Structure of S6 Kinase 1 Determines whether Raptor-mTOR or Rictor-mTOR Phosphorylates Its Hydrophobic Motif Site

ArticleinJournal of Biological Chemistry 280(20):19445-8 · June 2005with8 Reads
Impact Factor: 4.57 · DOI: 10.1074/jbc.C500125200 · Source: PubMed


    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 Thr389 is rapamycin sensitive and mTOR can phosphorylate the same site in vitro, it has been suggested that mTOR is the physiological Thr389 kinase. This proposal is not supported, however, by the existence of mutants of S6K1 that are phosphorylated in vivo on Thr389 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 Thr389 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.