A new signaling pathway for mTor-dependent cell growth

ScienceDaily | 8/27/2019 | Staff
Matty123 (Posted by) Level 3
The signaling pathways in somatic cells are highly complex and specific mechanisms can only be triggered if several "switches" are "flipped" in a fixed sequence. However, given the high number of substances and substance complexes involved in the cellular signal transmission, finding these "switches" and identifying their role is a real challenge. The question of how mTor complex 1 can be deactivated in the cell has also been long unresolved. Even so, FMP researchers were able to shed light on this "switch" as early as 2017: revealing that a certain lipid kinase (PI3KC2ß) acts as a natural brake for the mTor protein and ensures that the mTor complex 1 is switched off, for example, when certain hormonal signals such as insulin are absent.

Now, a team led by FMP researcher Alexander Wallroth from Volker Haucke's research group has been scrutinizing how this lipid kinase is regulated. Alexander Wallroth: "We manipulated the lipid kinase in various ways and looked at the effects these manipulations had on mTOR and activity on cell growth." This work has allowed the researchers to uncover a mechanism for inactivating the PI3KC2ß lipid kinase. Another kinase that plays a key role here is protein kinase N (PKN), which renders the PI3KC2ß lipid kinase inactive, thereby indirectly activating mTOR in the process. Protein kinase N is regulated by growth factors that stimulate the mTor complex 2 at the cell membrane -- the second protein complex in which mTor is present...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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