex 2 (mTORC2). This activation is mediated by the activity of class I PI3K and of Akt. Amino acids induced a rapid phosphorylation of Akt at Thr308 and Ser473. Whereas both phosphorylations were dependent on the presence of mTOR, only Akt phosphorylation at Ser473 was dependent on the presence of rictor, a specific component of mTORC2. Kinase assays confirmed mTORC2 activation by amino acids. This signaling was functional, as demonstrated by the phosphorylation of Akt substrate FOXO3a. Interestingly, using different starvation conditions, amino acids can selectively activate mTORC1 or mTORC2. These findings identify a new signaling pathway used by amino acids underscoring the crucial importance of these nutrients in cell metabolism and offering new mechanistic insights.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2010; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To separate and analyze giant and small proteins in the same electrophoresis gel, we have used a 3-15% polyacrylamide gradient gel containing 2.6% of the crosslinker bisacrylamide and 0.2 M of Tris-acetate buffer (pH 7.0). Samples were prepared in a sample buffer containing lithium dodecyl sulphate and were run in the gel described above using Tris-Tricine-SDS-sodium bisulfite buffer, pH 8.2, as electrophoresis buffer. Here, we show that this system can be successfully used for general applications of SDS-PAGE such as CBB staining and immunoblot. Thus, by using Tris-acetate 3-15% polyacrylamide gels, it is possible to simultaneously analyze proteins, in the mass range of 10-500 kDa, such as HERC1 (532 kDa), HERC2 (528 kDa), mTOR (289 kDa), Clathrin heavy chain (192 kDa), RSK (90 kDa), S6K (70 kDa), beta-actin (42 kDa), Ran (24 kDa) and LC3 (18 kDa). This system is highly sensitive since it allows detection from as low as 10 microg of total protein per lane. Moreover, it has a good resolution, low cost, high reproducibility and allows for analysis of proteins in a wide range of weights within a short period of time. All these features together with the use of a standard electrophoresis apparatus make the Tris-acetate-PAGE system a very helpful tool for protein analysis.
    Electrophoresis 03/2010; 31(8):1318-21. · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 (S6K1) is emerging as a common downstream target of signalling by hormones and nutrients such as insulin and amino acids. Here, we have investigated how amino acids signal through the S6K1 pathway. First, we found that a commercial anti-phospho-Thr389-S6K1 antibody detects an 80-90 kDa protein that is rapidly phosphorylated in response to amino acids. Unexpectedly, this phosphorylation was insensitive to both mTOR and PI-3 kinase inhibitors, and knockdown experiments showed that this protein was not S6K1. Looking for candidate targets of this phosphorylation, we found that amino acids stimulated phosphorylation of RSK and MSK kinases at residues that are homologous to Thr389 in S6K1. In turn, these phosphorylations required the activity of either p38 or ERK MAP kinases, which could compensate for each other. Moreover, we show that these MAP kinases are also needed for the amino acid-induced phosphorylation of S6K1 at Thr421/Ser424, as well as for that of S6K1 substrate, the S6 ribosomal protein. Consistent with these results, concomitant inhibition of p38 and ERK pathways also antagonised the well-known effects of amino acids on the process of autophagy. Altogether, these findings demonstrate a previously unknown role for MAP kinases in amino acid signalling.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 10/2008; 1783(12):2241-54. · 4.66 Impact Factor