Functional impacts of the brca1-mtorc2 interaction in breast cancer

Kimiko L. Krieger, Wen Feng Hu, Tyler Ripperger, Nicholas T. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Deleterious mutations in Breast Cancer 1 (BRCA1) are associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Mutations in the tandem BRCA1 C-terminal (tBRCT) protein domain disrupt critical protein interactions required for the faithful repair of DNA through homologous recombination, which contributes to oncogenesis. Our studies have identified RICTOR, PRR5, and SIN1 subunits of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) as interacting partners with the tBRCT domain of BRCA1 leading to the disruption of the mTORC2 complex. However, the interplay between mTORC2 signaling and BRCA1 function in the DNA damage response (DDR) remains to be determined. In this study, we used protein interaction assays to determine the binary interactions between the tBRCT domain and mTORC2 subunits, evaluated the impact of mTOR inhibition on the transcriptional function of the tBRCT, evaluated the impact of mTOR signaling on BRCA1 recruitment to DNA damage-induced foci and determined the breast cancer cell line response to mTOR inhibition dependent upon BRCA1 expression and mutation. This study determined that PRR5, RICTOR, and SIN1 could each independently interact with the BRCA1 tBRCT. Inhibition of mTORC1, but not mTORC1/2, increases BRCA1 transcriptional activation activity. Treatment with pan-mTOR inhibitor PP242 diminishes DNA damage-induced γH2AX and BRCA1 foci formation. Breast cancer cells lacking expression of functional BRCA1 are more sensitive to mTOR inhibitors. These data suggest that mTOR signaling is required for BRCA1 response to DNA damage and breast cancer cells lacking BRCA1 are more sensitive to pan-mTOR inhibition. This work suggests chemotherapeutic strategies using mTOR inhibitors could be tailored for patients that lack functional BRCA1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5876
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • BRCA1
  • BRCT domain
  • DNA damage response
  • MTORC2 complex
  • PRR5
  • Protein-protein interactions
  • SIN1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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