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J Immunol. 2011 May 1;186(9):5217-26. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1002513. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Convergence of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1- and glycogen synthase kinase 3-β-signaling pathways regulates the innate inflammatory response.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY 40202, USA.


The PI3K pathway and its regulation of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) and glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) play pivotal roles in controlling inflammation. In this article, we show that mTORC1 and GSK3-β converge and that the capacity of mTORC1 to affect the inflammatory response is due to the inactivation of GSK3-β. Inhibition of mTORC1 attenuated GSK3 phosphorylation and increased its kinase activity. Immunoprecipitation and in vitro kinase assays demonstrated that GSK3-β associated with a downstream target of mTORC1, p85S6K, and phosphorylated GSK3-β. Inhibition of S6K1 abrogated the phosphorylation of GSK3-β while increasing and decreasing the levels of IL-12 and IL-10, respectively, in LPS-stimulated monocytes. In contrast, the direct inhibition of GSK3 attenuated the capacity of S6K1 inhibition to influence the levels of IL-10 and IL-12 produced by LPS-stimulated cells. At the transcriptional level, mTORC1 inhibition reduced the DNA binding of CREB and this effect was reversed by GSK3 inhibition. As a result, mTORC1 inhibition increased the levels of NF-κB p65 associated with CREB-binding protein. Inhibition of NF-κB p65 attenuated rapamycin's ability to influence the levels of pro- or anti-inflammatory cytokine production in monocytes stimulated with LPS. These studies identify the molecular mechanism by which mTORC1 affects GSK3 and show that mTORC1 inhibition regulates pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine production via its capacity to inactivate GSK3.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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