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Curr Biol. 2014 Oct 6;24(19):2274-80. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.08.007. Epub 2014 Sep 11.

The mTORC1/S6K1 pathway regulates glutamine metabolism through the eIF4B-dependent control of c-Myc translation.

Author information

1
Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, 240 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
2
Department of Cancer Biology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
3
Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, 240 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Pharmacology, Meyer Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065, USA.
4
Flemish Institute of Biotechnology (VIB), Vesalius Research Center, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium; Department of Oncology, KU Leuven-University of Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.
5
Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, 240 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Pharmacology, Meyer Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065, USA. Electronic address: job2064@med.cornell.edu.

Abstract

Growth-promoting signaling molecules, including the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), drive the metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells required to support their biosynthetic needs for rapid growth and proliferation. Glutamine is catabolyzed to α-ketoglutarate (αKG), a tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediate, through two deamination reactions, the first requiring glutaminase (GLS) to generate glutamate and the second occurring via glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) or transaminases. Activation of the mTORC1 pathway has been shown previously to promote the anaplerotic entry of glutamine to the TCA cycle via GDH. Moreover, mTORC1 activation also stimulates the uptake of glutamine, but the mechanism is unknown. It is generally thought that rates of glutamine utilization are limited by mitochondrial uptake via GLS, suggesting that, in addition to GDH, mTORC1 could regulate GLS. Here we demonstrate that mTORC1 positively regulates GLS and glutamine flux through this enzyme. We show that mTORC1 controls GLS levels through the S6K1-dependent regulation of c-Myc (Myc). Molecularly, S6K1 enhances Myc translation efficiency by modulating the phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor eIF4B, which is critical to unwind its structured 5' untranslated region (5'UTR). Finally, our data show that the pharmacological inhibition of GLS is a promising target in pancreatic cancers expressing low levels of PTEN.

PMID:
25220053
PMCID:
PMC4190129
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2014.08.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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