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EMBO J. 2006 Aug 9;25(15):3546-55. Epub 2006 Jul 27.

Rapamycin activates Tap42-associated phosphatases by abrogating their association with Tor complex 1.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the Tap42-phosphatase complexes are major targets of the Tor kinases in the rapamycin-sensitive signaling pathway. The immunosuppressive agent, rapamycin, induces a prompt activation of the Tap42-associated phosphatases, which is vitally important in Tor-mediated transcriptional regulation. However, the mechanism for the rapid phosphatase activation is poorly understood. In this study, we show that the Tap42-phosphatase complexes exist mainly on membrane structures through their association with Tor complex 1 (TORC1). Rapamycin abrogates this association and releases the Tap42-phosphatase complexes into the cytosol. Disassembly of the Tap42-phosphatase complexes occurs subsequently, following the release but at a much slower rate, presumably caused by Tap42 dephosphorylation. Release of the Tap42-phosphatase complexes from membrane structures also occurs when cells are deprived of nutrient. These findings suggest that the association of the Tap42-phosphatase complexes with TORC1 represents an important mechanism by which nutrient controls Tor signaling activity. In addition, our data support a model in which rapamycin acts not by inhibiting the kinase activity of Tor but by disrupting its interaction with downstream targets.

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