Many human diseases result from improper regulation of cell growth (an increase in cell mass and size), proliferation, migration, survival and death. These processes are critically regulated by a complex containing the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), Lst8 and Raptor, called the mTORC1 complex. The S6 protein kinases (S6K) are major effectors of mTORC1. The mTORC1/S6K signaling system is the cell's central integration point for multiple homeostatic inputs, sensing growth factor availability, energy levels, and amino acid sufficiency. Hyperactivation of mTORC1/S6K signaling is a common feature of nearly all human cancers. mTORC1 inhibitors, such as rapamycin and its analogs, are currently being clinically evaluated for the treatment of cancer. While the inhibitors have exhibited some promise, rapamycin- insensitive mTOR signaling also influences tumorigenesis, and feedback loops exist that up- regulate survival pathways following rapamycin treatment. Thus, additional therapeutic agents targeting other components of this pathway are needed. By taking a systems-wide approach towards defining mTORC1/S6K pathway regulation and the mechanisms by which this signaling system modulates various biological processes, we hope to provide insights that will lead to the identification of novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of mTORC1/S6K- dependent cancers and other metabolic disorders.
Aim 1 will focus on the connection between S6K1 signaling, gene expression and cell growth control through an S6K1-specific interacting protein SKAR. Approaches are described that investigate the role of SKAR and S6K1 in the regulation of mRNA biogenesis and protein translation.
This aim also sets the foundation for how we will approach all mRNA binding proteins linked to the mTORC1/S6K signaling system identified in Aim 2. The approach outlined in Aim 2 combines a variety of biochemical purification approaches with mass spectrometry analysis to identify and validate a common set of proximal upstream regulators and downstream effectors of the S6K signaling system. The use of multiple converging lines of investigation will focus our efforts on the most critical components of the pathway, allowing us to dissect how S6K regulates so many disparate cellular processes.
Aim 3 utilizes RNAi-based genetic approaches to elucidate the mechanism of homeostatic regulation of the mTORC1/S6K pathway. To this end, we have developed a sensitive, high- throughput, image-based screening strategy for monitoring S6K activity in vivo. We propose to utilize this unique assay to broadly interrogate mitogen- and nutrient-regulated inputs into the mTORC1/S6K pathway.

Public Health Relevance

We hope that the studies outlined in this proposal will deepen our understanding of the defects in mTORC1/S6K signaling that are responsible for cancer progression and cell growth-associated diseases, such as the childhood cancer predisposition syndrome Tuberous Sclerosis. These studies will also impact our understanding of other metabolic diseases linked to S6K, such as diabetes and obesity. We believe such mechanistic insight will open the door to the identification of novel therapeutic strategies for inhibiting the growth factor and/or amino acid sensing arms of the mTORC1/S6K signaling network.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01GM051405-15
Application #
7764664
Study Section
Cellular Signaling and Regulatory Systems Study Section (CSRS)
Program Officer
Marino, Pamela
Project Start
1995-09-01
Project End
2012-01-31
Budget Start
2010-02-01
Budget End
2011-01-31
Support Year
15
Fiscal Year
2010
Total Cost
$645,713
Indirect Cost
Name
Harvard University
Department
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
047006379
City
Boston
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02115
Gomes, Ana P; Schild, Tanya; Blenis, John (2017) Adding Polyamine Metabolism to the mTORC1 Toolkit in Cell Growth and Cancer. Dev Cell 42:112-114
Yoon, Sang-Oh; Shin, Sejeong; Karreth, Florian A et al. (2017) Focal Adhesion- and IGF1R-Dependent Survival and Migratory Pathways Mediate Tumor Resistance to mTORC1/2 Inhibition. Mol Cell 67:512-527.e4
Wada, Shogo; Neinast, Michael; Jang, Cholsoon et al. (2016) The tumor suppressor FLCN mediates an alternate mTOR pathway to regulate browning of adipose tissue. Genes Dev 30:2551-2564
Li, Jing; Shin, Sejeong; Sun, Yang et al. (2016) mTORC1-Driven Tumor Cells Are Highly Sensitive to Therapeutic Targeting by Antagonists of Oxidative Stress. Cancer Res 76:4816-27
Shin, Sejeong; Buel, Gwen R; Wolgamott, Laura et al. (2015) ERK2 Mediates Metabolic Stress Response to Regulate Cell Fate. Mol Cell 59:382-98
Gomes, Ana P; Blenis, John (2015) A nexus for cellular homeostasis: the interplay between metabolic and signal transduction pathways. Curr Opin Biotechnol 34:110-7
Li, Jing; Csibi, Alfredo; Yang, Sun et al. (2015) Synthetic lethality of combined glutaminase and Hsp90 inhibition in mTORC1-driven tumor cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112:E21-9
Dunlop, Elaine A; Seifan, Sara; Claessens, Tijs et al. (2014) FLCN, a novel autophagy component, interacts with GABARAP and is regulated by ULK1 phosphorylation. Autophagy 10:1749-60
Csibi, Alfredo; Lee, Gina; Yoon, Sang-Oh et al. (2014) The mTORC1/S6K1 pathway regulates glutamine metabolism through the eIF4B-dependent control of c-Myc translation. Curr Biol 24:2274-80
Liu, Meilian; Bai, Juli; He, Sijia et al. (2014) Grb10 promotes lipolysis and thermogenesis by phosphorylation-dependent feedback inhibition of mTORC1. Cell Metab 19:967-80

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