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Trends Biochem Sci. 2004 Jan;29(1):32-8.

TSC2: filling the GAP in the mTOR signaling pathway.

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Department of Biological Chemistry and Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


The tumor-suppressor proteins TSC1 and TSC2 are associated with an autosomal dominant disorder known as tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). TSC1 and TSC2 function as a heterodimer to inhibit cell growth and proliferation. Another protein, mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), is regarded as a central controller of cell growth in response to growth factors, cellular energy and nutrient levels. Recent breakthroughs in TSC research link the TSC1/2 heterodimer protein to the mTOR signaling network. It has recently been shown that TSC2 has GTPase-activating protein (GAP) activity towards the Ras family small GTPase Rheb (Ras homolog enriched in brain), and TSC1/2 antagonizes the mTOR signaling pathway via stimulation of GTP hydrolysis of Rheb. Thus, TSC1/2 and Rheb have pivotal roles in mediating growth factors, nutrient and energy sensing signals to mTOR-dependent targets. These discoveries lend new insight into TSC pathogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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