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Methods Enzymol. 2006;407:46-54.

Measurements of TSC2 GAP activity toward Rheb.

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


Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic disease caused by mutation in either the tsc1 or tsc2 tumor suppressor genes. TSC1 and TSC2 protein form a physical and functional complex in vivo. Recent studies have demonstrated that TSC2 displays GTPase activating protein (GAP) activity specifically toward the small G protein Rheb (Ras homolog enriched in brain) and inhibits its ability to stimulate the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway. We have presented three methods to determine the activity of TSC2 as a GAP toward the Rheb GTPase. The first involves the isolation of TSC2 from cells and measurement of its activity toward Rheb substrate in vitro. The second involves the measurement of Rheb-associated guanine nucleotides as measure of TSC2 GAP activity on Rheb in vivo. The last method is to determine the phosphorylation of S6K1 (ribosomal S6 kinase), which is a downstream target of mTOR, as an indirect assay for TSC2 GAP activity in vivo.

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