mTORC1 silencing during intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cell differentiation is mediated by the activation of the AMPK/TSC2 pathway

Harleen Kaur, Régis Moreau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling is the prototypical pathway regulating protein synthesis and cell proliferation. The level of mTORC1 activity is high in intestinal stem cells located at the base of the crypts and thought to gradually decrease as transit-amplifying cells migrate out of the crypts and differentiate into enterocytes, goblet cells or enteroendocrine cells along the epithelium. The unknown mechanism responsible for the silencing of intestinal epithelium mTORC1 during cell differentiation was investigated in Caco-2 cells, which spontaneously differentiate into enterocytes in standard growth medium. The results show that TSC2, an upstream negative regulator of mTORC1 was central to mTORC1 silencing in differentiated Caco-2 cells. AMPK-mediated activation of TSC2 (Ser1387) and repression of Raptor (Ser792), an essential component of mTORC1, were stimulated in differentiated Caco-2 cells. ERK1/2-mediated repression of TSC2 (Ser664) seen in undifferentiated Caco-2 cells was lifted in differentiated cells. IRS-1-mediated activation of AKT (Thr308) phosphorylation was stimulated in differentiated Caco-2 cells and may be involved in cross-pathway repression of ERK1/2. Additionally, PRAS40 (Thr246) phosphorylation was decreased in differentiated Caco-2 cells compared to undifferentiated cells allowing dephosphorylated PRAS40 to displace Raptor thereby repressing mTORC1 kinase activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Volume545
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 19 2021

Keywords

  • AKT
  • ERK
  • Enterocyte
  • PRAS40
  • Raptor
  • Tight junction protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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