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Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Jul;30(13):3151-64. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00322-09. Epub 2010 May 3.

Mitotic raptor promotes mTORC1 activity, G(2)/M cell cycle progression, and internal ribosome entry site-mediated mRNA translation.

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Department of Microbiology, NYU School of Medicine, 550 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA.


The mTOR signaling complex integrates signals from growth factors and nutrient availability to control cell growth and proliferation, in part through effects on the protein-synthetic machinery. Protein synthesis rates fluctuate throughout the cell cycle but diminish significantly during the G(2)/M transition. The fate of the mTOR complex and its role in coordinating cell growth and proliferation signals with protein synthesis during mitosis remain unknown. Here we demonstrate that the mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway, which stimulates protein synthesis, is actually hyperactive during mitosis despite decreased protein synthesis and reduced activity of mTORC1 upstream activators. We describe previously unknown G(2)/M-specific phosphorylation of a component of mTORC1, the protein raptor, and demonstrate that mitotic raptor phosphorylation alters mTORC1 function during mitosis. Phosphopeptide mapping and mutational analysis demonstrate that mitotic phosphorylation of raptor facilitates cell cycle transit through G(2)/M. Phosphorylation-deficient mutants of raptor cause cells to delay in G(2)/M, whereas depletion of raptor causes cells to accumulate in G(1). We identify cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (cdk1 [cdc2]) and glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) pathways as two probable mitosis-regulated protein kinase pathways involved in mitosis-specific raptor phosphorylation and altered mTORC1 activity. In addition, mitotic raptor promotes translation by internal ribosome entry sites (IRES) on mRNA during mitosis and is demonstrated to be associated with rapamycin resistance. These data suggest that this pathway may play a role in increased IRES-dependent mRNA translation during mitosis and in rapamycin insensitivity.

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