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Cell Rep. 2013 Oct 31;5(2):433-44. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.09.017. Epub 2013 Oct 17.

mTORC1 targets the translational repressor 4E-BP2, but not S6 kinase 1/2, to regulate neural stem cell self-renewal in vivo.

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Departments of Neurosurgery, and Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8082, USA.


The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) integrates signals important for cell growth, and its dysregulation in neural stem cells (NSCs) is implicated in several neurological disorders associated with abnormal neurogenesis and brain size. However, the function of mTORC1 on NSC self-renewal and the downstream regulatory mechanisms are ill defined. Here, we found that genetically decreasing mTORC1 activity in neonatal NSCs prevented their differentiation, resulting in reduced lineage expansion and aborted neuron production. Constitutive activation of the translational repressor 4E-BP1, which blocked cap-dependent translation, had similar effects and prevented hyperactive mTORC1 induction of NSC differentiation and promoted self-renewal. Although 4E-BP2 knockdown promoted NSC differentiation, p70 S6 kinase 1 and 2 (S6K1/S6K2) knockdown did not affect NSC differentiation but reduced NSC soma size and prevented hyperactive mTORC1-induced increase in soma size. These data demonstrate a crucial role of mTORC1 and 4E-BP for switching on and off cap-dependent translation in NSC differentiation.

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